David R. Henderson  

Implicit Advice from a Nine-Year Old

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We are hearing more and more about 18-to-22 year old college students demanding "safe spaces" on campuses where not only they won't be insulted or verbally attacked but also their most cherished views will not be challenged. Various people who, like me, have little respect for such people, think that they probably do not belong on a college campus.

But the odds that they will leave college in response to such advice are low. Is there another way for them to deal with people who challenge their views and even verbally attack them?

Yes, there is, and that way was modeled by Hilde Kate Lysiak, a 9-year-old who published Orange Street News. Hot on the trail of a suspected murder, she gave this report. Many people who commented, I was heartened to see, were saying, basically, "you go, girl."

But there were some meanies, one of whom even used the f-word on a 9-year old. Take a look at her response. A lot of people could learn from that.

HT2 Lenore Skenazy.


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COMMENTS (8 to date)
robbbbbb writes:

If you are saying that your ideas require a "safe space" where they can't be challenged, then what you are implicitly admitting is that your ideas are terrible. If they can't stand up to criticism, then they are bad ideas.

Standing up and saying, "We need a safe space for where we won't be challenged," is synonymous with saying, "We are wrong."

Maniel writes:

Nice post.
If and when Hilde goes to college, I'm sure that she will have clear goals. She is already far better prepared than the 18-year old "victims" who don't have a clue.

Sieben writes:

You know the SJWs clamoring for safe spaces aren't victims, or afraid of criticism, etc, right? They're just loudly saying: "We stand up for the weak people, unlike you meanies!"

They want you to challenge them. They want you to explain why we don't need safe spaces. Because it outs you in public as aligned with the status quo, and all the white male cisgender privilege rhetoric they've built up around it.

It doesn't matter who is right or wrong. What matters is that they are pro-"weak people", and you are anti-"weak people". Even though your actual position is probably neutral or lukewarm on weak people.

Maniel writes:

@Sieben,
Taking your points, let’s compare college to the Marine Corps. In college, students encounter a professor whose mission is to challenge them to become stronger intellectually, presumably to take on the roles and responsibilities of life. In the Marine Corps, recruits encounter a drill instructor whose mission is to challenge them to become physically fit to defend each other, the Corps, and the country. In neither case is weakness cherished; rather, leadership, team spirit, integrity, and perseverance are advocated. However, in each case, protecting and caring for those who cannot protect or care for themselves is generally seen as a virtue. By the same token, without civility and mutual respect, neither institution will flourish.

Sad day – Merle Haggard just passed away: “Football's still the roughest thing on campus, And the kids here still respect the college dean. We still wave Old Glory down at the courthouse, In Muskogee, Oklahoma, USA.”

Phil writes:
In neither case is weakness cherished; rather, leadership, team spirit, integrity, and perseverance are advocated. However, in each case, protecting and caring for those who cannot protect or care for themselves is generally seen as a virtue.
Really??? Tell me about the fate of an overweight USMC Captain who cannot pass his physical fitness test. Is s/he protected and cared for or drummed out of the service as a non-conformist?
john hare writes:

@Manuel,

In the Marine case, the DI is not going to have his actions dictated by the whining of recruits. Protecting and caring for one that can't take care of himself is not a bright move on the sharp end, he'll get you killed.

jc writes:

Channeling Robin Hanson, standing up for the weak is not (here at least) actually about protecting the weak. Oh, I'm sure there's an element of that. But most of it seems like something else.

Signaling to others, and themselves, that they're a good person and you're not, that they're in a worthy tribe while you're an evil pagan and so forth.

Urges need outlets. They'll find their causes. And the urge to signal is greater than the urge to actually bring about positive change in the real world.

And coddling terrible infants only makes them scream more often and more loudly.

Those that actually do care about making a positive real-world difference...good for them (even if they're wrong, at least their motives are noble). I doubt this describes the majority of the driving force within the majority of these folks, though.

Maniel writes:

@Phil, @John
No arguments from me; in principle, the Corps maintains its strength to protect those outside the Corps (we civilians); in practice, results may vary. However, as you say, those who don’t make the cut won’t help the team.

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