Letter to the Editor: Creating a safe space

You claim that “[T]he College should not allow speech that challenges fundamental human rights and devalues people based on identity markers, like being a woman.” Well said! Consider a modest proposal: The editors of the Record should create a list of all the people who argue against “human rights.” All those people would be banned from campus. But banning is not enough! Since internet video featuring such speakers is just as likely to be as “harmful” as their physical presence, Purple Air should censor them as well. Perhaps most importantly, any books written by such speakers should be removed from the library lest students suffer “emotional injury.” Place all those books in a pile in front of Paresky and, I don’t know, burn them? Those committed to removing “harmful thoughts” from “the safe space” of the College can do no less.

David Kane ’88

  • Although the suggestion from Kane ’88 has a lot of intrinsic merit, I’m afraid he is missing the practical challenges associated with his proposal to “burn” books that might cause students “emotional injury.” In particular, I think we would need to create an elite group of individuals who are extremely intelligent, painstakingly precise and energetic enough that they can quickly decide, on our behalf, which books are most likely to cause the greatest emotional injury. To burn books with dispatch, we would need to give this elite group all the resources and authority at our disposal so that they can devote themselves to this task with laser like focus.

    • Man with the Axe

      John Drew, the solution to your problem : Burn all the books. Kill the authors, along with everyone who wears glasses, and pile their bones in a great pyramid. Send everyone else out to the countryside for re-education.