Comedian Cut Off at Columbia Offers His Views

December 10, 2018

Nimesh Patel (right) is the comedian who was cut off in a performance at Columbia University when organizers of the event at which he was appearing decided his humor was offensive. In the immediate aftermath, he did not respond to requests for comment. But he has now published an essay in The New York Times offering his views on the situation.

"When you silence someone you don’t agree with or find offensive, not only do you implement the tactic used by the people you disdain; you also do yourself the disservice of missing out on a potentially meaningful conversation. You cannot affect change if you are not challenged," Patel wrote. But he added that he did not think all students were overly sensitive. "After I was forced offstage, something unexpected happened: Notes of support flooded in. Students apologized via email and via Instagram DM. They told me: We’re not all sensitive people; we can take jokes; you shouldn’t have been pulled offstage, that was wrong. Three Columbia students even came to my next show to apologize in person. I was grateful. They helped me see that when older people call students today oversensitive, we do the same thing that we accuse the college students of doing -- jumping to a predetermined conclusion based on the action of a small group."

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