Last week, I mentioned the efforts of law students to delay exams because of the “trauma” of the Michael Brown and Eric Garner grand jury results. You can read a desperate effort to defend these efforts here. Now we have the latest:
Omar Mahmood is a student at the University of Michigan. He considers himself a political conservative and a Muslim. And until recently, he enjoyed writing for both of the campus’s newspapers: the institutional, liberal paper, The Michigan Daily, and the conservative alternative paper, The Michigan Review.
After penning a satirical op-ed for The Review that mocked political correctness and trigger warnings, The Daily ordered him to apologize to an anonymous staffer who was offended and felt “threatened” by him. He refused and was fired.
Last week, he became the victim of what The College Fix has described as a “hate crime.” The doorway of his apartment was vandalized in the middle of the night; the perpetrators pelted the door with eggs and scribbled notes like “shut the fuck up” and “everyone hates you you violent prick.” They left copies of the offending column and a print-out picture of Satan.
Boy, that column must have been just horrible. It must have been some Nazi screed or something. Um, here it is. Sample text:
The right thing… The right thing… I became so aware at that moment of the left hand that I had thrust out before falling, and suddenly my humanity was reduced to my handydnyss. The words rang in my eardrums, and my blood throbbed. This was the microaggression that broke the gender-neutral camel’s back. But unlike other microaggressions, this one triggered a shift in my worldview. All this while, I had been obsessed only with the color on this campus. All of a sudden, though, that became a side issue. All those race-based microaggressions now seemed trivial. I had, I realized, forgotten to think intersectionally.
The biggest obstacle to equality today is our barbaric attitude toward people of left-handydnyss. It’s a tragedy that I, a member of the left-handed community, had little to no idea of the atrocious persecution that we are dealt every day by institutions that are deeply embedded in society. So deeply embedded, and so ever-present, that we don’t even notice them.
When I was in college, a student responded to political correctness with a similar satirical op-ed about the oppression of Latvian Americans (sample: “if you look at a map of our campus through a hole poked in a box of Cap’n Crunch, it resembles a hammer and sickle, the symbol of our ultimate oppressor, the Soviet Union”). Some people didn’t like it. At least one person illustrated the politically correct’s inability to understand humor, penning a response that if he thought Latvian-American were being oppressed, he should come to the board about it. But no one tried to shut him up.
It’s only gotten worse for free speech on college campuses. You basically can’t say anything without someone not only getting offended but being empowered to make you shut up. Greenfield:
Frankly, those who fail to understand why the anonymous staffer felt threatened haven’t been paying attention. I completely understand, and fully support, the anon staffer. Mahmood’s satire forced the staffer to do something no young person should ever be required to do, every be required to suffer: think. This is, after all, the age of feelings, and it is clearly sufficient that deeply held beliefs not be challenged, as it gives rise to mental damage that no one should ever have to endure.
But that the Daily, in the face of such offensive conduct, fired Mahmood for his lefty-ism is a cloud that will hover over it for a very long time. By the way, the Daily isn’t a person, and can’t speak or make a decision. The decision must have come from the Most special snowflake editor, or the board of delicate teacups, to fire Mahmood rather than smack the anon staffer for being a disgrace to a student newspaper.
Greenfield also has a video of the four girls preparing to deface Mahmood’s door. But don’t expect anyone to respond to their vandalism and threats the same way they responded to Mahmood’s hurty hurty words. Because the one thing we’re learning is that you can never go too far when it comes to keeping people from being offended.