I was reading the story of yesterday’s peaceful protest where a statue of Christopher Columbus was disassembled and placed in storage at the bottom of a lake, when a message pinged into my mailbox from the University President. “Standing Up To Racism” was the subject line, so I naturally read it at once.
The man was triggered.
The occasion was a twitterstorm that had gathered around the hashtag #hateisthehiddencorevalue, and in which students from various minorities recorded the callous and contemptuous humiliations they have suffered from the Crackers who infest this university. You can sample the charge sheet here, but the long and short of it is that some Crackers have said mean things to racial and sexual minorities, and to young women who got on their nerves.
There is, no doubt, a core of genuine rudeness here, as we might expect there to be when fifty thousand semi-civilized young people from diverse backgrounds are jammed together in a ruthless scholastic, social and sexual competition, and then repeatedly shocked by bizarre ideas and and disturbing experiences. There is no reason to expect this pandemonium to flow with the milk of human kindness, and I say we should be thankful for the amity we have.
I would also note that many of the complainants in the twitterstorm speak very freely about Crackers, deride them with vulgar epithets, and quite openly allege that, deep down, all Crackers are exactly alike. I would add that a twitterstorm is competitive, many stories have therefore been enhanced, and we know nothing at all about the context in which the rude words that were actually spoken were actually spoken.
But for the university’s “leadership team,” it appears that this twitterstorm is hard data and dispositive evidence that it is time to Crack Down on Crackers.