by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Jenna Robinson of the Martin Center highlights one tool in the fight against college campus victimhood.
Over the past decade, American moral culture has changed. The evidence of those changes has been especially apparent on college campuses, where new concepts such as microaggressions, safe spaces, trigger warnings, and bias response teams were first tested.
But this new “victimhood culture” is devastating to its adherents, disempowering them and dooming them to disappointment.
In The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting Up a Generation for Failure, Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt explain this mindset:
“What is new today is the premise that students are fragile. Even those who are not fragile themselves often believe that others are in danger and therefore need protection. There is no expectation that students will grow stronger from their encounters with speech or texts they label ‘triggering.’ (This is the Untruth of Fragility: What doesn’t kill you makes you weaker.)”
The 1776 Unites project, which celebrated its one-year anniversary on February 18, presents an antidote to the culture of victimhood, especially as it has been directed at black Americans. The project tells the story that The New York Times left out of its 1619 project narrative: “a story of Black America highlighted by resilience, perseverance, and strength—a true American story!”
A project of the Woodson Center, 1776 Unites defines itself as “a movement to liberate tens of millions of Americans…by helping them become agents of their own uplift and transformation, by embracing the true founding values of our country.”
The project is a “nonpartisan and intellectually diverse alliance of writers, thinkers, and activists” who work together to tell the project’s story. The group includes scholars—such as Clarence Page, Glenn Loury, and Shelby Steele—and “achievers: people who are triumphing and living the ideals of America’s founding.”