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.