When my kids were young, I used to place them in “time out.” “Time out” gave them a few minutes to compose themselves, to think of what actions resulted in the “time out,” and then to reengage. The practice worked, sometimes.
Today we have an adult version of “time out.” The key difference, however, is that the “time out” is now self-imposed and goes by the name of a “safe place.” Oh, and that adults in college apparently need a time out every once in awhile--I guess to adjust from all of the micro-aggressions we now face.
If you have read this blog, you know my views on such non-sense. Yet along comes the president of Northwestern University who defends the idea--calling it necessary.
He cites the campus dining hall as an example. Apparently, observers have noted that people who share backgrounds and interests self-segregate while in the dining hall. Athletes tend to eat with other athletes, faculty eat with faculty, and blacks eat with other blacks.
Yet, the good president notes, we apparently only notice this fundamental social arrangement when blacks are involved--a disputable claim at best--after all, who ever notices that athletes and faculty also self-segregate? Not me.
He goes on to note an example where a group of white students asked to sit with and to eat lunch with a group of black students. The black students declined....which they had every right to.
The president used this situation to argue for “safe places.” Several other arguments, however, could also have been made. One argument is that all groups tend to regulate who they allow in and who the don’t. Another could have been that the black students missed an opportunity to listen to some white students. Another argument could have been that the illustration shows the need for greater tolerance and inclusion in the day-to-day decisions people and groups make. And yet another argument could have been made that the exclusion of whites from the group was racial or even racists. I bring up this possibility only to argue a point and to also show how different standards are sometimes applied based the race of the group.
But no. These arguments were not made because the president apparently believes that adults need a safe place.
I need a time out.
Read about it here: http://www.hickoryrecord.com/opinion/why-my-campus-needs-safe-spaces/article_9278dbcd-0b27-52f9-a2a6-4c543727c5d3.html
John Paul Wright and Matt DeLisi
Professors of Crime and Criminology