An op-ed piece in the New York Post asks in its opening remarks:
“How will today’s college students function once they leave campus and find the world no giant ‘safe space’ protecting them from things they don’t want to hear?”
The piece is commenting on Milo Yiannapoulos (who I neither endorse nor decry) and his recent visit to the University of Pittsburgh where he gave what certain students considered a dangerous talk. Yiannapoulos apparently hurt some students’ feelings. Adding insult to the First Amendment’s long list of recent injuries, attending the speech was not even compulsory.
You know what I do when I don’t think I’ll like a particular event? I don’t go. I know. Crazy.
You know what I do when I find myself at an event that I personally find offensive? I leave. Yep. I’m a nut-job.
You know what I don’t do? I don’t hop around, cry like a baby and aggressively bemoan how hurt and threatened I feel. I don’t demand counselling. I don’t insist upon a safe space (whatever that is). In fact, I would feel downright embarrassed if I acted like multitudes of college-attending millennials are acting these days.
Yes, yes. I know, I know. Off to the Gulag with me. Better yet, off with my head.
I see similar articles about the politically-correct disease spreading through college campuses on an almost daily basis. It drives me crazy (if you haven’t noticed). We seem to have forgotten that college is where young people are supposed to have their minds formed. Intellectual growth comes through being challenged, stretched and yes, even offended.
It’s not my problem if you get to college and you’re too emotionally immature to handle another person expressing their opinion. It’s your problem. Go back home. Live in mom and dads’ basement. Get a job. Grow up. Come back when you understand that college isn’t there to cater to your petty and infantile feelings. It’s there to give you an education.
Even worse than the students’ reactions, however, is that faculties are bending over backwards to accommodate them. At least the students are simply emotionally-stunted. They grew up in the selfie-obsessed age of Facebook and Instagram. They were coddled, their narcissistic natures constantly fed, their every whim and desire applauded. I guess they should be pitied.
But the professors and presidents have no excuse. Their motives seem to be even more petty: job security. They want to protect their positions, retire with a pension and live out their days in peace. Why else would someone with the opportunity to shape the next generation of thinkers and producers cower before these communist youth league-like demands? (I bet you didn’t know wearing tiny sombreros was criminal?)
The problem is, Mr./Mrs. Professor, if you give into these liberty-denying, rights-trampling ultimatums, you won’t live out your golden years in peace. You’ll live in the squalor and societal deprivation that these politically-correct types of attitudes ultimately create. The elderly aren’t honored in civilizations where free speech is scorned. They are plundered, neglected and finally discarded.
So what will these students do when they get out into the “real world” and “find the world no giant safe space”?
I’ll tell you what they’re going to do. They’re going to pitch the same fit they’re pitching now, except louder and more aggressively (which doesn’t even seem possible.) They’re going to be used to getting their way all the time by then. That’s what college taught them, you see. Some of them (how horrifying) are going to be CEO’s and politicians. And rest assured, they will do all that’s in their power to force the rest of us to accept their opinions.
They will be the same people who will abolish the Constitution as archaic and irrelevant, and regard the Bill of Rights as hate speech.
And that’s why I, and many others, decry the outrage going on at our college campuses. If you don’t speak or write in support of all speech (regardless of whether you agree with its content or not), you will lose your right to speak.
You will be forced to conform.
Then you will lose your dignity.
Then you will lose your self-respect.
And at the end of this dark path, you will politically, socially, and yes, even materially, lose it all.