Following protests at the University of Missouri, which eventually led to the resignation of UM system president Tim Wolfe, several other colleges and universities have staged their own demonstrations to speak out against racism on campus. Students at Ithaca College staged a walkout on Wednesday, and at Yale protests ignited after a professor sent an email suggesting people lighten up about politically incorrect Halloween costumes.
All this has of course come to the attention of Bill Maher, who likes to stay up on current events. Last night he hosted a panel on his show with guests Jay Leno, former Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele, and former MSNBC anchor Dylan Ratigan. Maher had some harsh words for both sets of students, saying they'd taken political correctness to a dangerous extreme.
"They characterize themselves as the protestors in Tiananmen Square, but they look like the Chinese army," Maher said of Mizzou students who blocked the media from the campus' quad, designating it a "safe space." "Their right to not be offended does not supersede the First Amendment."
Ratigan agreed, but with a caveat: "However irrational the response may be, it pales in comparison to the structural racism that still exists." Steele agreed, saying Mizzou administrators ignored students for months, and Leno pointed out that Wolfe never would've resigned if the football team hadn't gone on strike. "If the English Literature department had walked out, nobody would've done anything," he said.
Maher was even less sympathetic to Yale protestors, calling them out for overreacting to "an email about a Halloween costume that doesn't even exist." Looking incredulous, he asked the rest of the panel, "Who raised these little monsters?" Steele called their intolerance for political incorrectness "a level that really does infringe upon free speech and opportunity to communicate what you think."