Harvard law prof: if you want a 'safe space,' don't go to college
Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz blasted campus safe-spaces on New York’s AM 970 “The Cat’s Roundtable” on Sunday.
“They want a safe space for their ideas, well fine, don’t go to college; don’t go to universities. Universities are not going to give you a safe space for your ideas. Your ideas are going to be challenged. Whether they’re ideas about sex, rape, consent, race, religion, terrorism – every one of your ideas is going to be challenged,” Dershowitz told host John Catsimatidis.
"My God, sense of humor has disappeared from college campuses."
Catsimatidis, billionaire businessman and 2013 New York mayoral candidate, asked Dershowitz to comment on the current campus climate and address the latest social justice craze of microaggressions.
In response, Dershowitz criticized students for lacking a sense of humor and questioned the significance of microaggressions.
“This idea of safe spaces and stopping yourself from being micro-aggressed, what does that even mean? My God, sense of humor has disappeared from college campuses,” Dershowitz replied.
Dershowitz, an esteemed academic, spoke to his experience in the classroom to explain why ideas should not be given a safe space on campus.
“I used to teach freshmen at Harvard and I would get these 18-year-old kids, and I would challenge every one of their ideas. Nothing was sacred; there are no safe spaces for ideas. You try to do it in a nice way, you try not to be particularly nasty when you’re confronting students but when a student comes up with a dumb idea, I’m not going to say what a great idea that was,” Dershowitz explained.
Dershowitz has been highly critical of college students in the past, even calling some of them “book burners” and hypocrites.
“It’s the worst kind of hypocrisy,” Dershowitz told Megyn Kelly in a Nov. 13 interview. “They want complete freedom over their sex lives, over their personal lives, over the use of drugs, but they want Mommy and Daddy Dean to please give them a safe space,” he added before comparing modern college students to students under the Nazi regime.
“I don’t want to make analogies to the 1930s, but we have to remember that it was the students at universities who first started burning books during the Nazi regime, and these students are book burners,” Dershowitz said. “They don’t want to hear diverse views on college campuses.”
In November, he spoke with Business Insider about the “double standard” manifesting itself on many college campuses.
"I think the most important thing to point out is the double standard and the hypocrisy," Dershowitz said. "These are students who want safe spaces for themselves but not for others. They're prepared to spit on people going out of lectures."
Dershowitz explained how he has experienced the “hypocrisy” of “tyrannical students” while giving guest lectures on various campuses. At the City College of New York, for instance, Dershowitz said he was greeted with shouts of “Zionists out of CUNY.” At John Hopkins University, students allegedly protested his lecture with posters of Dershowitz sporting a Hitler mustache.
"These students don't want me to be safe," he told the Insider. "They don't want students who agree with me to be safe. They just want their ideas to be safe and protected from any contrary point of view
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