Friday, November 13, 2015
University protestors create segregated "Safe Spaces"
In a move that fits the very definition of "ironic," student activists belonging to the University of Missouri protest group Concerned Students 1950 separated into seven different groups at a meeting at the school's student center, including six groups in which white activists were excluded.
On Wednesday night, supporters of the activist group gathered in the University of Missouri student center after poor weather conditions led to the cancellation of a planned protest march. At some point during the meeting, white activists were asked to leave the room. Activist Johnetta Elzie posted a tweet stating that the group was split to create a "black only healing space." The segregated groups were also confirmed by activist Steven Schmidt and local reporter Jared Koller.
The backlash that ensued across various forms of social media reveals the strict divide in public opinion on the recent wave of college protests across the country. Upon reading this article, I was taken aback by how casually the activists seemed to dismiss the nature of what they were doing. Personally, I have absolutely no idea why a "safe space" is needed to discuss topics in the open, especially one in which students of a specific race are barred from taking part in. It would seem that these students are so absurdly afraid of the presence of opinions contrary to their own that they demand a "bulletproof" zone in which any criticism of their point of view is completely taboo. Evidently, the black activists felt that the presence of white students posed a threat to their way of thinking.
We briefly touched on civil rights cases today in class, and though this story is a couple of days old, I felt like it could definitely be brought up in class as a worthy topic of discussion. What do you guys think? Is the creation of "safe spaces" to shield oneself from opposing opinions a legitimate course of action? And more importantly, was this modern example of segregation justified? Do you feel that to truly protect a certain groups' line of thought, other groups must be discriminated against if the situation allows for it?