All of WWU seems atwitter over the nonsense last week. And as if the group who put it on weren't bad enough, there's a large contingent of its detractors who are going about their opposition the absolute wrong way: acts of vandalism and calls for censorship.
During the second day of the demonstration, a few rebellious souls decided that just making a counter-protest and doing what they could to make the "Genocide" people appear more clearly as the fools they are wasn't enough. They had to destroy the group's display. They caused a fair amount of damage and are of course being disciplined for it.
But much worse, and much larger, is the group of people who felt that the group should not have been allowed to demonstrate in the first place. They regard the nonsense as "hate speech," and are petitioning to have such things forbidden from public display. Some have claimed that after first seeing the display, they were forced to stay home much of the rest of the week for fear of trauma. Others claim to have needed to retreat to the campus counseling center, so shocked were they.
The response to the hate speech allegations by the campus pro-life group on campus is of course bad in its own right. From WWU's Western Front newspaper, spoken by Western for Life club president Tom Herring:
“We had no signs of hatred, we had no signs of condemnation for anyone,” Herring said. “All we were doing is exposing what abortion is and revealing accurate pictures depicting what’s taking place in an abortion and stimulating dialogue on campus as to whether or not this is what we want to endorse as a country as a good choice.”
There is a lot of dishonesty in what this Herring fellow says (although, if this is the same guy I think it is, mentioned in the previous post, then I'm not surprised): if you are "exposing" abortion as an act of "genocide," then clearly you are condemning its supporters or those who have performed it as mass murderers, and you know damn well that this will not stimulate dialogue, but rather it will stimulate rage and controversy. Either this man is an idiot or a vile liar, and I'm willing to believe that it's both.
But the reaction to this, while not so dishonest, is naïve and immature. One cannot expect to go through college life without being offended; and once it has happened, one cannot expect the offender to be punished for having a different point of view. That is not the administration's job, and it god damn well should not be. If you are scared to leave home for fear of being offended, or if being exposed to an extreme viewpoint leads you to seek psychological counseling, then you simply do not have the emotional or intellectual maturity or strength to be in the environment of a university. Period.
Liars and brats, all of them.
Labels: culture, politics