I don’t know if you’ll even have the opportunity to see this before the debate starts. Probably not.
But consider this your friendly voice crying in the wilderness, letting you know in advance that Hofstra is going to suspend all the rules of decency, equality, dignity, respect, and P.C. etiquette on Monday night, and let Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump say things that students may find triggering.
Hofstra has issued the obligatory warning that students may be triggered by things that get discussed in the debate. But instead of this meaning that the debate should be canceled, and Hillary and the Donald frog-marched immediately to the Student People’s Speech Justice Commission, it’s the students who will be expected to cope. They’re being advised of the resources available to help them do that.
This is backward, and frankly, it’s shameful. It’s a breathtaking form of privilege-injustice.
The whole point of identifying things that trigger people is to silence the triggerer when it suits the triggeree. Triggering isn’t just an exercise in record-keeping (or in self-nurturing, for that matter). It’s about holding other people perpetually at risk.
Anything they say might trigger someone, and therefore, they have to not say it. They have to be accused and suspected of saying it, even if, technically speaking, they haven’t. All the normal rules of evidence have to be suspended, to trap and pinion them before they even have a chance to trigger someone, just on the off chance that they might.
Triggering would be pointless to complain about if all you got to do was complain, or get some therapy. The special magic of being triggered is that you get to put people on the defensive. You get to lecture them, make them attend diversity and privilege-flogging sessions, or best of all, exclude them altogether, in a noisy and self-dramatizing way. Run them off campus. Shout them down when someone has invited them to speak.
At the very least, make a spectacle of yourself by dressing like a body part and, oh, pooping in public or something, to express in no uncertain terms just how awful the triggerer(s) are.
But no. Apparently, just because they’re Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton instead of Milo Yiannopoulis and Ann Coulter, Team Trigger is going to get away tonight with the triggering of the century.
Talk about inequality and double standards for the 1%. This is a social injustice that can never be made right.