Safe Spaces and Spin: Unpacking NYT Dishonesty on Trump Rallies

In recent months liberals have have been trying to cynically appropriate the right wing rhetoric mocking "safe spaces" by claiming that right wingers are in fact the real emotionally unstable crybabies, presumably in an attempt to deflate the often biting critiques made of campus histrionics. Their reasoning is always muddled. For example, the natural impulse for people (Whites, Christians, conservatives, etc.) to congregate with those similar to them is pathologized as stemming from an abject terror of the racialized Other (and the putatively superior "woke" insights the Other possesses) instead of a simple desire for unity, which is only granted to privileged minorities. The fact of the matter is that everyone seeks out milieus in which our beliefs and identities are normative, because most of us enjoy being in social situations in which we can both be our authentic selves and also have minimal conflict with our peers. No one, if they are being honest, thinks seeking out those sorts of "safe spaces" is bizarre or infantile behavior. Properly understood, we all want a "safe space". That wish is not something that right wingers typically insult, largely because it is grounded in human nature.

What right-wingers actually do criticize is the way in which this basic drive for congenial environments is subverted by leftists and turned into an aggressive form of social domination. Few object if gays want to sequester themselves in a room where they can talk about Harvey Milk, or if blacks want to reserve the theater for a screening of Lemonade. People become upset when those spaces are expanded to become the whole university, or as we saw in San Jose, an entire city. It is only when shitlibs hijack the language of safety to marginalize their ideological enemies that "safe spaces" are rightly derided. When we talk about how safe spaces are insidious, we are referring to the dynamic of camouflaging aggressive social control with the language of emotional well being, not to the idea that humans require the occasional retreat into similitude.

This double movement of simultaneously denigrating the normal and normalizing the demented is something leftists constantly do, and we shouldn't let them get away with it anymore. If the Jew York Times wants to suggest that the Trump rally is a "safe space" in the hopes of preemptively shooting down right-wing criticisms of leftist "safe spaces" (and that is really what the article was about), then we must point out the equivocation.

Nice try, Shlomo. I see you.