Former Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg gave a commencement address at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor over the weekend. Part of his speech focused on the recent trend of creating “safe spaces” on campus and offering “trigger warnings” to students who might be offended or upset by certain material.
“Colleges have always exposed students to challenging and uncomfortable ideas,” Bloomberg said. He continued, “And the fact that some university boards and administrations now bow to pressure groups and shield students from these ideas through safe spaces, code words and trigger warnings is in my view a terrible mistake.” This brought a healthy if not overwhelming round of applause from the assembled graduates.
“The whole purpose of college is to learn how to deal with difficult situations, not to run away from them,” Bloomberg said. He continued, “A micro-aggression is exactly that…micro. But in a macro sense, one of the most dangerous places on a college campus is a so-called safe space because it creates a false impression that we can isolate ourselves from those who hold different views. We can’t and we shouldn’t try. Not in politics or in the workplace.”
Right about the time Bloomberg mentions safe spaces the second time someone in the crowd shouts “Boo!” Others in the crowd may be booing as well though it’s hard to tell.
Clearly this challenge to the left’s authority on campus can’t be allowed to stand. How long before someone or some group demands an apology? In keeping with the thoughts he expressed here, he should absolutely not give one.
Video of this portion of Bloomberg’s remarks was published by Young Americans for Freedom at the University of Michigan: