Commentary

That’s Not Trump, That’s Reality

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There’s a fair amount of rivalry between my school and Bowdoin College. Our two schools–along with Colby College–always face each other in sports, and are always competing in terms of academics, rankings and even social scenes. As a Bates student, I’ve participated in some light hearted “smack talk” toward my Bowdoin friends, but right now, I’m feeling more than a little sympathy for those at my NESCAC rival.

The school has received a fair amount of backlash for the way they’ve handled recent parties and situations that were deemed “racist.” As a student at a similar college, I can relate when students feel that the school has been taken over by PC culture. In college, “being PC” means being hyper alert that even the most minor thing you say could be blown out of proportion. Expressing your opinion, especially a conservative opinion, could mean someone accuses you of being a racist for no reason. It’s a stressful environment, and honestly it makes a hypocrisy of many colleges’ stated intention of promoting “open dialogs” from differing viewpoints.

In an interesting twist, the Bangor Daily News published an article that criticizes not the false “culture” of PC, but instead rails against how the “Bowdoin PC Police Force” has been taken to task by the national media. While this BDN article is puzzling to me, I won’t go as far as to say this article “outraged me.” That language just feeds the beast of political correctness, and as an adult, I can actually read things I don’t agree without becoming “outraged.”

The author has determined that the watershed event triggering the backlash against Bowdoin’s overreaction was a March 3 column published in that great bastion of right-wing extremism, The Washington Post. The BDN article says that “students at the center of the conflict” (what does that even mean?) have jumped to the somewhat startling conclusion that the uproar against PC-run-amok is “…inflamed amid a climate of hate and violence fueled by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.”

Wait…what? How did Trump get into this? Is The Washington Post now doing his bidding? (I’ll bet they don’t think so.) But, wait, as they say on infomercials, there’s more! The same students “at the center of the conflict” who decry “simplifying one’s culture to a stereotype” then go on to stereotype everyone fighting against the upraise of this hyper-PC culture as Trump supporters, also stating that all Trump supporters must be racists and bigots.

Are logic courses no longer required at Bowdoin? It’s a stretch, to say in the least, to generalize everyone who is fed up with having to tip toe around people’s feelings at the cost of their own freedom of speech as Trump Supporters. It is also beyond ridiculous to state that all Trump supporters are bad people. Since when is liberal speech the only form of protected speech?

Professor Olufemi Vaughan tells us “it is a requirement in the real world to respect ethnic, racial, gender and sexual differences in the workplace and in civil society,” but evidently not differences of opinion with regard to PC culture.

And one last thing: earlier this week, terrorists killed 31 people and wounded 270 in separate despicable acts in Brussels. That’s an “incredibly violent attack.” Michelle Kruk’s characterization of “hate-filled criticism” in the form of personal emails and Facebook messages as “…incredibly violent attacks on myself and other students of color…” is offensive, and simply reinforces the notion that Bowdoin and its student government is over-the-top in its reactions.

Students actually sought to deflect criticism of college-offered counseling to “students who saw mini-sombreros” by claiming it was only offered after they received “hate-filled racist and sexist emails.” (That would be the stuff you can simply “delete,” right?) This truly is PC-run-amok, and deserving of scorn. The Orwellian culture of political correctness on college campuses is destructive to the concept of a free and open society, and finally students and others alike are taking a stand against it.

People have “had enough” of political correctness taking over college campuses. That’s not Trump, that’s reality.

About Lauren Stimpert

Lauren is a senior at Bates College. She currently serves as the Vice President of the Bates College Republicans as well as the Secretary for the Maine Federation of College Republicans. She is a New Hampshire native and self-identified political junkie.

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