Students at the University of Michigan’s graduation ceremony over the weekend booed former New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg for mocking the idea of “safe spaces.”
“The fact that some university boards and administrators now bow to pressure and shield students from these ideas through ‘safe spaces,’ ‘code words’ and ‘trigger warnings’ is, in my view, a terrible mistake,” Mr. Bloomberg said, drawing more boos than applause from the student body.
“One of the most dangerous places on a college campus is a safe space, because it creates the false impression that we can insulate ourselves from those who hold different views,” he said, adding that “in a democratic society, an open mind is the most valuable asset you can possess.”
Mr. Bloomberg similarly drew the ire of students when he downplayed the significance of “microaggressions,” telling students that the “whole point of college is to learn how to deal with difficult situations — not run away from them.”
“A microaggression is exactly that: micro,” he said.
Mr. Bloomberg delivered a similarly cantankerous commencement address in 2014, when he denounced students at Harvard University for “trying to repress conservative ideas.”