Columbia Professor: ‘Campuses are Perhaps the Least Racist Spots on Earth’

Protesters rally at Teachers College at Columbia University October 10, 2007, in New York City. Black professor Madonna Constantine discovered a hangman's noose on her office door at the prestigious college yesterday sparking anger at the campus. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Columbia University Professor John McWhorter argued that university campuses are the ‘least racist spots on Earth’ in a recent interview with New York Times columnist Frank Bruni.

During an event at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Columbia University Professor John McWhorter, who is black, argued that campuses are likely the most inclusive environments on the face of the planet.

“I think anybody in their more sober moments understands that even though racism exists and microaggressions are real, college campuses are perhaps the least racist spots on earth,” McWhorter said. “And the idea that any student is undergoing a constant litany of constant racist abuse is theater; it’s theatrical — you hate to say that to somebody 19 years old, but it’s not true.”

McWhorter also took aim at safe space culture. “The idea becomes that we physicalize this notion of safe space and start asking white people to leave, or for example, was it at Oberlin? Where the black students had safe spaces designated all over campus where they could be safe from the incessant racism aimed at them by whites.”

He compares the overreaction of students to controversial guest speakers and ideas to a sort of theater.

McWhorter praised the disgust with which most Americans now react to racist comments or actions, claiming that such behavior is almost on par social rejection of pedophilia. “But it’s at the point where to be a racist, for example, is almost equivalent to being a pedophile. That’s good in many ways,” he argues.

He blasted students who chose to virtue-signal, or in his words, to “show you’re not a racist or be sniffing out incidents of racism to give yourself a sense of legitimacy in society.”

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


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