I knew the Trump2016 trauma was exaggerated

It’s become the standard trope: college students are whiny, delicate, over-sensitive wimps who can’t take the real world and demand safe spaces and trigger warnings. These complaints about students are usually made by ignorant jerks who don’t know any, and who will also be complaining about too PC and of course, the regressive Left, and before you know it, they’ve put all college folk into the cultural Marxist category. Those phrases are good tells to let you know you’re dealing with an idiot.

The latest cause célèbre for the regressive trolls is an incident at Emory University, in which someone scrawled “Trump 2016” on the sidewalk. As the right-wing twits tell it, the students were shocked and horrified and demanding protection from the administration, and the administration rushed to coddle them.

It was all a lie.

Snopes has a good breakdown of the real story. Yes, someone chalked “Trump 2016” on campus. No, students didn’t swoon and weep and scurry to hide under the bed.

While it was true that several dozen Emory University students protested in response to the Trump chalk scrawlings, we were unable to substantiate that anyone (student or administrator) offered emergency counseling, or, indeed, counseling or any sort. Neither did anyone seek counseling that we could see, and no students complained “safe spaces” were violated (though at least one said they felt “unsafe”).

The students organized a goddamn protest, which is exactly what you should do when someone starts preaching Trumpism. The lie that they were after counseling or complaining about violation of their safe spaces is bullshit that came from prestigious quality sources like The Daily Mail, Fox News, and the Drudge Report.

In nearly all such claims, details of the actual controversy were obfuscated by embellished elements framing students or schools as overly sensitive. While it was true some students of color expressed that the large number of Trump chalkings made them uneasy, most simply gathered to express their political distaste for the presidential candidate and his platforms on issues of race and religion.

If you’re one of those anti-PC kneejerk conservatives complaining about “special snowflakes” on the basis of lying right wing propaganda, I hereby condemn you to reading this article on 5 (Statistically BS) Complaints About Social Justice Issues, because you are ruining America.

You should maybe also spend some time talking to real college students, because they are generally intelligent, thoughtful adults who actually have legitimate reasons for their concerns. I won’t require it, though, because it wouldn’t be fair to them — they probably don’t want to talk to you, asshole.


  1. wzrd1 says

    I’ll say something from far outside of academia, I’m a veteran, of special forces no less. I have my own share of triggers and when triggered, it ain’t pretty.

    So, I’ll ask you, as you loathe “PC” and trigger warnings, do you honestly want to antagonize a man who is perfectly capable of killing you in a twinkling of an eye?
    Where, you were being the insensitive asshole from hell, rubbing your assholedom in everyone’s faces, hit my trigger and you’re on the floor breathing your last?
    That is a very real possibility, the police would be summoned and yet another “disturbed veteran” story would grace the news. You’d still be dead.

    That is the simple reality of our society, you don’t know who is a veteran, who lost a loved one to murder, who was raped and you blithely go about trying to trigger those people. Some of us can end your miserable existence and not be at all upset about it, for we’ve improved the human gene pool by pruning the low hanging branch.

    Now, to meet me, you’d find I’m a delightful, calm, humor filled guy. Pretty much every loves to meet me. But, hidden beneath the veneer of civilization, humor and general wonderful conversation lies that monster hidden beneath all humans. The difference between us is a lifetime of experience and training.
    You’d not get to know that until it’s too late, in your misfit version of the world.
    So, whether or not you like it, I do champion for sensitivity, “political correctness” (which really means letting people enjoy the rights I fought in two wars for) and to be protected from assholes who really should be pruned from the tree of mankind.
    But, freedom is a risky business, engage in boorishness at your own hazard.

  2. opposablethumbs says

    Trouble is, wzrd1, that these Trumpery Trumpeting arseholes always somehow find it in themselves to be courteous – or at least circumspect – with anybody who looks the least bit like they could defend themselves. Their freeze peach just comes bubbling uncontrollably to the surface (like pond scum) when faced with what they see as an easy target – those with no social clout, the visibly disabled, the very young or very old, PoC or anyone who looks a lot weaker than they are. Or if they are mob-handed, of course.
    The notion that they might occasionally make a mistake and threaten or attack someone who can fight back is unlikely to put them off, unfortunately.
    And meanwhile the right-wing press is all SOP, distorting what they report and denigrating any demographic they regard as anti-Trump.

