Trigger Warning, Snowflakes: You May Find This Column Hurtful

leaving the safe space

The University of Virginia Student Council has created a “safe space” for students disconsolate about the election of Donald Trump, and has called upon faculty members to be understanding toward students who have trouble focusing on their work.

“To those struggling, please reach out for support,” reads a letter from the Council, as reported by the Daily Progress. “It is OK to feel sad, angry, frustrated, scared.” Student leaders encouraged faculty to “adjust their expectations in the classroom as they saw fit because caring for mental and emotional health should be top among our priorities.”

For crying out loud. Get over it, you babies! The world is not a safe space. Do you think ISIS, al Qaeda, the Iranian mullahs, Vladimir Putin or Kim Jung Un cares one fig about your precious feelings?

The United States is not a safe space. Americans have disagreed about just about everything over their 240-year history. The nation fought a Civil War. People fought for labor rights. People fought for Civil Rights. They didn’t win those battles by retreating to safe spaces. By the way, the last time I checked, you delicate flowers were never especially sensitive to the feelings of those you disagreed with. You label anyone who opposes your vision of society as a racist, anti-Semite, homophobe or xenophobe. To you, Trump voters are “the other.” They aren’t just wrong — they’re evil.

It’s time to get out of your higher-ed echo chamber and start interacting with people not like yourselves. And by interacting, I don’t mean shouting down. Try partaking of civil dialogue. It is possible. That’s what we do on the Bacon’s Rebellion blog. Participants don’t agree about much of anything, but they do engage with others with different views. And while few ever change their minds, they often learn that their answers aren’t as neat and tidy as they thought. That’s the real world.

(For the record: I find Trump loathsome. I did not vote for him. But I don’t think the world ended when he got elected.) 

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11 responses to “Trigger Warning, Snowflakes: You May Find This Column Hurtful”

  1. TooManyTaxes Avatar

    I respect the fact elections are emotional for many people and it takes time to deal with those emotions. People are going to say things that they might not otherwise say. I’ve done, as have many others. But the rules provide for winners and losers. I was not happy when Obama won. I didn’t and don’t like his policies. I’ve criticized him on many occasions. I expect I and others will do so with respect to Trump.

    But the idea the American public had some duty to elect Hillary Clinton as President, either because it was her divine right to win or because some will be upset the world didn’t go their way is way beyond reality. It’s time for the snowflakes to grow up. Sometimes you win, but other times you lose in life. Life does not give people safe places, most especially when they are supposed to be adults.

    When my Uncle Jim was their age, he was rifleman in the 24th Marine Regiment and fought in battles in Iwo Jima, Saipan, Tinian, and Roi Namur. Jim was wounded twice. No “safe space” for that teenager. I hope prospective employers uncover and weed out those job candidates who expect safe places. They don’t belong in the market.

  2. LarrytheG Avatar

    good lord – the passive-aggressive meter just went off the scale!

    do ya’ll think words like “snowflake” and “safe places” are anything more than poking fingers in eyes?

    so if these “snowflakes” seeking “safe places” show up to protest , shout others down , and riot – will you then change your labels to something different from “snowflake” and “cry babies”?

    all this is – is more name-calling… that will go downhill .. perhaps that’s the intent, eh?

    1. TooManyTaxes Avatar

      I think the word snowflake accurately describes many college students. I recall many discussions over issues with people both in college and law school that challenged my beliefs and mine that challenged theirs. And I only remember seeing one that resulted in fight – two friends of mine over the Vikings versus the Bears.

      The most important factor of diversity is that we all don’t think alike. And it’s good to hear those who disagree. The idea society must protect college students from ever hearing a single word with which they disagree is absurd. Snowflakes.

    2. “so if these “snowflakes” seeking “safe places” show up to protest , shout others down , and riot – will you then change your labels to something different from “snowflake” and “cry babies”?”

      No. I will continue to call them babies and snowflakes. But I will join their cause in one important way. If they take to rioting near me or my family they will most definitely be issued a trigger warning.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        Don – would you advise the same “trigger” response for the folks feeling threatened by the KKK snowflakes?

        is this what you guys really want for “dialogue”?

        do you want to encourage more back and forth dialogue like this along those who disagree?

        what is it you guys want?

