Life is tough. It is fraught with challenging situations and even the occasional traumatic event. Why just the other day, some students at Emory were confronted with the terror of seeing “TRUMP 2016” etched on a sidewalk in chalk.
Imagine the horror.
It’s almost as bad as getting shot at in the Korengal Valley or seeing your friend killed by an IED. Almost.
Yet these special students, who attend one of the best colleges in the United States, were so traumatized that they stormed the President’s office and demanded that Emory issue an email decrying the brutality of chalking support for Trump. They also demanded more “diversity,” because, you know, they have to....and they demanded some other stuff, because, you know, they have to.
The President of Emory initially balked at the chalk.....but then changed his mind. I wonder why? Not only would he issue a school wide email decrying the chalking, he would direct the cops to search for the chalkers using Emory’s CCTV. The aggrieved party, those fragile little people so traumatized by the chalking, could then file a disciplinary complaint with the university to start the process. When the offenders were found, they would then face charges. If they were from off campus, they would be charged with the crime of trespassing.
I have three reactions to this most absurd set of events.
First, imagine what the internal culture in the administration at Emory must be for them to support this level of stupid. The bubble they exist within must be impenetrable, thus making them immune to reason.
Second, the president of Emory should step down and instead pursue a career at a local daycare center. Apparently he doesn’t quite understand the whole freedom of speech thing or how silly Emory now looks. Since he apparently finds a need to coddle young minds and to protect them from the trauma of reading sidewalk chalk, maybe he should instead take care of those students who cannot yet read. A daycare fits the bill.
Third, there used to be a time in our culture when public displays of cowardice, self-absorbed sniveling, and generally being a *ucking crybaby were frowned on. Not today. Today we celebrate the whiner, the sissy, and the perpetually offended. Our universities embrace these weak links, they give them safe spaces and trigger warnings, and they extend legitimacy to their trauma drama. Who thinks this is a good idea?
To the students so offended by reading TRUMP 2016, know this: Better people than you have suffered harms far worst and far more life-changing.
Better people than you defend our country. Better people than you pick up our garbage, work in the heat of the fields, mine our coal, and pour our drinks. Most will never get the chance to attend college, much less a prestigious school like Emory. Instead they will lead meaningful lives full of family and civic duty. Along the way they will encounter hardship and tragedy. They will do so with dignity--the type of dignity that comes from humility and a deep appreciation for their lives. No college president will rush to their aid. No professor will tell them that all will be well. No committee will study their grievances.
Instead, they will embrace the challenge of living life and living life well. Why? Because they are better than you.
John Paul Wright and Matt DeLisi
Professors of Crime and Criminology