Saturday, March 19, 2016

In case you wondered …

… How 'Safe Spaces' Stifle Ideas - The Chronicle of Higher Education. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

"My impression," [Kwame Anthony] Appiah writes, "is that many well-intentioned, non-racist academics … who are not black, feel that in criticizing" certain ideas "they risk … exposing themselves, dare I suggest, to the risk of being accused" of "contributing to racism." This is not, he goes on, "to put it mildly, in the best interests of learning," and "it is also often condescending," reflecting as it does "a refusal to think seriously about racism" and to make it possible "to distinguish racism from other things." And thus do we find that ideas — even ideas like "racism," "privilege," "microaggressions" — can come to lead lives unimagined by their progenitors. "Stalking a lost deed," said Milan Kundera 40 years ago, of those Czech intellectuals who found, to their horror, that they had given their allegiance to platinum-plated "progressive" ideas that would soon be used to betray them or silence them.

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