Yale students, faculty: We don’t want to be coddled, but create a “safe space” from offense

posted at 8:01 pm on November 9, 2015 by Taylor Millard

Some staff and students at Yale University believe they have the right to not be offended. Jazz has written about this already, but the way this story is really starting to spiral more. It all started when the Intercultural Affairs Committee sent an email to students right before Halloween telling them to express themselves, but please don’t be offensive (emphasis mine).

However, Halloween is also unfortunately a time when the normal thoughtfulness and sensitivity of most Yale students can sometimes be forgotten and some poor decisions can be made including wearing feathered headdresses, turbans, wearing ‘war paint’ or modifying skin tone or wearing blackface or redface. These same issues and examples of cultural appropriation and/or misrepresentation are increasingly surfacing with representations of Asians and Latinos.

Yale is a community that values free expression as well as inclusivity. And while students, undergraduate and graduate, definitely have a right to express themselves, we would hope that people would actively avoid those circumstances that threaten our sense of community or disrespects, alienates or ridicules segments of our population based on race, nationality, religious belief or gender expression.

So express yourself, but please don’t be offensive because you might hurt someone’s feelings. Sure seems like Yale should have just said, “Wear your Generic Halloween Costume T-shirts and no one will be offended.” This didn’t go over well with some Yale students and faculty. Associate Master of Silliman College Erika Christakis told students at Silliman residential college they should dress up however they want.

Even if we could agree on how to avoid offense – and I’ll note that no one around campus seems overly concerned about the offense taken by religiously conservative folks to skin-revealing costumes – I wonder, and I am not trying to be provocative: Is there no room anymore for a child or young person to be a little bit obnoxious… a little bit inappropriate or provocative or, yes, offensive? American universities were once a safe space not only for maturation but also for a certain regressive, or even transgressive, experience; increasingly, it seems, they have become places of censure and prohibition. And the censure and prohibition come from above, not from yourselves! Are we all okay with this transfer of power? Have we lost faith in young people’s capacity – in your capacity – to exercise self-censure, through social norming, and also in your capacity to ignore or reject things that trouble you? We tend to view this shift from individual to institutional agency as a tradeoff between libertarian vs. liberal values (“liberal” in the American, not European sense of the word).

Nicholas says, if you don’t like a costume someone is wearing, look away, or tell them you are offended. Talk to each other. Free speech and the ability to tolerate offence are the hallmarks of a free and open society.

Seems pretty logical right? If someone finds something offensive they should either ignore it or just talk to the offending party and let them decide what they’ll do. Unfortunately, logic appears to be in limited quantities at Yale. Some students, faculty, and alumni revolted. They sent an open letter to Christakis saying what she was doing, was just wrong (emphasis mine).

The contents of your email were jarring and disheartening…In your email, you ask students to “look away” if costumes are offensive, as if the degradation of our cultures and people, and the violence that grows out of it is something that we can ignore. We were told to meet the offensive parties head on, without suggesting any modes or means to facilitate these discussions to promote understanding. Giving “room” for students to be “obnoxious” or “offensive”, as you suggest, is only inviting ridicule and violence onto ourselves and our communities, and ultimately comes at the expense of room in which marginalized students can feel safe…

We are not asking to be coddled. The real coddling is telling the privileged majority on campus that they do not have to engage with the brutal pasts that are a part of the costumes they seek to wear. We, however, simply ask that our existences not be invalidated on campus. This is us asking for basic respect of our cultures and our livelihoods.

The rank hypocrisy here is stunning. The students say allowing offensive costumes is just “inviting ridicule and violence,” but to say they don’t want to be coddled is just a plain lie.Then to suggest they weren’t given any real strategies to confront offending parties is just a cop out. The students DO want to be coddled and protected in a safe little bubble which won’t offend them. In fact, one student went a step further and demanded Christakis and her husband resign from Yale for the comments. This confrontation was actually caught on camera by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (language NSFW).

