2016’s Shameful Legacy: The Crybully

The “crybully” has been increasing its presence on college campuses in various states, starting in 2015, but really making its presence known in 2016. The modus operandi of such a crybully (also referred to as a snowflake or social justice warrior), is to find something, anything, to be outraged about, and then demand that the world/nation/university yield to said crybully’s demands. The latest such incident took place on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, as students had a portrait of William Shakespeare removed from a wall of the English department. Their reasoning? He was not inclusive enough. They replaced Shakespeare’s image with that of a black lesbian poet by the name of Audre Lorde. Oh, you haven’t heard of her? You mean, she doesn’t have the fame and status of a man whose works are still studied and revered 500 years after his death? That’s weird. But Shakespeare’s talent is all for naught, apparently, as he is now boiled down to nothing more than yet another dead, white, male, and if you haven’t heard, that is the most offensive thing that one could be. Indeed, just last month the President of the University of Virginia was criticized by students and faculty alike for quoting another dead, white, male – Thomas Jefferson. Crybully lesson #1:  Be inclusive, and do not ever minimize people to only the color of their skin or their gender.  Unless they’re white men. 

The UPenn incident comes just a few weeks after students around the nation faced the most troubling time of their lives: the outcome of the 2016 election. You see, things didn’t go their way when some big mean bully of a white man won the election. Even the Syrians were sympathizing with these downtrodden students. Because of all the stress and turmoil of a peaceful democratic election, classes were postponed, exams were cancelled, and comfort zebras were called in. Crybully lesson #2: When things don’t go your way, cry about it, and people will respond (toddlers have known this for years). 

And it hasn’t just been about the election: 2016 has been a year for the record books when it comes to self-entitled, crybully snowflakes demanding they get their way on college campuses.  Students at the University of Maryland recently sent a letter to administrators demanding changes, 64 in fact. Some of these demands included hiring more professors of color, creating more scholarships for marginalized students, a statement from the president ensuring marginalized students that the university is “a safe space…in response to the election,” immediate removal of “hate speech” anywhere on the campus, and more. Of course, hiring minority professors is a good thing, but if there aren’t any (or many) qualified minority candidates, then sorry kids, it may just not be possible. Who defines a group as “marginalized” and why should the university be responsible for paying for their education? A university should not be a safe space – it is not meant to protect students from beliefs (and realities) that may clash with their own beliefs, it is meant to make them face such opinions in a responsible, coherent, adult-like fashion. What classifies as hate speech is subjective, and thus cannot and should not easily or swiftly be removed unless it leads to violence. Contrary to popular belief, the First Amendment does indeed extend to opinions that you or I may not agree with. Crybully lesson #3: The Constitution protects my rights and those of other marginalized, disenfranchised peoples. It does not protect anybody that disagrees with me. 

Even the Wall Street Journal has the sanity to call these social justice, crybully warriors what they are: crazy. The past year has been peppered with incidences on college campuses nationwide, forcing senior administrators to step down, making college life miserable for those students/faculty that don’t yield to the crybullies, and by dis-inviting speakers that social justice warriors disagree with.  This wildfire of students (and sometimes faculty) shouting and screaming until they get what they want, even if those actions then hurt a silent majority, is truly an unsightly epidemic. We as a society must stop rewarding this bad behavior – ignore the tantrums, don’t cater to the demands, and treat them like the adults that they are, not the children they are acting like. And for God’s sake, get rid of that damn comfort zebra.

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