The Coddling of the American Mind

Something strange is happening at America’s colleges and universities. A movement is arising, undirected and driven largely by students, to scrub campuses clean of words, ideas, and subjects that might cause discomfort or give offense. Last December, Jeannie Suk wrote in an online article for The New Yorker about law students asking her fellow professors at Harvard not to teach rape law—or, in one case, even use the word violate (as in “that violates the law”) lest it cause students distress. In February, Laura Kipnis, a professor at Northwestern University, wrote an essay in The Chronicle of Higher Educationdescribing a new campus politics of sexual paranoia—and was then subjected to a long investigation after students who were offended by the article and by a tweet she’d sent filed Title IX complaints against her. In June, a professor protecting himself with a pseudonym wrote an essay for Vox describing how gingerly he now has to teach. “I’m a Liberal Professor, and My Liberal Students Terrify Me,” the headline said. A number of popular comedians, including Chris Rock, have stopped performing on college campuses (see Caitlin Flanagan’s article in this month’s issue). Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Maher have publicly condemned the oversensitivity of college students, saying too many of them can’t take a joke.

h/t Marvin

  • Clink9

    Anyone that sensitive has no survival skills. They will all be dead in a ditch soon enough.

    • El Martyachi


    • Their minds are all set to become Muslim fanatics.

    • WalterBannon

      sounds good then

  • luna

    It’s still okay to hate Jooos though.

    • The feelings of Jews don’t matter; they are less than human in leftist eyes.

    • WalterBannon

      of course. you forget, progressives = nazis

  • Dana Garcia

    Leftist indoctrination creates boring twits.

    • Boring and oppressive.

      • Justin St.Denis

        And rather asexual/metrosexual.

    • David Murrell

      …boring as any CBC News show.

  • Leftist’s are now eating other leftists for not being “left enough”.

    Just like jihadis shooting other jihadis for not being true to Islam.

    Makes me want to smile.

    • WalterBannon

      hitler, stalin, same party tactics

  • simus1

    Red fascism seeks to persuade those most eligible to wind up in its secret “final solutions” that it’s their stalwart champion come what may. All the fools need to do is grant their “protectors” carte blanch to get everything perfectly organized for their benefit. Venezuela and Cuba are somewhat crude third world examples, but the overall blueprint for places like the US and Europe aren’t so different.

  • Clinton

    These special snowflakes seem to think that being offended validates
    their sense of their own moral superiority. The only reasonable response
    is to mock them at every opportunity.

    These people remind me of the prudes of victorian times, who went to
    absurd lengths to be offended by anything that could even remotely be
    considered an indelicate reference to sex– say, referring to the ‘leg’ of
    a table. Being offended was the sign that one was refined and morally
    superior (and of course, such attitude has at its root nothing but massive hypocrisy). “Safe spaces” and trigger warnings are just today’s versions
    of the victorians’ fainting couches.

    • They are offended by words, but the ugly sexual perversions of homos, pedophiles, zoophiles, trans-whatever, Islamic rapists – these acts do not offend them.

      It is not purity of mind which drives them to be ‘prudes’, it is that they want to pre-empt any possibility of criticism.

    • WalterBannon

      trigger warnings

      progressive humbug
      I’d like to see the lot of them dropped into Afghanistan – then they could have some real trigger warnings, and a shallow dirt grave to rest in after

  • kkruger71

    And yet another consequence of the politically correct movement of the 90s. All the leftist from then are now saying “This is bad, but there is no way we could have seen this coming!”, except all of us that were fighting against them at the time predicted this is exactly what would happen.

  • Justin St.Denis

    The young adult segment of society is more know-it-all and sanctimonious than any young adults before them. They are also less literate, less educated, less informed, less socially skilled, land generally less capable and independent. Cut off the money faucet and they crumple like paper airplanes.

    Best advice: Ignore the “political and social opinions” of everyone between the ages of 16 and 34. Don’t raise the subject, avoid the subject and learn to change the subject when it IS raised by somebody else. It’s better all around for your mental health. However, if pushed, be obviously patronizing of the little tykes, but don’t deride them as totally stupid, just inexperienced. Learn to smile benignly, like you have a secret power. Finally, learn to say to your own children/young adults, with firm conviction: “If you don’t shut th fuck up about this in three seconds flat, I can assure you that you will be able to afford to eat nothing but Spam and carrots for the next six months. This is not a threat. This is a promise.”

    OK. You’re good to go now! 😉

  • Edubeat

    Like Truman once said ”If you can’t stand the heat then get out of the kitchen.” Snowflakes tend to melt down when the heat is applied

  • David Murrell

    Surprisingly good article. What is talked about between the lines — and I say this as an academic and a professor — is the mental and intellectual mediocrity of these instituions, and the students in them. I blieve a student can only survive by enrolling in a science, math, business or medical program. These other “soft” programs only invite the anti-intellectual drivel this article talks about. Students are dying in the faculties of arts.

  • JoKeR
  • Cat-astrophe

    Seriously, I am offended that they are trying to create an atmosphere where no one can have an opinion that is different from theirs.
    It is so wrong, I think it is without precedence.
    Oh wait a minute, history is full of dark periods, as long as there have been humans, where free thought and speech is outlawed.
    There is a name for what they are trying to achieve, and it is called Sharia Law.