After I was forced offstage, something unexpected happened: Notes of support flooded in. Students apologized via email and via Instagram DM. They told me: We’re not all sensitive people; we can take jokes; you shouldn’t have been pulled offstage, that was wrong. Three Columbia students even came to my next show to apologize in person.
I was grateful. They helped me see that when older people call students today oversensitive, we do the same thing that we accuse the college students of doing — jumping to a predetermined conclusion based on the action of a small group. I’ve been talking about this onstage since the night it happened, and I’ve realized that this generalization about college students is not unlike racists thinking every brown person is a terrorist, or people thinking that every orange-faced, yellow-haired person is a lying idiot. Most brown people have yet to blow anything up, and most orange-faced yellow-haired people are decent Floridians.
Unfortunately, the small group controls the bullhorn. I’ve done shows at colleges all over the country — Alaska, Ohio, Maryland and Texas in the past year or so. They’ve all been great and receptive of material that I consider more challenging than anything I did at Columbia.