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Van Jones at University of Chicago: Safe Spaces Are a ‘Terrible Idea’

The Associated Press

Speaking at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, CNN contributor Van Jones condemned campus safe spaces, calling them a “terrible idea.”

At an event hosted by former Obama staffer David Axelrod, who serves at the Institute of Politics’ Director, Van Jones was asked about the increased demand from students for protection from ideas on college campuses.

“There are two ideas about safe spaces. One is a very good idea, and one is a terrible idea. The idea of being physically safe on campus, not being subjected to sexual harassment and physical abuse, or something like that. Being targeted specifically…Hey, I’m perfectly fine with that,” Jones claimed.

“But there is another view that is now, I think, ascendent… It’s a horrible view, which is that ‘I need to be safe ideologically, I need to be safe emotionally, I just need to feel good all the time. And if someone else says something that I don’t like that is a problem for everyone else including the administration,” he continued.

Jones suggested that safe spaces from ideas contradict the purpose of a university education: “I think that’s a terrible idea for the following reason: I don’t want you to be safe ideologically. I don’t want you to be safe emotionally. I want you to be strong. That’s different. I’m not going to pave the jungle for you. Put on some boots and learn how to deal with adversity. I’m not going to take the weights out of the gym. That’s the whole point of the gym. You can’t live on a campus where people say stuff that you don’t like?”

Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about education and social justice for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at


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