  3. wzrd1 says

    opposablethumbs, I’m not built like a brick shithouse, I’ve got my share of gray hair and occasionally walk with a cane.
    Opportunist predators like Trumpies would likely make the mistake of thinking that I’m easy prey, as some previous tea party types have.
    I’ve had an experience with the latter, where one sought to bully the man with a cane. He and his peers rapidly learned, there is an entire martial art behind the use of a cane as something other than a cudgel. :)

  4. sundiver says

    wzrd1: Could you post your first out where all these assholes can see it? I’ve tried to get the same point across to others but lacked your direct eloquence.

  5. brucegee1962 says

    In an article that I read, it said that the placing of some of the graffitti seemed to have been deliberately chosen to intimidate (eg. the steps to the Minority Student Center).

    If true, an expression of feeling less safe seems perfectly justified.

  6. ZugTheMegasaurus says

    I’ll chime in here since I’m somebody who not only has been in classes with trigger warnings, but also where those trigger warnings were for me.

    [Trigger Warning: domestic violence, homicide] (See how easy?)

    When I was in law school, I was in an extremely abusive relationship that was physically violent on a near-daily basis. Throughout the ten years I was in that relationship, I also worked with helping domestic violence victims, and part of that was DV coursework in law school as well.

    One afternoon, I sat down in the library to do my reading; that section on the syllabus had a trigger warning noting the case involved a man who had strangled his wife to death. In that instant, I knew I would not be able to do it right then without having a complete meltdown in public: not twelve hours earlier, my ex had squeezed my throat until I genuinely thought I was going to die; I was wearing a scarf to cover the deep purple bruising all over my neck and couldn’t even swallow because it was so swollen and painful.

    That does not mean I got out of doing the work. It does not mean that I got to skip that part and still get the same grade. It means that I read it a few days later, having had the time to prepare myself.

    Trigger warnings are not intended (or used) to hinder discussion of difficult subjects; I can’t imagine it’s easy for anyone to read and think about and discuss the gruesome details of a murder like that. But there’s absolutely no pedagogical interest in blindsiding students with especially-difficult information when it takes next to zero effort to just give them a head’s up. Students who don’t need the trigger warnings don’t even notice them (I’d scan right over the warnings for other things) but they’re incredibly valuable for those who do.

  7. jester700 says

    In many parts of the US, where gun ownership is out of control, there are folks “perfectly capable of killing you in a twinkling of an eye” almost everywhere. Makes wzrd1’s point even clearer. Though if I had to guess, I’d say the gun fondler set likely overlaps pretty well with the anti-PC set.

  8. unclefrogy says

    it seems to me that the anti-pc freeze peach crowd seem to be conflating the right of free speech and the demand for agreement in what they want to say.

    I can accept your right to say or think what you want but I reserve the right (and responsibility) to publicly express my disagreement when I do!
    uncle frogy

  9. bruce1 says

    #7, I’m sorry, but if you feel that the phrase “Trump2016” in chalk, just by itself, intimidates you or makes you feel less safe, isn’t that on you? The Snopes article linked to says the students felt “threatened” and “triggered” and said they felt the phrase above was “bigoted.” The Emory Wheel article that links to has a student saying “I don’t deserve to feel afraid,” by the phrase. Another calls it “alarming.” The University president was pressured to disavow Trump, personally and “end” the “rhetoric” involved in writing “Trump2016”. The Wheel article details how security camera footage is being reviewed to identify the perpetrators and go after them for a student conduct violation. For chalk.

    I hate everything Trump stands for with the heat of a hundred suns, but you can’t chalk this up (sorry, couldn’t resist) as anything but a massive overreaction to what by any other candidate would constitute normal political speech. It’s the exact inversion of Trump threatening to change the libel laws so free speech against him can be shut down when he’s president. We can fight Trumpism without becoming like him.

  10. Zeppelin says

    “Cultural marxism” sounds like a pretty promising idea. Maybe if anyone ever figures out what it is, we can give it a go!

