Latest Updates from Snowflake Nation: About 25 Duke University students with a megaphone recently crashed an alumni event (ironically, the 50th anniversary of the “Silent Vigil”), stormed the stage, shouted down the speaker, made a bunch of the usual demands (including a claim that Duke needs to hire more counselors – that I could believe), and generally acted like the overindulged toddlers that too many of today’s college students have become.
But something unexpected happened: some alumni voiced support for their right to protest, but others booed, heckled, cursed them or just turned their backs to them until they finally shut up and left. Those students are now absolutely shocked that they might have to face negative consequences for their actions.
First of all, they’re stunned that the audience booed them instead of applauding. They’re so used to having their every action validated and their every bowel movement praised as great art that they actually expected the university officials to tell the booing alumni, “That’s not appropriate,” or even remove them for daring to express disapproval at being disrupted. Now, the students are warning that by sending them letters about their conduct, the school might traumatize them, and either spark new mental health problems in them or exacerbate preexisting mental conditions (again, that last part I can believe.) And they call themselves “social justice WARRIORS”? We might have to change the “W” in “SJW” to stand for “Whiners.”
I realize that today’s college students aren’t getting much of an education in the Bill of Rights, or else they wouldn’t be holding protests to demand that their own rights be taken away from them. But I’ll try to explain how freedom of speech works clearly enough so that even a Ph.D. candidate can understand:
You have a right to stand on a soapbox and say whatever you want. But you don’t have a right to be listened to. You have to earn that by establishing that you know what you’re talking about, or failing that, by at least spouting your nonsense in an entertaining fashion. You can’t force people to listen to whatever drivel you’re coming out with. Those people who booed you? They were exercising their free speech rights, too.
I understand your confusion. You’ve attended a lot of classes and absorbed a lot of lessons, few of which have to do with how the Bill of Rights works. So let me clarify it for you: a windbag standing up and spouting a lot of leftist gibberish to a captive crowd who are forced to sit quietly and pretend to show respect is not how “free speech” works. That’s just how all your liberal arts classes work.
Ironically, the snowflakes on America’s college campuses have now become so fragile that they can’t even survive where other snowflakes do: outdoors. The Outing Club has existed for nearly a century at Penn State. It organized healthy outdoor activities, such as hiking trips in nearby parks. But after doing a new risk management assessment, the school has decided that the club’s activities are beyond the threshold of acceptable risk for student groups, so the Outing Club members can no longer go outside. Likewise, the Caving Club may no longer visit caves, and the Scuba Club may no longer scuba dive.
Here’s my suggestion for the Outing Club members: tell the school officials that your next planned outing is to go to an anti-gun protest. They'll definitely let you go to that. Then take a hike instead. And if the school officials find out and complain, tell them to take a hike.
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