College snowflake culture appears to have hit a new low.
This week the University of Virginia cancelled its annual, long-held 21-gun Veterans Day salute out of concerns that the sounds of gunshots could trigger a panic attack in the school’s apparently delicate millennial-aged snowflakes.
“One is that it would be disruptive to classes, and two, unfortunately with gun violence in the U.S. there was some concern that we would cause a panic if someone heard gunshots on grounds,” school president Jim Ryan said to local station WVIR in defense of the decision.
So thus ends a reportedly decade-long tradition that marked “the conclusion of a 24-hour vigil by ROTC cadets” in honor of America’s veterans.
Watch the station’s interview with Ryan below:
The only good news to emerge out of this mess is the vehement backlash from critics. Apparently, common sense and reason still exist, albeit in smaller doses than in times past.
In one particularly caustic letter to Charlottesville, Virginia newspaper The Daily Progress, one local opined that the school’s decision affirms an “unfortunate” but now arguably inexorable “message about students.”
“That they are too fragile, too delicate, too distractible to deal with the ‘interruption’ of the salute,” the local wrote. “That they are too insular, too wrapped up in their own worlds to comprehend and accept this longstanding practice. That they must be protected from the reality that exists outside academia.”
The reality, the local continued, is that “men and women have died, and others have suffered grievous injury, in order to ensure that students can freely study at this university and others, to ensure that faculty can freely teach.”
In other words, men and women have suffered so that America’s growing body of delicate millennial-aged snowflakes who love socialism, think the world is ending, and can’t tolerate opposing viewpoints, can live as freely — and ignorantly — as they desire.
“The reality is that this nation has a long and respected tradition of honoring veterans in public displays, including the 21-gun salute, the highest of honors,” the letter continued. “The reality is that UVa is out of step with many in this community, which it aspires to lead, by its decision to downplay the Veterans Day program.”
President Donald Trump’s eldest son has also opined on the university’s decision:
OMG! This is insanity. How will these people ever be able to function in the real world? https://t.co/TdLShFTWZv
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) November 11, 2019
In response to the backlash, Ryan, the school’s president, penned a post for social media in which he tried to downplay the significance of the school’s decision by pointing out that his father served in the Navy during the Korean War and vowing that he understands “the importance of honoring the men and women who have served in our armed forces.”
However, he again resorted to justifying the school’s decision by highlighting “concerns” about “disruptions to classes” and guns being fired on school grounds.
His post only engendered further backlash:
In response to concerns about the cancellation of the 21-gun salute portion of the Veterans Day ceremony, I thought it might be useful to pass along some background on how we reached the decision: https://t.co/k7vJhiicX0
— Jim Ryan (@presjimryan) November 9, 2019
As an alumna (and donor), the granddaughter of a WWII vet, the daughter of two Navy vets, and the aunt of an active duty sailor, I don’t agree with your decision.
— Lori Overholt (@OverholtLori) November 11, 2019
Unfortunately again, I disagree with your decision. I dare say it would do all of your students well to have a moment to remember those that perished for their freedom. If it were not for them your classes may well have been empty!
— Toni Ann (@toniannblair) November 11, 2019
Don’t push this off on the Provost and ROTC Commander; buck stops with you. Own it. At this point you are not leading students to growth but rather acquiescing to their insecurities. If they hear gun unknown shots, will they be scared or will they take action? Think on it
— David W. Dwyer (@VFfundraising) November 12, 2019
Umm. Ok. Here’s a suggested substitute: have the entire student body stand at attention for 21 hours (of course without cell phones) en masse to honor veterans. Or give the snowflakes a choice: that or a 21-gun salute. Pretty sure I can predict their choice.
— SmallestSparrow (@SmallestSparrow) November 11, 2019
What a horrible answer. In the old days, students didn’t have to worry about being distracted…everyone stopped what they were doing at 11 to honor the country. People would drop everything.
— NFL_Fan (@NFLFan94214341) November 11, 2019
In fairness to Ryan, he has at least claimed that, going forward, he and his team will “take a closer look at options for our Veterans Day events, including those that would enable us to re-introduce the 21-gun salute to the program.”
Amazingly enough, this stunning blunder at UVA isn’t the first snowflake-themed blunder of the week. Over at Northwestern University in Illinois, on Sunday the school’s newspaper published an editorial apologizing for reporting “offensive” news.
“The Daily Northwestern is the student newspaper of Northwestern University, which is home to the Medill School of Journalism—one of the best regarded journalism schools in the country. Many Medill students work at the paper, reporting on the news,” Reason magazine has confirmed.
“At least that’s what they used to do. If a recent editorial co-signed by the paper’s top editors is to be believed, The Daily Northwestern will no longer fully report on campus events if the reporting runs the risk of making marginalized students feel unsafe or upset.”
What triggered this round of snowflakism? A speech that former Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently delivered to the school’s College Republicans. After the speech concluded, the paper made the apparent error of reporting on it to students. And in doing so, it triggered them.
“While our goal is to document history and spread information, nothing is more important than ensuring that our fellow students feel safe”
—The Daily Northwestern newspaper apologizes that it’s coverage of Jeff Sessions event hurt students’ feelings. Wow.https://t.co/52w6VBzQdB
— Michael Shermer (@michaelshermer) November 12, 2019
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