With mockery from shows like South Park and parodies in outlets like The Onion, 2015 was the year insane campus activism captured the nation’s attention. Consdiering everything from safe spaces and microaggressions to whatever the heck the Mizzou students were protesting (I’m not even sure they know), its hard to narrow down what the craziest protests and causes were.
One person had the stomach to sort through the insanity – Rebekah Swieringa at Red Alert Politics – and put together a top five list. To give some perspective on the absurdity you’re about to read, Mizzou and Yale didn’t make the list.
University of Minnesota Rejects 9/11 Recognition
Students at the University of Minnesota voted against a proposition that would allow for a moment of recognition on the future anniversaries of 9/11. When speaking out against the resolution, David Algadi, the Director of Diversity and Inclusion, said, “The passing of this resolution might make a space that is unsafe for students on campus even more unsafe.” Algadi even went on to ask, “When will we start having moments of silence for all of the times white folks have done something terrible?” Yet, what Algadi failed to recognize is that the moment of silence is not about recognizing the people who committed the violence, it is about remembering the thousands of innocent lives lost.
Apparently Algadi’s memory doesn’t span back very far, or else he would remember the moments of silence we’ve had for the atrocities committed by Dylan Roof, James Holmes, and Timothy McVeigh.
Harvard, University of Tennessee promote gender neutral pronouns
Many colleges began encouraging students to use gender neutral pronouns this year in order to avoid “awkward conversations.” Instead of referring to a girl as a “she,” or a boy as a “he,” colleges like the University of Tennessee Knoxville and Harvard have encouraged the use of less offensive terms like “ze,” “hirs,” and “xyr.” Despite the fact that these institutions of higher learning are practically making up words to be politically correct, many have defended their actions. In an interview with the Boston Globe, one school administrator applauded these efforts and insisted, “misidentifying an individual’s gender is a “microaggression,” or an unintended act of discrimination.”
University of California professors instructed not to say ‘America is the land of opportunity’
If you attend the University of California, you haven’t heard your professors refer to America as “the land of opportunity” this year. At training sessions this year, faculty from the 10 UC campuses were told to steer clear of terms that might be considered “microaggressions,” including phrases that deny the existence of racism and sexism, such as “I believe the most qualified person should get the job.” The university also insisted that asking a student where they are from sends the message that they are not a true American, and therefore questions about a person’s geographical background should be avoided.
Who knew – the last time I asked someone where they were from to generate some small talk I was committing an accidental act of racism AND sexism!
Multiple universities apologize for taco night
In two unrelated incidents, the University of California Santa Barbara, and Clemson University were forced to apologize after serving Mexican food. In the incident at UCSB, Mexican food was served at a sci-fi themed event. Some students found this offensive after relating science fiction to space aliens, and then relating space aliens to illegal aliens, and then tying it all together by insisting that the Mexican food was a symbol for illegal immigrants from Mexico. At Clemson, tacos became the center of controversy during a culture-themed night. During this “Maximum Mexican” night, people wore sombreros and ate Mexican food — a tradition of the school. But, after a few offended students complained about the event on Twitter, the school was forced to apologize to all who were offended by the guacamole and festive hat wearing.
Have you ever noticed that all these complaints over “cultural appropriation” are when a Caucasian uses anything from another culture? If we’re really going to not appropriate anything from other cultures, can the whiners who complain about this sort of things stop “appropriating” inventions from white men?
Giving up the internet would be a good place to start.
Oberlin’s Food Court is Deemed Culturally Appropriative
While Mexican food is offensive at some universities, students at Oberlin are offended by sushi. In fact, the students are now demanding a meeting with the school’s president to sort out the evil of this ‘culturally appropriative’ food. Ironically, the reason why the new dishes were introduced to the dining hall were for “nutritional diversity.” So, while the dining hall may have actually tried to be politically correct by including culturally diverse options, they ended up being culturally appropriative when their dishes were deemed non-authentic.
Oberlin generated outrage over the dishes being non-authentic – but the writers over at Everyday Feminism say that seeking out “authentic” ethnic food is racist because it implies we have a preconceived notion of that the “authentic” version of a different culture is.
With social justice, you just can’t win!
[Note: This article was authored by The Analytical Economist]