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Opinion: Tolerance, Safe Spaces and Indifference

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The internet would call me a “hater” – that is if anyone still uses the term “hater” in 2017.  I would much prefer “mildly perturbed”, “marginally inconvenienced” or even just “principally apathetic” if we’re being honest.

To be frank, much of the hullabaloo surrounding all (and I do mean all) of the issues that we face today is currently serving as the benignly objectionable elevator music in my life as a lobby boy at the Grand Budapest.

I can already hear the cries. “But it does affect your life!” to which I will gladly redirect you to the self-description of preference noted above.

I didn’t care when Steve Martin “controversially” called Carrie Fisher beautiful; nor could I have been bothered when YouTube’s most popular creator was publicly shamed by Disney after a round of Wall Street Journal character-assassination attempts for being “anti-semitic”. (The irony, right?)  I even somehow dodged eye-contact with the wave of figurative online beggars who were pleading with me to further denounce the effects of safe spaces when Milo Yiannopolous’ event was canceled due to a costly, destructive, violent riot of protest in Los Angeles earlier this year.

***

Excuse me. As an educated, understanding and chiefly, a tolerant member of society, I would like to vehemently apologize for my repugnant public showcase of bigotry.  I was naively unaware of both the offense that this may have caused and the particular sensitivity around this issue. I now further appreciate that there is a serious need for a deeper understanding of the complex and extensive issues of the times in which we live. I hope that in highlighting my own ignorance that I can help put an end to the tyranny of labeling one who employs the courage to ask for donations for a living as a “beggar”.

***

Sound familiar? It should. It seems like every day we get a new one of these apologies for a completely victimless crime. It is also worth noting that a sizable amount of the paragraph above is taken word-for-word from a 2016 Instagram post from Chris Hemsworth in which he apologized for dressing as a Native American at a cowboy themed party.

As you can see, the absurdity of this all is becoming such an interference in our daily culture that it is beginning to encroach into my neutral, unprovoking apathy.  That’s a problem… but to be fair, remember that it was all you hyper-aggrieved social justice warriors who started it.

The “progressive’s” strict adherence to all things tolerant has become so terrifyingly warped and overzealously enforced that that I wouldn’t bat an eye at anyone labeling it as authoritarian.

Tomi Lahren, an inflammatory conservative political commentator, dares to stray from party line and announces that she was pro-choice on The View – is “permanently banned” from her position on the Glenn Beck affiliated The Blaze. Collin Morality, an outspoken libertarian internet personality makes a joke about women on Women's Day – is out of the company he founded less than a week later. Louis C.K., world-renowned comedian, (rather brilliantly) turns an interview regarding being on the wrong end of outrage culture into a joke about killing Jews – silence. Did I forget to mention he’s liberal?

Thought crimes are to nonconforming statements what Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four” is to 2017.

Tolerance was once defined to me as “doing your best to not be an asshole to everyone around you.” However, there is a clear difference between not being an asshole and playing “good comrade” in a nanny-state where you police the words out of your neighbor’s mouth to the degree in which they lose any and all ability to appropriately label that which is around them.

This movement is inseparably linked with for the perpetual cycle of outrage culture that we live in today. When everything is an emergency, nothing truly is. It’s no wonder the television news ratings are dropping faster than the approval of the president.

Safe Space culture is not only placing barriers on free speech, but it is also restricting our ability to define and hence clearly address the issues that actually matter.  Anything less than the Obama administration’s foreign policy stance of complete submittal to “civil rights” activists by not uttering the phrase “Islamic terrorist”, and you’re a chauvinistic racist.

I believe that Bill Maher summed up the issue well saying, “What matters is that while you self-involved fools were policing the language on the Kid’s Choice Awards, a madman talked his way into the White House.”

This is the opinion of Joshua Martin and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the O'Colly editorial board. If you wish to contact Martin, you may do so at joshua.c.martin@okstate.edu.