On Monday, students at Indiana University Bloomington rang the alarm bells and stirred hysteria to call attention to the alleged KKK member who was reported to be walking around campus with a whip.
It turned out, however, to be a Dominican priest in traditional robes and his “whip” was his rosary beads.
Social justice warriors are on high-alert and are aching to discover bona fide racists lurking in order to validate their warped understanding of radicalized race relations. Nowhere is this hysteria more acute than on university campuses across the country.
Upon seeing the (presumably) peaceful priest, students spread the hysteria via Twitter.
Another student did what all good liberals are supposed to do: they looked to authorities to solve their problems.
@IUBloomington there’s a man walking around campus in a KKK hood carrying a whip and there’s NOTHING you can do to make students feel safe?
— paige. (@_paigehankins1) April 5, 2016
RA Ethan Gill even sent-out an advisory to students to help keep them safe from the holy man.
Later, he posted a clarification on Facebook:
“Behold, your ‘klansmember….’
“This is what happens when there is miscommunication. So what happened tonight goes like this: a person saw white robes and what looked to them like a weapon, got scared (rightfully so), warned people, warned staff, which in turn caused me to warn my residents because I need to look out for my residents, which in turn made it spread.
“Then my residents, terrified, come running to me, saying yeah the report must be true, they saw him and couldn‘t believe there was a klansmember with a whip. And I see this picture. It’s a priest. With a rosary.
“Now, I get it why a person would be scared. There in fact HAVE been klansmembers on the campus spurting hate speech, but never have they been reported with a weapon. So yeah, if it was in fact a weapon and a threat, it’s a good thing to warn a friend. So when someone warns other people, we need to be cautious. However, what I’ve learned from this is to take anything with a grain of salt. In the future, I’m still sending my residents warnings of threats, crime, hate gatherings, and all that but I will wait for a confirmation. But now that there is no danger I can say: this is a hilarious miscommunication.”
Students weighed-in on Yik Yak and while some tried to defend the hysteria, most seemed to shake their heads in the aftermath of the hysteria over a priest who reportedly comes to campus on occasion to pray the rosary with students.
One student accurately labeled the episode a “fear culture fail.”
One should ask the question: so what? What if it was a Klansman? Now, few would or should welcome him to campus and few (if any) would identify with the presumed politics of the KKK member.
But still, I ask: so what? Until a crime has been committed or direct threats issued (which is also a crime), students should feel compelled to roll their eyes and move on, not ring the alarm bells of social justice to alert the social justice minutemen. Unfounded hysteria breeds more hysteria and such hysteria breeds mobs immune to reason. Such mobs are dangerous both to the free exchange of thought and to life and limb.
Further, what is perhaps most-alarming is the assertion by some that campus officials had a duty to come to their rescue. While campus officials do have an obligation to take all possible measures to provide a safe campus, their jobs surely cannot demand a duty to shelter each special snowflake from a differing viewpoint (even an odious and radical one).