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Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates: Are "Safe Spaces" Dangerous?


Airs Sunday, July 29, 2018, at 6 p.m. Long hailed as bastions of intellectual development and ground zero for the free and spirited exchange of ideas, today’s universities have come under attack by those who argue that a new generation of students and administrators are trading in academia’s most cherished values for political correctness and inclusion. At the heart of this debate is the question of safe spaces, how we define them, and whether they aid or hinder intellectual inquiry. Deeply rooted in social justice movements of the past, safe spaces promise a reprieve from bigotry and oppression by allowing today’s students – the most culturally and racially diverse in history – the opportunity to express themselves in an empathetic environment. But to their critics, safe spaces pose a threat to free speech and undermine the resilience of a generation. Are safe spaces coddling young minds? Or are they a necessary component of modern education? The debaters are David L. Hudson Jr., Ashutosh Bhagwat, Suzanne Nossel, and Michael S. Roth.