Campus Capers: The Atlantic On Coddled College Students

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Back-to-school month may not be until September, but magazines generally publish a month early. That means that hot on the heels of Vanity Fair’s lengthy dissection of the dating apocalypse is The Atlantic’s September cover story on that other thing kids do at college — or rather are supposed to be doing — namely, getting an education.

Authors Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt bring us “The Coddling Of The American Mind,” whose subhead is:

In the name of emotional well-being, college students are increasingly demanding protection from words and ideas they don’t like. Here’s why that’s diastrous for education — and mental health.

To cleanse your palate after reading this epic — or for those who like their dessert first — here’s a 1949 cartoon called “Campus Capers.” It may be silly and old-fashioned, but the cartoon depiction of college feels strangely timely. — CC

93 Comments on "Campus Capers: The Atlantic On Coddled College Students"

  1. William Richardson | August 12, 2015 at 9:04 am |

    I wonder, is Donald Trump familiar with Polonius’ advice to Laertes?

  2. Ichabod! Speaking as one, the millenials have bastardized our “land of opportunity.” I needed a trigger warning before reading that article. My day is ruined. Whom can I blame?

  3. I’m not sure who’s in for a ruder awakening, the snowflake generation when it enters the workforce and has to deal with us, or us when we have to deal with it.

  4. I’m a little sad I missed out on the anonymous tribunals at Ithaca, sounds grand! What gets my goat is the actual threats of violence following imagined threats.

    Golden days in the sunshine of our happy youth!

    Golden days! Full of innocence…devoid of truth?

  5. Who are you quoting?

  6. The Student Prince, IIRC.

  7. Commonly known as The Stupid Prince depending on the libretto used

  8. Question, Christian: just curious what led to the recent spate of posts about hot-button issues on this site? I understand it’s your site and you c an post what you like but you’ve certainly chosen some decisive issues to spotlight.

    Unsurprisingly, I don’t agree with this article. First off, the author doesn’t cite where and when many of the campus incidents he mentions took place. But, more to the point, these protests and “open letters” involve a total of about two dozen people. Considering there’s hundreds of thousands of people currently attending universities in America where there have yet to be any rules regarding “trigger warnings” , I would be hesitant to qualify this a sea change.

    But it’s interesting how you can replace phrases like “coddling” and “encouraging them to develop extra-thin skin” with “listening to” and “encouraging them to speak up when they are uncomfortable.” The negative spin put on society’s current willingness to listen to other points of view and examine the status quo pretty much comes from straight, white males like the authors of this piece (Google image showed me they’re at least white males.) It’s as if empowering women, minorities, homosexuals, etc. will lead them to rise up and and label every straight white male a rapist and demand prison time for everyone who’s ever read For Whom the Bell Tolls. It’s the same irrational fear the authors are accusing “trigger warnings” of causing. They should take their own advice and confront what they fear: that the status quo is changing. Very, very, very slowly, but it is shifting.

    Straight white males born middle to upper class in America still inhabit a very privileged place in our society but we’re slowly learning there’s room at the top for all voices and experiences to be considered. It’s that privilege that causes confusion as to why a phrase like “America is the land of opportunity” would be a microaggression? Please tell that to the family of four living below the poverty line in an economically ravaged place like Detroit where there are few resources for food and clothing let alone jobs. I’m sure they’d love to hear a speech about “bootstraps” from someone who never had to worry if they were going to eat dinner that night and who got to take at least one Princeton Review course. That’ll put gas in their car!

    Education about the cycle of poverty, the experiences of rape and incest survivors, or, hell, what it’s like to live every day as a woman, homosexual, or minority is something everyone could use. Would “trigger warnings” seem so odd if you were in a class where The Fountainhead was required reading and you knew the person sitting next to you had experienced a violent, sexual assault? Maybe hearing an alleged “classic book” tell them that a good, nonconsensual rogering is all they need to cheer them up would be something that could bring up feelings they’re struggling to deal with? It’s not censorship; It’s allowing the previously voiceless to finally be heard and to advocate for themselves in situations society once told them it was foolish to. It’s increasing empathy and understanding for those who, for some odd reason??!!, didn’t have the exact same lives and experiences as we did. We’re not raising a weaker generation, we’re trying to raise a better one.

  9. Didn’t get past “hot button”… is it worth me going back?

  10. William Richardson | August 12, 2015 at 6:23 pm |

    @Halby
    Seems these disparate groups should stop taking themselves so seriously, get their chins off their chests and take advantage of their good fortune of being Americans. See how you like it in Muslim countries. China. Africa. The poor in America have a pretty high standard of living.

  11. Halby, you’ve constructed quite an imaginative rhetorical rebuttal, but for someone that demands citations I’m not seeing much based in fact. This imaginary Detroit family of four, I’d like to hear more about their circumstances, their history, what they think about white SJW speaking on their behalf because they can’t speak for themselves, although naturally they have nothing to say since they don’t exist.

  12. @Halby

    The question is fair. I believe there have been four posts: the anachronistic suggestion that today’s college women pursue committed relationships, a concept so absurd I felt compelled to delete it; the trigger warnings satire, which I’d submitted elsewhere to no avail; and then the pointer posts to the timely articles in Vanity Fair and The Atlantic.

    It’s been an exceptionally hot summer for social issues, and I’ll confess to being especially fascinated by it all as of late.

    But in our seven years I don’t think I’ve shied away from controversial posts. I mean, the jazz and Black History Month posts could be hot-button for certain ultra-stuffy WASP readers.

    I suppose I’ve always been an op-ed/columnist/essayist at heart, drawn to topical issues because I think my point of view is fair (though I suppose everyone thinks that). The first thing I ever published was an op-ed in the local paper, coincidentally on youth behavior. It had become fashionable in my home town for teenagers to panhandle in the downtown shopping and dining district, even though they were apparently from solid middle-class families.

    My heroes are all literary dandies who were detached and ironic social critics, from Baudelaire, Balzac and Wilde to Beerbohm, Waugh and Tom Wolfe.

  13. @Halby I don’t think that trigger warnings are the issue. The issue is they are becoming unecessarily unreasonable. Yes, if students are required to read one of Brent Easton Ellis’s works, a trigger warning may be in order. But when professors are being required to give trigger warnings because a book depicts a drowning, or a car crash, or America as the land of opportunity. Where’s the line? People can’t hide from their phobias and past. And we can’t possibly be expected to tip toe around in hopes we don’t shatter the egos of others.

  14. Halby, one addendum: you called the recent issues I’ve highlighted divisive (“decisive” was obviously a typo), but The Atlantic and Vanity Fair are hardly far left/far right ideological publications. The issues addressed may inspire differing opinions, as does everything, but I think the articles I’ve alerted Ivy Style readers to are reasonably objective analyses of the topics.

  15. Christian, fair enough, but with print media slowly dying and publishers struggling to attract eyeballs and dollars to online versions of their magazines, surely you’ve noticed the switch from more measured articles to “clickbait”, “OMG OBAMA LIZARD PERSON TOTALLY CAUGHT ON FILM WITH DRAKE AND DONALD TRUMP!!!” type things. Even the reserved New Yorker’s biggest story as of late was that article about the overdue mega quake that will sink Portland any day now! (though the actual article says a mega quake is not anywhere near being overdue.) Just because Vanity Fair has been around forever, doesn’t mean it’s immune to sensationalist, “hot button” opinion pieces masquerading as hard-core reportage (as I view this Atlantic article to be. )

    @WFBjr “And we can’t possibly be expected to tip toe around in hopes we don’t shatter the egos of others.” I understand what you’re saying but it’s a fear response posed as a defensive stance. We’re afraid that we’re going to say something that will offend someone and have no idea we were being offensive. No one wants to be rude. But no one wants to be censored either. And that’s not what’s happening. What I was pointing out is the defensive stance both you and this article have taken is a reaction to having your (and I’m going out on a limb here and assume you are straight, male, and white like myself?) privileged position in society threatened. You have never been discriminated against. You have never had people question whether you received a job or promotion because of “affirmative action.” You have never been followed around a store because the owner thought you might steal. You have been able to hold hands and kiss your partner in public without the fear of violence. But many have not. Just because YOU may not be affected by things in literature does not mean others are not and their feelings are just as valid as yours. There is no line. There’s a giant circle encompassing the entire human race and things like “trigger warnings” are asking people to adopt another’s perspective for a minute. Open up a dialogue. Try and see things from another point of view and recognize everyone as an individual. Think of all the advantages you had that you might have not even recognized as advantages. Status quo says “shut up and deal with it.” And that’s not healthy for anyone. What’s healthy is choice.

    I’m not perfect. I have and continue to say things that offend people. Do I intend to? Absolutely not? How do I know what’s offensive? I don’t. I need others to tell me. If, for example, not calling something “gay” when I mean “bad” helps to decrease the negative connotations around homosexuality, you got it! If there’s something in a book that may trouble you, speak up! I want to hear it! We’re still evolving as a society but it looks like, to me, we’re moving in the right direction.

  16. Ward Wickers | August 13, 2015 at 9:51 am |

    I think these “hot button” pieces have been good overall. They have been making me think about current issues that are important for us all. In that way, Halby, they may be paradoxically serving your point.

    While I am very much against censorship, I am all for learning to see others’ view and learn of others’ experiences outside of my own. Halby makes an excellent point that in the US, at least, the culture continues to be dominated by a white, Christian, heterosexual, male priority. As a white male, I can be easily blinded by my own cultural lens and fail to see or accept others’ experiences not like me as valid. The message then becomes, since your background, experiences and views don’t fit with mine, which is dominate, and I refuse to acknowledge them, then they don’t matter. That’s pretty much equivalent to saying “you don’t matter.” The discussion about micro aggressions and trigger warnings are aimed at breaking down this myopic view.

    I like the idea of empathy. Even when we are different, we can still try and see and feel the experiences of others from the shoes they are wearing. That means we have to take risks and not be so defensive and protective of our own little world views. If we are truly empathic in our interactions with others not like us, I think the risk is minimal. Even if we are misperceived as being micro-aggressive or do indeed overstep a boundary, if it is done with a little compassion, it won’t be much of a slight at all but may serve as an antecedent to better understanding.

    Thanks, Halby, for standing up

  17. Empathy, understanding and tolerance are a two way streets.

    https://www.thefire.org/campus-trigger-warnings-threaten-speech-and-treat-students-like-children/

    “Prior to the 1960s, it was assumed that colleges and universities would stand in loco parentis (in the place of the parents) when it came to their students. The campus foment of the 1960s, capped off by the lowering of the voting age to 18 in 1971, was thought to have ended the era of in loco parentis and its distinctively paternalistic features, like curfews for women on campus, disciplinary action for perceived moral failures, single-sex dorms that barred members of the opposite sex from even visiting, and restrictions on free speech. Yet today’s campuses are slowly rebuilding themselves into even stricter parents than they were in the 1950s.

    By adopting measures like restrictive speech codes, free speech zones, and mandatory “training” on how to speak to and relate with other students, colleges have long been creating an environment similar to that of living with an inflexible and officious parent. Trigger warnings now threaten to drag the protective impulse of parenting into the college curriculum itself. If we want colleges to train students to be rational, free-thinking, fully participating members of a democratic society, mandating trigger warnings is an excellent way to ensure that we fail.”

  18. Ward Wickers | August 13, 2015 at 12:11 pm |

    Empathy, understanding and tolerance are definitely two way streets. Isn’t that the idea here (though the implementing method may be flawed)? Don’t you think that saying to people we won’t be sensitive to or discuss your experiences, only our views will be tolerated, is not a two way street? Or am I missing something obvious?

  19. universitystripe | August 13, 2015 at 12:27 pm |

    Banning phrases such as “America is the land of opportunity” can only lead to further censorship of ideas. I agree that everyone should be heard, but that includes the views of the “establishment.”

    Is it such a hard concept?

  20. “We demand tolerance of our intolerance! Two way street!”

    Again, no one is saying censorship except you. This immediate defensive jump to “people ask that we think before we say something will lead to us not being able to say anything which will lead us to be put into MIND PRISONS!!” is very amusing. Carry on.

    @DCG Here’s a bunch of obviously imaginary families living in poverty in Detroit, rural Michigan, and parts of Ohio. Someone should tell them them to knock off the job search since they don’t exist.

    http://www.childrensdefense.org/policy/endingchildpoverty/children-of-hard-times/Children-of-Hard-Times.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/

    also: http://www.drawingdetroit.com/tag/detroit-poverty/

  21. Ward Wickers | August 13, 2015 at 1:24 pm |

    @universitystripe

    “Banning phrases such as “America is the land of opportunity” can only lead to further censorship of ideas.” I totally agree with you. I fear censorship, too. Though, I am not too worried that the establishment won’t get its views heard. Somehow, I would expect that to happen without too much difficulty.

    Perhaps the method is flawed. Trigger warnings and banning phrases may be extreme. But let’s not take them to a further extreme and use them as scapegoats to throw out the underlying idea. As I see it, the underlying idea is tolerance, empathy and a space where people’s experiences won’t be summarily shut down, but instead, treated as just as valid as the so-called ‘established’ ideas.

    So maybe discussing the parade of horribles we perceive about trigger warnings is really confusing the issue. Perhaps the more useful discussion would center around how to promote spaces for free exchange of differing experiences and ideas.

  22. Halby,

    Colleges are far too afraid to use the word “censorship” now, so they dance around it by using phrases as “restrictive speech codes”. It’s the same thing with a PC name.

  23. William Richardson | August 13, 2015 at 1:35 pm |

    @Halby @DCG

    I have two words for these families. Samsonite and U-Haul. Get the hell out of Detroit. So long as nothing more is expected from these people, and they are made relatively comfortable in their squalor, society should expect to get, not less of it, but more. Tough love works. Did for me.

  24. I thought we talking about university students and university policies?

  25. “Perhaps the more useful discussion would center around how to promote spaces for free exchange of differing experiences and ideas.”

    Great idea! We once called those spaces “universities”.

  26. UniversityStripe | August 13, 2015 at 5:05 pm |

    @ Ward:

    Do you not fear that censoring establishmentarian views from the university classroom may cause students to feel these views are without scholarly merit?

  27. Ward Wickers | August 13, 2015 at 6:48 pm |

    I would be quite against censorship. What is being censored?

  28. Ward Wickers | August 13, 2015 at 6:56 pm |

    @MAC

    I think those spaces are definitely universities. Everything changes, of course, and one obvious change has been in the composition of the American university student population. It’s not unlike the 1970s when women began to go to college in droves. All kinds of big changes occurred in our universities in response to the influx of women. Sometimes universities lead the way. Sometimes they need to catch up. Here, it could be a little bit of both.

  29. @Ward

    Read the Atlantic story “That’s Not Funny!” linked at the top of this thread.

  30. Halby, Halby, Halby. I understand your premise and I respect your attempt to validate it. Your assumption that I’m a white, affluent, Christian, man is correct. Your assumption that I’ve never been discriminated against or persecuted or made to feel uncomfortable or offended is completely wrong. While hard to believe, I and my ilk have been forced to live an anchorite existence. The way I dress, the sesquipedalian dialect I invoke, my place of worship, the overt preference I place on familial priorities vs. nocturnal cavorting and so on places me in a marginalized, much despised class. What once made my “type” dominant, now makes me an aberration. So, yes, I know how it feels to be prejudged, stereotyped and relegated. Yes, I have missed out on career opportunities due to my characteristics. So, I’ll say the same thing to these much maligned people groups you’ve so gallantly stood up for: get over it. Self-loathing and pining for fairer treatment eliminates the opportunity for character building. Find away through, around, under or over but for the love of God don’t sit and wait for someone to remove the wall for you. Don’t cry because it’s too high. Don’t whine because it’s too thick.
    The trigger warning case is the camels nose. First it’s on campus bans, then it’s state referendums and suddenly 10 years from now it’s legislation (or most likely judicial activism) and we’re being fined or imprisoned.

  31. Just FYI for future debates and intellectual discussions, that’s one of the biggest loads of self-deluded white privilege BS I’ve read in a while. You’re going to have to sharpen your blade if you want to debate these kinds of issues in 2015.

    You’re thinking like you and not thinking like your “opponent.” You need to be more like a chess player. Good luck winning arguments (not that these kind of arguments can in any way be “won”) by saying that you know what it means to feel marginalized and prejudiced against because you’re an affluent white male with a big vocabulary.

  32. Winning never was and never will be the aim of my discourse. Which is why it will never be an impetus. Pragmatism stinks.

  33. William Richardson | August 14, 2015 at 8:52 am |

    These arguments are hurting my delicate feelings and may send me into a shame spiral. Does anybody know of a good conflict mediation firm?

  34. @ WFBjr

    Dear Sir, When was the last time you were harassed (or shot) by a policeman for being white, over-educated, and wearing a bow tie?

    @ Ward Wickers

    An example of a point you were making about the blind complacency of those who enjoy majority status in aggressive ways. There was a climate survey at work. 17% thought that the workplace was racist, sexist, and homophobic. One of the bosses responded that there was no problem because only a minority felt that way. Seriously. This took place.

  35. Halby you splendid chap, have you asked those families if they’d like a trigger warning before reading the phrase “America is the land of opportunity”? While we’re venturing guesses as to what the poor of Detroit are thinking, I’ll posit they don’t really see the pressing need for trigger warnings in literature to prevent recurrences of past trauma. In fact, I would imagine the urban poor, many living in essentially domestic warzones, would have choice words for college kids that claim PTSD after reading Mark Twain.

    As to valuing the experiences of others, we could all do with a little empathy, a sprinkling of tolerance, and sure, listening to other people’s experiences can be a good thing, but, and I’ve got into this with Christian before, logic is immutable and cannot be changed because of someone’s past experiences. If we’re going to have a logical discussion about race, or class, or sex, or religion, it’s simply untenable to take everyone’s experience as universal fact. When experiences are actually shared, say being unjustly tailed in a store because you’re black, then the proper course isn’t to say “I value your experience”, it’s to penalize the prejudicial storekeeper (and whether that ought to be through the courts or through the market depends on your politics I suppose).

    And as I hinted at before, the overwhelmingly black victims of Detroit’s mismanagement don’t need white social justice saviors to speak on their behalf.

  36. RJG
    What world do you live in? Whites are shot by police and harassed. I’m a white 64 year old man in the suburbs I get pulled over at least once a year. I work long hours, especially during tax season. I’m never surprised to be pulled over at 3am for the fabled tail light being out. It happen all the time to my friend and I in our teenage years.

    I have an an acquaintance that was shot by a cop a couple of years ago, a firefighter. He forgot what our “white Privileged” fathers taught us, treat cops with respect and don’t be aggressive with them. I know that is a middle class value like men being in the home, but it works and cultural values have nothing to do with income.

  37. MAC

    Of course white people get pulled over, and even shot at by police. But go outside of your own experience and listen to others.

    I have two friends who were Rhodes Scholars. One went on to Columbia Law. Standing in front of his apartment building on Riverside and 144th St. he was told by a policeman to “move along.” He said he lived there, had a right to be there, and was taken in for resisting arrest. This never happened to the the other one. Which one do you think is black?

    Do you remember the incident of the Harvard professor returning from China, who was reported for being “suspicious” while jiggling the keys in his front door. He was arrested by a Cambridge policeman even after showing his Harvard I.D. What wasn’t reported was an earlier incident. When driving around Newton, looking at potential homes, he was stopped by the local police and asked what he was doing there. How many white Harvard professors have experienced a similar incident?

    At a social gathering once, we were discussing the local police. Since I had been in town, I had been pulled over three times for minor infractions, and given a warning. The same with the other white guy in the group. The women of color were pissed. They were never given a warning, just given a speeding ticket for going a few miles an hour over the limit, while others were speeding by and passing them.

    Do you really mean to say you don’t know about how this works in America?

  38. Ward Wickers | August 14, 2015 at 11:23 am |

    @Christian

    Thanks for pointing that article out. I missed it earlier, and it is an eye-opener. I’m obviously wrong about the university setting.

    I do wonder, though, why during college years students seem to be hyper-concerned about how they and their peers are treated, and then when they hit their 20s and download Tinder, all that changes. How does becoming a sexual commodity happen so easily? Is there that much of a generational difference between the two or is something else going on?

  39. RJG, the number of times I’ve been shot or harassed is non-germane. You keep asking questions as if the absence of proof is not the proof of absence. “Well show me how many white folks who you know whom have been shot, because I’ve heard that a lot of black people are getting shot. If you can’t show me any white people getting shot then I win because I’ve read about Black people getting shot.” Frankly, I don’t know of ANYONE save one person whom was shot and he was white. I believe neither this nor the fact I’ve never been shot is proof of anything. So quit with your insipid questions that prove nothing.

  40. RJG
    I know how it works in America. Rule number one, don’t argue with law enforcement. As a general rule never argue with people who society has authorised the use of deadly force. Only fools do, it’s always better to lawyer up and file complaints later, still alive.

  41. MAC

    Yes, it’s advisable not to argue with law enforcement. But that doesn’t cover everything that’s going on in the examples I gave. Your comments seem to imply that you think race is not really an issue in this country.

    WJGjr

    Ditto. Race not a problem in this country? Because the only people you know who have been harassed or shot are white?

    Do you need statistics. Justice Department: Black drivers are 31% more likely to be pulled over than whites. This leads off a story on NPR about blacks on bicycles being pulled over in Tampa: http://www.npr.org/2015/08/10/431343151/tampa-fla-police-investigated-for-crackdown-on-black-bicyclists. “Records show, in the past three years, Tampa police have issued more than 2,500 tickets to bicycle riders, 80 percent going to African-Americans. That’s in a city with a black population of around 25 percent. An investigation by the Tampa Bay Times newspaper found the number of tickets issued to Tampa cyclists was more than in Miami, Jacksonville, Orlando and St. Petersburg combined. Some residents have complained of being stopped multiple times in one day.” But, then, there is really no race issue here because 20% of those stopped are white — is that your position?

  42. Correction: “WFBjr”

  43. RJG
    It might indicate law enforcement has a higher concentration of officers in high crime neighborhoods. That is usually the case, except in neighborhoods law enforcement has just given up.

  44. William Richardson | August 14, 2015 at 1:18 pm |

    This Justice Department? NPR? Do please consider your sources.

  45. William Richardson is the only source I will trust henceforth. I assume he has done studies of his own and knows whereof he speaks.

    MAC — You keep avoiding my central question. Are you saying that racism is not a problem today? Just go ahead and say it. Everything can be explained by other motives.

  46. MAC

    One answer for all sizes. A flatulent, quasi-philosophical generality.

  47. William Richardson | August 14, 2015 at 3:02 pm |

    @RJG

    No time to study these things. I have a life to live. I have had my eyes open for almost fifty years. Ditto MAC. Also, it is just a lot of fun screwing with RJG.

    Will

    Oh, don’t you consider your sources RJG?

  48. William Richardson | August 14, 2015 at 3:08 pm |

    Did I mention, it’s 85 degrees with a lite breeze on this sail boat in the Chesapeake Bay. I have my Nantucket Red shorts, navy shirt, white Sperry canvas top siders and a gin and tonic in hand. (Hendrick’s) Loving life.

    Will

  49. Race relations is more of a problem today than seven years ago. racial healing is what I most admire about this administration. There is racism, but not to the point the media would have you believe. In my adult life racists I’ve known have never been in position to keep anyone down. All one needs to do is look at the white trash losers in the white supremacist movement they hire no one.

    I have black neighbors and clients in the inner city, the things I hear them say about their own race is shocking. They would be considered racist by the media if they were white. Basically they tell me it’s a matter of crappy public schools, the inner city culture, and black on black crime.

    When I visit my inner city clients entering their homes or businesses is like a cold war Berlin border crossing. Did I mention they love the police?

  50. Will
    F.. you, I’m off today, the grass is cut, gutters cleaned, but I stuck waiting for Oliago’s Tree Service. Otherwise I’d be golfing. I’m screwed, have fun for me. 😉

  51. RJG
    “One answer for all sizes.” No that would be our government’s leftist administrative state. The only way to alleviate poverty, black and white, is to grow the economy and give the poor trapped in public school systems choice.

  52. William Richardson | August 14, 2015 at 3:25 pm |

    @MAC
    Truth be told it’s my boss’s boat. My Hampton 1 is too small for blogging. I will have another G and T for you soon.

    Cheers,

    Will

    PS. Keep a stiff upper lip RJG.

  53. @WFBjr As Christian said, your money and how you spend your nights are things you can CHANGE and hide. Sexuality, gender, and skin color – you’re more or less stuck with out in the open. Being made fun of because you choose to go home instead of partying is not even comparable to being beaten and left to die because you dared kiss a member of the same sex.

    @DCG I do understand the need to force large social and cultural issues into a logical A + B = C model, but it doesn’t work like that. Punishing one shopkeeper because they harassed a minority in a store does not stop racism. The problem is not even the shopkeeper; it’s the years and years of cultural reinforcement that says minorities are second class citizens prone to theft and violence. There’s no quick fix for that, but allowing more voices to be heard without outrightly dismissing them as “whiners”, or “lazy”, or “thin-skinned” is a start.

    The people on campus who are affected by literature have just as much right to their feelings as those children in poverty-stricken cities. It’s not a competition where only the person with the most agreed upon “worst suffering” gets to complain. That’s the point of things like “trigger warnings” – everyone’s feelings are valid and everyone has a right to be heard.You don’t have to agree with them but they have a right to speak up. I’m sure those Detroit families are advocating for themselves as hard as they can but it doesn’t hurt to have others in more privileged positions help their voices be heard considering people like yourself were recently convinced they didn’t even exist!

  54. Finally, something of substance. Nevertheless, I’m less sanguine about improvement than you are. Racism is a fantasy of superiority that people have a hard time giving up.

  55. RJG- One answer? No. One law equally enforced? Yeah.

    Halby- You’re typing with your heart and not your head. And the family you described doesn’t actually exist, it was a cheesy parabolical image meant to shame people that don’t agree with your self-loathing nonsense into shutting up. You bet I’m convinced of the existence of the urban poor, I see them every day, and while I won’t speak for them, I can’t imagine they’d appreciate your lumping their struggles in with college kids too delicate to read a book. “Everyone’s feelings are valid” mon derrière, are my feelings that a growing number of recent college graduates are a bunch of spoiled brats lacking critical thinking skills valid in your eyes? It’s also my “feeling” that the great majority of would-be white saviours are racists who wouldn’t dream of living in a majority black neighborhood, and if they did it would only be to follow other white urban “settlers” into “undiscovered” parts of major cities.

    Two last points: the problem most certainly IS the allegorical lawbreaking shopkeeper. However noble the goals of thought-policing, it’s still thought policing. We can and must do more in this country to enforce the law equally and without prejudice, that’s an actual goal with actual steps that can be taken in the real world.

    No one has the right to be heard. That’s not a real right. We have the right to say what we want, but no one can be forced to listen to us, as much as that grinds the gears of every ultracrepidarian interweb expert that ever face-planted onto his keyboard.

  56. NaturalShoulder | August 14, 2015 at 5:59 pm |

    Well said DCG.

  57. Halby, Christian said no such thing. So stand on your own gotdamn feet. You need a trigger warning. It would read something like “beware of straw men.” We started out discussing trigger warnings and you’ve somehow stuffed so much straw into the topic of race that I do believe most here have completely forgotten the topic at hand. And how dare you dismiss the abuse which I’ve suffered as a result of my lifestyle choices. Your insensitivity is shocking for one so consumed with social justice. I’m rich, I’m white (with a golfers tan), I’m Protestant, and I’m incensed at how I’ve been handled! I imagine if I was brutalized on the golf course today by a gang of obstreperous minorities, You’d say, “Well, WFBjr, you’re rich and white which means you deserve what you got.”

  58. I believe that’s meant to be read with your irony glasses on…

  59. William Richardson | August 14, 2015 at 9:15 pm |

    @Christian

    Ya think?

  60. The clue was the Protestant part…Ha!

  61. William Richardson | August 14, 2015 at 9:31 pm |

    I think it was the obstreperous part…Ha Ha

  62. @DCG Good grief! I don’t know where to start addressing your lunacy? I assume (hope) this is some “internet troll” persona you’ve adopted out of boredom and loneliness rather than the ramblings of a troubled mind that should seek help. If it’s the latter, I hope you get the help you need.

    However, it’s increasingly hard to tell because, though some sensible voices have spoken up, between here and a certain “trad” message board, whenever any cultural topic comes up the rock gets lifted and some truly ugly attitudes emerge. Beyond the clothes of the era, it’s clear some wish we still adopted the backwards beliefs of those times as well. Adieu gentlemen (and I use that term loosely). I truly hope you eventually learn to see beyond your black and white view of the world.

  63. Wright Hall | August 15, 2015 at 12:23 am |

    all foretold in the prescient cinematic masterpiece P.C.U. (1994)

  64. Blech…even your snark is trite and unoriginal.

    Ciao!

  65. DCG

    To clarify, I was not recommending one size fits all as a solution; it was a description of someone else’s evasive reply I was objecting to.

    Of course the law has to be equally applied.

  66. I’ll drink (coffee) to that

  67. I’m getting an image of WFB Jr. holding this umbrella while smoking a cigar:

    http://i.imgur.com/KvSEUSM.png

  68. Call 911 in the event of life-threatening bias emergency:

    http://www.campusreform.org/?ID=6738

  69. William Richardson | August 17, 2015 at 5:56 pm |

    I am truly ashamed for these weak people. I’m not going to wring my hands about it too much though.

    Will

  70. Ward Wickers | August 17, 2015 at 7:05 pm |

    And, there are significant moves at Yale to eliminate title and college names that might be offensive to some: The title, Master of the College, and the name of Calhoun College. The winds of change are a-blowin’

    Pertinent exerpts from the Yale Daily below, full article here: http://yaledailynews.com/blog/2015/08/14/stephen-davis-asks-pierson-students-not-to-call-him-master/

    Stephen Davis, a religious studies professor who has led Pierson College since July 2013, has asked that students cease calling him “master.”

    In a Friday email to the Pierson community, Davis cited “deeply problematic” racial and gender hierarchies associated with the title, which has been affixed to leaders of the residential colleges from their inception in the 1930s. Since then, the colleges have grown in number, set to expand from 12 to 14 in 2017, and have become a hallmark of undergraduate life at Yale…

    “I think there should be no context in our society or in our university in which an African-American student, professor or staff member — or any person, for that matter — should be asked to call anyone ‘master,’” Davis wrote. “And there should be no context where male-gendered titles should be normalized as markers of authority.”

    In his email, Davis said there have been instances when the title has made students, faculty and guests uncomfortable. Calling the leaders of residential colleges “masters,” he said, “undercuts our common effort to cultivate a spirit of welcome and hospitality” …

    Davis’s announcement comes just weeks after students circulated a petition calling for a change of the name of Calhoun College. The document garnered nearly 1,500 signatures.

  71. From 1992, but still very relevant today:

    http://www.amazon.com/Real-Men-Dont-Bond-Whiners/

  72. Im
    The link doesn’t work.

  73. William Richardson | August 17, 2015 at 8:10 pm |

    Back in the mid ’90s, GQ ran an article called “White Guys With Drums” which sounds like it is in the same vein as “Real Men Don’t Bond”. There was a lot of crying and finding oneself. Simultaniously hilarious and disgusting.

    Will

  74. Ward Wickers | August 17, 2015 at 8:29 pm |

    I should have mentioned that John Calhoun was a Yale grad, US vice president, and also a slave owner and ardent secessionist. It’s the slave part that upsets students, who are seeking to re-name of the College. Renaming Calhoun isn’t new, but the current climate seems to be reinvigorating the demand. I suppose a fall back position if they can’t get the college renamed is to require a trigger warning at the entry gates.

  75. William Richardson | August 17, 2015 at 8:35 pm |

    @Ward

    I feel threatened by your use of the word trigger. I makes me think of guns.
    Please stop using such aggressive phrases or I may have to call 911.

  76. Ward Wickers | August 17, 2015 at 8:53 pm |

    @William

    I am so sorry. To help make it up to you, I’ll tell you my sure-fire cure for feeling threatened. It works like a charm every time. There are three parts, done in quick succession: First, put some lime in a coconut and add a healthy dose of Bay Rum. Drink it all down. Second, pull out your drum and beat it like there’s no tomorrow. And, finally, while beating your drum, sing in your most manly of voices and loud enough for for neighbors to hear:

    Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
    Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
    Brown paper packages tied up with strings
    These are a few of my favorite things

  77. Don’t listen to him. He’s trying to poison you by getting you to drink bay rum aftershave. He’s also mocking your triggering at the word “trigger” by using the term “sure-fire.”

    Finally he’s claiming that “My Favorite Things” is safe and whitebread when there are plenty of wheat versions from soul-food bakeries:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kPXw6YaCEY

  78. Ward Wickers | August 17, 2015 at 10:21 pm |

    @Christain

    That’s a great piece from Coltrane. I had never heard it before. It’s the bomb — whoops, that sounds inflammatory and could be a trigger. I better just say it’s nice.

    Speaking of triggers, wouldn’t Trigger be a trigger, too? I’m talking about Roy Rogers’ horse, Trigger. That palomino will just have to be renamed.

    They will have to go back and re-do all the old movies, I suppose. But that shouldn’t be too hard — just dub out Trigger and dub in a new name, Hoof Hearted, maybe.

    You know, all this triggering stuff may actually have an upside. If all the old names and things we used to say have to be scrubbed, somebody’s got to do it, right? It could start a whole new sector of the economy.

    Thousands and thousands of people could be put to work reviewing and sanitizing all the old material–documents, books, videos, speeches, movies, plaques, pictures, records–all kinds of stuff! It’ll surely boost GDP. One of the republican candidates ought to adopt this. They could get the college vote and the votes of the unemployed. “Trigger America!” could be a great campaign slogan.

    Happy trails to you.

  79. William Richardson | August 18, 2015 at 7:28 am |

    The Bomb? I am now convinced the Ward is actually a fourteen year old girl.

    Will

  80. Ward Wickers | August 18, 2015 at 7:57 am |

    Uh oh, you caught me. My real name is Destiny Colt-Beretta, but you can call me Hannah for short.

  81. Ward Wickers | August 18, 2015 at 7:58 am |

    And, I’m 15, BTW.

  82. William Richardson | August 18, 2015 at 8:52 am |

    I owned a 1967 420 Jaguar with a 4.2 liter straight 6 with triple SU carbs. When it ran it was great fun. Rear inboard brakes and the Lucas “prince of darkness” electrics forced me to get rid of it. 1966 Mercedes 250 SE Coupe was a great replacement. A great gentleman’s cruiser with zebrano wood dash and plenty of chrome and leather, though refined and not flashy in the least. Mine was a European import with the dial in Kilometers. Mechanical fuel injection was very reliable, and the car was easy enough for me to work on. Neither car, of course, compares to the great Jaguar Supercar. Now that I am a family man, I have grown accustomed to my super fast VW Sportwagen Turbo Diesel. At least it’s not a minivan.

    Will

  83. Any word on when the students are going to circulate a petition for Ivy League schools to redistribute their fat endowments to less fortunate schools? 😉

  84. Ward Wickers | August 18, 2015 at 9:54 am |

    “Lucas Prince of Darkness” made me chuckle. I never owned a Jag, but did have a series of MGs. Of course, they all used Lucas components and all had electrical problems. My ’67 MGB couldn’t be driven in the rain at night because it would short out. I learned this lesson a month after I got the car coming home from Newport. A drenching thunderstorm at midnight brought the car to a dead standstill on I-95 just over the Connecticut border. I never made it home to New Haven that night, but spent it in a motel in Stonington. The next day, the mechanic threw his arms up and said, “I can’t figure out how to fix this. It doesn’t make any sense. Just let it dry out.”

  85. William Richardson | August 18, 2015 at 10:04 am |

    Positive ground insanity! Why do Englishmen drink room temperature beer? Lucas refrigerators. (Sorry, old joke)

  86. Ward & William

    We’re in the wrong thread, but here goes.

    Lucas Harness replacement Smoke.

    http://s98.photobucket.com/user/gary21sn/media/MasterImagePositive2.jpg.html

  87. Ward Wickers | August 18, 2015 at 11:55 am |

    Oh, yes. Replacement smoke. My MG wiring used to leak smoke all the time. Every time the wires leaked smoke, the car stopped working. Come to think of it, the MGs (I had three of them–you’d think I would have learned after the first one, but I was particularly stubborn when I was younger) leaked oil, brake fluid, antifreeze, and radiator water all the time. Leaking smoke just seemed, oh, I don’t know, so bloody British.

  88. William Richardson | August 18, 2015 at 12:22 pm |

    If an MG (or Jaguar) is not leaking oil, chances are it is in dire need of oil. If familiarity breeds contempt, you will soon dislike your mechanic intensely. My mechanic had pity on me and allowed me to supply parts from my local BAP Geon. (BAP – British Auto Parts) I found the BAP Geon guy contemptible as well.

    I was once involved with a hot girl who turned out to be bipolar. That was similar to my Jaguar experience.

    Will

  89. Ward Wickers | August 18, 2015 at 12:32 pm |

    Bipolar. That’s so funny!

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