Woke concepts that have infected college campuses such as safe spaces are “mad” and “oxymoronic”, according to the Chancellor of Oxford University.
Lord Patten, who served as the final British governor of Hong Kong before the handover of the former colony to the communist government in Beijing, said that imposing restrictions on freedom of speech runs contrary to the very purpose of universities.
Speaking with the student newspaper The Oxford Student, the chancellor said: “I’m an old-fashioned liberal and I believe that free speech and tolerance are one of the most important values in an open society. If universities aren’t bastions of free speech, who’s going to be?
“And it means that, ‘No platforming’, a pretty graceless phrase, should be anathema. When people talk about safe spaces intellectually at universities, it’s mad. It’s oxymoronic. That’s not what universities are all about.”
Lord Patten went on to relate his own experiences as a university student, noting that his moral tutor was a “Marxist atheist”, a philosophy which ran counter to his own upbringing from a “moderately right wing, lower middle class family.”
“Did that ruin me? Did that astonish me? The truth is that I think what you should learn at university, among other things, is that an argument isn’t the same as a quarrel. And that an argument and people who have a different point of view to you are not challenging your identity,” the Oxford Chancellor said.
“They may have views about your identity. And I hope what we do at a good university is to give people the intellectual confidence and ability to argue tolerantly with people who don’t agree with them.”
Oxford University Bans Clapping to Keep People from Being ‘Triggered’ https://t.co/iVOpGuqahz
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 26, 2019
The issue of safe spaces on college campuses reared its head again in Britain in October of last year, when Black History month events put on by Westminster University’s student union were advertised as being “reserved for black students to encourage a safe space for discussions and honest conversations.”
The woke student union was accused by mixed-race GB News presenter and Anglican deacon Calvin Robinson, who accused them of implementing racial segregation under the guise of wanting to provide so-called safe spaces.
“This is the problem with Critical Race Theory. Well intentioned activists are trying to create ‘safe spaces’ and inadvertently stoking racial tensions where they may not have existed to begin with,” Robinson said.
Oxford University itself has been frequently criticised for implementing a racially motivated woke agenda. For example, in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in America in 2020, the prestigious university hinted that black students should be given special dispensation in terms of grades due to the “traumatic event” of the death on the other side of the Atlantic.
White People Banned from Speaking at ‘Resisting Whiteness’ Event at Edinburgh University https://t.co/DvX93q4kFY
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 1, 2019
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