Michael Bloomberg blasts ‘safe spaces’ during University of Michigan commencement speech

Michael Bloomberg delivers the University of Michigan commencement speech.
Michael Bloomberg delivers the University of Michigan spring commencement speech.

By Steve Neavling
Motor City Muckraker

Billionaire and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg criticized political correctness and “safe spaces” during today’s University of Michigan’s spring commencement.

The remarks drew some boos on a campus that has embraced so-called “safe places,” where marginalized groups can interact without worrying about criticism.

“One of the most dangerous places on a college campus is a so-called safe space because it creates a false impression that we can isolate ourselves from those who hold different views,” Bloomberg said to a mix of boos and cheers. “We can’t and we shouldn’t try, not in politics or in the work place.”

Bloomberg said students should get used to being criticized.

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

University of Michigan student Zeinab Khalil credited safe spaces for making her feel welcome on campus.

“I wouldn’t have been able to make it past all these tough moments at Michigan if it weren’t for the safe spaces I had to turn to — places where I was welcome and didn’t have to explain my being or make disclaimers, speak in a different tone or smile extra hard to ease someone else’s prejudice,” Khalil wrote in the Michigan Daily. “Places where I could be.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

  • dirtydog1776

    Institutions of higher learning are for learning of facts, inquiry, dialogue and discussion. Instead, they have become institutions of propaganda, political correctness, political agendas and on going efforts to inflate the egos of students with an inflated sense of self esteem and respect that they do not deserve or have earned. You can bet that such things don’t happen in other countries. No wonder America is soon to be a third world power.

  • dirtydog1776

    How dare this mean, old man hurt their feelings? Set up the Safe Space with counselors, tranquilizers and New Age Music. Go away, bad man!

  • dirtydog1776

    Funny, liberals have no problem believing and supporting a rich, old woman like Hillary who has lied to the American people, worships political power and the ruling liberal elite, and has grown wealthy not by productive effort but by buying and selling political favors at $250,000 a speech.

  • dirtydog1776

    America is suffering from PSS……..Precious Snowflake Syndrome……..suffered by a whole generation of young people are traumatized by reality, responsibility and consequences. But liberals hate the truth more than a vampire hates the sunlight.

  • dirtydog1776

    America is suffering from PSS……..Precious Snowflake Syndrome……..suffered by a whole generation of young people are traumatized by reality, responsibility and consequences. But liberals hate the truth more than a vampire hates the sunlight.

  • Hart Noecker

    ‘Campus Activists Weaponize ‘Safe Space’’

    “In the video of Tim Tai trying to carry out his ESPN assignment, I see the most vivid example yet of activists twisting the concept of “safe space” in a most confounding way. They have one lone student surrounded. They’re forcibly preventing him from exercising a civil right. At various points, they intimidate him. Ultimately, they physically push him. But all the while, they are operating on the premise, or carrying on the pretense, that he is making them unsafe. It is as if they’ve weaponized the concept of “safe spaces.”

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/11/how-campus-activists-are-weaponizing-the-safe-space/415080/

  • Harry Palmer

    That a minority of college students (and that’s what they are, just a minority) have taken actual REAL issues like institutional racism and campus rape, and applied that same urgency to every perceived slight, is only playing right into the Right Wing’s phony narrative of PC gone berserk.
    They’re basically young people who have yet to experience the “real world”.
    But the behavior of these few college kids, is really no different than the majority Conservative freak out over “Bathroom Bills” , Muslim immigrants, and laws to combat non existent “Voter Fraud”.
    Except those laws are made by old “Adults” who should know better by now, not 24 year old kids.

    • Dongald Trumpenis

      As always, good points. Yes, the RW is obsessed with “non-issues” and should be the LAST to point the finger- but being conservatives, of course they exercise the hypocrisy muscle.

    • javierjuanmanuel

      every vote counts remember that. 1 incident of voter fraud cancels out a legit vote, and thats 1 to many.

      If bathroom stuff was not important, or at least controversial in changing it, its pretty obvious public bathroom would never have evolved into man and woman.

      Same with school locker rooms, why do you suppose they do not just have all kids starting in middle school go shower together?

  • Len

    I was brainwashed in the late 60’s when I went to Wayne State. When you’re young and haven’t had that much life experiences you’re very susceptible to group think. I have to agree with Bloomberg’s statements about PC and safe space. I wouldn’t have agreed with it when I was in my late teens and early twenties.

