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Salman Rushdie: Universities should be a ‘safe space’ for controversial ideas

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Author Salman Rushdie thinks universities in the United States should stop coddling students.

Rushdie described political correctness on U.S. college campuses as nonsense that needed to be “rejected as firmly as possible” while accepting a Chicago Tribune 2015 Literary Award on Saturday. He noted that some Christian students at Duke University refused to read the book Fun Home by Alison Bechdel because the author was a lesbian.

“I thought, maybe you should just not be at Duke. Step down and make room for people who actually want to learn something — which is what a university is supposed to be about,” Rushdie quipped.

The author and free speech advocate said universities should challenge students to question their worldview.

“The university is the place where young people should be challenged every day, where everything they know should be put into question so that they can think and learn and grow up,” Rushdie said. “That’s what they are there to do. And the idea that they should be protected from ideas that they might not like is the opposite of what a university should be. In a university, it is ideas that should be protected. It is the discussion of ideas that should be given a safe place. The university should be a safe space for the life of the mind. That’s what it is for.”

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Security at the Chicago Tribune’s annual awards for literature was increased for Rushdie’s visit. Rushdie faced a fatwa from Iran’s ayatollah over his own controversial words. In 1989, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ordered Muslims to kill Rushdie over his book The Satanic Verses.


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Trump has Republicans ‘in a vice’ as bad as Charlottesville and Access Hollywood: MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace

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Donald Trump's increasingly toxic rhetoric against women of color has put the Republican Party in a "vice" of choosing between loyalty to the White House and voters disgusted by the bigotry the president had been broadcasting.

"Donald Trump today has the Republican Party in a vice the likes of which they haven’t experienced since Charlottesville and before that, in the aftermath of the “Access Hollywood” tape," Wallace explained, citing the biggest moments of Trump displaying his respective racism and misogyny.

"Republicans -- who have hardly been profiles in courage -- today found just over a dozen of their members break rank and slowly, timidly, begin to call out Donald Trump’s flagrant, bellicose, racist attacks against four female members of Congress," she reported.

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Republican analyst says Trump is ‘threatened by’ being challenged by women: ‘It hurts his ego’

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According to one Republican commentator, President Donald Trump's decision to lash out at four Congresswomen of color stems from his inability to handle being challenged by women.

In a segment with MSNBC host Ali Velshi, Rina Shah, who runs Republican Women for Progress, said that she's been the target of racist attacks from Trump supporters ever since she announced she wouldn't support him.

"I believe that what this president is doing is fanning the flames," she said. "He cannot denounce white supremacy, white nationalism. This is a moment in which he could have kept his mouth shut. You know, this tit-for-tat with [Speaker Nancy] Pelosi (D-CA) and 'The Squad,' he didn’t need to engage in it. If I was advising the president, if I were one of his advisers, I would have said stay out of it. But he doesn't listen to anyone around him."

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Mitt Romney blames democratic women for Trump’s racism: Their views ‘are not consistent with my experience’

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Little more than six months ago Senator-elect Mitt Romney (R-UT) promised voters he would "speak out" against President Donald Trump's racism. On Monday, Senator Mitt Romney blamed the targets of President Donald Trump's two-day racism fest for the President's own racism.

"I will speak out against significant statements or actions," by President Trump, "that are divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, dishonest or destructive to democratic institutions," Romney said in a New Year's Day 2019 Washington Post op-ed.

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