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Safe zones…. another step in America’s loss of a backbone.

December 4, 2016


As we walked over to sit down at the lunch room table one of the football players bumped into my friend and I heard him say, you greasy dego’s never watch were your going. I waited for what I was sure to be an exchange of fists but my friend never missed a beat as he just sat down and started to eat his lunch. Back in those High school days there was a lot of those ethnic slurs going around and they usually were a prelude to an argument or a fight but this time our little world remained calm.

Most offensive comments ranged from the Italians degrading the Pollocks or some white guys wondering aloud why they are letting more minorities in our school to the Christians wondering if they could borrow some money from one of their Jewish friends because of course the Jews had all the money. But the the majority of offensive talk around our high school was about the girls, their bodies and what we would do with them.

That was 40 years ago and everyone from, Italians, Polls, blacks and whites to the girls who became woman we all found ways to overcome any discomfort and went on with our lives. However in our current society the young adults of today appear to have no backbone and must be ‘protected’ by ‘safe zones’ in their schools. I am in no way saying it is ok to deride any nationality, minority or gender I am just saying suck it up and move on.

In one school a ‘safe place’ was created with the intention, “to give people who might find comments “troubling” ….a place to recuperate. With rooms equipped with cookies, coloring books, bubbles, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, blankets and a video of frolicking puppies, as well as students and staff members trained to deal with trauma” Hard to believe this was on a collage campus it sounds more like something for kids in kindergarten. It gotten so bad that one can now search the internet for collages to go to that are graded on how secure their ‘safe spaces’ are

Are we that week a nation that we can not deflect, rebut or ignore any comments made?
Are our nations young adults so emotional that they must hide from offensive words or ideas?

One Columbia junior named Adam Shapiro decided he didn’t want his room to be a safe space. He printed up his own flier calling it a dangerous space and had that, too, published in the Columbia Daily Spectator. Mr Shapiro said, “…..a safe-space mentality has begun infiltrating classrooms, making both professors and students loath to say anything that might hurt someone’s feelings. “I don’t see how you can have a therapeutic space that’s also an intellectual space.”

Some legal experts, like famed attorney Alan Dershowitz, went even further in criticizing the creation of safe zones on college campuses when he said, “These are the same people who claim they are seeking diversity, the last thing these students want is real diversity, diversity of ideas. They may want superficial diversity, diversity of gender, diversity of color, but they do not want diversity of ideas. They want complete control over their personal lives, over their sex lives, over the use of drugs, but they want mommy and daddy dean to please give them a safe place, to protect them from ideas that maybe are insensitive, maybe will make them think.”

Our young adults want a safe zone
to protect them from other peoples words and ideas
but they were borne
into a nation hammered into being
on the over riding principle
of freedom of speech
which must not be censored by a safe zone.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Jon permalink
    December 4, 2016 5:14 pm

    I wonder what happens when these whining weak-kneed punks (& adults for that matter) “suffer” some rejection outside their simpering college safe rooms in real life where there is no safe room. Oh, I think Pete already said that, go running home to mommy & daddy who in a lot of cases fostered this behavior in the first place.
    What they really need is a swift kick in the ass & a cuff up alongside the head. Absolutely disgusting. So glad I never had kids to have to put up with this nonsense.
    I don’t think our armed forces and/or public protection agencies have “safe rooms” to protect them.
    Don’t forget about the “safe” rooms for gays in schools.


  2. December 4, 2016 9:19 pm

    there’s no “safe space” anywhere there’s human beings around, because we are all prejudiced to a certain point, and, we just, hide it from the rest of the world, what’s deep down in our cores, so we can pretend to get along with everybody we come into contact with. But, there’s a need for that idealistic “safe place” you’d mentioned in your article, and, the world is dangerous enough for us to live in these days, we don’t need any MORE complications in life…


  3. Del permalink
    December 5, 2016 5:14 am

    Good Lord..


  4. Del permalink
    December 5, 2016 5:15 am

    Lord Help us!!!!!


  5. December 5, 2016 6:00 am

    Children and even young adults need to stretch themselves to grow (this is often referred to ‘leaving one’s comfort zone’) and learn about themselves; often this entails facing unpleasant or even potentially dangerous situations. We’ve developed this ‘idiot’s culture’ that believes it is possible to remove all the negative things like adversity, bigotry and ugliness from our lives. By even attempting to do so we’re ensuring the upcoming generations have never really been tested by life and hence are ill-prepared for such challenges. They, themselves, do not even know what they are capable of handling! Add in the predilection for roaming everywhere connected by portable communication devices and it is no wonder these people cannot stand to be alone; they’ve never been disconnected to the point they could only ‘talk’ with themselves. But taking such time to really just look within one’s self is vital to the growth of the human spirit and especially to understanding just what we are capable of as a single human being.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. December 5, 2016 7:04 am

    It’s true that people have gotten overly sensitive about things. I also think it’s a way to shift the blame to take the easy way out.


  7. December 5, 2016 11:21 am

    Hi Pete. Thank you for the “like” on my recent blog post. I am re-starting my blogging life more or less taking off the last three years to finish a college degree. I am a non-traditional student, so I didn’t live on a campus. However, in my professional life, I am an administrator at a major university and found your blog post and the comments interesting, but overly broad. For example, I know that the debate around safe spaces and micro-aggressions is serious, but not universally accepted by all people who live and work in a college environment. The letter sent to incoming students at the University of Chicago is a great example of letting young people know, up front, that college is a place to challenge your own beliefs and be challenged by the beliefs of others. No safe spaces at U of Chicago. And, in my opinion, that’s a good thing. There was a good article in September 2015 edition of The Atlantic if you’d like to read more about this ongoing debate –


  8. tcriggs permalink
    December 6, 2016 10:17 am

    I agree with you on principle. I grew up in mixed neighborhoods, and racial slurs, even between those of the same race were daily occurrences. It was how everyone identified. A source of pride and shame, dependent upon the inflection and tone. Weird, huh?

    In the current environment though… I applaud professors and teachers for providing safe spaces for their students. Those students will inevitably leave that room and pass people on the street that will verbally assault them in their fervor over the election results… my kids have even witnessed things at school to that effect.

    And as a typed that, I recall growing up in the south; in a town where blacks and whites didn’t mingle socially, but we went to school together, played on the playground together. But even then, in the 70’s and 80’s… I don’t recall hearing a single racial slur at school or in the hallways. Teachers taught the same way, same level, spoke to the kids the same regardless of race… Was that a ‘safe space’?

    Yes, and no… I call it Dignity, Respect, the ability to recognize that there is a time and a place to voice your personal thoughts… and it isn’t when you are trying to comprehend algebra or remember when WWII started and why…



  1. Safe zones…. another step in America’s loss of a backbone. — Pete’s Alaska | Life, the Obstacle Course

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