This entire situation goes against Yale’s Freedom of Expression policy which says “’the provocative, the disturbing, and the unorthodox’ must be tolerated.” They also encourage civility in debate, which is sorely lacking in society today. It’s not just horrific, it’s downright dreadful and heinous that the Christakises are being treated this way by Yale students. It doesn’t matter what they’re politics are, the two are promoting free speech and civil discussion, which is pretty logical. If I see something which is offensive, I ignore it. People have the right to be offensive, just as they do to be offended. The problem is more people in the offended category want to take a hammer and scythe to the idea of free speech because it doesn’t caused a “safe space.” The fact Yale administrators seem hesitant to support Christakis is even more disturbing. They’d be welcome at any college I ran, especially if they wanted to talk free speech.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Circular firing squad of liberal progressives. Step out of the circle, folks, and let them consume each other. Conservatives can rebuild among the ruins they leave behind.

xNavigator on November 9, 2015 at 8:04 PM

The rank hypocrisy here is stunning. The students say allowing offensive costumes is just “inviting ridicule and violence,” but to say they don’t want to be coddled is just a plain lie.Then to suggest they weren’t given any real strategies to confront offending parties is just a cop out. The students DO want to be coddled and protected in a safe little bubble which won’t offend them. In fact, one student went a step further and demanded Christakis and her husband resign from Yale for the comments.

Not only is it rank hypocrisy, but these “best and brightest” are too clueless to realize it.

Stoic Patriot on November 9, 2015 at 8:07 PM

Poor widdle Social Justice Warriors.

This nation is in a world of hurt with this bunch as the next generation’s leader.

lineholder on November 9, 2015 at 8:10 PM

Good heavens! A Yale man!

Mr. Howell was right!

Judge_Dredd on November 9, 2015 at 8:10 PM

Speaking of coddled college students…

I predict that some time between Nov 15 2016 and Jan 15 2017 President Obama is going to issue an Executive Order forgiving all outstanding federal college student loan debt over a base amount somewhere in the 10K to 20K range.

No, not crazy…

Bruno Strozek on November 9, 2015 at 8:11 PM

Leftists are illiberal thugs who’ve stolen the terms “liberal” and “progressive”.

Schadenfreude on November 9, 2015 at 8:14 PM

The hysterical, psychotic chick is the reason I could never be an admin or teacher at todays universities.

“YOU BE QUIET!”

and

“WHY THE FUKC…”

while taking off her backpack to confront me would get her dental plan activated. Because I would laugh in her face, she would take a swing, and that would be that.

If she were my kid and I saw this vid, wellllll….let’s just say her next weekend back home would be interesting.

Bishop on November 9, 2015 at 8:15 PM

Giving “room” for students to be “obnoxious” or “offensive”, as you suggest, is only inviting ridicule and violence onto ourselves and our communities, and ultimately comes at the expense of room in which marginalized students can feel safe…

Pro Tip: Anyone who puts the phrase “our community” in a sentence without sarcastic intent has nothing coherent to say and should be devoutly ignored or, time permitting, viciously ridiculed.

Cicero43 on November 9, 2015 at 8:16 PM

My sincere hope that the government will get completely out of the student loan business. Student loans are allowing our universities to become this obnoxious because they’re not longer in the education business they’re in the indoctrination business and they get their money from students and their parents being dumb enough to believe the garbage they’re spitting out is worth their going into debt for. Let the banks loan students money and determine if the education they’re going after is worth, $25,000, $50,000 or $100,000 and, if not, what the interest rate should be on the loan a student is looking for. When they can’t pay, they should be allowed to go after them and put them in jail, if they can’t pay. Now, having said that, we should also hold the banks responsible for presenting the facts on these loans and not making them pie in the sky. If you get a degree in Advanced Basketweaving and believe you’re going to make $200,000 a year, they might give you a $20,000 loan at 20% interest. If, indeed, you do make $200,000 a year, you can certainly pay back the loan.

My point is, universities no longer have to worry about appealing to the whole country, they can appeal to the liberals only and will get students to go there because they can get a loan. Stop that process and the administrations will be cut back and the complete wacko professors will be allowed to go their separate ways.

bflat879 on November 9, 2015 at 8:17 PM

This nation is in a world of hurt with this bunch as the next generation’s leader.

lineholder on November 9, 2015 at 8:10 PM

I suspect anyone who is driven to a nervous breakdown over Halloween costumes probably will have a hard time getting a leadership position.

whatcat on November 9, 2015 at 8:18 PM

Sometimes you have to coddle some eggs to make an omelet.

