Sunday, December 20, 2015

College Student Protestors: Am I Just Getting Old or Is This Indeed a Conspiracy to Return to Segregation and Eliminate Free Speech?

I saw this article a few days ago about these people's "demands" to others on racial matters. One of these demands is telling white women not to speak on the subject, quite a few were imposing mandatory "cultural sensitivity" training and so forth. I also read something in Slate.com not long ago regarding people's wanting "safe spaces" i.e. spaces where only minorities of a particular race could be & didn't have to worry about people from other groups.

I actually posted that one on the "safe space" on my Facebook friends and asked my friends of varied backgrounds (particularly my black friends) what they made of this. I wondered if they also thought the concept of a "safe space" sounded an awful lot like segregation, which black people fought to get rid of back in the '60s. As I don't associate with ignorant morons who try to clothe themselves as "liberals," other friends indeed felt that sounded messed up.

A friend also tells me about some student at Cornell who was "emotionally traumatized" at having to read literature by white people in a required course like there's no library at a college or some black studies course she could take to supplement her learning. Some media outlet apparently picked up that story, which I haven't the faintest idea why.

Then I read the above article & as an attorney, member of the most minority of any minority group out there (and you don't hear natural redheads calling for "safe spaces" from the rest of you fuckers) and a rational thinking human being I'm immediately struck by a few things:

1. These protestors would be the shittiest attorneys in the world.
2. These protestors assume that employers never do research on them on social media.
3. These protestors are ignorant of basic history on their own race.
4. These protestors really don't want to go anywhere in life.
5. These protestors have been given zero basic survival skills & are a failure in parenting.

Here is a basic & simple truth; the real world doesn't have "safe spaces." If you want a true "safe space," you'll have to be six feet under. Even if you decide to take on a reclusive existence as a mountain (wo)man, you're going to have to get bullets for your gun sometime, see the grocery delivery people or go to the general store. Unless maybe you go to a completely deserted island devoid of all people, you're a damn survival expert & you'll always have enough food, good weather for it to replenish and no bigger wild animals to eat you or your potential food supply you're going to have to deal with other people. Those people won't always be YOUR race, age, demographic & might not agree with your point of view on all aspects of life. Are you going to demand the gun shop owner to "check [their] privilege?!" Are you going to tell wild animals "This is my safe space & you can't be here?!" Being dead is the only way you'll get a "safe space," kids. Don't you think you deserve a little more time on the earth than dying in your early 20s or sooner? I'm sure my late BIL would have liked more time than that, maybe seen his son grow up & learn to talk and all. My sister certainly would have & I know his family would have. This is the same general rationale why it's not a good idea to spend all your education and time away from minorities, (wo)men, people of other ages and life situations. That distance is unrealistic & when you encounter someone different from who you're used to, it just causes major problems.

Could you imagine what some employer would say to a protestor telling them to "check [their] privilege?" or saying they needed a safe space? If it were my company, I'd never hire that "I'm a special snowflake more worthy of rights than YOU & everyone else who works here" troublemaker. Some of these "demands" are for special privileges not based on anyone's talent or aptitude but just b/c of a minority status. If we were doing hiring and promotions and such based on who's most minority I think natural redheads & those from mixed races including naturally red hair would be Emperor/Grand Master/CEO over everyone else regardless of how competent they were since they'd win rarity arguments in 2 seconds (especially if you didn't look like the typical natural redhead since you'd have gotten far more hassle than anyone else in growing up and living life--those people would get to be President of the US without the voting process or lobbying if that's how the world worked).

A pro tip: the key to getting people to be on your side is to listen to what they say & frame your argument in a way that's going to make them listen/consider your words. Do these idiots think alienating their allies or demanding people to do things they've never expressed an interest in doing i.e. bullying them to do what they want is going to make them their advocates? Hell to the NO!!!! That's the polar opposite of getting anyone to take your side in an argument or consider the problem you're bringing up.

Your typical, rational adult does NOT like being bullied or infantilized. They also don't like you shitting on their efforts to help you. If you don't think it's helpful, here's a novel concept: have a private conversation with the person/entity, explain your point in a cool, rational way and then steer them in ways where their efforts will be more "helpful" to you. Express your deep appreciation for them caring enough to put in any effort at all & don't list this as a public demand picked up by the news media.

What I heard in reading that is "We shit on the efforts of white women & belittle their experiences in this society." I also heard serious paternalism & sexism in there. My response would be "Fuck you & the horse you rode in on. Your 'movement' can crash & burn for all I care and (if you're dealing with an angry enough feminist) I'll make it my mission to knock you down every single chance I get." You think it's fucking peachy to be in that category? You ever try talking to poor, white women & educating yourself on that vantage point? If you haven't, I suggest you check YOUR privilege & shut your mouth since your brain is in dire need of more oxygen.

