In educational institutions, safe-space (or safe space), safer-space, and positive space originally were terms used to indicate that a teacher, educational institution or student body does not tolerate anti LGBT violence, harassment or hate speech, thereby creating a safe place for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students. The term safe-space has been extended to refer to a space for individuals who feel marginalized to come together to communicate regarding their experiences with marginalization, typically on a university campus. The idea of safe-spaces has seen criticism on the grounds that it stifles freedom of speech. Critics also claim safe-spaces hinder the exposure of sensitive material that needs to be discussed and explained in an educational environment. In early 2015 the increasing adoption of safe spaces in UK universities aroused controversy due to accusations that they were used to stifle free speech and differing political views. In the United States the concept originated in the women’s movement, where it “implies a certain license to speak and act freely, form collective strength, and generate strategies for resistance…a means rather than an end and not only a physical space but also a space created by the coming together of women searching for community.” The first safe spaces were gay bars and consciousness raising groups. Advocates for Youth states on their website that a safe-space is “A place where anyone can relax and be fully self-expressed, without fear of being made to feel uncomfortable, unwelcome or challenged on account of biological sex, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, cultural background, age, or physical or mental ability; a place where the rules guard each person’s self-respect, dignity and feelings and strongly encourage everyone to respect others.” However, some people consider safe space culture as a violation of the First Amendment and a mechanism for retreating from opinions which contrast with one’s own.
(From FOX News) The latest safe-space cry comes from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. A gay student group at Duquesne fears that a proposed Chick-fil-A outpost could jeopardize the school’s safe spaces. “Chick-fil-A has a questionable history on civil rights and human rights,” Lambda executive board member Niko Martini told The Duke — the university’s student newspaper. Martini asked student government leaders to pass a resolution urging the school to reconsider Chick-fil-A as a dining option for students at the Pennsylvania Catholic school. “I think it’s imperative the university chooses to do business with organizations that coincide with the university’s mission and expectations they give students regarding diversity and inclusion,” Martini went on to tell the newspaper. So far, the student government association has not passed a resolution one way or the other. And with good reason. A university spokesperson told the newspaper they picked Chick-fil-A at the request of the student body.
This narrative illustrates a swing in American culture that is really dangerous. It is sort of like “Let’s find a way to denigrate some other group of people who disagree with us.” How is that done? Create a new “phobia” that is always based on purported discrimination. And typically that discrimination’s existence, structure, social applications and proof are always subjective. That subjectivity can only be defined and explained by those who are injured by this “discrimination.” Any other person or entity that tries to weigh in — even if their intentions are to help protect that discriminated class — is automatically defined as having a new “phobia” defined by whom? Only by those that are targeted by this “discrimination.”
So in the case of Chick-fil-A, those civil rights violations of the company that scare university students are about one thing and one thing only: homosexuality. The Chick-fil-A founder expressed his unbelief in same-sex marriage some time ago and additionally closes all of their restaurants on Sundays — both in consideration of Christianity and a desire for company employees to be able to take advantage of Sundays with their families. In the minds of those Duquesne LGBTQ students, that belief is incorrect, unfair, discriminatory, unacceptable, and violates their “safe-space” on campus. Allowing families to be together on Sundays and any belief about anything can now require safe-spaces? Really? Therefore, the university should not consider bringing Chick-fil-A to their campus, even though the reason for doing so was at the suggestion of students at the campus!
This is the last straw in this charade for me — not that there is no discrimination of LGBTQ people. But that there always HAS been, is NOW, and always WILL BE discrimination within every ethnic, religious, sexual, racial, biological, and social group on Earth — even among animals. If every person demanded a “safe-space” for protection from any discrimination, every human being would live in a cocoon. This is laughable.
What are we teaching our children? Life after leaving Mommie and Daddy is full of daily discrimination that Mommie and Daddy in their lives simply learned to live with. I’m a large, bald, bearded white man who wears glasses and an earring. Surely you can see within those elements of my persona a few opportunities for me to need to seek safe-space, can’t you? Every human being has a peculiar set of circumstances that based on this new “safe-space” doctrine would dictate needing protection from discrimination of some kind. This is a false narrative that is virtually destroying this generation of Americans who are even now assuming leadership in every area of life in the United States. That scares me to death!
I have thought through this entire debacle. How can people legitimize this in their minds and believe it should be forced on everyone? Here’s the answer: its foundation building block is Pride — the kind of pride that all babies are born with that most grow out of. It is the kind of pride that tells children, “Everyone in your life and what they do is centered on you. You are the most important person in the World, and others must therefore live their lives serving you. Your feelings, your likes and hates, your concerns, emotions, desires, hurts, and all things that you want or do not want in your life are all that matters.” Glenn Frey and Don Henley — co-founders of The Eagles — wrote a song that states simply, “You are NOT the center of the Universe.” What a shocking revelation!
To make matters worse, the purveyors of this thought process are educators. God help us! We have stood on the sidelines while American educators have taught our kids how desirable socialist forms of government are and how horrible capitalism is. Now they are teaching them that everyone owes each student something outside of what has been considered “normal” education. It is the perpetuation of the entitlement mentality that has begun to dominate our educational institutions nationwide. They are lying to our children. In doing so they are handicapping students who inevitably must enter normal life in the workplace.
I can see it now:
“Mr. Boss, I know in this company the lunch break is one hour. You need to understand that my Mother always prepared my lunch for me to eat right before I took a one-hour nap. I am struggling with the fact that you discriminate against me by not allowing that here. I happen to know there are also other employees who feel the same way. We are all afraid of those here that do not share or respect our feelings about lunch. We need a safe-space to meet during breaks and lunch (and nap) times where we do not have to worry about discrimination against us.”
I know it sounds ridiculous…..and it is. But we are not far from that. We need to let our children and grand children in on how crazy this is and make them understand there really is no future in it — that is unless you are OK with their spending their future work days to on a microphone all day asking, “Do you want to jumbo size that drink and those fries?”