Pomp And Circumstance

It's May and that means it is time for, among other things, the seasonal rite of college graduation. The high schools are not far behind. But if graduation is a lunching point for the future of the students, it should also be a time of reflection for the rest of us. What are paying for as taxpayers and parents that these young people have absorbed over the last four (or five or six) years? Are we subsidizing a dumbing down of that future? Some people might suggest that a dumbing down and worse — a brainwashing that has over sensitized an entire generation into a cultural paralysis of political correctness —  has been going on for years. The paralysis, where people are corralled into a group think mentality, locks out candid conversation and the discussion of ideas and thoughts good and bad. An anti-sceptic for speech, where codes prohibit people from discussing their faith, for example, for fear of upsetting or offending people.

Unfortunately, this is an accepted part of life on campus and in the "real world." A great example is Oberlin College in Ohio as well as other colleges around the country that are considering or actually have either put "trigger warnings" in college reading materials.

According to Jason Howerton of TheBlaze.com

The warnings seek to shield students who may take offense from any racism, sexism, ableism, classism and other forms of potential discrimination or oppression. so that students don’t get upset or offended about controversial material. 

The New York Times recently reported that the warnings have “ideological roots in feminist thought" (read more at TheBlaze.com). The danger, of course, is not offensive stories or language, but in who decides what is offensive. As we've learned, professing the Biblical belief and the ancient tradition of marriage is offensive. The rise of "trigger warnings" and other politically correct campus dictates even stirred a popular satellite radio crew to excoriate The Left for becoming "what you hated."

Said comedian Jim Norton:

You have become exactly [like] the conservative, religious book burners of the '40s and the '50s and the '60s. You are it! You are the speech repressors, you are the hypersensitive ones, you are the ones who want people fired immediately, you are the ones calling for people's jobs. You have become what you hated. 

Perfectly stated. Once liberalism meant an openness to debate and learn. Campuses were the safeguard of all ideas and points of view. The two, sadly, have intersected at the worship of secularism and government. Free speech zones, all comers policies (neither of which are allowed in Virginia now thanks to our work and allied organizations) and other tools keep out dissent and lock in leftist doctrine.

It used to be the "real world" was distinct from the academy. The academy was a haven to develop the mind and the real world was a shock of practicality. Idealism had to be melded into realism. Colleges always worked toward preparing students for the real world. It seems that their solution was to inculcate the culture over time with a culture of relativism where there can be no offenses except what is held to be True.

Now, when we proudly watch our sons and daughters, nephews and nieces, friends children make that walk during the majestic Pomp and Circumstance, we have to cringe. Are they walking off a fantasy island where there are no differences and no distinctions only to enter a world ill-equipped and unable to deal with real differences and distinct problems?