Newest innovation in campus progressivism: “Trigger warnings”

posted at 2:41 pm on May 9, 2014 by Allahpundit

I thought their finest recent innovation, encouraged by the White House itself, was the “guilty until presumed innocent” standard for sexual assault suspects. But now this video from Reason TV has me wondering. Can’t we, mustn’t we, do what we can to protect people from speech they find upsetting? That was a key argument of Orwell’s in “Animal Farm,” as I recall.

The slippery slope potential here is so obvious that it really doesn’t need stating. The warnings are supposed to help people with honest-to-goodness PTSD avoid media that might upset them, but someone in the tiny percentage at risk of that can (and often does, I’m sure) take sensible precautions to shield themselves. Demanding warnings for the 96 percent who won’t be “triggered” is just a foot in the door towards regulation, not unlike how mandatory calorie counts on menus tend to precede attempts to ban certain ingredients or serving platforms (Happy Meals, Big Gulps etc). Warnings invite restrictions, almost inevitably. The tacit goal here, at a minimum, is to kickstart some sort of rating system for speech on campus; the worse the rating, the more pressure there’ll be on administrators to exclude that speech from the curriculum. And as much as I feel for well-meaning kids who have to suffer through it, I have to say that I find it a fascinating experiment to watch from afar now that I’m a few decades removed. What’s the next “advance” after this wihin the academic commune? We should start a pool.

Silver lining: Maybe, if trigger warnings catch on, disfavored speakers can be invited back to campus with warnings attached instead of being pressured into dropping out altogether. That’d be progress, no?


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So even attempts simply to warn consumers of what they are consuming is Nannystate-ism?

Tlaloc on May 9, 2014 at 3:12 PM

You’re one of those folks who can’t distinguish between private endeavors and government mandates, aren’tyou?

GWB on May 9, 2014 at 6:07 PM

Schadenfreude Sensitivity.

Bmore on May 9, 2014 at 6:08 PM

Not only are these Millenials arrogant and filled with a sense of entitlement, they all tend to end their sentences with their voice going up.

Happy Nomad on May 9, 2014 at 2:54 PM

Isn’t that illegal in NY now, under the SAFE Act? Or is it ok as long as they also don’t have a bayonet lug?

GWB on May 9, 2014 at 6:10 PM

You’re one of those folks who can’t distinguish between private endeavors and government mandates, aren’tyou?

GWB on May 9, 2014 at 6:07 PM

And the reason hairdryers come with a caveat not to use while showering.

katy the mean old lady on May 9, 2014 at 6:11 PM

And the reason hairdryers come with a caveat not to use while showering.

katy the mean old lady on May 9, 2014 at 6:11 PM

ROFL!

GWB on May 9, 2014 at 6:15 PM

It doesn’t take a crystal ball to know exactly what this is all about and what’s the underlying purpose. The gatekeepers in this whole scheme, who most assuredly will be Leftists, will get to decide what speech is permitted on campus and what is not.

Mahdi on May 9, 2014 at 6:15 PM

A warning sign for liberals.

Oldnuke on May 9, 2014 at 6:20 PM

This video the Prequel to the plot of Demolition Man.

I always wondered the philosophical origins of San Angeles.

Now they need to do a film about it. I’m sure that Dennis Leary is available again…

Washington Fancy on May 9, 2014 at 6:29 PM

I think her intentions are good and I see her point for graphic material. And I am okay with trigger warnings as long as it’s a warning and not a censor, and on classroom material not material anywhere on campus. If done correctly I appreciate it when I get a warning that some content may be difficult for some people. And if I know I may have a problem with some content then I may opt out or approach the subject with the teacher before it’s an issue.

But that in NO WAY trumps the ability of the professor to include ANY material, and no trigger warnings should be required for directly applicable content, eg if I’m taking a class on Horror Film Appreciation then I should expect graphic violence, but not in a physics class.

MC88 on May 9, 2014 at 6:30 PM

Schadenfreude Sensitivity.

Bmore on May 9, 2014 at 6:08 PM

I’m still free, as are thee.

Schadenfreude on May 9, 2014 at 6:42 PM

So even attempts simply to warn consumers of what they are consuming is Nannystate-ism?

Tlaloc on May 9, 2014 at 3:12 PM

Boy, how stupid are you?

Schadenfreude on May 9, 2014 at 6:43 PM

Insecurities need to be recognized and a school of marshall arts would mend many insecurities. After your self confidence gets a mega-boost you realize you are the commander of your soul. Fears are what you have not experienced yet but knowing you can handle any change gives you what you need in any situation. Navy Seals have failed at some things but they learn and they learn until it’s common knowledge.

mixplix on May 9, 2014 at 6:44 PM

Do you need ‘trigger warnings’ about ‘dog whistles’?

