Having chosen not to write the obligatory 9/11 mush for my own reasons, that opens the door to discussion of what this ancient history means for those who suffer the problematic, traumatic oppression today on college campuses.
After all, when one juxtaposes 9/11 with micro-aggressions, one can certainly understand why the former has faded from memory while the latter is crushing their very soul.
While the video may try to make more of students’ gestalt than it’s due, the fact is that 9/11, like all historical tragedies, has faded from reality to myth in the minds of college students. This is as it should be.
While many of those who were cognizant at the time will disagree (“we must never forget”), we must also move forward and not dwell on every tragedy. Do you still take a moment of silence for December 7th? Or perhaps February 15th? Life moves on.
But the concerns, and the language used to express those concerns, invoking violence and oppression, focus on minutiae. The trivialities of finding something to cry about under every rock instead of actual death, pain and suffering, informs us of what a charmed life they lead.
They’ve never personally known what real suffering means, and so they confuse their slightest twinge of feeling with insufferable harm. Young women demand that they be insulated from the trauma of reading of books that other young women survived for a hundred years. This isn’t trauma. This is hypersensitivity combined with a life that’s never been touched by harm.
How magical this nation must be that the battle being fought is over the right of every student to pick his own personal set of pronouns, reducing the idea of communication to a farce lest the use of a standardized pronoun based on genetics cause the slightest twinge of offense.
As a young man, college students protested a non-war in Vietnam, where our family, friends and neighbors came home in flag-draped coffins for a theory named after an arcane game. We weren’t on the eve of hurt feelings, but destruction.
We fought for the right to drink a beer at 18, so suds could legally cross a young man’s lips before he died in a foreign jungle. Today, that beer insulates a woman from the grown-up responsibility of having sex, so that she can both volitionally engage in intercourse and have the option of crying rape later if she spies the fellow kissing her rival for his affections.
As good as it may be that young people today dissociate their concerns from actual harm, actual pain, so they can rally to the cause of never having to hear a word that hurts their delicate ears, or to call an awkward attempt to kiss good-night a sexual assault.
And lest we dump this all on college students, these shams are spreading into the real world, to people who should know better, as they embrace the superficial war cries of social justice without exercising their gift of thought. The long-hidden feelings of intense outrage over the tiniest of offenses has finally been given the opportunity to come out, to blossom, and explode.
What a wonderful world this must be that so many people feel so empowered to be so indulgent in their infantilized pettiness. Why ruin it by speaking of death and the feeling of a body slamming to the ground from 1,368 feet up.
When young people feared death from war, they protested war. When they fear unpleasantness from hurt feelings, they protest the offensive name of a sports team. A charmed life allows them to obsess over their gravest fears. And they have, indeed, lived a very charmed life as 9/11 is only a distant, amorphous memory of something bad that happened to their ancestors.