While I refuse to hop on the anti-Millennial bandwagon, my generation in many ways is very perplexing. On account of the latest campus PC scandals polarizing the nation – including but not limited to Yale – I think it’s safe to say that certain youngsters have misplaced priorities. You would think that with a weak economy and degrees being rendered increasingly expensive and worthless, students have bigger game to hunt than a few offensive costumes. However, it seems that many Millennials are even more obsessed with identity politics than their predecessors. This definitely plays into the hands of wealthy elites who prefer that people focus more on provocative outfits than substantive issues; at least one leftist agrees.
And of course, one cannot ignore the racial angle here. While I don’t bash blacks the way many alt righters do, I have grown increasingly wary of some of their agitation. Protesting police killings of unarmed blacks is one thing; expecting white people like me to give a shit about insensitive costumes when growing numbers of white men are killing themselves is offensive in its own right. I think it’s safe to say that people who are burdened by poverty and genuine oppression don’t have time for histrionics over “microaggressions” and similar offenses. It should be said that blacks hardly have a monopoly on campus cultural agitation; coddled college kids of all backgrounds think that the world should revolve around their pet causes.
Which brings me to my next point. In addition to bequeathing useless degrees and debt to graduates, universities – who fancy themselves diverse institutions with students from all over the world – are setting up young adults for failure in the actual real world. The cold truth is that employers, landlords, people at banks, and other powerful individuals who can impact your progress in life don’t give two shits about your wounded sensibilities. Try demanding a “safe space” at your job and see where that gets you.
We live in a brutal, cutthroat, dog-eat-dog planet. Fostering a campus environment where “trigger warnings” are increasingly the norm amounts to a cruel bait-and-switch. Millennial kids grew up subjected to “zero tolerance” policies (ie. “it doesn’t matter who started the fight”), helicopter parenting, and increasingly wimpy campuses. Then, once they’re thrust into the actual world, they slowly realize that their upbringings left them woefully unprepared for just how plutocratic and competitive society really is.
This is a new Gilded Age, a new era of conflict. The wealthy elites who are siphoning off more and more wealth from the masses don’t spend much time worrying about “cultural appropriation,” and neither should most people. But I get it. Humans are not an especially rational, logical species; we all have feelings. So I’m not going to say that these black kids at Yale or agitators elsewhere should just suck it up and stop being so oversensitive. They’re entitled to feel however they like, and their pain is very much real to them.
But (and you knew there was a “but” coming), don’t expect me or other people to treat such feelings as sacrosanct. We do not have some obligation to drop everything we’re doing just to assuage wounded sentiments. In today’s new Gilded Age, there is no good reason to sacrifice time, “privilege” and resources in order to empower loud members of out-groups who may very well compete with us down the road.
Non-SJW white students and faculty should do what people like Viktor Orban do: tell ’em to fuck off.