        1. I want the students at the University of Virginia to grow up. I want them to act like adults. They shouldn’t ask for time out from their studies because their preferred candidate lost the election. They don’t need a safe space to weep over an America without a Clinton in charge. I want their parents to stop mollycoddling the kids. Once you’re 18 you are an adult. You can join the Army, be tried as an adult, run off to Algeria, marry another 18 year old, etc. Why do we believe that college students need to be infantilized? Right now, in Parris Island, SC there are groups of 18 – 22 year olds going through Marine boot camp. Should they get time off and a safe space to heal from the “tragedy” of an election that didn’t go their way?

  3. LarrytheG Avatar

    @TMT – do you think the following represents Trump’s “snowflakes”?

    KKK to hold parade in North Carolina celebrating Trump victory

    1. TooManyTaxes Avatar

      As an Irish Catholic I am no fan of the Klan. But they, like the snowflakes, have a First Amendment right to protest or celebrate. That right does not include the right to engage in violence or disrupt traffic on major roads.

      My cousin died in a car crash while driving home from California where he had been discharged from the Army. It hit me extremely hard because he was like my older brother. The day of his funeral, I had a test in one of my college classes. I showed up; took the test; and then went to my cousin’s funeral. I think I did the thing my cousin would have expected of me.

      The idea that a university has to help students deal with the results of an election is simply absurd. It’s time for the snowflakes to grow up.

    2. Larry- you have created a “straw man” argument here.

      A) I don’t recall any KKK member (or any conservative student for that matter) requesting a “safe space” when Pres. Obama was elected eight (and then four) years ago. So, no, I would not characterize them as “snow flakes”.

      B) I don’t recall any riots in the streets, with burning and destruction of private and public property, eight and four years ago. So, no, I would not characterize conservative voters as “snow flakes”.

      C) And while Mr. Trump did not disavow the KKK quite a quickly as the Main Stream Media thought he should have, he did eventually disavow their support. So, no, these would not be “Trump snow flakes”, if even they were snow flakes.

      D) And like TMT, I am Catholic, from a partially Scot-Irish background. At times in their history, the KKK was anti-Catholic (albeit not to the extent of their anti-black hatred.) I am not endorsing, supporting, or favoring the KKK with these comments. I am merely pointing out that LarrytheG is postulating a very false straw man argument in his posting.

  4. LarrytheG Avatar

    no strawman at all… and I was using “snowflake” in a similar derogatory way to describe folks on BOTH SIDES who are into differing but equally inappropriate behaviors and actions.

    Whether or not it is “safe spaces” or folks who say they want to send blacks back to Africa or burn down their churches – do you really think that’s a “strawman”?

    When I hear you guys denouncing BOTH kinds of behaviors and activities – I’ll take you more seriously in your claims that you truly care about going forward.

    Until then – recognize where you REALLY ARE on the ideological scale.. and what it means when you want to criticize ‘snowflakes” and “safe places” but not only remain silent in the midst of KKK banners telling blacks to go back to Africa but others protesting Islamic Churches and demonizing Hispanic immigrants.

    There is plenty of hate and ugliness to go around… on all sides.

    so I do ask – what is it you do want? more?

    Do you REALLY THINK – the ones in the streets right now represent the majority of College kids or other disaffected?

  5. Let’s strip away the politics, the push for this particular instance of safe space provision. My objection is to universities engaging in yet another layer of activity that has little to do with education, their primary mission. They need to stick to their knitting, stop trying to be parent, physician, friend, police, spiritual advisor…the expectation that simply because a student enrolls at an institution they will be nurtured as if in a family setting is one of the drivers of cost and an open pit for failure. Next, there will be lawsuits that the schools’ safe spaces weren’t safe enough, weren’t safe in the way MY student needed. Are there safe spaces for Trump supporters? Schools need to disengage and allow more appropriate resources to step in when needed. There is plenty of counseling available via Student Health, deans, advisors, and that is a sufficient offering.

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