Lukianof and Haidt argue that the spirit of "vindictive protectiveness" that demands punishment for people who commit alleged microaggressions actually harms the very students it claims to protect. "A campus culture devoted to policing speech and punishing speakers," they write, "is likely to engender patterns of thought that are surprisingly similar to those long identified by cognitive behavioral therapists as causes of depression and anxiety. The new protectiveness may be teaching students to think pathologically."
Sachs's counter-argument, of course, is that they should just shut up. He writes:
Perhaps you agree with The Atlantic and think that college students are just too uptight and politically correct. Most of The Atlantic readers are liberal White Americans who are doing their part to make the world a better place for all creeds and colors. Like many 40-something White liberals, I too assume I'm relatively open-minded and conscious of my white privilege. "I'm not a racist," I say to myself, when images of police brutality flash on the screen. "I'm not like those white people."
Or am I?
Like me, you probably voted for Barack Obama, were outraged by the verdicts in the Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases. You even work hard to check your white privilege at the door when going to a #blacklivesmatter protest march.
Many of you may stop reading now, thinking, "Here we go with the political correctness." You say to yourself: "I'm not perpetuating racism, and I'm certainly not invalidating people of color. Donald Trump may be, but not me.
That's what I used to think. But, right there, you're committing a microinvalidation. It's called Denial.
Yes, that's right. Denying you are racist is, as we've all suspected for so long now, proof that you are racist. Sachs then lists 10 ways white liberals are racist.
I'll summarize below the fold, but I highly recommend you just go over and read it in all of its awesome absurdity. It's well worth it.
Keep in mind, this is what they're teaching kids at school these days.
- Denial hurts the feelings of people of color, which is racist.
- Shame & Hurt: When a person of color points out our [the white liberal's] racism, we act ashamed and hurt that they would think that of us, which hurts the feelings of the person of color, which is racist.
- Narcolepsy & Ignorance: When a white person is accused of racism, they shut down and go silent, which is known as "race-related narcolepsy," or they claim they didn't know, both of which make the person of color have to work harder to make the white person aware of their racism, which is racist.
- Masochism: Feeling guilty and trying to be punished for being a racist is racist.
- Apology & Faux Compassion: When confronted about their racism, saying, "I'm so sorry. I feel your pain" is racist.
- Defensiveness: Again, denying you are racist is racist.
- The Pain Game: When a Jewish person says, "You're not the only ones. My family was wiped out in the Holocaust," the Jewish person is racist.
- Racial Resume: When confronted with your racism (white privilege, etc.), saying, "But I voted for Obama!" or some other thing you did to support people of color is racist.
- White Guilt: Feeling guilty about racism but not actually bowing down and worshiping the person of color who confronted you is racist. [Sorry. The absurdity is beginning to leak through.]
- Intellectualization: Pointing out the progress we've made in race relations by, e.g., noting that we have a black president, is racist.