  11. Zeppelin says


    You don’t get automatic respect just for having been in the army. You get respect for being a good person with integrity (values which Americans think their military represents, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, which is where their creepy veteran worship comes from I guess).
    You on the other hand, seem like a petty, bullying asshole and I *highly* doubt I would “love to meet you”. A charge which I assume you are going to counter by first threatening to murder me, then claiming that everyone loves you.

  12. qwints says

    The Snopes article seems inaccurate when it claims that it’s false that “students were afraid or traumatized.” The Emory Wheel article it cites directly quotes a student as saying “I don’t deserve to feel afraid at my school”, and quotes students saying they felt “‘frustration’ and ‘fear.'” Another article from the paper describes students experiencing fear and pain. The Daily Beast quoted a student saying “I legitimately feared for my life,” calling it an “active threat” and labeling the chalking “violence.” Finally, the Washington Post quotes a student organization response saying the chalking created “an environement in which students no longer feel safe or welcome.”

    Like every other one of this campus stories that gets nationwide press, I’m sure there’s a lot more going on than just the chalking, but it’s not accurate to frame this as simply some students supporting Trump while others protest Trump. Both protesters and student groups are framing it as actions that caused fear and pain to students, and we shouldn’t disregard that.

  13. wzrd1 says

    Sundiver, when I find an appropriate venue, I’ll happily share that with one and all.

    ZugTheMegasaurus, indeed, a trigger warning does indeed give listeners a warning to prepare for angst, rather than a blunt shock of the trigger being activated and a harmful meltdown ensue.

    Jester700, indeed, far too many are the firearm fondling types. Those are some of the very people that assume the only risk to their miserable lives are those with firearms. I’ve not required a firearm to visit harm upon a threat in my military life, there were times when firearms were either in the way or would disclose our presence and matters had to be handled in a different, quieter way.

    Unclefrogy, what the anti-PC types fail to realize is, words can be weapons, even more deadly than a bullet. Where a bullet may immediately injure or kill, words can induce emotions that fester and in those who have experienced trauma, can cause them to first destroy their own lives, then end their own lives, as they’re still not handling their original trauma. Knowing that and still proceeding is as irresponsible as bringing a hand grenade into a kindergarten, as inevitably, harm will ensue.

    Bruce1, the Trump2016 was scrawled on the concrete in highly specific locations, something I honestly suspect was a directly targeted attempt at suppressing the rights of others: “They also point out that many of the chalk messages appeared on or near the Centro Latino, a campus space for Latino students. The university spokeswoman says photographs show the chalk near that center but adds that the Centro Latino is in the main student activities center, which houses many student groups. The Emory Black Student Union space is also located there.”
    That’s especially true when Trump was at that time, recently endorsed by the KKK and Trump still has to back away from that hate group.

    Zeppelin, wouldn’t “Cultural Marxism” be pre-Stalinist Soviet culture? ;)
    Stalin took care of that cultural attempt quite efficiently.

  14. Zeppelin says

    @wzrd1 Well, Stalin was “marxist” in the same sense that Hitler was “socialist”, so not really.

  15. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Cultural Marxism is simply a term coined by the SQW bullies to imply that whoever is complaining about their sexist/racist/bigoted drivel is nothing but dictators trying to impose their will upon their freeze peach. Bullies doing what bullies do best, their bad behavior isn’t their fault…

  16. wzrd1 says

    Zeppelin indeed, hence, Stalin took care of Marxism and Leninism as well. It was Stalin’s way, to hell with reality (or science in genetics).
    Still, without Stalin, it’s uncertain how things may have went during WWII.

    Oh well, one takes one’s history as it passed, leaving one scratching one’s head thinking, “just what were they thinking?”.

  17. Zeppelin says

    @wzrd1 I don’t think Stalin is all that inexplicable really! He’s very much a despot in the Russian tradition, terrifying secret police and all. Just…more so, because they were going through an especially bad time.
    Marxism is alive and well though, if not in the US.

  18. opposablethumbs says

    bruce1 #12

    #7, I’m sorry, but if you feel that the phrase “Trump2016” in chalk, just by itself, intimidates you or makes you feel less safe, isn’t that on you?

