Last week, I received a text containing the picture shown: An artful take on Cornell Republicans’ controversial decision to invite former Wisconsin governor Scott Walker to speak on Nov. 4. Hilarious. Let’s talk about it. Forms of expression like this have managed to poke the Big Red free-speech bear in nearly all seven of my semesters here at Cornell.
The word “snowflake” is used to identify a person who has an inflated sense of uniqueness — a person with too many emotions and an inability to deal with opposing opinions. It has become a politicized insult by the political right to insult the left. Those targeted as “snowflakes” are seen as fragile, weak, easily offended and desperate for “trigger warnings” and safe spaces. While frequently used to insinuate and insult, it has been increasingly common for Trump protestors to hold up signs that say, “Damn right we’re snowflakes and winter is coming.”
College students seek emotional health by demanding protection from words and ideas they don’t like, suggests an article in The Atlantic, which is actually detrimental for their education and mental health. The authors warn against trigger warnings and restricting speech because students must learn to live in a world that has a plethora of potential offenses.