The problem with Leftist "social justice warriors" isn't just that they're so wildly out of touch with reality. The real issue is that they take themselves so seriously. God help anybody who's in their path when some stupid cause or imaginary grievance floats onto their radar.
Della Kurzer-Zlotnick is one such Leftist. Kurzer-Zlotnick is a student at the notoriously liberal Oberlin College. A quick Google search of her name reveals that she is a proud and prolific "social justice warrior," chronically offended and constantly griping about whatever self-imposed misery she's struggling with on a given day.
Like all liberals she's fiercely upset about the deaths of criminals Michael Brown and Eric Garner. And, like all entitled, white liberals, she has a low opinion of minorities. Kurzer-Zlotnick thinks so little of her black classmates that she just can't imagine them being able to study for final exams. Kurzer-Zlotnick assumes African Americans simply can't function, they're so distraught over those "murders."
In an email to Professor Michael Raney, which she later posted online along with his response, Kurzer-Zlotnick wrote:
Hello Professor Raney,
It has come to the attention of students that students of color, particularly Black students, who have suffered significant trauma over the past few weeks due to the Grand Jury decisions are not at all in a place to take their finals right now. I am not among these students, and as a white, middle-class person, I have to [sic] privilege of being able to step away from these events and put enough energy into schoolwork and finals to assure that I will pass my classes. That is not the case for so many of my peers.
I do not know if you have been in conversation with any other students or faculty regarding finals. I do know, though, that the college administration has done very little, if anything, to support students who are struggling and feel traumatized because of the recent (and day-to-day) acts of racism in this country. Black students and other students of color have to focus on their survival and are expected to put energy into finals, while the white students, who may also feel shaken by these events, but not to the same degree, can focus most of our time on studying and preparing for finals.
I am asking that you create an option (if you have not already done so) for students who do not feel like they are in a place, emotionally, mentally, or physically, to postpone the statistics final. Columbia Law School has already done this. If this were an event which was actually recognized by the school (and country) as a national trauma, such as 9/11 or the Newtown shootings, I expect that Oberlin would have immediately taken action to prioritize student wellbeing. Just because the murders [sic] of Eric Garner and Michael Brown do not (seem to) threaten the survival or safety of white people does not mean they are not serverely affecting students on our campus. I know that you have the ability and power to make decisions like this, and I am asking you to use your power to support your students who have put so much energy into the class already. They are tired, they are hurting beyond belief, and their wellbeing needs to be prioritized.
Thank you for reading,
Fortunately for Ms. Kurzer-Zlotnick, I am not her professor. If I were, my response would have been as follows:
Thank you for writing with your concern.
While it's disappointing that a young woman of your seeming intelligence could be so clueless, what really bothers me is your overt bigotry.
Life is full of disappointments, and life is full of negative results. While most of the thinking world understands that Michael Brown and Eric Garner would be alive today if they hadn't broken the law and become violent with police, it's reasonable to feel somewhat sad that their lives are over. Compassion isn't inherently a bad thing, even if the object of your compassion is a violent criminal.
As a "white, middle-class" spoiled child, you're likely used to getting your way. Like so many of your generation, you've been raised to believe that because you are so gosh-darned special, the world should bend to your will. You wanted those police officers indicted and convicted, and they weren't, so you're slipped into hissy fit mode.
If you learn nothing else in college, learn this: you won't always get what you want, and that does not constitute an injustice. The grand juries reviewed the evidence and made their decisions. Deal with it.
As to your assertion that black students are less capable than white students of adjusting to life's challenges and therefore unable to prepare for exams, you should be ashamed of yourself. That kind of overt bigotry is dehumanizing and small-minded.
It's also worth noting that 3,000 innocent people of all colors died on September 11, 2001. You were barely out of diapers so you probably don't recall much about that event, but most Americans got up the next day and went to work, or school, and generally carried on with their lives. That's how adults handle things. Instead of collapsing into a pile of self-pity and masturbatory victimhood, we deal with it and move on.
I suggest you do the same.
Ms. Kurzer-Zlotnic's professor, however, had a much different response. There's an old saw that the more time somebody gives you, they more they respect you. I spent about five minutes writing my response, above, and I likely have shown Ms. Kurzer-Zlotnick too much respect. Professor Raney, on the other hand, wrote the perfect response.