One wonders just how far spineless college administrators will go when it comes to caving in to the demands of campus snowflakes. For those unfamiliar with the term “snowflakes,” it is increasingly being used to characterize college students easily traumatized by criticism and politically incorrect phrases. They demand safe spaces and trigger warnings so as not to be upset by views that challenge their own. Snowflakes feel as though they must be protected against words, events and deeds that do not fully conform to their extremely limited, narrow-minded beliefs built on sheer delusion. This might explain their behavior in the wake of Donald Trump’s trouncing of Hillary Clinton.
Generosity demands that we forgive these precious snowflakes and hope that they grow up. The real problem is with people assumed to be grown-ups — college professors and administrators who tolerate and give aid and comfort to our aberrant youth. Let’s look at tiny samples of it.
To help avoid microaggressions, the University of North Carolina administration posted a notice urging staff and faculty members to avoid phrases such as “husband/boyfriend,” which they claim is heteronormative, and “Christmas vacation,” which “minimizes non-Christian spiritual rituals.”
This winter, the Oregon State University administration will treat its students to a new class that promises to teach them about how blacks have historically resisted white supremacists. Professor Dwaine Plaza, one of three instructors for the course, said the idea was inspired by Trump’s election, which he fears will take the country back to the 1960s.
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The University of Maryland is hosting a series of postelection lectures on how a “commitment to white supremacy” gave Trump momentum and blaming “white America’s spiritual depravity” for his rise to power. One of the topics will be “Make America White Again? The Racial Reasoning of American Nationalism.”
Ned Staebler, Wayne State University’s vice president for economic development, i.e., fundraising, declared that President Trump is a Nazi and his supporters are comfortable with bigotry. He said, “I’ll say flatly that many of the 63 million Americans who voted for Trump did so because of his bigotry.”
In response to a claim by Ben Carson — Trump’s pick to be secretary of housing and urban development — that people have the right to display Confederate flags on private property, University of Pennsylvania professor Anthea Butler tweeted, “If only there was a ‘coon of the year’ award.”
Wake Forest University faculty and administration seek to make the university a sanctuary campus. Campus security will refuse to follow federal laws and will stop Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents from pursuing criminals if they come onto Wake Forest property. This is nothing less than nullification of federal law. While liberals support nullification of federal immigration law, I wonder how they would respond to cities nullifying laws enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Snowflake indulgence has been fostered by the education establishment and, more recently, by federal law. One of the most popular features of Obamacare is its provision that children can remain on their parents’ health care plan until they are 26 years old. That promotes prolonged adolescence, sparing the necessity for youngsters to get out on their own.
Some have criticized my lack of sympathy for snowflakes in the wake of their emotional trauma resulting from Trump’s defeat of Clinton. Here’s my question to you: How much sympathy would you have for those 18- to 24-year-olds who are in the military if they conducted themselves — on aircraft carriers, in nuclear submarines and in special forces — just as college snowflakes did in the wake of the Trump victory?
Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University.