9/11 remembrance bill defeated by University of Minnesota student government

The most unsurprising news of the day? Earlier this month, the student assembly at the University of Minnesota soundly defeated a measure that called for a moment of silence on campus to remember the victims of 9/11.

The second most unsurprising news of the day is the reason it was defeated.

Daily Beast:

The everything-is-offensive brand of campus activism has struck a new low: students at the University of Minnesota killed a proposed moment of silence for 9/11 victims due to concerns—insulting, childish concerns—that Muslim students would be offended.

Has it truly come to this? Is feelings-protection now such an overriding goal that completely unreasonable fears win out, even if they have no basis in reality? Can we not even have a single moment to recognize legitimate victims of terrorism without worrying that someone will feel marginalized on campus?

Theo Menon, a Minnesota Student Association representative and member of the College Republicans, realized that the university wasn’t doing anything to memorialize 9/11; on October 6th, he introduced an MSA proposal to do just that. The very short resolution asked the university to institute a “moment of recognition” during the mornings of all future September 11ths.

The resolution proved weirdly controversial. According to The Minnesota Republic:

At-large MSA representative and Director of Diversity and Inclusion David Algadi voiced severe criticism of the resolution. He also made sure to emphasize 9/11’s status as a national tragedy in his response.

“The passing of this resolution might make a space that is unsafe for students on campus even more unsafe,” said Algadi, “Islamophobia and racism fueled through that are alive and well.”

To be clear, the resolution did not refer to Islam. It did not impugn Muslim students, or other Muslims. It did not require anyone to contemplate the fact that the terrorists responsible for 9/11 were Muslims. It said nothing about whether Islam itself is to blame for global terrorism. It merely stated that 9/11 has had a lasting effect on many students, and ought to be reflected upon for a single moment, once a year.

And yet, in an email obtained by The Washington PostAlgadi expressed concernsthat efforts to recognize 9/11 are sometimes thinly-veiled expressions of Islamophobia.

The remembrance is only a "thinly veiled expression of Islamophobia" if you choose to see it that way. In any other venue Algadi would be hospitalized for observation, to make sure he wasn't a threat to himself or others. Instead, he holds the exalted position of diversity czar.

How about cancelling Christmas vacation so as not to offend Jews or Muslims? It doesn't matter if they call it a "semester break." Obviously it's a thinly veiled expression celebrating the Christian Christmas, right? And don't get me started on Kwanzaa.

Where will it end? I am beyond caring. Some students who will be going out after they graduate to make their way in the world are going to receive a psychic shock so profound that they may never recover. The colleges they are attending are failing them in a way far beyond simply failing to educate. Colleges are supposed to train young minds to think independently and separate what's important from what isn't. Obsessing over mythical offenses that will make someone feel bad - largely because they are taught to feel bad - is the exact opposite of what a "liberal" education used to be.

What's going to happen to these students when they take a job where a manager will yell at them for not doing their job? Will they demand a "safe space" where the manager will be unable to talk to them?  What if they work with a difficult employee? The real world is a horrid place compared to college, and from the looks of things, it doesn't appear that many students are prepared for it.

The most unsurprising news of the day? Earlier this month, the student assembly at the University of Minnesota soundly defeated a measure that called for a moment of silence on campus to remember the victims of 9/11.

The second most unsurprising news of the day is the reason it was defeated.

Daily Beast:

The everything-is-offensive brand of campus activism has struck a new low: students at the University of Minnesota killed a proposed moment of silence for 9/11 victims due to concerns—insulting, childish concerns—that Muslim students would be offended.

Has it truly come to this? Is feelings-protection now such an overriding goal that completely unreasonable fears win out, even if they have no basis in reality? Can we not even have a single moment to recognize legitimate victims of terrorism without worrying that someone will feel marginalized on campus?

Theo Menon, a Minnesota Student Association representative and member of the College Republicans, realized that the university wasn’t doing anything to memorialize 9/11; on October 6th, he introduced an MSA proposal to do just that. The very short resolution asked the university to institute a “moment of recognition” during the mornings of all future September 11ths.

The resolution proved weirdly controversial. According to The Minnesota Republic:

At-large MSA representative and Director of Diversity and Inclusion David Algadi voiced severe criticism of the resolution. He also made sure to emphasize 9/11’s status as a national tragedy in his response.

“The passing of this resolution might make a space that is unsafe for students on campus even more unsafe,” said Algadi, “Islamophobia and racism fueled through that are alive and well.”

To be clear, the resolution did not refer to Islam. It did not impugn Muslim students, or other Muslims. It did not require anyone to contemplate the fact that the terrorists responsible for 9/11 were Muslims. It said nothing about whether Islam itself is to blame for global terrorism. It merely stated that 9/11 has had a lasting effect on many students, and ought to be reflected upon for a single moment, once a year.

And yet, in an email obtained by The Washington PostAlgadi expressed concernsthat efforts to recognize 9/11 are sometimes thinly-veiled expressions of Islamophobia.

The remembrance is only a "thinly veiled expression of Islamophobia" if you choose to see it that way. In any other venue Algadi would be hospitalized for observation, to make sure he wasn't a threat to himself or others. Instead, he holds the exalted position of diversity czar.

How about cancelling Christmas vacation so as not to offend Jews or Muslims? It doesn't matter if they call it a "semester break." Obviously it's a thinly veiled expression celebrating the Christian Christmas, right? And don't get me started on Kwanzaa.

Where will it end? I am beyond caring. Some students who will be going out after they graduate to make their way in the world are going to receive a psychic shock so profound that they may never recover. The colleges they are attending are failing them in a way far beyond simply failing to educate. Colleges are supposed to train young minds to think independently and separate what's important from what isn't. Obsessing over mythical offenses that will make someone feel bad - largely because they are taught to feel bad - is the exact opposite of what a "liberal" education used to be.

What's going to happen to these students when they take a job where a manager will yell at them for not doing their job? Will they demand a "safe space" where the manager will be unable to talk to them?  What if they work with a difficult employee? The real world is a horrid place compared to college, and from the looks of things, it doesn't appear that many students are prepared for it.