Safe spaces are everywhere. On college campus, they seem to be the norm. Over the past decade, many claim that such spaces are “necessary” for millennials to deal with all the “negativity.”
As a millennial myself, I believe such spaces aren’t only worthless but also an insult to free speech. As an aspiring documentary filmmaker and journalist, I feel the necessity to talk about the dangers the so-called “safe spaces” bring to democracy.
The creation of these spaces, especially on college campuses, are helping to the already increasing radicalization and extremism of the society. Safe spaces contribute to the intolerance that we see against anyone who thinks or behaves differently than us.
And in a time where people are easily offended, creating safe spaces isn’t the answer.
Rather than forcing people to restrain from expressing themselves we should focus on encouraging people to read, be educated and to refute ideas with respect.
Debate is critical to any society that values free speech and democracy as a whole. The world is not a sensitivity-friendly space and as such we all should have the strength to live in it. We have to be able to deal with negativity, with statements that make us angry or sad and with the facts whether we like them or not.
Events as those in Charlottesville are the reflection of an extremist and intolerant society. If we want to eradicate such terrible tragedies from America’s history then we should praise and encourage healthy debate among our youth.
We have to remember that the First Amendment does not only cover us but it also protects those who think differently than us. Censoring others just because their opinions may offend you is exactly what intolerance is about.
It doesn’t matter how outrageous it is what other people may say, they have the constitutional right to express what they think.
I encourage everyone to deal with those who think differently and engage in a healthy, respectful debate. These debates will help eradicate intolerance and will contribute to a more educated society.
Safe spaces are nothing more than a dangerous weapon used by those who do not respect other people’s rights.