Another Drew on May 9, 2014 at 6:53 PM

Not only are these Millenials arrogant and filled with a sense of entitlement, they all tend to end their sentences with their voice going up.

Happy Nomad on May 9, 2014 at 2:54 PM

Man, ain’t that the truth. What I always found to be ultra-weird is if you say “Hi” to one of them, or ask them a question, or make a casual comment, you know, trying to make conversation…they either just stare at you without saying a word, or they simply ignore you. I’m talking about people who are your friggin’ neighbors!

Very insular lot. They have their friends, their drugs, their space and everything outside of that doesn’t really exist as far as they’re concerned.

Dr. ZhivBlago on May 9, 2014 at 7:11 PM

Anyone can claim victimhood and get something for it. I think Kurt Vonnegut wrote a novel about our society becoming such a place. I could be wrong. I’ll try not to get triggered if I am.

rlwo2008 on May 9, 2014 at 7:36 PM

This is minor league, footnote stuff.

The latest actual innovation in campus progressivism is “Microaggression.”

Microaggression is the subtle, often nonverbal clues the “privileged” send out, not necessarily knowingly, that signal “aggression” towards “victim” classes – blacks, women, Latinos, LGBT, left-handed dwarfs little people, etc.

Since you don’t know you are sending out “microaggressive” signals, only the aggrieved parties can sense them and call you out for them.

Of course, the worst offense of microaggression is to deny you are sending the signals out. This is the worst kind of privilege of all.

Naturally, the only acceptable defense is apology and self-denunciation, followed by reeducation (camps to follow soon).

Adjoran on May 9, 2014 at 8:08 PM

What’s Roy Rogers’ horse got to do with anything?

de rigueur on May 9, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Silver was his horse. Trigger was his dog.

Freelancer on May 9, 2014 at 8:16 PM

Democrats are a trigger for me. Please remove them from anything I might see, such as ballots.

malclave on May 9, 2014 at 8:20 PM

Oh good GAWD!
I’ve been battling an eating disorder since I was 16-but the responsibility not to be triggered/to avoid triggers lies with ME. It’s not the responsibility of ANYONE ELSE!

annoyinglittletwerp on May 9, 2014 at 8:37 PM

We are doomed. That is all.

Wine_N_Dine on May 9, 2014 at 8:59 PM

Silver was his horse. Trigger was his dog.

Freelancer on May 9, 2014 at 8:16 PM

Actually, Silver was the Lone Rangers horse and Trigger was Roy Rogers’ horse

dirtseller on May 9, 2014 at 9:30 PM

I think…the Left will not be as happy with the reality of “Minority Report” as they think they will.

I also noticed that we managed to work “Colonial-ism” into the ‘completely verboten’ category.

As an American, I am highly offended, and demand that this video be removed from the world-wide intra-webs, immediately, if not sooner.
I also demand reparations in the overall dollar amount of 5,000,000.00 (Euro, of course.)

Jesus Christ, this country has been filled with un-abashed pussy-ism. I hope the ‘Sweet Meteor of Death”(tm) gets here soon.

a5minmajor on May 9, 2014 at 9:35 PM

So even attempts simply to warn consumers of what they are consuming is Nannystate-ism?
 
Tlaloc on May 9, 2014 at 3:12 PM

 
Good to see you, Tlaloc. We missed you finishing up the
 

Insurers: 80-90% of ObamaCare enrollees are paying their premiums, not 67% like that House committee said

 
thread where you and righty45 helped show that Obamacare only covered 5 million previously-uninsured people, and all for the low, low cost of just $1.76 trillion.
 
FWIW, that’s $341K per person covered, which is probably more money than some people make in an entire year.
 
(Thanks again for your link, btw.)

rogerb on May 9, 2014 at 9:37 PM

Sorry I forgot the trigger warning just then, btw.

rogerb on May 9, 2014 at 9:38 PM

More crap from morons in academia.

justbob223 on May 9, 2014 at 10:11 PM

When the history professor called me a fascist for defending the conservative values in an University of Pittsburgh History of Pittsburgh class, I didn’t get any trigger warning before the class that politely defending the science of economics would be met with such an accusation.

thuja on May 9, 2014 at 11:37 PM

I thought this was an anti-gun thread. Bullet was the dog’s name.

