Like any other card-carrying member of the ACLU with at least one brilliant kid in high school, I keep a close eye on developments in college campuses to see which institutions of higher learning will prove worthy of my hard-earned offspring. This past week has been . . . a bit overwhelming. For those of you late to the game, I have compiled a collection of links relating to the ongoing safe-spacing of American minds campuses.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education is the definitive source for all things related to campus free expression in America; there are too many relevant articles to list here. You may want to start with this one from Greg Lukianoff and work your way backwards from there.
On Tuesday’s episode of The Gist, Mike Pesca took on recent events at Mizzou and Yale. The Spiel starts off around 21:58 or so.
Mike Pesca’s daily rants generally range from entertaining to epic, and this one is on the high end of that spectrum. Essential listening.
The Slate Political Gabfest also covered the topic this week, but they were pretty shit about it, using vacuous catchphrases like “doubled down” to describe the act of standing up for free expression. Not exactly worth anyone’s time, in my opinion, and that despite their usual high quality programming.
Ken White has two pieces up, so far, about how safe spaces can be used either as a shield or as a sword (Part 1, Part 2). White clearly sees how to ethically draw the line and understands where things went wrong. Highly recommended reading.
Conor Friedersdorf also has two pieces up about the new style of student activism, the first about how safe spaces are being reconceptualized at Yale and the second about how they have been weaponized in Missouri. These articles run roughly parallel to Popehat’s think pieces.
Slate Star Codex
Scott Alexander roundly chastises mainstream Johnny-come-latelies to the “SJ-critical movement” who are, in his considered estimation, overly focused on the sort of problems which inconvenience Ivy League establishment figures, as opposed to the usual targets of social-justice-inspired bullying. Scott is right to look this particular gift horse in the mouth, with due skepticism, but perhaps overly hasty in assuming that the young steed cannot be usefully harnessed.
Harvard Law Record
One writer at the Harvard Law Record slams Yale for acting like fascists. This is the same journal which, incidentally, didn’t say a damn word when the President of Harvard roundly condemned the planned reenactment of a Black Mass ritual on campus, which was ultimately cancelled, thereby creating a safe space for Catholics at the expense of unbelievers. (Way to notice the mote in your neighbor’s eye, you guys.)
That should be enough to be getting on with for now, but feel free to leave any relevant links in the comments. As for me, I’m off to visit the safest space in all of American secularism. Wish me luck!