As a college student living in the age of safe spaces, Bernie Sanders and obsessive tolerance, I don’t think twice about the daily morning ritual that began when my peers decided “offended” was their new favorite word — I check my social media and say “Good morning, America! What are we offended by today?”
Today’s college campus culture is drenched in political correctness and controversy over so-called “micro-aggressions.” And that’s because the millennial generation — my generation — brings with them to campus a hyper-privileged sense of entitlement and victimization.
Those brave enough to take on the millennial speech police are bombarded with insults and immediately accused of being racists and bigots, among many other of the left’s favorite terms for those on the other side of the aisle.
Millennials are in a constant contest to one-up each other in showing tolerance, and when anyone or anything stands in their way, they collapse into temper tantrums.
And the truth is, none of us should be surprised. My generation is a symptom of the society past generations have built — one characterized by immediate gratification, the breakdown of a moral code and the victim mentality. It’s the wreckage of past generations’ experiments with post-modern liberalism, and millennials are trying to wade through it.
Millennials are desperately searching for answers to questions they’re afraid to ask. And because our predecessors failed to defend the moral code that once provided clarity, my generation replaced it with the morality of political correctness. The result is the snowflake-ification of a generation.
But what many fail to recognize is that these millennial snowflakes avoid saying or doing anything that could be deemed offensive largely because of how they were raised. Most grew up with parents who did everything they could to provide their children with happiness and emotional well-being, at the expense of personal responsibility and self-reliance.
When kids my age encountered coaches who didn’t give them enough playing time, teachers who gave them a bad grade or bullies on the playground, their immediate response was to tell their parents.
So they can’t tolerate challenges to their beliefs. Handling conflicts must be done with extreme sensitivity. Civil discourse has given away to rabid attacks against any person or idea that threatens their cocoon.
“If we adopt this mentality — that we have the right to be free from things that could offend us, there’s no limit to the damage that could do,” says senior counsel Casey Mattox, who serves as legal nonprofit Alliance Defending Freedom’s director for the Center for Academic Freedom.
The victim mentality, according to The Atlantic, leads millennials to see micro-aggressions around every corner. It has gotten so out of hand that a class at Purdue University taught that referring to America as a “melting pot,” along with questions like “Where are you from?” are micro-aggressions.
That’s unhealthy and leads to a closed mind.
“If you’re so confident in what you believe, take the time to debate and have dialogue with people,” Mattox said. “You’re always going to be around people who think you’re wrong.”
Millennials need to stop worshiping tolerance at the expense of vigorous discourse. It’s OK to hear and ponder ideas and opinions that make you uncomfortable, but more importantly, make you think.
But as long as the endless list of micro-aggressions is my generation’s moral code, my morning routine will stay the same.
Kaylee McGhee is an intern at The Detroit News and part of the journalism program at Hillsdale College.