My latest article is on LewRockwell.com today: On the Neurotically Fragile Always-Offended Nudniks
In 21st Century America, hypersensitive people are going out of their way to make their imagined oppressors or assailants feel miserable, and the hypersensitive are acting like bullies and inflicting acts of aggression and suffering against innocent others as well.
But why are so many people so thin-skinned nowadays? It seems to be such a world-wide phenomenon now. A lot of people have to be very careful with what they say and they have to censor themselves around others.
But such socially pathological tiptoeing, intolerance and outright censorship has made its way up to academia and the court system. 30 years ago, we didn’t have to deal with this stuff, and could more or less freely just say what we wanted in social situations, and not fear being ostracized, or worse.
On college campuses, conservative speakers are either shouted down or just banned from campus entirely. That’s nothing new, of course. But more recently, some college campuses are issuing letters urging “civility.” To them, unfortunately, being “civil” means being politically correct. Frankly, the new “civility” really is the stifling of diversity and free expression.
Some colleges are banning the utterances of certain words or phrases, such as the word “freshman” at Elon University. As the College Fix notes, the reason Elon is replacing the word “freshman” with “first year” is because, according to the university’s director of “Inclusive Community Well-Being,” the word “freshman” may imply a hierarchy and may refer to some students as younger and less experienced, and could cause the younger students to be targeted for sexual violence. (I am Not. Making. This. Up.)
So “freshman” implies the younger students, but that word’s replacement, “first year,” does not?
And also according to the College Fix, now forbidden at the University of Michigan includes the words “crazy,” “insane,” “retarded,” “gay,” “tranny,” “gypped,” “illegal alien,” “fag,” “ghetto,” “raghead,” and the phrases “I want to die” and “that test raped me.”
Huh? “I want to die”? (Tell that to Roseanne Roseannadanna.)
And “That test raped me”? I’ve never even heard that before. Who the hell would even say that? Hmm, I wonder if the parents who are paying such insane tuition rates for this crazy stuff might feel a little gypped now? Ya think?
Apparently, if someone uses the word “rape” in such a nonchalant or insensitive manner, such an utterance trivializes that act of sexual violence, and for those who happened to have been victims they feel re-traumatized when hearing certain words and phrases. Such language “triggers” terrible, painful emotions and fear. This has been happening to non-victims as well. But many people are just neurotically over-sensitive now, in my view.
Just what is it with the thin-skinned people now that their merely hearing someone happening to say certain words or phrases — not directed at them, mind you, just happening to be spoken — causes someone to be re-traumatized? If that’s the case, then it is they who may need some further counseling to resolve some issues that they may have, rather than censoring, silencing and stifling someone else’s mere verbal expression, regardless how silly, immature or rude such an expression might be.
I’m sorry if I sound extremely insensitive here, but, seriously, we really have to pussyfoot around and censor ourselves verbally these days, just to protect the overly-sensitive feelings of someone whose fragile being may be harmed emotionally in some way.
In fact, that situation has become so absurd that a male college student, who happened to resemble a rape victim’s assailant, was actually banned from campus and prevented from getting to his classes, and so on. Need I add any further comment to that? (I think not.)
But I wonder how many people who have not been the victims of sexual assault are nevertheless joining in and saying that they, too, feel traumatized by others’ utterances of certain words or phrases? Or are the younger generations now being so indoctrinated to believe that they feel traumatized because that’s the “correct” or socially acceptable reaction that they should be having? Just asking.
And it isn’t just college campuses or the government schools engaging in so much censorship absurdity. As I mentioned, it’s the culture in general.
A similar phenomenon occurs when the subject of Israel is brought up. Nowadays in the modern, developed, advanced age of 21st Century discourse, it is very difficult to express any kind of criticism of Israel, the Israeli government or its military’s aggressions against Gaza or settlers’ intrusions in the West Bank, without being accused of anti-Semitism or being labeled “self-hating Jew”.
And we see this intolerance of critical thinking and of questioning the official government-approved narrative in today’s politicians who dare not criticize U.S. government foreign policy when it comes to Israel.
