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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

A Stupid Excuse

It bothers me that when universities reject Richard Spencer’s offers to speak on campus, they invariably add, “This is not because of his ideas. It’s because of safety.” What a pathetic, mealy-mouthed, timid excuse. The universities are under no obligation to host every single person who wants to come over and speak. Each of these schools would have no problem telling you, for instance, that they are not interested in what you have to say. (Unless you are a leading scholar in your field, I mean.) 

I have no idea why it’s ok to reject everybody on the basis that we have nothing of value to communicate to the campus but it’s not ok to say that to a neo-Nazi. Especially when it’s so glaringly true. 

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7 thoughts on “A Stupid Excuse

  1. Stringer Bell on said:

    They have to do this because Spencer is invited by student organizations (like Young Republicans, for one). And the college can’t discriminate against student organizations. How do you tell a student group that you will not allow space for their invited speaker based upon their ideology?

    It’s not like Spencer is cold calling the college president, offering the school his speaking services. That would make things so much easier.

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    • I mentor a student organization and nobody offers us many explanations if our request for an event is rejected. And we always just accept it and plan something else. There is no need to baby students.

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  2. Jonathan on said:

    Actually, no. His group is asking to rent space on various campuses for him to give a speech. Usually, campus Republicans want nothing to do with him.

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  3. It is quite true that, just because speech makes someone uncomfortable or offends somebody, it does not make it a violation of the student code of conduct. However, as many schools have publicly denounced the violence in Virginia this August, it seems the University wants to stand clear of any such occurrence in their own campus. Hope this cools down soon and such speakers can speak without such cases of violence erupting across US.


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