    Weeeell … depending on who and where I was, I can certainly imagine feeling intimidated and less safe if I turned up to my place of study and found that a bunch of swastikas had been chalked around the place overnight, or the letters NF or EDL or BNP. Obviously I know that no amount of chalked letters or symbols are going to rise up off the pavement and physically attack me – but I also know that whoever chalked them there is somewhere around, that they feel safe expressing their racism (for example) in public, and that they would be quite happy doing me and mine physical harm should the opportunity arise.

    Though I do also take your point about the political speech issue too.

    ZugTheMegasaurus, fucking hell that’s awful. It must have taken exceptional strength to get through the course and survive and escape the abuse; I was so glad to read a particular word in your post – ex.

  19. Vivec says

    Trump supporters are bigoted fascist morons. As a member of several oppressed groups – yeah, I’d feel pretty fucking intimidated if I knew a bunch of bigoted fascist morons were running around on campus. We kind of have a habit of getting shanked or beaten up if we’re out alone or at night.

  20. says

    @Zeppelin – 25 March 2016 at 1:25 pm

    Cultural marxism” sounds like a pretty promising idea. Maybe if anyone ever figures out what it is, we can give it a go!

    It’s a tangled tale. The tl;dr version is that it’s a modern right wing conspiracy theory that originated with William S. Lind, Pat Buchanan, and similar people. It holds that anything “liberal” is part of commie plot to destroy Western Civilization, and it’s a popular right wing bugaboo. If you’re interested in where the concept actually originated, what it actually means, and how it went from an academic concept to a conspiracy theory, read about the Frankfurt School. Especially look at the “Cultural Marxism conspiracy theory” section.

  21. ModZero says

    @wzrd1, #1

    What you write is scary to me. A social justice supporter, politically correct, left-wing, autistic non-binary. I do my best to be respectful of others, watch for feedback, but it just happens in my childhood I’ve been a subject of violence more than once. You say your anger is targeted, but so did others, and you claim to give people little space for feedback. It’s probably hyperbole, but I don’t know. It’s scary.

    Meanwhile, as #2 wrote, I really doubt you scared a single trumpite. And you know what? While I appreciate the intent, if you stood up for me by escalating the violence, you wouldn’t do me good.

  22. robro says

    One thing to remember: this wasn’t a single tagging of “Trump 2016.” I’ve seen at least 5 pictures of various tagged surface, including the face of every step of a 20+ step stairway. Perhaps this isn’t all. In any case, it isn’t exactly an isolated incident. If it’s a pattern, then it’s even more worrisome.

    And, students have a right to protest this action…whether isolated, random, or a persistent pattern. In fact, they have more right to protest than anyone has to deface university or public property.

    Another thing to keep in mind…this is Atlanta, Georgia, a city and region well known for racial hostility. The race baiting the Republican party continues to be engaged in raises the ever present risk of violence.

  23. Rob Grigjanis says

    Holms @28: Watch it sunshine. I’m a master in Llap-Goch, the secret Welsh art of self-defence that requires NO INTELLIGENCE, STRENGTH or PHYSICAL courage.

    chigau @29: I’d pay good money to hear that pronounced.

  24. says

    We used to have a drinking contest in which you had to translate japanese porn site video descriptions into marxist/leninist deconstructionist terminology, then do dramatic readings of the results.

    Which, basically, was the cultural revolution. Except without people dying.

  25. grandolddeity says


    I’ll challenge your prowess to a seriously pissed off person. I will T-Bone your Avalanche in a heart beat, if you piss me off. All your training means squat.

  26. Rob Grigjanis says

    Marcus Ranum @33: Fucking intellectuals, looking for reasons to get pissed. What’s the Japanese for “sun over the yardarm”?

  27. chigau (違う) says

    Marcus Ranum #33
    Next time I’m stumped by my 日本語宿題 translation, I’m asking you for help.

  28. wzrd1 says

    Zeppelin, the murderer is a product of his environment/era. I’m familiar with that one, slightly.
    As my wife and I have gone hungry to feed our children and really loathed life when our children went hungry with us, I understand his context, I fundamentally disagree with his solution set.
    Abuse upon any opposing? Not in my lexicon, I convince those opposing and only destroy those attempting to cause harm to the masses via violence to those masses.

    Vivec, you’re on the right trail, fascism. It’s been in this nation when fascism had new paint, it’s remaining today. Quite a worrisome condition!

