A new book, The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure, explores the impact of political discourse on U.S. college campuses. The book is an expansion of an Atlantic article in which Jonathan Haidt, one of the book authors, disputed “trigger warnings” and other anxiety-avoiding tactics.
The authors are clear that harassment and discrimination are wrong, and that students who experience them should report the incidents. But, according to a Bloomberg article, we may lose the ability to communicate with each other:
“They worry about the What worries him is the looseness of the term ‘bias’ and the idea that students are urged not to work out their concern with the alleged perpetrator but to report it directly to the authorities.”
Also concerning the authors is the high percentage of liberal faculty members. A recent study shows that 39% of the most elite liberal arts schools have no Republican professors. The Bloomberg writer notes the possible negative effect:
"Critics argue that the atmosphere of liberal orthodoxy increases the risk that graduates will enter the workforce without knowing how to confront political viewpoints different from their own.”
What’s your view? Are we coddling students, or do they need more protection and “safe spaces”?
How would you describe the differences among discrimination, harassment, and bias?
How might the issue of protecting people from bias contribute to sexual harassment in the workplace? How can we help people sort out problems at an interpersonal level?