This story is so stupid it hurts…
Students at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA got an early Thanksgiving holiday. The University President abruptly cancelled all classes early Tuesday morning, shutting down the campus. Why was this extreme action taken, you ask. Was it some sort of terrorist threat or possible mass shooting? Nope, not even close. It seems someone said a mean thing to a black student on a social media site.
The Register-Guard reports that President Bruce Shepard sent an urgent e-mail out to all students at 6am Tuesday morning, canceling all classes. The reason given was a “racist” thread on Yik Yak concerning the school’s mascot.
“I need to be very clear here: we are not talking the merely insulting, rude, offensive commentary that trolls and various other lowlifes seem free to spew, willy nilly, although there has been plenty of that, too. No, this was hate speech,” wrote Shepard in the e-mail.
Gee, isn’t insulting, rude, offensive trolling the very definition of hate speech?
While Shepard, and even the reporter covering the story, keep referring to threats being issued against minority students, that doesn’t actually appear to be the case.
A series of threats against minorities were posted over the weekend on Yik Yak, an anonymous social media platform popular among college students.
The posts mentioned almost every ethnic group, including blacks, Muslims, Jews and American Indians, blaming them for an effort on campus to debate changing the university’s mascot, a Viking. The threats came days after some student leaders suggested that the mascot is racist. The posts did not mention a specific action against the students.
How can it be a threat if it doesn’t mention a specific action?
Most of the online comments contained racist language and profanity, making fun of the mascot debate and the students who proposed it. One post called black students crying babies and another complimented the school for having an “overtly Aryan” mascot.
Sifting through that noise, you can see that the worst thing posted was that a black person was being a crybaby. That’s not even a racist insult. Basically a 15,000-student university was shut down over a very mild flame war.
If you think I’m leaving something out, feel free to read the source article. I swear that’s all there is. Even the cops don’t think there is anything to this:
Law enforcement officials do not believe there is a threat to general campus security, but Shepard said a threat to any Western student is an attack on the whole college community. The decision to cancel classes was precautionary and to make sure students were safe, he said. The school’s Thanksgiving break officially begins Wednesday.
“With disturbing social media content continuing through early this morning, students of color have advised me of their very genuine, entirely understandable, and heightened fear of being on campus,” wrote Shepard. “We take the feelings of safety of our students very, very seriously.”
Oh, I get it now, there wasn’t any sort of actual threat, somebody’s feelings got hurt. And what were those hurt feelings all about? Well, this:
Some students do not believe a white European man is a good representation of their school…
So it’s racist to call someone a baby for not wanting a Viking mascot, but not racist to say a white European man shouldn’t represent the school? That makes as much sense as anything else going on here, I guess.
Black students don’t want a white mascot because they think it’s racist and complained about it on social media. White students told them to stop whining, which the black students took as racial hostility. The black students complained to the school that this perceived hostility made them feel unsafe and the gutless President cancelled all classes to placate their irrational fears. Welcome to the Black Lives Matter version of America.