Every time one thinks American campus culture can't get any more ridiculous, a new standard in absurdity is set.
Just this week we have three separate examples from different universities in different parts of America. The common theme through all of them, though, is that campus leftists claim to be offended by some speech or activity they don't like and demand that others be banned from saying or doing whatever they don't want them to say or do.
It almost always follows this basic formula:
1. Someone on campus does or says something that leftist students claim is "offensive" to them;
2. Some sort of protest breaks out by said leftists, which may or may not include violence or property damage;
3. The protesters take their hurt feelings to campus administrators and demand the speech or activity be silenced or banned;
4. Administrators either cave to the demands of the leftists in an attempt to appease them or join forces with them in feigned outrage and twist logic and torture words trying to justify their banning of the speech or activity the leftists are protesting.
It's quite pitiful.
Our first example is from the Ivy League. The Dartmouth College chapter of Kappa Delta Epsilon sorority has traditionally spent the first Saturday in May the way many Americans do: Watching the annual running of the Kentucky Derby and enjoying mint juleps with friends. Somehow, this is now considered racist.
At last year's party Black Lives Matter showed up to protest, interrupting the festivities and accusing the girls of "racism", "genocide", "police killing of blacks" & "elitism" (Being an Ivy League school, this one is probably true. But most of the BLM protesters were also students there, so there’s a reasonable chance they're all elitist.) The sorority has relented and canceled their race party for 2016 because they don't want black students to be uncomfortable. The girls are now going to dress as hippies and have a Woodstock party. No word on whether the Afro-American Student Union approves of that idea, or if they are finally happy now.
Our next example of higher education high-mindedness comes to us from the deep South. Clemson University in South Carolina has had a tremendous problem lately with liberal students "protesting" by damaging things on campus while claiming to be victims.
In the way of background, the founder of Clemson University was a man named Benjamin Tillman. Like many Southerners with the considerable wealth to found a university, he had owned slaves at one time. And, like most people who establish a university, there is at least a building on campus named after them, if not the entire university.
Liberals will have none of it, however, and demand that Tillman Hall be renamed because, well...because they demand it. To demonstrate how offended they are, they've taken to spray painting graffiti onto the building accusing Mr. Tillman of "violence" and "racism". They've also destroyed a display belonging to a pro-life student organization. The pro-life organization is not obviously related to the charges of racism, but it’s another point of view that liberals find disagreeable, so their property gets destroyed, also.
The university administration's response to these acts of violence and property damage? Nothing. Presumably, they believe it to fall under the umbrella of free speech. And the precious snowflakes cannot be expected to control themselves when they're so angry.
So, what did set the administration off? What caused the university to distribute mass emails, denounce something in the strongest possible terms and generally completely freak out?
Someone hung a small bunch of bananas on a banner celebrating African-American history. The irony of the fact that there is an official celebration of a specific race at all was sadly lost on the administrators. Instead, their fury was directed at the single instance of a non-violent, non-destructive (if not tasteless) gesture. The political statement made by the banana, whether calculated commentary or, more likely, drunken hijinks, was the speech of a private individual. The celebration of a specific race is an official, university sanctioned event. But the one to elicit howls of racism and cause convulsions of hysteria is the one simple gesture by an anonymous person that was not paid for by taxpayers or through the tuition and fees of other students.
Our final example of campus tolerance this week comes to us from Ohio University, where Greek Week activities were cancelled in response to a pro-Donald Trump artwork featuring the phrase "build the wall". The university has a designated surface for students to leave graffiti. The offending words were so upsetting to some students that an emergency meeting had to be held by a multicultural politburo and denunciations poured out from university leaders and national fraternity and sorority representatives.
The artwork, which the school acknowledged is free speech, was nevertheless branded as hurtful, divisive and non-inclusive.
These adjectives are never applied to liberal students who engage in actual violence, destruction and protests and who demand that opposing viewpoints be silenced.