  • Veritas44

    ” Someone elses prejudices”? More likely your own insecure assumptions.

  • zgomer

    Bloomy got this one right…

  • banmar

    Bloomberg is the real f’ing deal. You can’t go into the workplace and expect everyone to like you and be nice to you and you can’t expect to go through life and the world in a bubble. The man built a billion-dollar empire, retired from it, and spent three terms (including an extra term that he basically bought from Albany) and paid him and his daughter Emma $1 a year, lived in his own house, and paid for his own security detail and transportation wherever he went. He took control of the city schools and made them better, and while some of his proposals were over the top (i.e., the Big Gulp ban), but for the most part the things he did for NYC were precedent-setting and made the city a better place to work and live.

    • JohnJoslin

      Bloomberg IS a real-deal example of how a special-needs billionaire can benefit from countless gov. policies focused on encouraging hyper accumulation by a politically pampered few . ( note: all that mainly from NOT working , too !! )

      And he definitely is a realist for cashing in whenever possible.This plucky guy also shows that ya’can be a billionaire w/o everybody liking you !!! ( shocker alert ! ).

      Yawning lack of innovation here, I’m afraid.

      (And yes, people like him can live huge in Manhattan. One heckuva’ genuine BUBBLE of a borough if there ever was one…)

      One question that comes to mind… can government policies muster support for regular-needs non billionaires ?

      Very possibly. ( See : rest of world )

      In the meantime, we are relentlessly instructed to live vicariously by emotionally identifying w/ the antics of selected plutocrats like Bloomberg.

      -will do, JJ

      • You don’t know much about this guy, do you?

        He works everyday at the company he founded. He’s actually really engaged in the company. Meaning, he doesn’t retreat to the C-suite. He’s in the trenches.

      • javierjuanmanuel

        to his credit he did start as an investment banker on wallstreet, then sold his very profitable bloomeberg terminals to everyone.

        He is creative, problem solving, hardworking guy.

        There is no way from age 22-23-mid 50s that he did not work on average 12-14 hour days everyday, for decades. There had to be hundreds of 16-18 hour days. High hundreds if not a couple thousand.

        He has made money on top of his original money, but his original couple billion was all legit, not from the government

    • JohnJoslin

      Bloomberg IS a real-deal example of how a special-needs billionaire can benefit from countless gov. policies focused on encouraging hyper accumulation by a politically pampered few . ( note: all that mainly from NOT working , too !! )

      And he definitely is a realist for cashing in whenever possible.This plucky guy also shows that ya’can be a billionaire w/o everybody liking you !!! ( shocker alert ! ).

      Yawning lack of innovation here, I’m afraid.

      (And yes, people like him can live huge in Manhattan. One heckuva’ genuine BUBBLE of a borough if there ever was one…)

      One question that comes to mind… can government policies muster support for regular-needs non billionaires ?

      Very possibly. ( See : rest of world )

      In the meantime, we are relentlessly instructed to live vicariously by emotionally identifying w/ the antics of selected plutocrats like Bloomberg.

      -will do, JJ

    • dirtydog1776

      Bloomberg made New York livable. Current knee jerk, politically correct Bill de Blasio is quickly turning it into a cesspool in which the productive are chased away and all that is left are the very rich and the very poor.

      • banmar

        De Blasio is an ultra-liberal with no clue about finances — he’s far, far to the left of me (I’m basically a Northeastern Blue Dog Democrat and independent). Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, one of the late Jack Maple’s Comstat crew (who puts the fear of God/prison into criminals, cops and politicians) is basically running the city. I’m not sure if De Blasio will or should win re-election, but Bratton is leaving after the election. It’s a shame Detroit never got one of the Comstat guys.

    • dirtydog1776

      Bloomberg made New York livable. Current knee jerk, politically correct Bill de Blasio is quickly turning it into a cesspool in which the productive are chased away and all that is left are the very rich and the very poor.

  • javierjuanmanuel

    To quote bill maher in regards to these safe spaces, and trigger words ” who raised these little monsters?”

    • Donald E. Hodge

      I would like to get my hands on the idiot that came up with the concept ” Everybody Wins”. Ah, well no they don`t. That Moronic idealism helped destroy the basic working of everyday life not only in this country But also in the teachings at most of our Universities. At this point I don`t even know if we can recover from it to move on.

