To the students (but not only students) who won’t read this

It’s time to grow up. You are not the final word on righteousness no matter how fervently you hold your beliefs. Not any of you (and, yes, that’s a universal claim).

And universities exist for other purposes than your temper tantrums. Yes, you are entitled to invite speakers. That also means your fellow students—oh, here’s a news flash—are entitled to invite speakers. No, you are not entitled to throw a shit fit, let alone commit acts of violence, when they accept.

You are entitled to dialogue, but you are not entitled to an affirmation of your self-righteousness. And you are not entitled to conflate the two.

Now, I realize that we are frightfully short of role models now, especially in the political arena (in both major parties), but you are adults now, legally allowed to vote (although I recommend against participation in a fraudulent system[1]), which means you have a responsibility to engage in—oh, here’s a radical word—civil discourse. Which contrary to your perverse notion of ‘dialogue’ as an affirmation of your self-righteousness, means you have a duty to engage with your opponents respectfully.

Respect does not mean demanding an affirmation of your self-righteousness. It means, first, acknowledging that somebody besides yourself might have some concerns or grievances. Second, it means listening to that person’s concerns and grievances and responding meaningfully. Again, we’re woefully short of role models in the political arena. Third, it does not mean retribution. Fourth, it does not mean bigotry against anyone (even if you think they’re ‘privileged’).

And if you can’t rise to that, then I guess I’m wrong about you being adults. Get back in your fucking cribs someplace where responsible adults don’t have to bother with you.

  1. [1]David Benfell, “Why I do not vote,” Not Housebroken, February 25, 2016, https://disunitedstates.org/?p=8743

Author: benfell

David Benfell holds a Ph.D. in Human Science from Saybrook University. He earned a M.A. in Speech Communication from CSU East Bay in 2009 and has studied at California Institute of Integral Studies. He is an anarchist, a vegetarian ecofeminist, a naturist, and a Taoist.

Leave a Reply