Bloomberg Blasts Safe Spaces, Trigger Warnings in Commencement Address

REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

At Saturday’s commencement address at the University of Michigan, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg condemned universities for coddling students with safe spaces and trigger warnings.

This isn’t the first time that the billionaire has blasted the way progressives have decided to run American universities. In his 2013 commencement address at his alma mater, Harvard University, he criticized universities for their lack of intellectual diversity and accused administrations of “trying to repress conservative ideas.”

“Think about the irony: In the 1950s, the right wing was attempting to repress left wing ideas. Today, on many college campuses, it is liberals trying to repress conservative ideas, even as conservative faculty members are at risk of becoming an endangered species. And perhaps nowhere is that more true than here in the Ivy League,” Bloomberg said at Harvard in 2013.

This year, Bloomberg, at the University of Michigan, turned his criticisms to the increased demand for safe spaces and trigger warnings on college campuses. His remarks were mainly pointed at administrators who have allowed college to become a place where students can be coddled instead of challenged.

“The fact that some university boards and administrations now bow to pressure groups and shield students from these ideas through safe spaces, code words, and trigger warnings, is in my view a terrible mistake. The whole purpose of college is to learn how to deal with difficult situations, not to run away from them,” Bloomberg said.

Bloomberg’s criticisms were met with both cheers and boos from the University of Michigan crowd. Some displeased parties took to social media to condemn Bloomberg for daring to contradict them. One Twitter user accused Bloomberg of misunderstanding “safe spaces,” and claimed that “the world is a ‘safe space’ for wealthy white men.”

“A microaggression is exactly that, micro,” Bloomberg finished. “But in a macro sense, one of the most dangerous places on a college campus is the so-called safe space, because it creates a false impression that we can isolate ourselves from those who hold different views. We can’t, and we shouldn’t try. Not in politics, not in the workplace.”

Tom Ciccotta writes about Free Speech and Intellectual Diversity for Breitbart. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or on Facebook. You can email him at


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