      • javierjuanmanuel

        robert deniro voice “I didnt know they made ribbons for 9th place!”

    • banmar

      I recently read an article on how latchkey kids have become helicopter parents, refusing to let little Phineas and Indigo to have any unprogrammed recreational time, walk back and forth to school or participate in any activity where everyone doesn’t win. I guess the kids that wore the house keys around their neck don’t want their kids to have any keys until they start driving.

  • bruce

    there are no “safe places” get used to people not liking you and having different ideas. by the time you are old enough to go to college you should not be acting like a 6 year old

    • javierjuanmanuel

      The weird part is having them so late in life, if they were useful, you think they would exist in elementary and middle school, and then you have to ease the kids off it, and towards what they will experience in the real world.

  • Laurie Miholer-Zachritz

    Why does Michigan invite asses like Bloomberg & Snyder to speak at commencement? They represent everything the graduates are moving beyond & away from. Old think, old outdated ideas, from old white men.

    • javierjuanmanuel

      Racist bitch.

    • javierjuanmanuel

      you should be able to explain quite easy why all old ideas are bad.

      What you seem unable to notice on your own, is good ideas rise to the top quite early. In terms of democracy, free speech, etc safe spaces if they had any sort of value they would have been suggested and implemented all over the place 200-250 years ago.

      Then what does being white have to do with it.

      Is this a burden in other areas, for example in mexico, do they yell at old mexican men and tell them they are dumb for being old, and wrong for being mexican ?

      Do they do that in china? Way to many people look the same in this room, we all have the same eye color, hair color, and even same hair cut, we need 50 indians, 50 middle eastern and 20 australian aborigines to boss us around. They more they do not look like us, that makes them all the more qualified !

      Your ideas are shit. They hold up to nothing !

    • Bloomberg is one of the original tech entrepreneurs? He’s old think?

      • javierjuanmanuel

        yeah but still, he is white. And he is a man. We should not listen to them … because reasons.

  • Donald E. Hodge

    We all have issues in life that we need to get a handle on, or deal with or maybe even get a head of. Do what ever works for you. No one can tell another how to live they life. Perhaps we could just listen a little more or think a little longer before punching the judgment meter. As long as you are a dissent person as you travel through life and do your bit to send out good will. Then at that point you might be ahead of the Game.

    • javierjuanmanuel

      If one can not handle it, whether its swear words, harsh criticism of their religion, or weak stuff like a critique of a paper, attempt at doing X, one can feel free to hold their temples, let out a despair sound, and excuse themselves.

      Anything else is not civilized, I mean that person clearly is not free to argue back if its too much. Everyone has a safe spot, its their room, their care, their home, their cubicle.

      • Donald E. Hodge

        I agree 100%. Take that same person and have them wake up the next day in Syria. No Fucking Chance! Shit, have them wake up without their Cell phone or Credit cards!….LoL……STOP, wait wheres my safe place?

  • Dongald Trumpenis

    Of course, for Bloomberg, a “safe space” constitutes any private gathering of the ultra rich, where the destruction of the middle class can be planned without fear of being recorded.

    • javierjuanmanuel

      True, but he is not a punk ass bitch who cries when someone, or half the city or county disagrees with him.

      I bet he goes 7-8 years with out crying.

    • You know Bloomberg isn’t a conservative, right?

      • Dongald Trumpenis

        Ultra rich. Same thing.

        • javierjuanmanuel

          explain soros, and other well known super rich who are flaming liberals ?

          • Dongald Trumpenis

            THOSE are good people.

      • banmar

        You know NYC — a conservative is a liberal in any other part of the country, liberals are socialists and socialists are Communists. Some of the conservatives on here would have stroked out at meetings of the Greenwich Village Democratic Club, which I attended a few times when I worked in the city. Some of their stuff was too liberal even for me.

        Bloomberg is at his best when he’s doing what needs to be done and approaching it like a businessman, not a politician. That’s a delicate balancing act that few can pull off. As for his eponymous business, no real financial services office operates without a Bloomberg terminal. They are to the stock market today what telex ticker tape was up until the 80s.

        • Bloomberg Terminals are far more than just a ticker tape machine. You’re correct, though, if you don’t have Bloomberg profile, you don’t matter.