Flange on November 9, 2015 at 8:21 PM

Yale students, faculty: We don’t want to be coddled, but create a “safe space” from offense

…go into the corner of the basement and curl up in the fetal position with your thumb in your mouth…and then GFY!

JugEarsButtHurt on November 9, 2015 at 8:23 PM

This is why the current season of South Park is one of its best ever. In a world gone crazy, satirists have a field day.

“Maybe you shouldn’t have posted pictures of yourself in your underwear up on social media.” To which PC Principal responds…

“You got a f***in problem, Mackie?!”

segesta on November 9, 2015 at 8:28 PM

I bet Taylor has a ‘safe space’.

HornetSting on November 9, 2015 at 8:29 PM

It’s stunning to survey the depths we can sink to when we’re in a fictitious, imagined cultural conflict when we’re desperate to be offended just to remind ourselves how righteous we are and how evil the other side is.

“Because it has to be that our campuses and our coffee shops are out to get us. Because it can’t be that I’m a mental midget with a persecution complex!”

alchemist19 on November 9, 2015 at 8:29 PM

the normal thoughtfulness and sensitivity of most Yale students

If I’d been drinking coffee when I read that, it would be all over my desk and keyboard right now.

As everywhere else, progressives at Yale, students or faculty, have about the “thoughtfulness and sensitivity” of Mao’s Red Guards. Who are probably their role models, actually.

Forget “inappropriate” Halloween getups. In the future, I expect that Yale and the rest of the Ivy League will have a Ribbon Office which tells everyone which colored ribbon or armband to wear every day to express “solidarity” with which progressive Cause.

And if you get caught wearing a purple armband at 1300 when you were supposed to switch to a pink one before lunch, you are so screwed.

As James Burke relates in The Day The Universe Changed, the modern “liberal arts” college system had its beginnings in Renaissance Europe. Because the Church-run colleges were so immersed in teaching that everything operated on doctrinal theory (like denying that blood circulated in the body because Galen never mentioned it) that they had become, in Burke’s words, “temples of irrelevant logic-chopping” that were useless to anyone seeking an education applicable in the real world.

Today, political correctness, multicultural conceits, and other progressive/leftist delusions have made the “liberal arts” colleges similarly useless to the general public. And like the Church collegiums of half a millennium ago, they don’t care. They see themselves as the bastions of philosophical rectitude and righteousness, and believe that they will Shape the Future in their own image.

And as Dick Smothers once said shrieked, “It will be Maoissst!!

Guess. Again.

When an establishment ceases to serve the public, it becomes irrelevant.

If the “wise heads” who think they are Shaping the Future listen closely, they will hear The Future coming up behind them like a freight train. Named “internet universities”.

Where the faculty and students really don’t give a damn what it says on your T-shirt.

clear ether

eon

eon on November 9, 2015 at 8:29 PM

The real coddling is telling the privileged majority on campus that they do not have to engage with the brutal pasts that are a part of the costumes they seek to wear.

I have a question, do only the privileged majority dress in offensive costumes or is it only offensive if it is worn by privileged majorities? And while we are it, just for clarification, who is the privileged majority?

Cindy Munford on November 9, 2015 at 8:32 PM

Send these little snowflakes to the ME or some third world shithole for 6-12 months. Instant cure.

Megyn Kellys Lipstick on November 9, 2015 at 8:34 PM

Last night, Dean Holloway, Secretary and Vice President Kim Goff-Crews, Chief of Staff Joy McGrath, and I met in Woodbridge Hall with about 50 students, primarily students of color,

Sounds like people *not of color* were under represented by quite a bit, the only thing that can explain that is racism, Dean Holloway, Secretary and Vice President Kim Goff-Crews, Chief of Staff Joy McGrath and Peter Salovey need to step down from their positions immediately.

clearbluesky on November 9, 2015 at 8:34 PM

TAYLOR MILLARD

…which corner in moms basement…is yours?

