There is no doubt that the 21st century is the peak of political correctness in America. It seems every week there’s a new group causing an uproar about an offense it’s taken. And the hubs of these groups, the places where these people have the most outlets for their venting, are college campuses. These campuses have become beacons for college students, who have historically been one of the demographics most vocal in their opposition to injustice. But what happens when campuses become too politically correct? What happens when nobody can say something without offending someone else?
First of all, there is nothing wrong with anyone saying whatever they want, as they are entitled to do so. There is no problem with college students voicing their opposition when something genuinely offends them, as they have every right to defend themselves and stand against injustice. But the problem that has arisen is the combination of college students feeling more free to protest and them taking more offense to pretty much everything. When they have such an easy outlet to vent, it seems as though they are now just looking for things to protest.
Examples of such ridiculous reasons to protest are abundant throughout college campuses across the country. At Bowdoin College and several California State University schools, Christian and evangelical groups are losing their recognition on those campuses for refusing to meet the demands of certain students who argued against the groups’ policies of only electing Christians or evangelicals to their leadership positions. Why do people who aren’t in these groups care whom the groups elect as their leaders? If Christian groups want to only elect Christian leaders, they have every right and a lot of reason to do so. That’s like student-athletes on the soccer team complaining they can’t be captains of the football team.
Students at North Carolina State University invented a nail polish that changes colors if it comes in contact with a date-rape drug, a means of preventing women from falling victim to these drugs. But their efforts came to an abrupt halt when students on campus argued that the nail polish promoted rape culture.
At the University of California, Irvine, the student government suggested the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity be punished for hosting a fundraiser where students wore grass skirts and coconut bras because these outfits were racist toward Pacific Islanders. This fraternity was doing this fundraiser for a good cause, not to offend people.
At Arizona State University, a rally against rape culture was scrutinized because students argued the rally against rape culture actually promoted rape culture. The list of schools and inane reasons for protests goes on, but nonetheless, it should be pretty evident that college students will find offense in just about anything these days.
My favorite opposition to these extreme forms of political correctness comes from Oklahoma Wesleyan University President Everett Piper, who said in a statement regarding these protests and unrest: “This is not a day care. This is a university.” And he’s absolutely right. The point of college is to prepare young adults for the real world. And the real world doesn’t have “safe zones.” People can’t just protest every little thing they have a problem with in the real world. Protecting and allowing students to take such an opposition to political incorrectness just coddles them; it doesn’t prepare them for what the real world is like. I sympathize with students who take genuine offense to something for legitimate reasons, but the more politically correct we get, the more these absurd unrests will thrive.