Kissmygrits on May 10, 2014 at 9:03 AM

Those ‘gatekeepers’ at every college are already hard at work stifling free speech and deciding who should be allowed to speak at their events. Condi is not ok but every twisted freak who spouts the fascist line is ok. Got it?

Kissmygrits on May 10, 2014 at 9:07 AM

This is the last thing a society does before it collapses. Just pathetic.

Whitey Ford on May 10, 2014 at 11:41 AM

Wow. I don’t remember my dad, a Flying Tiger in China during WWII, my neighbor who fought on Iwo, or any other WWII vet whining about this kind of crap.

But, then again, they had spines and dealt with the realities of life, not as they WANTED it, but as it was PRESENTED to them. This chick needs to go live in a safe room and have her meals slid under the door. I wonder if she was offended by the shirtless jogger shown in the middle of her rant. It could have been a “trigger” for an old boyfriend who dumped her. Hopefully, she missed her own clip. But, nah, … too narcissistic for that.

NoPain on May 10, 2014 at 12:37 PM

I like Thomas Sowells critique of academia to paraphrase his argument is that it takes the truly bright to convince themselves of the truly stupid ideas.

Look, we are responsible for our own emotional response to stimuli. No one else is responsible for how we feel.

jhffmn on May 10, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Attach warnings to speakers? How? Appropriately colored cloth stars?

Uffda on May 10, 2014 at 1:09 PM

Hey TRIGGER WARNING, you’re alive.

SansJeux on May 10, 2014 at 3:31 PM

Fortunately, brick and mortar campuses will be overtaken by the internet …sooner the better.

Afterseven on May 10, 2014 at 3:55 PM

Man, ain’t that the truth. What I always found to be ultra-weird is if you say “Hi” to one of them, or ask them a question, or make a casual comment, you know, trying to make conversation…they either just stare at you without saying a word, or they simply ignore you. I’m talking about people who are your friggin’ neighbors!

Very insular lot. They have their friends, their drugs, their space and everything outside of that doesn’t really exist as far as they’re concerned.

Dr. ZhivBlago on May 9, 2014 at 7:11 PM

So you’re saying they weren’t actually even on your lawn, before you told them to get off it?

nullrouted on May 10, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Not only are these Millenials arrogant and filled with a sense of entitlement, they all tend to end their sentences with their voice going up.

Happy Nomad on May 9, 2014 at 2:54 PM

They’ve got a name for it.

manwithblackhat on May 10, 2014 at 7:15 PM

Microaggression is the subtle, often nonverbal clues the “privileged” send out, not necessarily knowingly, that signal “aggression” towards “victim” classes – blacks, women, Latinos, LGBT, left-handed dwarfs little people, etc.

Since you don’t know you are sending out “microaggressive” signals, only the aggrieved parties can sense them and call you out for them.

Of course, the worst offense of microaggression is to deny you are sending the signals out. This is the worst kind of privilege of all.

Naturally, the only acceptable defense is apology and self-denunciation, followed by reeducation (camps to follow soon).

Adjoran on May 9, 2014 at 8:08 PM

I think the appropriate reaction to an accusation of microaggression is some targeted (at the accuser) macroaggression.

It ain’t subtle, but it’s effective.

AZCoyote on May 10, 2014 at 8:33 PM

encouraged by the White House itself, was the “guilty until presumed innocent” standard for sexual assault suspects.

Unless you are Bill Clinton.

JellyToast on May 10, 2014 at 10:02 PM

One thing feminists has taught me is that women are too weak and vulnerable to let out of the house.

Who knew the Saudis were right?!?

Bill-Republic of Texas on May 11, 2014 at 3:15 AM

1)In the students list of who was to determine what was to be censored, because that is what she is talking about, there was not a Christian group.

2) Why did Reason not ask her point blank if homosexual pornography or algore’s face were going to be on the list?

Overall I found the video to be a very weak defense against censorship and the fascist tactics of the left from a purported libertarian organization. Just more proof that the left and their tools among the post modern degenerates have infiltrated everywhere, either literally with their acolytes or through fear of reprisal. I could be biased though because I’ve always felt libertarians are just liberals against over taxation.

peacenprosperity on May 11, 2014 at 9:34 AM

BTW, the professor in California who assaulted the teenage pro-life girl is a gender studies professor who’s specialty is black women in pornography. So when you parents write those big checks to pay for your childrens’ college education, do so knowing whose salaries you are actually paying.

peacenprosperity on May 11, 2014 at 9:41 AM

Knowledge is censorship.

J.B. Say on May 12, 2014 at 1:16 AM

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