I learned how to do this listening to other people & appropriately create arguments back in elementary school when we covered persuasive writing. I also took a high school and college class on the subject & had it been available to me, would have been on a debate team since I love doing it. People have outright said to me that I was an attorney long before I ever got the licenses; my history of standing up to BS in life certainly supports this.

The way these people have "demands" tells me they would bomb out of law school long before 1L Fall exams came around. What arguments have they presented to prove their points? Would they tell some law professor to "check [their] privilege?" The law professor would tell you to get out of the class; they don't take mess in law school. They don't coddle special snowflakes who think their shit doesn't stink just like everyone else's & you'll lose that ego real quick in the first year.

Also, if you're going to own your own business the key to getting customers for your product is not being a complete jackhole. Even if you have the best product out there, no one's going to buy it with no publicity (and you've likely alienated any PR person who might have helped you by telling him/her to "check [their] privilege") & you being an ass to customers or giving them the impression that you're a jackhole based on your publicly covered events such as claiming trauma from something students have experienced since the college system existed back in the 1700s/1800s. No one's stopping you from educating yourself but it sounds like you're too damn lazy and entitled to bother with self-learning or see value in it. Customers can be as demanding and exacting as potential employers & unless you've got a product that's VERY popular among a niche that never, ever changes you're going to have to be nice to people who aren't just like you. Imagine a restaurant or bar owner that refused to serve minorities or women or even one legged weasels born under the right side of a watermelon. Maybe not enough to trigger a civil rights violation but enough hostility to stay just above the law. That's how you get a business to fail b/c you are injecting your personal politics into your work & the general attitude will alienate others from your business. Others in the world have friends of all stripes as well as family members who may not look like them. I'm sure they'd not like some business owner who treats their friends and family members like garbage and would refuse to patronize it, no matter how good the food or d├ęcor.

Finally, I consider not alienating people a basic survival skill. It's the skill you need to get along in the world, have friendships and so forth. This isn't "don't have an opinion or express a viewpoint" but expressing that opinion and viewpoint in a respectful fashion. No calling your detractors names or making character attacks against them (like declaring them racist for not going along with you) but sticking to objective facts, pointing out logical flaws in their thinking and the like. Bully, coerce and emotionally abuse at your own peril. That just makes people angry, focus hatred on you & do everything to shut you down. At least, that is what a person like myself would totally do to you.

Let's just say that in spite of where I'm at in life, I don't forgive or forget. There's no way you can forget or forgive someone like my ex-husband for his behavior. You can't forgive or forget about someone who molested you or your child either & I'd find it insane to try shaming people in those circumstances to do either of those. The best I can take away from that is advising others in similar circumstances or sharing that story so maybe they won't make the same mistakes or do some of the things I experienced to someone else.

The friend who shared the article about the "traumatized" student over the reading material advanced an interesting theory: that the media and press are covering these whiny little brats to erode free speech rights and set progress back. Logic going "Hey, they ASKED for segregation so let's give it to them!" When you dissect it & know that the mainstream media in the US is far from impartial, that makes a lot of sense. In the world I know of & that I think the majority of my generation and up know of, those kids would have been shut down in 3 seconds. No administrators would be taking them seriously & no news organizations would have allowed these nutjobs to censor their coverage or editorial voice. They'd have said "Go study or we'll expel you."

I'm very curious what these people's parents have to say. I'd be embarrassed & furious that my kid wasted the money on tuition, where the parent likely had to take on loans or pay out of pocket, to waste their time ruining their future job prospects & likely letting their grades slip to be professional protestors and not even doing a very good job at it. As an attorney, if I had a kid like that I'd be appalled that my kid hadn't learned the basic rule of argument or how to rally diverse hearts and minds to their cause; it'd be utterly embarrassing. Reading all this, you kind of wonder where those hardliner parents constantly commenting on stories regarding the student loan crisis are. The ones that say "My kid is going to XYZ local school & they'll work their butt off at it since I'm not supporting him/her after graduation or letting him/her leech off me while doing nothing." Some of them are also the ones who demand their kids take particular majors/fields of study and make the best grades possible or else. It'd be interesting to hear what these protestors' parents have to say about this stuff or what they said to their kids after they were in the national media on stuff like this.

My parents would likely have supported me in my endeavors but I also knew what types of causes were or weren't worth it for me to take on, didn't slack in my studies, didn't make "demands" for things or alienate potential allies. I also didn't advocate for a rolling back of basic human rights like free speech and freedom of association. Nor did I bitch about school curriculums where no one was stopping me from doing my own reading of what I wanted or taking classes I wanted to take. People have never liked their mandatory classes most anyplace so I can't have sympathy for that kind of fight.

But seriously, the "it's an attempt to roll back rights" theory does have some teeth if you ask me. I also don't think I'm quite THAT old to notice history and recognize institutions like segregation when I hear about them.

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