Northwestern Univ. President Calls Those Who Decry Safe Spaces, Trigger Warnings 'Lunatics'

The president of Northwestern University told students on Monday that anyone who opposes "trigger warnings" or who ridicules the pain of those "microaggressed" is an "idiot" and a "lunatic."

In his convocation address on Monday, NU President Morton Schapiro took a firm stance against censorship, but said he disagreed with University of Chicago Dean of Students John Ellison, who recently told first-year students they should not expect "safe spaces" in which to escape from ideas that make them uncomfortable.

"Schapiro does not take kindly to uncomfortable ideas," notes the Weekly Standard's Alice B. Lloyd:

 Author of many a pro-"safe space" op-ed, he suggests he'll also use his day job as a platform to promote the code of campus political correctness, now that the semester's begun.

"The people who decry safe spaces do it from their segregated housing places, from their jobs without diversity — they do it from their country clubs," Schapiro said. "It just drives me nuts."

[…]Calling people who deny the existence of microaggressions "idiots," Schapiro said he clearly remembers every microaggression he has experienced.

Microaggressions "cut you to the core" and aren't easily forgotten, he said.

Schapiro also criticized those who "conflate" the use of trigger warnings with undermining the First Amendment, saying students should be warned about potentially traumatic content, such as the Holocaust or lynching of black people.

"If they say that … you shouldn't be warned to prepare yourself psychologically for that, that somehow that's coddling, those people are lunatics," Schapiro said.


Never mind that publicly calling people who disagree with you on safe spaces "lunatics" could be seen as  a "microaggression" or even a "macroaggression."

Schapiro's choice of words is interesting: "Somehow that's coddling," he said. He may have been referring to Jonathan David Haidt, a social psychologist and professor of ethical leadership at New York University's Stern School of Business.