Things I Would Never Have Believed When I Was Young -- College Students Taking Offense Like Southern Baptists
I grew up in the Deep South (in Houston -- for outsiders, Texas acts like the South when one is east of I-35 and then is more like the West). Though my immediate family was fairly open-minded, I was surround by a scolding Southern Baptist culture that seemed deeply offended by everything -- dancing, drugs, drinking, youth behavior, movies, TV, games -- you name it. I remember visiting aunts and uncles and cousins who were in a perpetual state of being offended. And it carried over into the whole political culture of the place -- it seemed there was always some debate about book or textbook passage that needed to be banned to save the delicate eyes and impressionable brains of the children.
Going to college in the Ivy League was a breath of fresh air. I never cottoned much to the authoritarian command and control favored by many at college, but I loved the liberal atmosphere of tolerance for most any speech or behavior.
Little would I have believed it, but college students today now sound exactly like my Southern Baptist aunt. They are humorless and scolding and offended by virtually everything. Many of the same pieces of literature those good Texas Baptists were trying to censor from school curricula in my day because they conflicted with religious doctrine are now being censored by good campus Progressives because they might be triggering. What a bizarre turn of events.
Ian McEwan had a nice line in his graduation speech at Dickinson: "“being offended is not to be confused with a state of grace — it’s the occasional price we all pay for living in an open society.”