On the online-only Overtime portion of Bill Maher’s HBO program, Salman Rushdie is asked what is the antidote to political correctness on college campuses.
“The antidote is to ignore it and to speak severely to people who want to propagate it,” Rushdie said. “I have to say in my experience in the American academy which is now going on for 20 years I have never had a student say to me that he wanted a ‘trigger warning’ or she wanted a ‘safe space.’ I hear that it happens around the country. I have no personal experience with it so I don’t know how much of it there is.”
“I think what is missing is leadership,” panelist Bret Stephens said. “I think too much of too many campus administrators are basically cowed by small minorities of totalitarian-minded students who just don’t want to hear anything except what they’re disposed to agree with. And the job of grown-ups is to behave like grown-ups and say no. Intellectually, a college is not a safe space. Intellectually, a college is a place where your ideas are harmed and perhaps even destroyed and that is how it should be.”
“I agree completely,” panelist and fashion expert Tim Gunn said.
“College should be a safe space for thought, not a safe space from thought,” Rushdie said. “And if you go to college and you never hear anything you haven’t thought before then you may as well have stayed home.”
“People who think they should never hear things that would upset them should go somewhere else and leave that space available to somebody who could benefit from what is called education.”
“As a teacher for 29 years I saw a large part of my responsibility to provoke and challenge,” Gunn said. …read more