    Williamgeorge, that’s why I only drink rainwater and distilled grain spirits. Purity of essence! ;)

    ModZero, I’ll never be scary to you. You are a gentle person and hence, could shield from offense. :)
    Even an honest gaffe won’t hit a trigger, save glancingly and I’d make mention of it, apologetically.
    Yes, I’ve performed my duty in ways that horrify civilized people, they horrified me. That isn’t desensitization, it was simple reality. eliminate a threat or be eliminated and our nation suffers.
    I repeatedly reenlisted for a reason, so that my younger and younger peers didn’t have to let their children go through that mental meat grinder.
    I never did what I did for thanks, it was to not put more people through that insanity factory.
    As for point number two, it was a sparse condition in life, singular in nature, thankfully. I didn’t have to kill my way out of them and to be brutally honest, I was anticipating killing my way through them.
    Something utterly disgusting to me, a failure in the extreme.
    For my mantra has always been, violence is the first refuge of the incompetent.
    While I’ve had the occasional incontinence, I’m far from incompetent. I’ll chalk that event up to hyperthyroid.
    That said, there might be dementia, far premature, but that still is within the diagnostic criteria and not ruled out, courtesy of that hyperthyroidism.
    If the latter is true, I refuse to put my family through what I and my wife had to deal with. All, save my wife, agrees.
    We’ll deal with that one if it actually happens. That said, I obviously have many plans to deal with it if things go sideways. :/
    My goal in life has always been to leave this world better than I arrived in it and as the early ’60’s wasn’t really great, the current decline can be removed and improved upon.
    That said, I do have an asshole part of me. Threaten me, I threaten back and prepare within a fraction of a second to follow through.
    One method I used in a desperate situation, where my firearms were neutralized in a narrow passage, placing a knife mid-claviclular line, redirecting blade medially and withdrawing it.
    Wasn’t a fun experience to get all of that on me, but I got to go home, he didn’t.
    Excuse me, while I get seriously drunk.

    grandolddeity, get into my grille, be a new eunuch. I’ve never had a problem driving a blade into a suppossed man’s dick and then move toward more vital areas. Again, not a fun memory.
    Excuse me, while I get my fifth drink.
    After a week of proving that I don’t *need* to drink and sleeplessness, or more correctly, easily awakened, with hypervigilance.
    Thanks for nothing.

  29. Akira MacKenzie says

    atheist @ 24

    From the link you cited:

    The term alludes to a conspiracy theory in which sinister left-wingers in media, academia, and science are engaged in a decades-long plot to undermine Western culture.

    Wait, this “Cultural Marxism” stuff is supposed to be a bad thing? Somehow, I fail to see why.

  30. Rich Woods says

    @Rob Grigjanis #31:

    Watch it sunshine. I’m a master in Llap-Goch, the secret Welsh art of self-defence that requires NO INTELLIGENCE, STRENGTH or PHYSICAL courage.

    Pah. No master of Llap-Goch has ever been able to stand up to a master of Ecky Thump.

  31. grandolddeity says

    lol…bad-ass hand-to-hand…not so much in the blind spot. Five drinks is seriously drunk…not…you could write a book, but you’re not serious. Cool story. I can still take you out. Not that I want to or would. You’re just not as unstoppable as you think you are. PO’d people are too unpredictable for the well-prepared or hyper-vigilant. Hence, the existing conflict around the world. The Billions can’t overcome the guerillas. True Dat.

  32. grandolddeity says

    Having wrote that, thank-you for your service…it sounds like a hard life.

  33. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    Fucking hell. Once upon a time the pissing contests on Pharyngula were intellectual. They weren’t any more pleasant, don’t get me wrong, but at least that sort of macho bullshit kinda makes sense given the medium in which it was contested.

  34. Marc Abian says

    So, I’ll ask you, as you loathe “PC” and trigger warnings, do you honestly want to antagonize a man who is perfectly capable of killing you in a twinkling of an eye?

    Not over the internet you’re not, tough guy.

  35. grandolddeity says

    Speaking for myself, I’ve only offered the flip-side to post #1. Preparedness vs unpredictability. Current events. Unpredictability wins.

