Perhaps there’s a fighting spirit at the University of Michigan after all — and no surprise that it comes from new football coach Jim Harbaugh.
After cancelling a screening of the blockbuster movie “American Sniper” because it made Muslim students feel “unsafe,” the university has had second thoughts and will show the film.
But will only do so under certain conditions.
Trying to stay a step ahead of the firestorm unleashed in the wake of the school’s original decision, the Center for Campus Involvement announced on social media Tuesday that the movie will be shown in a “separate forum that provides an appropriate space for dialogue & reflection.”
We’re planning to show American Sniper in a separate forum that provides an appropriate space for dialogue & reflection. More info to come.
— Campus Involvement (@UMInvolvement) April 8, 2015
A safe space, if you will — as for a place of “dialogue [and] reflection,” good luck finding that on left-wing dominated college campuses in America.
The school cancelled the showing of the film after Muslim students circulated a letter online complaining that it “not only tolerates but promotes anti-Muslim … rhetoric and sympathizes with a mass killer.”
The letter attacked U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, describing the American hero who served four combat tours in Iraq as “a racist who took a disturbing stance on murdering Iraqi civilians.”
The Center for Campus Involvement initially apologized for scheduling the movie, saying in a statement “we deeply regret causing harm to members of our community.” But in a later statement, University Vice President for Student Life E. Royster Harper backed away entirely from the earlier decision, calling it a “mistake.”
“The initial decision to cancel the movie was not consistent with the high value the University of Michigan places on freedom of expression and our respect for the right of students to make their own choices in such matters,” Harper said, according to Fox News. “The movie will be shown at the originally scheduled time and location.”
Meanwhile, the school’s new football coach, the former head coach of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers, posted a comment on Twitter that left no doubt where he stood amid all the controversy.
It’s safe to say there’ll be no “delicate snowflakes” lining up for Wolverine football any time soon!
Michigan Football will watch “American Sniper”! Proud of Chris Kyle & Proud to be an American & if that offends anybody then so be it! — Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) April 9, 2015
The reaction on social media, both to the the announcement that the film would be shown in a safe space and to Harbaugh’s remark, shows what a fiasco this has turned into for the University of Michigan.
Here’s a sampling of the responses from Twitter:
@CoachJim4UM Tell ’em Coach
— Jorge Luna (@JLunaSF) April 9, 2015
@CoachJim4UM LOVE this tweet so much! thank you for being bold!
— Toni Reitter (@tonichelleak) April 9, 2015
@CoachJim4UM Wow! You really are the man coach! I have so much respect for this statement!! Go Blue!
— Todd Norman (@StorMin__NorMin) April 9, 2015
@CoachJim4UM Awesome….that’s the way it should be! You the man Jim Go Blue!
— Ty cobb Tim (@TyCobbFan) April 9, 2015
@CoachJim4UM As a Marine first and a coach second, thank you! This is truly a phenomenal man!
— Jon Rocha (@Coach_Rocha) April 9, 2015
.@UMInvolvement Funny. I thought college was a forum for dialogue and reflection.
— Popehat (@Popehat) April 8, 2015
@uminvolvement Unfortunate. As a place of “higher” learning, this was a real fumble. Why ask them to protect, yet shun their stories?
— jimonlight (@jimonlight) April 8, 2015
@UMInvolvement How about you tell your students to put on their big boy/big girl pants on and prep for the real world.
— — Bonk — (@BonkPolitics) April 8, 2015
— Ben Crystal (@Bennettruth) April 8, 2015
— #war (@matthewhummel) April 8, 2015
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