“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
—from George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”.
When a baby—or a toddler—wants something and they can not conjure the words to ask for it, they cry. When they are mad that something they desire is not readily available to them, they cry. When something they have is taken from them, they cry. When something in their surroundings assaults their senses, they cry. When they are told their behavior is wrong and are corrected, they cry. Crying is the first, best instinct that an immature human utilizes to show displeasure at not receiving immediate gratification.
A crybaby, which is a slang term that can be used as a noun, a verb and as a modifier, is the most appropriate word in the English language to describe the legion of bullies who are attempting on a daily basis to shut down opposing thoughts to their political, ideological and philosophical agenda.
When I scribed a column on this subject last week I concentrated on how many people were trying to stifle humorists from satirizing public figures that were considered to be from a “protected group”… and thus immune from any ridicule or rebuke.
This week, I wish to discuss this same subject in a much different arena. In American society, it is now commonplace for people to claim victimhood because they do not like the actions of others. In short, rudeness is now considered by many people to be a crime.
Consider that in 2015 a slew of stories about college kids demanding changes in behavior of professors, administrators and fellow students for obscure events they deemed “insensitive” made national headlines. Student groups were formed demanding changes be made in how colleges treated these “protected groups”.
When little evidence was found of actual wrongdoing, these wannabe victims started using terms like microaggressions, White Skin Privilege, and triggers. They demanded universities provide “safe spaces,” so they would not feel endangered. They wanted to be coddled and treated differently; and they are doing this whilst complaining that all anyone sees is their skin color, gender or ethnicity. Oh! Cruel irony!
Perhaps the most laughably egregious example from this past year was seen at Yale. For those who do not follow college rankings that seem to come out every week, Yale is considered one of the truly elite schools of higher learning on the planet. It is very expensive to attend Yale. And, it is considered one of the purest bastions of liberal intellectualism.
When October came around, an email circulated among the faculty at Yale about the deep psychologically scarring and the emotional tortures embodied in one of the great evils in American society: Culturally insensitive Halloween costumes.
When I first read about this, I thought it came from The Onion. I was shocked to not find the #sarc hashtag next to this story. This was a genuine concern.
When two Yale professors replied to the email with a reasoned criticism, they were thrown head first into a national story. These professors, a husband and wife not prone to watching Fox News, had the audacity to suggest that banning Halloween costumes was a bit much. The professors suggested offended students start a dialogue with anyone wearing a costume that was branded risqué. Or, and this might be a trigger for some of my readers, the offended parties could just ignore the outfits.
Whaaaaaa?!?! Ignore something that an outraged, easily offended student finds unacceptable? What kind of Nazi would suggest that we just ignore a politically incorrect Halloween costume? Someone get me to my Safe Space! I just can’t deal with this!
The finisher to this story was an amateur video of a black female student confronting the male professor. She spoke of how emotionally damaging his stance on freedom of expression was to her. In a high-pitched, hysterical, cracking voice, she unleashed a bombardment of expletives to emphasize how disrespectful he was being in taking a stance for reason.
Yale. This young woman goes to Yale. Her life is a hideous nightmare…at Yale!
This phenomenon is not just found on the Syria-esque mean streets of Ivy league campuses. And it surely is not only those of a liberal persuasion that are trying to curtail free speech. But it is mostly those on the Left trying to stop any criticism of their ideology from being implemented and indoctrinated.
You know what group spent the better part of the previous century purging and persecuting those who dared speak out against the authority? The Communists.
From the Soviet Union to Cuba and points in between, anyone who rose up to speak against the atrocities committed under Communist rule were made to suffer from one degree or another. But that is how communism survived. Dissenting views could not be tolerated. The very nature of those who would ban speech they deem offensive is not akin to communism—it is communism! A central command dictates what you think and do so as to preserve the mandated common good. If you say something that goes against the State, you get shut down harshly. Don’t believe me? Head to Yale and dress like an American Indian for Halloween. See what happens.
This is the modus operandi of liberals and progressives. It is paradoxical how these actions against dissenting thought are, in practice, illiberal and regressive…which I am fairly sure is an antonym of progressive.
I often reference George Orwell in my columns. I lead this column with a quote from Orwell’s book “Animal Farm”. Last week, I caught a portion of the film adaptation of Orwell’s masterpiece, “1984”. In this film, one scene stands out for me. The lead character, Winston Smith, works at the Ministry of Truth, which is responsible for propaganda and revising history. Minitrue, as it is known, controls all uses of language.
At lunch, Smith is speaking to a co-worker about a rumored new edition of Newspeak. Newspeak is a book of acceptable words and phrases that are deemed appropriate to read or speak. A comment is made during this scene in the film that each edition is smaller than the previous ones. Smith’s co-worker opines that pretty soon conversations, like the one they are having, will not be necessary.
That is the goal of the victimhood groups, i.e. crybabies. They aim to shut down any contrary thoughts. They want to eliminate free thinking in lieu of a canonized version of their ideals to which everyone must adhere. To do otherwise would be, as Orwell named it in “1984”, thoughtcrime.
Most who have studied Orwell at length would define thoughtcrime as an unpopular idea or socially unacceptable thought which is different from Big Brother. To commit a thoughtcrime would put you at the mercy of the The Thought Police, who have the right to torture or kill you at will.
If you refuse to see the parallels between Orwell’s dystopian universe and present-day America, then you are either a part of the problem or scared to confront the problem.
Crybabies actually believe that anyone who is rude to you—or holds an opinion about a hot button issue that is different from you—has committed a crime. A few months ago, I read an entry on the police blotter for Logan, Utah that a woman had called the police because a server at a local restaurant was rude to her.
Maybe this person is clinically insane. Maybe she walks up Main Street in her underwear waiting for aliens from Planet Morzak to come and take her away. Or, maybe she is one of those people who embraces victimhood and believes acts of rudeness are a criminal offense. Being rude does not make a person a criminal. It makes them a jerk. Asking the Law to intervene for an offense to one’s sensibilities is the inevitable result of a society of crybabies conditioned to believe they are more special than everything and everyone else in the world they inhabit.
When I stated last week that the assault on free speech and free thought in America imperils this country more than Islamic terrorists I was sincere. A member of the Islamic State could set off a bomb on a busy subway train, or in a sold out football stadium, and kill a thousand people. If that happened, our government would seek out justice. We would all mark the future anniversaries of that day with reverence and solemnity.
In contrast, we allow assaults on free speech every single day and do nothing. We allow those who are louder than us, who are more irrational than us and who have no respect for others who dissent to get their way regarding what they claim is their right to not have their feelings hurt.
These unfortunate totalitarian bullies may not actually kill people. Their crime may be far worse. This version of The Thought Police instill an Orwellian ideal of justified persecution against all who espouse an unpopular opinion. They remove challenges and challengers to their self-victimization so as to be appeased.
When a baby does not get their way, they cry. When the crybabies who demand opposing voices are silenced through force do not get their way, they not only shed tears, but they also deconstruct the most basic foundation by which free societies and humankind flourishes.
These crybabies are the enemy of freedom.