Former Eagle Scout Mike Rowe explains why youth-based organizations like the Boy Scouts are at the forefront of the fight against the “safe space” culture that is overtaking America.
Here’s what he said
“You were famously an Eagle Scout as a boy, the scouts are no longer the Boy Scouts, but simply the Scouts,” said Tucker Carlson during the interview on Fox News. “What’s your response to that?”
“Well it’s funny you should ask, Tucker, because no less than 10,000 people have asked me that very question over the last month on my Facebook page,” responded Rowe. “Distinguished Eagle Scout, if you’re keeping score, five or six years ago, I was awarded that, and it was very touching.”
“Look I’m watching what’s happening very carefully,” he explained, “I’ve sent fifty to fifty-five thousand letters out over the last ten years to other Eagle Scouts, and I think the country needs the Scouts, I think the country needs the Future Farmers of America, and Skills USA, and 4H, desperately. Now more than ever.”
“So, it does concern me to see all the confusion swirling around the organization,” Rowe added, “but like so many wounds I’m afraid many of these are self-inflicted, and I also think some of the confusion that’s going on is legitimate. I read their official statement – while girls are being welcomed in, I didn’t ready anything about integrated camping trips, or troupe meetings. I think it really is a play to compete more directly with the Girl Scouts. And I understand why the Girl Scouts are upset, but since when is competition a bad thing?”
“So I think character development and leadership development have never been more important than they are today,” he continued, “so my hope is that the Boy Scouts assume the responsibility that’s presenting itself and become an antidote for the safe space environment that’s out there.”
Bloody noses and black eyes
“And push back a little bit,” he added. “Not to sound like the angry guy on your neighbor’s porch yelling at the kids on the lawn, but when I was in the Scouts in ’74 and ’75, it wasn’t a safe space there in the basement of our church. You’d go home with a bloody nose sometimes, or a black eye. We had a boxing ring.”
“It was a vibrant space where you really could test yourself and fail in a way, that on the one hand, made you safe enough to attempt, but on the other hand didn’t try to check every box and please every single person,” Rowe explained. “It’s a tough time. I’m sympathetic for the leaders, but I’m afraid you’ve got to draw the line somewhere and be very very clear about what you stand for as well as against.”
“So you don’t see this as the end of something, then?” Carlson asked, voicing a popular opinion.
Safe spaces versus self-challenge
“I don’t know, again, you either evolve, or you die,” Rowe responded, “but at the same time people are confused, because the Scouts simply haven’t come out and said categorically what they’re for, right? So I just think this conversation touches every single hotpoint right now going on in popular culture, from tolerance to acceptance, which by the way, I’m not sure what the difference between those two things is anymore, but there used to be a big difference.”
“People are struggling about their own identity,” Rowe said. “Everything is either being informed by a safe space culture, or everything is being informed by people who want to be challenged. I think people are desperate to be challenged, and my hope for these youth-based organizations that help preach character is that they look for people who want to be challenged, and not curry favor so much with those who want a nice reassuring pat on the head.”
“Yeah,” Carson joked, “that’s how the Episcopal Church died!”
“Wow,” Rowe responded.
Here’s the enlightening interview with Mike Rowe: