By now everyone except off-the-grid cave-dwellers has heard about the student protest at University of Missouri which began when thirty black football players and other teammates, supported by the coaching staff, threatened to boycott practices and games until the university president resigned, which he did, along with the chancellor. The reason for the threatened boycott and subsequent campus protest is the belief on the parts of student protestors that the administration had not adequately addressed campus racism. I suppose the team is busy now interviewing candidates to fill those positions.
Shortly thereafter, a student journalist attempting to exercise his First Amendment rights by reporting on the campus tent city “triggered” a marauding horde of anti-microaggression protestors to commence (to quote Richard Scarry) “pushing and shoving, shrieking and shouting.” Methinks the response of the delicate orchids, deeply traumatized by a reporter reporting, veered dangerously close to ordinary run-of-the-mill aggression.
The events at Mizzou followed close on the heels of another campus brouhaha, this one at Yale where some Ivy League hackles were raised when university lecturer Erika Christakis in a carefully worded, politically correct-ish email challenged a silly administrative warning against insensitive Halloween costumes. Following Christakis’ email, her husband, Yale professor Nicholas Christakis, was accosted on campus, where a young woman of color shrieked and swore at him saying among other things, “Who the f*** hired you?” Now scores of socially-just Yalies are seeking the Christakis family’s removal from their positions and home in a Yale residential college.
All this because Christakis dared to suggest that perhaps college students should have the freedom to choose to be a bit provocative or even “transgressive” on Halloween. And by provocative she means costumes that social justice fanatics may view as “appropriative”—not inappropriate—appropriative. So, for example, no non-indigenous female should wear a Pocahontas costume because that would suggest she’s attempting to “appropriate” Native American culture. The merest hint that these hothouse flowers may see an image that sets off their finely-tuned, offense-o-meters sends them into fits of infantile pique.
The seeds for these cultural weed patches were sown years ago when campus radicals, heavily influenced by Brazilian Marxist and educator Paulo Freire, took over academia and began propagating their doctrinaire ideology about oppression. Proponents of Freire’s critical pedagogy—sometimes referred to as “teaching for social justice”—have imposed on all of society their obsession with the notion of systemic oppression, dividing society into two groups (i.e., oppressor and oppressed) and imputing guilt or victimhood respectively.
For example, colorless people, males (more precisely “cismales”), and heterosexuals are automatically oppressors regardless of whether they have engaged in any acts of oppression. “Progressives” rail against members of the purported oppressor group, telling them that the only way to expiate their imputed sins is to engage in endless self-flagellation.
Conversely, people of color, females, trans-everyone, and homosexuals belong to the oppressed group and, therefore, cannot be found guilty of, well anything, no matter how nasty and oppressive their actions. This is the ideology promoted at the annual White Privilege Conference that many educators attend.
To get a sense of how silly and doctrinaire this oppression ideology has become, look no further than Jonathan Butler, the black Mizzou student whose hunger-strike and demand that the university president “acknowledge his white male privilege” played a pivotal role in this burlesque of a civil rights protest. Jonathan Butler is the son of Eric L. Butler, an executive vice president for sales and marketing for the Union Pacific Railroad, whose 2014 compensation was $8.4 million and whose total net worth is upwards of $20 million. Clearly, Jonathan is systemically oppressed.
“Progressives” have added another layer of ideological slime to their unstable foundation. They have for decades disseminated propaganda via accommodating government schools, academia, the mainstream press, and Hollywood, brainwashing our young’uns into believing that among the gravest social injustices that plague patriarchal, colonialist America is the presence of unpleasant ideas. Oppressed peoples are entitled to be free of exposure to ideas and images they don’t like
Devotees of diversity tacitly teach children and teens that they have a right not to be offended—well, “progressives” have a right not to be offended.
Exalters of emotion extol the supreme value of subjective feelings—well, the subjective feelings of those who belong to the designated oppressed groups. It is their feelings that dictate what may or may not be seen or heard.
Teachers of tolerance tolerate only that which they approve and affirm.
Masters of moral relativism proclaim that there exist ideas so absolutely evil that they must not be spoken or heard. And they alone are the arbiters of truth. Violating their commandment to speak no evil requires prior trigger warnings to prevent oppressed victims and their genuflecting allies from being reduced to puddles of tears, or, as at Mizzou and Yale, rivers of rage.
In the service of their cultural mission to cleanse the university and universe of ideas that offend liberals, teachers help students grow tissue-paper skin in their school laboratories, which they can don whenever they may encounter a “microaggression”—you know like Romans 1:26.
Agents of change have taught their malleable changelings how to feign macro-umbrage to get their way. Now they are stupid-drunk with the power they’ve gained from the supposed “right” to be free from micro-ickiness. Students at once possess oh-so-delicate sensibilities and an incongruent lust for the freedom of others. At Mizzou and Yale, we witnessed the macro-tantrum of a macro-monster with a micro-brain.
The monster created by the Left is now a rapacious, oppressive beast, mindlessly trampling the First Amendment, intellectual diversity, and intellectual freedom. Feeding at the slop trough of narcissism and solipsism, the oppressed have become the oppressors.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.