Two stories. Both involve triggers.
In the wacky world of academia, a story was published in the New York Times last week about liberal universities regarding the content of course material. The letters (RE: manifestos) were sent by student organizations (RE: Marxist bullies) asking (RE: or else) professors to consider putting in “trigger warnings” regarding course readings and materials.
The assertion suggests that students who have experienced trauma in their lives might be susceptible to a post-traumatic reaction from reading or viewing anything that may deal with war, poverty, racism, sexual assault or just about any subject other than sleeping.
It is not hard to number the steps as to how this will go.
1. Please consider our requests.
2. Please adhere to our demands.
3. Leave now.
Higher education meets the Era of Personal Privilege. The mission for going to college has devolved. College used to be about expanding the mind while learning things that would improve a person’s station in the world. Now it is killing time for four years while complaining about how tough things are.
I do not belittle or demean anyone that has suffered a legitimate trauma in their life. I do not wish to stifle debate about the content of a course if enough students truly believe a professor is veering too far from the course’s mission. What I take umbrage with is this palatine belief held by younger people that every single thing they deal with in their lives must be catered to their wants and needs.
For over half a century, the Academic Left has used college campuses as a training camp for Socialist indoctrination. Leftist politics cannot stand on their own. It is necessary to not only convert impressionable students to a far left ideology, but to ensure no contrarian debate exists. Kill your enemies, or at least, cut their tongues out. Liberal education at its most ruthless.
Of course, this is not exclusive to the Left. Even at a secular school like USU (yeah, try not chuckling at that) both students and professors have shared with me anecdotes regarding students who belong to a certain church (HINT: rhymes with Schmormons) who have viscerally complained about course content they deemed to go against their “culture.”
My advice to them? Get on I-15 and get off at the Provo exit.
Toughen up, deal with opposing viewpoints and stop thinking the world owes you a hug.
Our second trigger keeps us Utah. Clearfield State Representative Paul Ray introduced himself to the world via a proposal that Utah reinstate a firing squad as the method of choice for execution of prisoners. His argument? It is the most humane way to kill a human being.
Ray was quoted by many news outlets to say, “The prisoner dies instantly. It sounds draconian. It sounds really bad, but the minute the bullet hits your heart, you’re dead. There is no suffering.”
I agree Paul. That does sound really bad.
No suffering, eh? How about the suffering of knowing that you are being dragged out to a pole so that five marksman will soon pierce your chest with high caliber projectiles.
You really want to kill someone instantly? Really? Have a single executioner walk up to the condemned at a distance of 6 inches and put a single bullet into their brain. Fast, easy, cheap and nearly impossible to botch.
I do not type that for shock value, nor as a droll attempt at humor. My intent is to show the morbid irony that should be self-evident in an oxymoron such as the term “humane execution” entails.
Do you want to know what the most humane way to kill someone is? Old age. Stick them in a horrible jail with limited privileges until the day they die.
But let us remove ourselves from the opaque morality involved in killing someone as a means of justice. A much more serious problem exists with capital punishment. That being said, the justice system in America suffers from a grotesquely fatal flaw.
Poor people do not get the same level of legal representation that wealthier people have access to. That’s a cold, hard obscene fact. And it does not just apply to serious charges. In America, try fighting a DUI, a restraining order or being sued for the most jejune reasons.
In capital cases, most public defenders spend countless of hours defending their clients. But there is still much less of a chance of that advocate having the same skills, legal acumen and resources that would be available to a six-figure lawyer bred for one purpose alone: win court cases.
Like many Americans, I puff out my chest thinking about all the great qualities that is embodied in the American identity. But our system of justice is skewed against those with limited financial means. And it shames us all that equal justice rings hollow here.
And to sum this all up, I have zero tolerance for anyone that states emphatically that no one has ever been executed that was not guilty. Locking someone up in jail for a crime they did not commit is abhorrent. Killing someone who is innocent of a heinous crime tattoos our hands with blood. And it surely has happened before; and so long as the death penalty exists in America, it will tragically happen again.
Firing squads are humane? If that premise does not make you shiver, you are a part of the problem.