Kathy Manos Penn is a native of the “Big Apple,” who settled in the “Peach City” – Atlanta. A former English teacher now happily retired from a corporate career in communications, she writes a weekly column for the Dunwoody Crier. Read her blogs and purchase her book, “The Ink Penn: Celebrating the Magic in the Everyday” on her website theinkpenn.com.
No, not the snowflakes that fall gently from the sky and then sparkle in the moonlight as they cover the ground. I've had it with human snowflakes. That word may be forever tainted for me now that it's being used to refer to the sensitive creatures who attend our nation's colleges and universities. (Disclaimer: I'm sure that not every single college student is a snowflake, but apparently, many are!)
Since election day, I've been astonished by the special treatment these delicate young adults consider their due, and, in many cases, receive. Distraught Yale students asked their econ professor to cancel the midterm exam, and their professor responded by making it optional. Some Harvard professors also delayed or canceled exams. Cornell students held a cry-in. Professors at the University of Connecticut, University of Rochester and Iowa State University canceled classes. The University of Washington held a "gathering of healing." And I think, "Seriously?"
And there's more. Reason.com reported that "Loyola University and Byrn Mawr College students demanded the cancelling of classes, citing exhaustion, depression, and safety concerns, Campus Reform reported:
'A Trump election directly endangers the lives of all students at Bryn Mawr College that are people of color, lgbtqa+, non-Christian, and female,'
a signee of the Bryn Mawr petition claimed. 'If Trump wins, it's not only a question of self-care but personal safety.'"
How is it that the rest of America managed to get up and go to work and take care of themselves and their families? Could it be that colleges have created a new breed of young people, so coddled and sheltered from the real world, that they simply cannot cope? Is this what results when campuses provide safe spaces, uninvite any speaker who might present a "threatening" point of view, fire those who share unpopular perspectives, and chastise those who advocate for students being able to wear Halloween costumes?
Someone needs to let the snowflakes
know that this is not "the end of the world as we know it."
But, then again, those words may be trigger warnings, and cause these softies to feel violated and run straight away to their safe spaces.
What finally prompted me to rant about this phenomenon was a humorous yet disturbing video on snowflakes that detailed more of the special treatment they received immediately following the trauma of the election. My astonishment has turned to outrage. I'm having an increasingly difficult time seeing society relying on these snowflakes to have a sense of responsibility
, to do what's right in the face of adversity, or to defend those less fortunate instead of covering their ears when they're in danger of hearing something they disagree with.
For some reason, I keep thinking of an inspiring gentleman I met a few years ago. He graduated from West Point, served his country and then built a successful career as a mortgage broker before the 9/11 attacks. What did he do? He re-enlisted, went off to fight for his country and never looked back. I cannot imagine a snowflake making that kind of sacrifice
The video, "Reality Check: Special Snowflakes are Hilarious, Until They Aren't,"
pretty much says it all. The narrator makes a disquieting point: "This nation is running a dangerous and very real chance of being handed over to a generation who thinks the best way to handle your differences is to scream, whine and pout."
If something doesn't change soon, it may indeed be "the end of the world as we know it,"
just not in the way R.E.M. imagined.
Kathy Manos Penn is a Sandy Springs resident now happily retired from a corporate career in communications. Find her book, "The Ink Penn: Celebrating the Magic in the Everyday," on her website at www.theinkpenn.com
. Contact her at email@example.com