  36. wzrd1 says

    There’s a reciprocal relationship to the unpredictable person.
    Never underestimate the power of a large number of assholes working together. ;)

    A finer example could not be found than the US military vs Al Qaeda, who went from bombings that caused hundreds of casualties to ineffective shoe and diaper bombs. All because they underestimated the power of large numbers of assholes and attrition. :P

  37. grandolddeity says

    Yeah. There’s always that…in either direction. But we were talking about how bad-ass you are vs one other. And I don’t doubt that. Nor does it frighten me. You gotta pick your fights. I don’t like to fight. I sure won’t bring a knife to a gun fight. What’s the answer to Daesh?

  38. ModZero says

    ModZero, I’ll never be scary to you. You are a gentle person and hence, could shield from offense. :)

    You probably wouldn’t see me as gentle. I’m 192cm tall, pretty big — though not muscled — and my mental issues mean I come off as a bit weird. I do my best, but I still just barely fit in. I’m also skittish, jumpy (abuse in school does that to you), mentally unable to actually punch someone (no, really — found out while trying to defend myself), and fairly weak — but, bragging aside, you wouldn’t know that. So I’m not some sort of fairly tale victim — I’m a complex, flawed person.

    People who ever targeted me always found a way of making it seem righteous. In some cases even as “protecting me”, just as they assaulted me. The essence of what I’m saying is: you talk about respecting PC culture and trigger warnings — but explicit threats of violence are actually pretty common triggers. One of the (thankfully) few I have. Please don’t do that.

  39. wzrd1 says

    grandolddeity, the same answer we’ve been giving Daesh, a smart bomb at every leadership meeting.
    Nitrates are common, as is iron, so they’ll run out of leadership before we run out of iron and nitrate explosives. :)

    As for bad-ass, well, I far prefer to fire a blank when someone pulls my finger.
    I’m retired from things military and happily so. These days, I awaken in the morning quite surprised that I’m still alive and astonished at the level of pain in my back and knees. Dr Stewart Adams and his entire ibuprofen team should be awarded the Nobel Prize.

  40. grandolddeity says

    That was an awesome response. But the first part might be inadequate to the issue. Might there be a philosophical response rather than an iron and nitrate one? Yeah…I didn’t think so. It seems to be too small an answer.

    You remind me of the lead character in The Lions of Lucerne.

  41. Rob Grigjanis says

    Rich Woods @42: Hmph. Just a pale transpennine version of the ancient art of Ee By Gum. Crouching Moggy, Hidden Terrapin…

  42. blf says

    Please turn off the urine spouts… EVERYONE. Poopyhead’s OP is not about who can produce the smellier or more voluminous recyclable material, but patently false and typically-thuggian propaganda.

  43. says

    How did humanity get to this point without trigger warnings?

    Easy. They didn’t.

    “Thag, don’t eat those berries! They’ll give you the runs!”

    “Thagina, I’m going to explain to you what berries are safe. This is how your brother Thag died, so be wary.”

  44. grandolddeity says

    “Please turn off the urine spouts… EVERYONE. Poopyhead’s OP is not about who can produce the smellier or more voluminous recyclable material, but patently false and typically-thuggian propaganda.”

    You said it louder, so you win? I despise that tactic.

  45. grandolddeity says

    Back on topic? Seems to me, we’re all done here. Stud. Counter-stud. Chaos. Gentle stud…gentle couter-stud…kisses and hearts…a mild kerfuffle…close.

  46. applehead says

    #12, bruce1

    “I’m sorry, but if you feel that the phrase “Trump2016” in chalk, just by itself, intimidates you or makes you feel less safe, isn’t that on you?”

    First off, you’re not sorry and you’re not fooling anyone. Secondly, this isn’t a “phrase” that stands “by itself,” it’s the name of a big political campaign based on exploiting and fomenting racial hatred or violence. A campaign supported by people who sucker-punch black bystanders at rallies for being black, and who turn nearly every Trump rally into a riot. A campaign who fishes voters with honest-to-God neo-fascist promises like mandatory ethnic profiling for Muslims and the return of waterboarding.

    So yes, smearing this slogan on campuses in the night like a fucking coward is a direct threat against minorities and people who think differently than Trump. Feeling less safe under these circumstances is a perfectly common-sense response.