Print Friendly, PDF & Email


By: Mark Glennon*

Never mind that he’s talking about many who his university educated, including me. Any of you who question campus preoccupation with safe spaces, trigger warnings and microagressions are idiots and lunatics. That’s what Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro told new students this past week in his welcoming address. Articles about his comments include those in CampusReform and The Daily Northwestern.

“Look for safe spaces,” Schapiro told the freshman, and he pledged that “if you can’t find them, we will help you find them.” Regarding traumatic ideas, Schapiro says, “If they say that…you shouldn’t be warned to prepare yourself psychologically for that, that somehow that’s coddling, those people are lunatics.”

Northwestern President Morton Schapiro
Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro

The hypocrisy is breathtaking. Words like “idiot” and “lunatic” are just the kind from which the safe space crowd thinks it should be protected.

Contempt for stereotyping is also high among their pieties. Yet Schapiro told his students, “The people who decry safe spaces do it from their segregated housing places, from their jobs without diversity — they do it from their country clubs. It just drives me nuts.”

But it’s the microagression thing that’s most interesting. Those who deny their existence are “idiots,” Schapiro says.” They “cut you to the core” and aren’t easily forgotten.

Seems to me that’s why they’re great. I like them. They piss you off. They force you to decide who you are and what you stand for.

Daislyland. Safe from the horrors of “microagression.”

Like that girl from Manhattan in the dorm at Northwestern who told me she could never see any reason to go to the south suburbs (where I am from). Or the union thug when I worked at Jewel who threatened me with retaliation for questioning the political contributions I was forced to make. Or the people in the Cook County Recorder of Deeds office who would shake you down to get a lien search done when I was a young lawyer. Or some of the comments and emails I get here.

I bet everybody who reads this — anybody with motivation, that is, in whatever direction — has their own stories. That’s what gets you out of bed in the morning.

It’s far worse for gays, blacks and certain others. I get that. No comparison. Nobody is defending slurs or bigotry against them. But Schapiro’s obsession with microagressions extends to everybody, and “micro” just isn’t big enough to worry about.

“If you want to play in the NFL, you gotta play hurt,” football guys say. That’s true everywhere in everything, grownups know.

Except at universities like Northwestern has become under Morton Schapiro.

UPDATE: Schapiro is paid $1.2 million per year.

*Mark Glennon is founder of Wirepoints. Opinions expressed are his own.






newest oldest most voted
Notify of
As the girl from Manhattan to whom you refer, I feel compelled to respond. You may recall that all of our housemates were white except for our Chinese American RA. Lindgren House was a safe space for us. While we didn’t need them, minority and first-generation college students need safe places to be able to take full advantage of the Northwestern experience. I agree that some of Morty’s word choices were misguided, but his message was spot on. The editorial staff of the Daily better understand the current tensions on campus than we do. They recognize that to be open to learning, students must first feel safe.… Read more »

It appears that Northwestern is now officially a day care center for emotional cripples, led by its biggest baby.


The projection, denial and splitting is strong in that one.

All that education and he’s a tribal cowardly jackass lacking a hint of psychological sophistication or self awareness.

But he’ll tell his friends how sophisticated he is.

Here’ the thing about microaggressions…the world was full of them and everyone dealt with subtle insults before the term was coined….and you learn to ignore them and fight the important stuff

Unless you’re a borderline personality…and of course the hallmark of that is projection, denial and splitting.

David Walter Schere

As a BSEE graduate with a minor in computer science you are a an Idiot and a Lunatic if you send your children to Northwestern University or give them any money whatsoever.


Suggestion to Mark Glennon: contact all your fellow alums. Send rheum a mass email and tell them to donations to the university. Have everyone spread the word. Money talks — especially at prestigious universities


My apologies for the fat-finger typos — and auto spell check….

mark glennon

Would if I had time, but haven’t even had the time to find a new comment system to allow you to make those corrections. For those so inclined, here is the address of Shapiro’s office: and here is the Twitter handle for the alumni association: @NUAlumni


If you ever get the time, it isn’t that hard. Just spend a day or two in your alumni association website and other internet links that have anything to do with your university, then and copy and paste all the emails that you can find and send out a mass mailing. It might take a few days but i bet it will be worth it. Good luck no matter what you decide to do. And thanks for speaking out against the travesties that are occurring on college campuses that separate and divide.


If you have been reduced to worrying about “micro” aggression, that must be all the regular and “milli” aggression has been stamped out and you’re really searching for something to whine about.


Perfect! Absolutely perfect! Like other readers here have told you, your articles and this whole site get better and better all the time, and I loved it from the beginning.

Jeanne Ives

This explains their football team wanting to unionize.

Patrick Daugherty
I don’t speak for President Schapiro or Northwestern University, but I feel that I know both of them pretty well. In my 60 years of life I’ve never met someone who cares more deeply about college students than Morty does. In my 42 years of experience with NU there has never been a better time to matriculate in Evanston. I was with dozens of NU college students yesterday, all of them seeming to be both happy and motivated. They work very hard in their studies and aren’t coddled in the least, but they all feel respected and secure on campus — just as it should be. Northwestern… Read more »

As an alum and parent of a current student, I couldn’t agree with you more, Patrick.

mark glennon

Patrick, plenty of people who share Schapiro’s view are swell people. That’s simply not an answer. And don’t don’t tell me all students at NU feel “respected and secure.” Their university president just told them they are idiots and lunatics if they disagree with him on this. The hypocrisy is flagrant. The supression of classical liberalism is blatant. Northwestern has betrayed the fundamental purpose of a university. He should be fired summarily.


Ho boy. I’ve been following this for a bit. Especially, the “micro-aggression ” aspect. I suspect applying logic is useless at this point. We’ve gone down the rabbit hole. I hope these children never encounter the drill sergeants I had in the service. Or maybe the US military will soon be required to provide “micro-aggression” shelters in basic training. Presumably, then they will also be required on the battlefield.

Lawrence-- Class of \'84

How embarrassing for the University and the students. Talk about the ‘sissification’ of modern college students! I thought college was supposed to teach you how to survive and prosper as an adult in the modern world. I’ll bet the Russians, Egyptians, Chinese, Germans and Japanese are all highly sensitivity to “microaggressions” with their students. Let’s change the NU school colors to pink and chartreuse.


Hold up…a fellow Jewel alum?! A former UFCW 881 union brother?! And south burbs, no less. Small world indeed. Did your local union rep also drive a Corvette?

Do you remember they automatically withheld pension payments from our checks? As if this 16 year old bag boy intended to make it a career. That makes me the original Tier 2 worker, paying for the retirements of my coworkers. Mark, joint project…let’s get our pensions back!

mark glennon

Yup, bag boy at the Jewel in South Chicago Heights. When I complained about the deduction for political work, the union steward said something like: “Hey kid, you know how bag boys usually get promoted to fruits & vegetables for better pay? Well, it ain’t gonna happen to you.”