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Black Harvard Professor: Safe Spaces Do More Harm Than Good

According to an African-American professor at Harvard University, providing safe spaces to minorities students does more harm than good.

James Sidanius, a Harvard University professor of psychology and African-American studies, argued in 2004 that giving minority groups safe spaces only serves to damage their relationships with other ethnic groups on campus.

Sidanius published a 2004 paper entitled “Ethnic Enclaves and the Dynamics of Social Identity on the College Campus: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” in which he deconstructed the argument that minorities groups need private spaces on campus in order to thrive.

“I don’t see any signs that [ethnic enclaves have] gotten worse, it’s probably remained relatively constant, we’re just paying more attention to it now,” he told The College Fix recently.

Sidanius analyzed the effect that belonging to such groups as the Black Student Union had on students over time. His research revealed that belonging to ethnic groups on campus caused “an increased sense of ethnic victimization and a decreased sense of common identity and social inclusiveness” on participating students.

“Once having joined these [ethnic] organizations, the more likely [students] were to feel that they were in this zero-sum relationship with other ethnic groups on campus, and the greater level of hostility they had towards other members on campus, the greater the degree to which they felt ethnically victimized by other ethnic groups on campus,” Sidanius claimed.

Although his research was conducted in 2004, Sidanius claims that his findings are still relevant today, especially considering the recent increase in demand for ethnically-exclusively spaces on campus.

Sidanius concludes that “among minority students, the evidence suggested that membership in ethnically oriented student organizations actually increased the perception that ethnic groups are locked into zero-sum competition with one another and the feeling of victimization by virtue of one’s ethnicity.”

Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about Free Speech and Intellectual Diversity for Breitbart. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at tciccotta@breitbart.com

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