The Locker Room

A generation unable to cope with the mere idea of offense

Posted by Jon Sanders at 09:59 AM

Two stories are out today about college students reacting to the thought of a few peers taking part in silly "ghetto"-theme parties that may or may not involve horror upon horrors wearing blackface.

At Cornell, folks are up in arms about a rumor that someone wore blackface at a fraternity party. A "Bias Incident" (Orwell would be proud!) was filed, and the fraternity council issued a statement discussing "apparent disrespectful stereotypes regarding people of color."

That is nothing compared with what Georgia State is undergoing. Two fraternity members were seen in blackface at an off-campus party. According to the article, "the university has charged them with discriminatory harassment under the student code of conduct. ... Discipline may range from diversity training to possible expulsion" (Orwell would really be proud or aghast).

At a forum held to address the incident, the report states, "some students hugged, while others cried and shook hands."

Are you kidding? Crying and needing hugs because two people wore blackface off-campus? Getting the campus in an uproar over a rumor of someone in blackface? These kids have been preached to all their lives about the importance of valuing diversity but they cannot even truck the idea of offensive behavior somewhere? Heavens, they act worse than the fainting Victorian ladies of propriety. They're like the fainting goats that pass out cold at any disruption.

They're also like the students and faculty! at NC State that gathered to "Speak Out Against Racism" and "talk about your experiences with racial injustice." Rather than incidents of racial injustice, they produced at some length a paltry number of incidents exhibiting their own acute hypersensitivity. And the faculty members purportedly teaching this new generation were the most ridiculously touchy of the bunch.

Disclaimer: I suppose, given the above, that I must make it clear that this post is not, repeat not, a defense of wearing blackface. It is an expression of dismay over those young adults' acute lack of ability to handle something like that.

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