The Corner

Culture

Notre Dame Students Feel ‘Unsafe’ about Mike Pence Speaking

Rather than following custom and inviting the new president to speak at commencement, the University of Notre Dame opted to temper potential controversy by inviting the vice president instead, but many are still outraged. Now students are leading a campaign against his invitation on the grounds that it makes them “feel unsafe.”

That’s what the group organizing the “Not My Commencement Speaker” campaign says, anyway. It consists of students holding up white boards with messages about Pence’s “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic” sins. These are not necessarily specified: One of the organizers, Jourdyhn Williams, simply asserted: “I know that during his time as governor of Indiana and also during his campaign trail, along with Trump, he has made offensive statements towards minority groups.”

It’s become routine for college students to equate conservative positions with prejudice and hatred. Wanting to defund Planned Parenthood, for instance is evidence of animus against women — the sort of thing that disqualifies someone from being honored at a university.

In reality, Pence’s views on abortion and gay marriage are not endorsements of sexism or homophobia, and students at a Catholic university, of all places, should understand that.

By claiming that Pence’s visit will make them “unsafe,” their abuse of language extends beyond simply maligning him. Mike Pence isn’t going to endanger anyone by delivering a commencement speech. People should debate whether his policy preferences will have good or ill effects, but it is a thinly veiled attack on the principle of free speech to equate his words with physical violence.

Most Popular

Film & TV

America’s Favorite Movie

For more than a decade, readers volunteering their ratings on the movie site IMDb have declared The Shawshank Redemption (1994) their favorite film of all time. (Number two is The Godfather). Unlike the unholy tablets that are the box office charts, which are strongly linked to marketing budgets and show a ... Read More
Film & TV

America’s Favorite Movie

For more than a decade, readers volunteering their ratings on the movie site IMDb have declared The Shawshank Redemption (1994) their favorite film of all time. (Number two is The Godfather). Unlike the unholy tablets that are the box office charts, which are strongly linked to marketing budgets and show a ... Read More
Media

The Media Owe Senator Tom Cotton an Apology

One of the biggest issues people have with the mainstream press these days is that some of its members are so insulated that they end up buying into and promoting false narratives without actually checking these narratives' veracity. That seems to be exactly what happened in mid February, when major outlets ... Read More
Media

The Media Owe Senator Tom Cotton an Apology

One of the biggest issues people have with the mainstream press these days is that some of its members are so insulated that they end up buying into and promoting false narratives without actually checking these narratives' veracity. That seems to be exactly what happened in mid February, when major outlets ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Welcome Back, Plastic Bags

Single-use plastic bags are a miracle of modern technology. Cheap, light, convenient, and ubiquitous, they provide an elegant solution to a problem. If you recycle them, as most people do, and put your rubbish in them, that creates a net reduction in carbon emissions compared with buying the heavier, thicker ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Welcome Back, Plastic Bags

Single-use plastic bags are a miracle of modern technology. Cheap, light, convenient, and ubiquitous, they provide an elegant solution to a problem. If you recycle them, as most people do, and put your rubbish in them, that creates a net reduction in carbon emissions compared with buying the heavier, thicker ... Read More
U.S.

Some Good News Going into the Weekend

It’s Friday -- although I know it’s getting harder and harder to tell these days. You deserve a respite from yesterday’s gloom. (If you’re hungry for more gloom, there’s always the most recent edition of The Editors podcast -- and thank you, dear readers, for checking on me.) Today’s newsletter ... Read More
U.S.

Some Good News Going into the Weekend

It’s Friday -- although I know it’s getting harder and harder to tell these days. You deserve a respite from yesterday’s gloom. (If you’re hungry for more gloom, there’s always the most recent edition of The Editors podcast -- and thank you, dear readers, for checking on me.) Today’s newsletter ... Read More