Fads rapidly enter American culture, entertain and captivate the population for a few months, and then fade away as rapidly as they come about. This is especially true in the technology-centered society we live in today. What I thought to be a fad has now become frighteningly commonplace: unwarranted outrage. Every day, delicate snowflakes from colleges across the country find yet another event, person, or soundbite to be offended by. Outrage peddlers descend upon college campuses every day and broadcast their hurt feelings until that college’s administration assuages their faux outrage with rule changes, firing of professors, or cancellation of events. It happens almost every day and you could be the next target.
Professors must now tiptoe around certain historical issues for fear of claims of racism or xenophobia. Students must watch their tongues, lest they be targeted by the outrage mob. To give you an idea of how much this happens, here’s a very short section of a very, very long list of unwarranted outrage.
– In October of 2015, Students at Mizzou defaced a statue of Thomas Jefferson, claiming he was a racist, a slave owner, and a rapist.
– In March of 2016, Students at Emory University were “concerned and frightened” by messages of support for Trump written in chalk on the sidewalk.
– In October of 2015, Clemson University was forced to apologize for a “Maximum Mexican” night at the university’s cafeteria that students deemed to be cultural appropriation.
– In November of 2015, in the midst of the Mizzou controversy and protests, a professor resigned because students were outraged that he didn’t cancel his exam in the face of (false) threats to the student body.
– Also in November of 2015, Mizzou president Tim Wolfe was forced to resign for separate incidents of alleged racism that did not involve Wolfe directly and were not able to be solved by Wolfe. Wolfe later fought back against the outrage mob in a letter he wrote to donors, detailing the idiocy in the calls for his resignation.
– In April of 2015, students at University of North Texas threw a hissy fit and started a petition when it was announced that Greg Abbott was pegged to deliver the commencement speech.
– In February of 2016, Harvard decided to scrap the “house master” title because it made some feel uncomfortable.
– Last Halloween at Yale, students demanded the resignation of Erika Christakis after she fought against political correctness and sent out an email that said students should be able to wear whatever they want [for Halloween]. Her husband, Nicholas Christakis was confronted by whining students in a video that makes one fear for the future of this nation.
These are just a few examples of the ridiculousness that happens within the walls of the American university. The reason that this trend is continuing is because outrage sells. There are thousands upon thousands of college students that believe that marching and protesting in the name of a ridiculous cause will grant them moral superiority or the feeling that they have accomplished something. These incidents of outrage fit into a very specific mold.
The Anatomy of Outrage
As mentioned before, the people of Outrage Incorporated will sell faux outrage to college students who want to feel as if they’ve accomplished something in the name of progressivism. To begin an “outrage”, a student will find an event, speech, person, etc. that they deem racist, sexist, or xenophobic. They will then find their target. This could be a professor, president, or student. It could also be a rule, law, name, statue, etc.
Once they’ve located their target, they’ll begin their cries of racism, sexism, or xenophobia. Given that colleges are echo chambers of progressivism and liberalism, other students and often professors will sometimes pick up on this student’s cry of racism, sexism or xenophobia. Once more and more students rally around this false claim of “something-ism”, the case will be amplified and will often make news. There will usually be a protest, demonstration, or rally in support of the “oppressed” student and unrest will continue until someone is fired, an event is cancelled, or a rule/name of a building/policy is changed. A good example of this is the firing of Mizzou President Tim Wolfe. Mizzou plunged into racially fueled insanity after two separate racist incidents left several students shaken. They blamed Wolfe for his inaction to combat racism, despite the fact that Wolfe was not involved in these incidents nor could he have done anything to prevent them. From there, the university spiraled downward into complete madness and Tim Wolfe had no choice but to resign–the outrage mob claims another scalp.
If they don’t get their way, they often resort to violence or intimidation like the true babies they are. A perfect example of this is the Ben Shapiro speech “When Diversity Becomes a Problem” at California State University, Los Angeles. The speech was met with incredibly ferocity from the left, from the time the event was announced on Facebook up to the actual occurrence of the event. Protesters blocked the entrance to the event and shoved those who wanted to see Shapiro.
Hypersensitivity to otherwise unassuming things needs to be stopped and there’s something you can do about it.
What Can You Do To Stop Outrage Incorporated?
Most of us, the sane ones at least, agree that this assault on free speech needs to stop permanently. People should be allowed to say what they want, when they want, and how they want, no matter if they’re liberal or conservative. There’s something you can do to stop the hypersensitivity on campus: fight back. Don’t bow down to the leftist mob. Don’t allow yourself to be yet another scalp of outrage incorporated. If you’re persecuted for saying what you believe, stand by it. Don’t waver in your convictions and don’t allow yourself to be persuaded by personal attacks, protests, etc.
If you’re a student, say what you want. Don’t cower in fear or tiptoe around touchy subjects because they might offend someone. The First Amendment isn’t meant to account for one’s feelings. Don’t allow your emotions to seep into everything you do. If you fight back and stand resolute against outrage incorporated, people will defend you, myself included.
I fear that we may be heading towards a dystopian future in which one must confer with his feelings before saying something. This environment is not conducive to a productive society nor is it conducive to intellectual discussion and debate. Free speech must be unfettered for colleges to truly prepare their pupils for the real world.
Lastly, a message to all the fascists who want to limit free speech on campuses: Good luck in the real world, because there’s no such thing as a safe space in life.