JugEarsButtHurt on November 9, 2015 at 8:35 PM

Nobody can “invalidate” you existence if you don’t let them. Yeesh. The real world is going to be a scary place for them.

rbj on November 9, 2015 at 8:35 PM

What ever happened to once prestigious schools like Yale. They used to educate the best of the best and challenge their students to the best of their abilities. Now look what they have become after a few generations of being stricken with the cancer known as liberalism.

Schools that buy in to this “space space” SJW bullshit need to have their public funding taken away from them.

tom2789 on November 9, 2015 at 8:37 PM

I have a question, do only the privileged majority dress in offensive costumes or is it only offensive if it is worn by privileged majorities? And while we are it, just for clarification, who is the privileged majority?

Cindy Munford on November 9, 2015 at 8:32 PM

I would answer but it really needs to be screamed in your face for best effect, I mean spittle-flecked screamed in words that make no sense right before I swing my textbook-filled backpack into the side of your head.

Bishop on November 9, 2015 at 8:37 PM

No thread on the issue that is blowing up my stupid Facebook newsfeed so here goes…..

Remember when STARBUCKS used their cups to preach to US?????

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/03/17/starbucks-keeps-trying-to-fix-american-politics-by-writing-things-on-cups/

PappyD61 on November 9, 2015 at 8:38 PM

How soon until we see job ads stating, “No college graduates accepted”

Megyn Kellys Lipstick on November 9, 2015 at 8:39 PM

Wow, how did I ever survive going away to college 47 years ago when there were no “safe spaces”?

BeachBum on November 9, 2015 at 8:40 PM

Bishop on November 9, 2015 at 8:37 PM

What? I can’t hear you!!!

Cindy Munford on November 9, 2015 at 8:55 PM

PappyD61 on November 9, 2015 at 8:38 PM

First they have to get me anywhere near a cup. Good luck with that.

Cindy Munford on November 9, 2015 at 8:56 PM

Amazingly none of these Yale students are calling for safe spaces on campus- maybe they know the difference between a safe space and a dangerous one.

https://www.google.com/search?q=yale+rotc&rlz=1C9BKJA_enMY628MY628&hl=en-US&prmd=nsiv&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAkQ_AUoA2oVChMI6o6W-t-EyQIVBbQUCh1VJw78#imgrc=q1OaCjzkGoEWPM%3A

Longsen on November 9, 2015 at 8:58 PM

Even if we could agree on how to avoid offense – and I’ll note that no one around campus seems overly concerned about the offense taken by religiously conservative folks to skin-revealing costumes –

And it’s funny how mocking Christians is never seen as offensive behavior.

AesopFan on November 9, 2015 at 8:58 PM

if I ever saw one of my kids acting like the POS on video was acting they’d be out on the fing street so fast. Really it is the parents fault for tolerating this behavior by continuing to finance their pos kids education. Kick em to the curb and let em have to make their own way.

tractah on November 9, 2015 at 9:00 PM

http://libertyunyielding.com/2015/11/01/student-told-he-cant-dress-up-as-mariachi-band-member-for-halloween-but-theres-a-wrinkle/

What this amounts to, then, is the school telling a student he cannot dress up in a costume associated with his own culture.

AesopFan on November 9, 2015 at 9:01 PM

Circular firing squad of liberal progressives. Step out of the circle, folks, and let them consume each other. Conservatives can rebuild among the ruins they leave behind.

xNavigator on November 9, 2015 at 8:04 PM

Should Conservatives fight to retake or reform the Universities?
No.

AesopFan on November 9, 2015 at 9:02 PM

Longsen on November 9, 2015 at 8:58 PM

They are just happy to be back.

Cindy Munford on November 9, 2015 at 9:02 PM

This nation is in a world of hurt with this bunch as the next generation’s leader.

lineholder on November 9, 2015 at 8:10 PM

I suspect anyone who is driven to a nervous breakdown over Halloween costumes probably will have a hard time getting a leadership position.

whatcat on November 9, 2015 at 8:18 PM

I would normally agree with this, if we didn’t have so many of these Special Snowflakes already in leadership positions —

AesopFan on November 9, 2015 at 9:02 PM

These children need to be mocked mercilessly…they should be laughed at, right in their faces, when they spew this idiocy. Academia has truly created a monster, and they can no longer control it. With tensions so high, I truly fear what’s coming next.

ellifint on November 9, 2015 at 10:03 PM

We now have two generations of youngish people who cannot think or speak. This “safe space” demand is immature and totally void of any reality.

