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OPINION

The Care and Feeding of Weaponized Outrage

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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Watching the zoo unleashed on the University of Missouri campus, reminds one of the opening line of that oft-played song—“Feelings, nothing more than feelings…” We’re watching the sickness of the sensitivity movement come to bloom on America’s campuses in the form of unbridled intolerance. If your sensitivities are ruffled, if there’s a hint of attack, or if I just don’t like what you have to say, shut up or I’ll have you removed, fired, or shamed into silence!

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On far too many campuses, those “offended” now have a license to attack without consequence. Even worse—they’re getting their way!

This is the PC culture unchained, and the schools and administrators who have cultivated it are reaping the rewards—chaotic demonstrations, personal attacks, and unending demands!

This growing grievance industry is being rewarded and the media is weaponizing their message. There are campaigns to stop bullying. We need a campaign to stop these narcissistic, spoiled bullies from controlling our college campuses. It’s time for administrators and coaches to exercise leadership instead of giving in to the demonstrators’ irresponsible demands.

The freedom to demonstrate is a treasured right, but it also comes with responsibilities and consequences. The freedom you claim, you must be ready to give to others who have the right to disagree, react negatively, and demonstrate against your position.

Who would hire any of these easily “offended” bullies? They aren’t into working or studying; they’re into demonstrating and destroying. They don’t value diversity of thought or build bridges across their ideological divide. They throw verbal bombs designed to insult and shame.

As for the Missouri University football players, If I were their coach, my message would have been clear: “You have a right to demonstrate and to take a stand for what you believe is important. I respect that, but there are consequences for your actions. If you’re not at practice on Monday, you will not play in the next game. If I have to seek walk-ons to take your place, so be it. But we will play the game next Saturday with or without you!”

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When the basketball super-star, Bill Walton, returned to UCLA with a beard and told Coach John Wooden that it was important for him to express his personal freedom by growing a beard, the famed basketball coach had an affirming but challenging message. He said that he was proud of Bill’s exercise of his rights and wished him well. He confessed that he would be missed. Choices have consequences. If he wanted to be on the championship UCLA basketball team, he would need to report to practice clean shaven. The beard was gone that day.

Freedom to demonstrate…yes. Freedom from consequences…no. It’s time to stop spoiling demonstrators who use “offense” as a weapon to destroy our freedoms and confound common sense.

These demonstrators have already received enough glorified coverage. Let me give tribute to a football player who chose to make a difference instead of demonstrate. Denver Bronco quarterback Peyton Manning established a fund and played the first five games of the year in honor of the Chattanooga Five—the four Marines and one Navy sailor who were killed in an act of domestic terrorism this summer at the Naval Marine Corps Reserve Center in Chattanooga, TN.

In establishing, contributing, and raising money for the five families through the Chattanooga Heroes Fund, Manning is taking a stand for the families of those who paid the ultimate price for protecting our freedoms.

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When asked about his service, Manning said, “On July 16th, 2015, this strong, welcoming community was forever changed by the tragedy that unfolded. The five servicemen who gave their lives, the police officer who risked his life in order to protect others, and the actions of many other first responders were truly heroic. We are proud to establish the Chattanooga Heroes Fund to honor these heroes by helping to provide for the future of their families.”

Now, that’s a football player demonstrating for a cause worthy of all our support.

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