In a move of pure ironic comupence, Ohio State officials responded to student protestors by using their own tactics against them:
At Ohio State last week, a sit-in and protest inside a university building was cut short when students were warned that they would be forcibly removed by police, arrested, and possibly expelled if they did not vacate the premises within a few hours, by 5 a.m.
This was inevitable. I doubt teachers and facility were genuinely afraid the students would harm them (although given the intensity of the protests it will eventually happen). This was likely a method of getting the students out of the way.
It is a brilliant move as it not only shows the ridiculousness of the “safe space” argument, but it also allows students to feel what it is like to fall under unfair suspicious.
Perhaps the most entertaining part is that the students technically violated the school’s policy. This means that the school was within their right to send the students away. From the school’s messenger:
If you are students, and I think the vast majority of you are, I want you to understand that you are violating the student code of conduct. As dictated to me by [university president] Dr. Drake 15 minutes ago to me on the phone, we have chosen to try to work with you this evening because we respect you. This is your university.
And we want to have dialogue. We want the dialogue to extend beyond tonight. But if you refuse to leave, then you will be charged with a student code of conduct violation.
And I’m telling you this now because I want you to have good thought and careful consideration. If you’re here at 5 a.m. we will clear the building and you will be arrested. And we will give you the opportunity to go to jail for your beliefs. Our police officers will physically pick you up, take you to a paddywagon, and take you to be jail.
Of course, the students were confused by this move, so the messenger explained that several of the staff were afraid because of the students’ presence and behavior. The students reacted as many on the far left do when people suggest they could be a threat — complete disbelief. The messenger did not play into their nonsense:
Said the university messenger, “If you refuse to understand what I’m trying to tell you—I’m not going to answer that question,” meaning he refused to say who it scared. Soon after, his sidekick steps in, saying, “It would scare employees who are wanting to do their work in this building.” Added the first messenger, “The employees who work past five o’clock left early this evening. Do you know why? Because they were scared you were going to do something.”
Said messenger two, “That’s the truth you guys. I talked to several of them when they walked out of here.” Their consensus position: “The people in this building have a right to a safe environment, and to an environment where their jobs won’t be interrupted.”
That is a thing of special magnificence. It is a complete reversal against the students. Again, I doubt that the staff was genuinely afraid for their safety. Yet this does show these students how easily their own methods can be used against them.
The author of the article addressed this point:
Insofar as campus concepts like safe spaces, microaggressions, and claims of trauma over minor altercations spread from activist culture to campus culture, the powerful will inevitably make use of them. Where sensitivity to harm and subjective discomfort are king, and denying someone “a safe space” is verboten, folks standing in groups, confrontationally shouting out demands, will not fare well. When convenient, administrators will declare them scary and unfit for the safe space, exploiting how verboten it is to challenge anyone who says they feel afraid.
This is precisely the message that these so-called student activists need to learn. They too quickly use these tools as a means of silencing the opposition. It never occurs to them that if they make it normal to attack people this way, eventually someone will do it to them.