Hartley: From Indiana to Ithaca, gosh, we’re so tolerant | AspenTimes.com

Hartley: From Indiana to Ithaca, gosh, we’re so tolerant

So what do you all think of this whole Indiana thing? Pretty crazy, isn’t it? I won’t even begin to tackle the subject because I haven’t read Indiana’s allegedly anti-gay law and don’t know any more about it than any of the other 200 million outragees who are tripping all over themselves to show how politically correct they are by divesting in Indiana like it’s apartheid-era South Africa, but that’s just me.

Seriously, pipe down a little, people. I’m not saying the law shouldn’t be abolished or changed or that it’s not anti-gay. I’m not saying you shouldn’t leave Indiana out of your travel plans. I’m just saying we get it; you’re all vocally outraged so that gay people will notice. They noticed. You can simmer down now.

And you know what? It worked. Your resounding chorus of indignation will leave a state that you don’t live in and probably don’t intend to visit with no choice but to change its duly enacted law. Congratulations. No, seriously, congratulations. It’s nice to see that Americans can put aside their differences and work together to make positive change happen. It’s so unlike Congress.

But I am a little troubled by the larger issue of political correctness run amok. The response to Indiana passing a so-called “religious freedom” law, and to Arkansas attempting to do the same, has been so over-the-top that it reeks of heterosexual guilt, and it feels like people trying to force other people to think a certain way just because they don’t like their opinion.

I’m all for equal rights and freedoms for everyone, and I’m all for everyone trying to be considerate and thoughtful, but I’m even more for free speech and the other freedoms granted to every American by the First Amendment, and I feel like right now, free speech and freedom of expression are getting trampled a little by the Thought Police.

Perhaps a more pertinent case in point would be the recent brouhaha over the Oklahoma University frat guys who were filmed singing a racist song on a bus. Obviously, frat guys (myself included) are douchebags at that age, and if they’re being racist douchebags as a group, their fraternity probably deserves to be done away with. I won’t argue with that.

I will, however, argue with the university’s expulsions of two of the frat guys for essentially being identified on the video. That kind of bugged me a little. That didn’t seem right. All they were doing was expressing their viewpoints. Their viewpoints were repugnant, but they were entitled to them and shouldn’t have been expelled for airing them.

Sadly, colleges seem to be ground zero in the assault on free speech. Just last week, the Ithaca College student government passed a resolution to create an online system for students to report “microaggressions” on campus — in essence, a way to anonymously tell on people if you get your feelings hurt.

The resolution didn’t specify what microaggressions are, but the student who drafted the bill described them as “statements by a person from a privileged group that belittle or isolate a member of an unprivileged group, as it relates to race, class, gender, sexual orientation, ability and more.”

So what that’s saying is that if you’re a straight, white male at Ithaca College and you say anything to anyone who isn’t a straight, white male that they disagree with, you can be punished for your words after the fact and you won’t get to face or even identify your accuser. That’s the sort of open-mindedness and inclusiveness we should be striving to teach at our colleges and universities. That’ll show kids how to form their own opinions.

I don’t know. Why does everyone get so butt-hurt about everything these days? It’s kind of ridiculous. Everyone is apparently so emotionally fragile that no one is allowed to say anything negative to them or expose them to any unpleasant ideas. We’ve become a nation of simpering crybabies.

You know how when people get in trouble for being d–kheads, they’re ordered to take sensitivity training to drill it into their skulls that they should be more considerate? I think we ought to have the opposite. I think we ought to take folks who get outraged about everything and give them desensitivity training to thicken their skins a little bit so they can endure an occasional disparaging remark without throwing a hissy fit.

Come to think of it, with the way things are going, maybe we should make it a mandatory college class.

Professor Todd Hartley, Ph.D., is head of the desensitivity department at Bob’s College of Knowledge. To read more or leave a comment, please visit http://zerobudget.net.

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