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Our Offended Culture

By: Pat Austin

SHREVE­PORT – His­tory will remem­ber us as the gen­er­a­tion that was offended by everything.

Where will it end?

A cou­ple of news sto­ries caught my eye this week: the first was that the Sons of Con­fed­er­ate Vet­er­ans are fil­ing suit against the City of Natchi­toches after being for­bid­den to march in their annual Christ­mas parade; the SCV group has marched in the parade for the past twenty-​five years, but now we are offended by their flag so they can’t march. In a state­ment, the mayor of Natchi­toches explained that he is not ban­ning the dis­play of the flag in the city but sim­ply not allow­ing it on dis­play in the parade. The Natchi­toches Christ­mas fes­ti­val and parade is huge in these parts and attracts over 100,000 vis­i­tors each year.

The other story that raised my hack­les was the per­pet­ual offended-​by-​Huck-​Finn story that in its lat­est con­cep­tion has a pri­vate school in Philadel­phia ban­ning the book from the class­room (although it will still be in their library). A group of stu­dents said the book “made them uncom­fort­able” and so out it goes. Per­haps the school should look at how the book is taught rather than con­demn the book. Per­haps there is some­thing about love and tol­er­ance that could be learned there in the hands of the right teacher. What will these stu­dents do when they are “uncom­fort­able” in the real world, post-​graduation? What will we ban from the class­room next?

Per­haps the most ridicu­lous group to be offended recently would be those who were offended by the red Star­bucks cup. I would be dif­fi­cult to imag­ine a con­tro­versy any more ludicrous.

The logic of it all is absurd. Some indi­vid­u­als and some groups are offended by the Con­fed­er­ate flag so we must elim­i­nate it. Some groups are offended by Chris­t­ian nativ­ity scenes, so we must elim­i­nate them; this is hap­pen­ing across the coun­try. We are even offended by yoga, for cry­ing out loud. We are offended by how you sit when on a sub­way. We are offended by the Wash­ing­ton REDSKINS.

The list is endless.

The fact is that polit­i­cal cor­rect­ness and elementary-​school-​everyone-​wins-​coddling has turned us into a soci­ety of cry­ba­bies. Yes, there are things in our soci­ety that are offen­sive some­times but it’s time to man-​up, if you’ll par­don that sex­ist phrase, and get over it.

The whole “I’m offended” cul­ture offends me.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT —  History will remember us as the generation that was offended by everything.

Where will it end?

A couple of news stories caught my eye this week: the first was that the Sons of Confederate Veterans are filing suit against the City of Natchitoches after being forbidden to march in their annual Christmas parade; the SCV group has marched in the parade for the past twenty-five years, but now we are offended by their flag so they can’t march.  In a statement, the mayor of Natchitoches explained that he is not banning the display of the flag in the city but simply not allowing it on display in the parade.  The Natchitoches Christmas festival and parade is huge in these parts and attracts over 100,000 visitors each year.

The other story that raised my hackles was the perpetual offended-by-Huck-Finn story that in its latest conception has a private school in Philadelphia banning the book from the classroom (although it will still be in their library).  A group of students said the book “made them uncomfortable” and so out it goes.  Perhaps the school should look at how the book is taught rather than condemn the book.  Perhaps there is something about love and tolerance that could be learned there in the hands of the right teacher.  What will these students do when they are “uncomfortable” in the real world, post-graduation?  What will we ban from the classroom next?

Perhaps the most ridiculous group to be offended recently would be those who were offended by the red Starbucks cup.  I would be difficult to imagine a controversy any more ludicrous.

The logic of it all is absurd. Some individuals and some groups are offended by the Confederate flag so we must eliminate it.  Some groups are offended by Christian nativity scenes, so we must eliminate them; this is happening across the country. We are even offended by yoga, for crying out loud. We are offended by how you sit when on a subway.  We are offended by the Washington REDSKINS.

The list is endless.

The fact is that political correctness and elementary-school-everyone-wins-coddling has turned us into a society of crybabies.  Yes, there are things in our society that are offensive sometimes but it’s time to man-up, if you’ll pardon that sexist phrase, and get over it.

The whole “I’m offended” culture offends me.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.