“‘Hump Day’ event cancelled after students claim bringing a camel to campus was racist”
Thus reinforcing yet again that the contemporary academy — less a space for intellectual exploration than it is an increasingly leftist-dominated Petri dish for social engineering gambits, grievance politics, and inane departments handing out inane degrees that leave graduates in crushing debt and with no hope for finding a job — is actually taking already brainwashed kids and making them even dumber young adults. Campus Reform:
Students at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota have cancelled an event to celebrate the end of the year after complaints that bringing a camel on campus could offend those of Middle Eastern cultures.
The “Hump Day” event, put on by the Residence Hall Association (RHA), was supposed to be “a petting zoo type of atmosphere” in which students could hang out and take photos with a live camel. According to Aaron Macke, the group’s advisor, the camel is owned by a local vendor and trained for special events.
But the event was subsequently cancelled after students took to Facebook to proclaim their concerns. The students said they were concerned about the money spent on bringing the camel to campus—around $500—and the implication that it would be racially insensitive to Middle Eastern cultures.
The Facebook group called “Protest Hump DAAAAAAY!” had more than 100 RSVP’d attendees before it was deleted on Wednesday.
“RHA’s goal in programming is to bring residents together in a fun and safe environment where all people can enjoy themselves,” RHA president Lindsay Goodwin said in a statement on RHA’s Facebook page. “It appears however, this program is dividing people and would make for an uncomfortable and possibly unsafe environment for everyone attending or providing the program. As a result, RHA has decided to cancel the event.”
The camel wouldn’t have been the first animal brought to campus to be fawned over. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the school brought a reindeer to campus in December apparently without incident.
RHA hosted a “Southern Hospitality” event on May 8 during which students could take turns riding a mechanical bull.
Fortunately, neither PETA, nor some association for the protection and dignity of animatronic animal simulacrums, caught wind of that latter event.
This is yet again another intentionalist argument, and inasmuch as I’ve been trying to break through the mindless textualist retreats into institutionalized acceptance of consensus-meaning for the last decade or so, yet another example of meaning being appropriated by a politically-motivated group and therefore its surrender as a intended speech act demanded, with the “right” to replace that intended meaning with some other (dubious) meaning created out of whole cloth by a grievance society granted by way of that surrender. That is, the politically aggrieved map the racial subtext onto the original sign, then suggest that the sign also carries the very meaning that didn’t exist until they themselves attached it to the original sign. Or, to put it another way, they are protesting themselves, but everyone else is being made to suffer for their (intentional) misreading of the sign — which in this case marks them as the racialists.
And we know this because even the protest literature acknowledges, by way of its recognition of the spelling of day (“DAAAAAY!”), that the actual referent here is to a Geico commercial wherein a talking camel, as a member of an otherwise human office staff, tries to get his co-workers to say “hump day.” Camels having humps and all. And this particular talking camel — which, just so the protesters understand, doesn’t really exist outside of special effects and a voice over — apparently holding a job not in some middle eastern country, but rather somewhere in the US, where his English is suggests some sort of east coast accent.
To jump from the acknowledgment that the camel is a referent to the Geico ad to some pretend fear that someone somewhere may be offended by the bringing to campus of a camel — as if camel’s are the sole jurisdiction of “Middle Eastern cultures” and, as a result, are of necessity offensive when “appropriated” by someone outside of that particular identity group — is so laughable on its face that the response to this, from those who aren’t being taught to cower to the “official” narratives of some Other, would be to tell the idiots to come and protest the camel, if that’s how they want to spend their day.
Because until we laugh at them and turn the shame and ridicule around on these self-satisfied, self-righteous speech police, they’ll only grow more and more emboldened.
Unfortunately, universities are teaching students to succumb to this anti-liberty social moralism, so the fact that the RHA canceled the event is problem seen by members of the RHA themselves as some sort of heroic act.
— All of which once again points to how important language and how we believe it functions is to the political sphere, something the left has long known and has worked to institutionalize, even as many on the right grant such incoherence gravitas, then wonder why it is that they are consistently at a disadvantage with respect to making their arguments.
To them I’d say this: forget that it’s me making this argument and imagine it coming from, say, Hot Air or PJM. And take it to heart. Before we all have to suffer for your stubbornness, intellectual myopia, and poor political judgment. Deal?