It is amazing that the movement women who fought for has morphed into a 3-year-old mind set where mommy or daddy or the government or the institution has to take care of whiny juveniles.

If American collapses, these people appear to be totally incompetent in thinking for themselves and more importantly, unable to recognize that their very behavior, if done in reverse, would send them crying to the “safe room” where they could hug their teddy bears.

Civil rights leaders did not fight for demands based on a total lack of knowledge of history.

I fear for our nation and there is no place to go.

Maybe some of these babies on college campuses should take a step back and see how much someone is using them – there is something so radically wrong here.

MN J on November 9, 2015 at 10:06 PM

We are not asking to be coddled.

How long are their noses?

unclesmrgol on November 9, 2015 at 10:19 PM

To get the full sense of these people, you need to go over and read the comments area. There’s not a single contrary comment, but tons of accolades for the positions the writers are taking.

A little liberal world all snug and safe.

unclesmrgol on November 9, 2015 at 10:23 PM

These are the same kids who all got the same trophy in little league
First place,last place,same trophy,all grown up now,lol

IXXINY on November 9, 2015 at 11:13 PM

Speaking of coddled college students…

Bruno Strozek on November 9, 2015 at 8:11 PM

Coddle –

1: to cook (as eggs) in liquid slowly and gently just below the boiling point.

Sounds to me like it’s time for a recipe contest.

GrumpyOldFart on November 9, 2015 at 11:54 PM

Should Conservatives fight to retake or reform the Universities?
No.

AesopFan on November 9, 2015 at 9:02 PM

Reform them? No, that would just prop these broken institutions up. Retake them? YES. We should have conservative alternatives, and when progressive facades collapse of their own weight, we should absolutely retake them. I don’t believe in continual retreat for conservative, traditional, Judeo-Christian beliefs and ideology, do you?

RETAKE these institutions after they have collapse, not with a fight while they’re on life support but after they have fallen, and build alternatives in the meantime. Don’t prop them up, don’t save them. Let them fall, then rebuild.

xNavigator on November 10, 2015 at 7:37 AM

There are no “safe spaces” in the real world.

What are these kids being set up for?

Y2K on November 10, 2015 at 7:44 AM

When I was in college, the hippies used to dress up in what they thought was native American garb. I wonder if any of these earnest Yale professors did that?

grumpyank on November 10, 2015 at 8:06 AM

Why is it necessary to never be offended? You’re not going to die if you’re offended. Conservatives are living proof of this.

grumpyank on November 10, 2015 at 8:08 AM

Sounds to me like it’s time for a recipe contest.

GrumpyOldFart on November 9, 2015 at 11:54 PM

Ewwwwww. Hippies always taste like patchouli. Blecch.

GWB on November 10, 2015 at 12:10 PM

When I was in college, the hippies used to dress up in what they thought was native American garb. I wonder if any of these earnest Yale professors did that?

grumpyank on November 10, 2015 at 8:06 AM

College friend once sabotaged a truly nauseating leftard ‘celebration of Indian life’ by volunteering to help make armbands to be passed out to everyone and suggesting that they should have phrases in native languages written on them, which was commended as a brilliant idea.

…of course, nobody noticed until months later – not even the supposed ‘Indian’ sponsors – that the phrases translated to things like “my scalp has no value” or “my (behavior) is like a filthy dog”. Some photos that were once proudly featured on the university website were VERY hastily replaced overnight.

LawfulGood on November 11, 2015 at 6:10 AM

Sounds to me like it’s time for a recipe contest.

GrumpyOldFart on November 9, 2015 at 11:54 PM

Ewwwwww. Hippies always taste like patchouli. Blecch.

GWB on November 10, 2015 at 12:10 PM

So, wash thoroughly before cooking, check. Might even want to remove all the skin and do a marinade first.

GrumpyOldFart on November 11, 2015 at 12:18 PM