Trigger warnings ant the like are a very familiar thing for me only because they are profusely used on my favorite social media hub. Perhaps I haven’t been observant enough, but I’ve yet to experience or witness such extreme cases the articles depict anywhere offline, including college campuses.
I’ve always considered myself on the cusp of generations (Generation X and Millennials), teetering between beliefs, ideas, and even understanding where each, or all sides are coming from with their viewpoints. I admire the Millennials noble push for equality and their sensitivity to the social issues that continue to plague our country and have contradicted our Constitution for centuries, but it’s true that once graduated, students won’t find such coddling of their feelings beyond the borders of their family and closest friends – even they won’t consistently pander to our feelings.
But this also begs the question: Is Freedom of Speech a pass to being offensive? It’s a shame that when the phrases “freedom of speech” and “it’s a free country” boldly project from our tongues, it’s usually because we have said something, or want to say something that we know will offend, so we use the aforementioned concepts as an excuse to do so. Is it fair that intentional social offenders have free reign and the offended to keep mum and deal? I’ve also observed that when an offensive remark or “joke” is made about social issues, it tends to come from the mouth of someone whose racial, religious, gender group, or sexual orientation isn’t affected by oppressive social constructs. Truth is that some social offenders are indeed contemptible.
On one hand, I agree with our Social Justice Warriors that we should be more mindful when we speak to, or about marginalized groups. Most are still fighting for basic human rights and to simply be regarded as human. On the other hand, there is and will always be something that will hurt out feelings or worse, but instead of building a fortress of rules, we should search for smart, healthy, and effective ways to respond, which may vary between individuals and even groups.
In response to massmediabrew