One person’s safe space is another person’s oppressive cult

On the recent controversies at Yale and Missouri, from Jonah Goldberg weekly “G-file.”

One of my favorite scenes from Scarface is when Tony Montana shoots the Colombian assassin in the head before he can blow up some guy’s car. There are just way too many expletives for this family-oriented “news”letter to transcribe more of the dialogue than absolutely necessary. But you can find it here. Besides, the line I have in mind is pretty short: “You stupid f**k, look at you now.”

I’ve been saying words to that effect all week, watching higher ed go into full meltdown. Because this “crisis” is 100 percent liberalism’s fault. Sure, sure, you can divvy up the slices of blame in different ways, but those guys tailgating in the parking lot drinking beers and eating bratwurst? Those are the conservatives and libertarians enjoying a day off, because they don’t have to wait in line for even a morsel of blame.

I almost feel sorry for those decent, sincere career liberals standing there in the quad as the little Maoists scream in their faces and strip off the suede elbow patches on their tweedy jackets like a lieutenant being busted down to a private. As the kids fit lifelong members of the ACLU with their duncecaps, the poor souls can hear the conservatives hooting and laughing off beyond the fence, throwing nerf footballs and telling jokes at the liberals’ expense…

Outside of the actual headquarters of the Democratic party itself, no major institution in America today is more thoroughly run and controlled by the Left than academia.

For several years now, whenever I’ve visited a college campus, I’ve tried to make the following point. It basically goes like this:

You kids think it is somehow rebellious to be liberal. So let me see if I get this right. The administrators at this school are liberal. The professors are liberal. Your high-school teachers were probably liberal. Your textbooks are, for the most part, liberal. Hollywood is liberal. The music industry is liberal. The fashion industry is liberal. Publishing is liberal. The mainstream media are liberal. Silicon Valley is liberal. Believe it or not, most corporations and the overwhelming majority of charitable foundations are liberal.

And yet, you think you’re sticking it to the man by agreeing with them?

Moreover, it’s been like this for generations. It was true when most of these administrators and faculty were born — they have grown up inside a universe where this fact was simply taken for granted. With the Left given total control of these oases of tolerance and citadels of progressivism, what do we get?

We get pampered and coddled students screaming that these institutions are hotbeds of racism, homophobia, sexism, and the rest of the 31 Flavors of Oppression.

I’m sorry, but over here by the hibachi in the parking lot, that’s just frick’n hilarious.

And it is fitting. It is just. It’s almost frick’n Biblical in its justness. You see, there is precious little bigotry and prejudice on college campuses. But the bulk of what does exist is aimed almost entirely at the guys and gals chilling at the tailgate party. Pro-life Christians, Israel-supporting Jews, libertarian professors, conservative scholars, climate-change skeptics, traditionalists of every stripe including classical liberals, and, of course, people who can take a joke: These make up the bulk of the victims of campus bigotry and prejudice. I can’t tell you how many professors I’ve met who have to keep their conservatism secret, at least until tenure, if not forever. I’ve never met or heard of a faculty member who had to keep her Marxism on the down-low…

When I was in college, an administrator or professor who came out in defense of the kids’ ability to wear whacky or offensive costumes would be considered cool. But the prudish mob sees it differently. It’s not cool to let people do what they want. Everyone must be forced to care. If you can leave aside the threat to Western Civilization these little totalitarians pose, it’s a fascinating and glorious comeuppance these university staff are getting. For generations, liberals have cultivated the notion that college should be a safe space for political liberalism and, just as important, libertinism. And in response, like the ants set free from the ant farm, the kids cry out, “Freedom! Horrible freedom!” Instead, these frightened, failed libertines want to impose order from below. The administrators see themselves as Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society, and the ungrateful brats respond by demanding subsidized all-organic sticks to shove up their own asses.

Oh, and having a stick up your ass is not voluntary. No, no. We all must have sticks up our asses. We all must not laugh at the jokes about lesbians screwing in a lightbulb. We must not chuckle at the linebacker’s Caitlyn Jenner Halloween costume. And those who do laugh must be punished, reeducated — or banished to the really fun tailgate party in the parking lot.

That’s the most infuriating part about all of this “safe space” inanity. One person’s safe space is another person’s oppressive cult. As I argued earlier this week in my column, these kids are exactly the little Robespierres cultural Marxists have been waiting for. Just as the “free speech movement” was never actually for free speech, the safe spacers aren’t really for spaces that are safe. They are for little moving zones of political absolutism, where their worldview and, yes, their privilege, are unquestioned and celebrated.

One needn’t go full anarchist and say there should be no norms, no codes of conduct. By all means, if students are going around shouting the n-word at black students (and that is a big if), deal with them. But to the extent colleges are supposed to be safe spaces, they are supposed to be safe places to disagree with one another! And yet, when the William F. Buckley Program at Yale held a panel discussion, the privileged Huns responded by spitting on them.

Goldberg then points out the 131 (probably more) race/class/gender course and close to 100 similarly-oriented clubs, before adding:

And the response from the activists? A loaded-diaper tantrum about how Yale is a hotbed of bigotry against people of color and women. And what will placate the mob? Why more institutions, courses, and faculty trained in the fine art of cultivating grievances.

The students’ first demand: that “undergraduates be required to fulfill an ethnic-studies distributional requirement and that the Ethnicity, Race and Migration Program be given departmental status immediately.” Another demand: a $2 million increase for every cultural center and a minimum of five full-time staffers. They want Calhoun College renamed and two colleges to be named after people of color. They want a monument on Cross Campus acknowledging that Yale was founded on “stolen indigenous land.” They want the lecturer and administrator who defended wearing fun costumes on Halloween booted from their positions and homes. Gone are the days when the activists wanted “honest conversations.” Honest conversations hurt the feelings of the little monarchs. Of course, they never wanted honest conversations. The mantra about “frank dialogue” and “honest conversations” was always a cynical ploy to bait dissenters into the open so they could be punished.

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