In fact, just recently members of Congress fell over themselves trying to get close to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as though they were seeing the Beatles singing on Capitol Hill. And obviously they feared some kind of terrible consequences had they not vigorously applauded Netanyahu’s every word and sentence, regardless of how ridiculous some of his statements were. Sen. Rand Paul even received very negative feedback from the neocons he has been trying to court because of his tepid, unenthusiastic clapping.
And in New York last Fall activists organized a censorship campaign and protests against the production of the opera, The Death of Klinghoffer, as I had predicted months earlier that there would be. It is unlikely that most of the protesters had ever seen the opera, but that didn’t matter to them. It contains material referring to the Palestinian hijacking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro, the murder of a Jewish American passenger, and themes pertaining to the Palestinians’ grievances, which to some people meant that it was “anti-Semitic” and an example of “Jew-hatred,” which “glorified terrorism.” However, one orthodox Jew who saw the performance said it was not anti-Semitic, and others stated that it did not glorify terrorism. But the ones who were ignorant about the opera, but seemed to not tolerate different points of view on Israel, wanted to make fools of themselves and display their ignorance anyway.
And this intolerance of Israel’s critics or of any form of speech that could refer to something that might not be parroting the official pro-Israel narrative has also reached the college campuses.
For her campaign for the student government’s senate, University of California Berkeley student Sumayyah Din used the hashtag “#DINTIFADA,” a combination of her last name and the word “intifada,” which refers to “uprising,” “rebellion,” or civil disobedience.
But after her Facebook post, some campus pro-Israel groups claimed that “#dintifada” was offensive, and they felt “triggered” and “terrorized,” and some began to imply that her campaign was promoting terrorism, violence and the murders of innocent Jewish children.
Mondoweiss notes that StandWithUs, a pro-Israel organization, had a Facebook post which erroneously described Ms. Din as “anti-Israel,” referring to her use of the word “intifada” without mentioning her combining it with her name, “Din,” and the Mondoweiss post notes that some of the comments included, “Those terrorists must be eradicated,” “she is a terrorist,” and “Someone should eliminate her from the Earth.”
That despite that she actually promotes peace and tolerance, and that one of her campaign issues pertains to police reform, the militarization of the local police and campus police having military-grade weapons.
You see, like some leftist organizations such as Media Matters and the Southern Poverty Law Center who spend time searching for some slight manner of speech from which to feel offended, terrorized or traumatized, there also exist groups on the other side who do the same thing. Some activists taking things out of context, omitting certain facts and slandering are typical tactics used to delegitimize their ideological opponents. So really with StandWithUs and other activist groups it was yet another case of ignorance and anti-Muslim, anti-Arab prejudice. No surprise there.
But sadly, when it comes to Israel most people get their information from mainstream news media who merely repeat government propaganda. This is why we have an entire U.S. Congress acting like fools when Netanyahu appears and why ignoramuses stand outside protesting an opera performance calling it “anti-Semitic” when it isn’t anti-Semitic.
So, I’m sure that I myself will be accused of being insensitive, but because of society’s ultra-sensitivity on Jewish matters, we really have to pussyfoot around to spare others of being “triggered,” and so forth, even though most had never experienced concentration camps, gulags or pogroms. And this phenomenon is mainly with Jewish subjects, but especially regarding Israel. For example, I don’t hear Chinese people complaining about feeling offended or “triggered” if someone might make a reference to Mao who murdered many more millions than Hitler. I didn’t hear complaints from Chinese-Americans when conservatives referred to Barack Obama as “Maobama.” Crickets, in fact.
But we’re just not allowed to say anything negative or critical, not about Jews or Jewish matters, but specifically about Israel. And that is because, in my view, many people have this mystical view of Israel and based mainly on Biblical scriptures, as I wrote in my article last year on Israel and Zionism.
And I really find it hard to believe that actual grown-ups are offended by, or terrorized by a use of the word “intifada” — and frankly, I find it offensive that 535 so-called grown-ups in Congress can applaud and cheer wildly and act like fools for a political hack like Benjamin Netanyahu. This whole “Stop making me feel bad” political correctness and censorship seems like it’s one hell of a racket, if you ask me.