"I'm supposed to feel comfortable and safe [here] but this man is being supported by students on our campus, and our [administrators] show that they, by their silence, support it as well I don't deserve to feel afraid at my school."
Those are terrifying words from a college student. What could possibly be going on at his or her campus?
ISIS? A campus scourge of sexual crimes? Maybe a Justin Bieber concert boycott?
Nope, the statement above is from an unnamed Emory University student quoted in the school newspaper, and it's a reference to chalk slogans supporting Donald Trump's presidential campaign.
Yes, chalk political propaganda. And now re-read that quote. It's staggering to think about the future of a generation of safe-place-craving softies who are more worried about being in selfies than being self-assured.
Somewhere, the folks who protested and demanded freedom half a century ago have to be comatose.
You know, the folks who fought authority through tear gas and police dogs for equal opportunities. The ones willing to sacrifice everything for a chance.
Sure, the birthplace for a lot of the cultural change that reshaped our country was on college campuses.
But those college campuses today are an incubator for the softness that challenges every facet of our nation.
Emory is far from alone, and it's not been an overnight movement, mind you. It has evolved with the comical University of Tennessee's Office of Diversity and Inclusion sending out memos about doing away with gender-specific pronouns like "his" or "her" and replacing them with nonsensical words. It continued to an Ivy League school demanding all Halloween costumes be non-insulting.
It's part of a multifaceted groundswell of sissification that also includes the renaming craze overtaking a growing number of campuses. Students are outraged because buildings from Princeton to Stanford are named for dudes from centuries ago who may have owned slaves or been less than socially correct in their everyday actions.
Never mind the randomness or the hypocritical nature of these protests. Psstttt, protesters, some of your favorite liberal legends also owned slaves, and even the co-founder of Stanford was cruel and harsh to Chinese immigrants during construction of the transcontinental railroad. But changing the name of the university would also change the brand and value on your six-figure education. So maybe not all causes are created the same, huh?
The next generation of college graduates is fighting a seemingly daily battle for the mental toughness and internal fortitude that is lost among a nation that cusses Wi-Fi that is three seconds too slow or the emoji that may be offensive.
Yep, that's us, the good ol' U.S. of A., and that final letter could stand for any number of adjectives and fewer and fewer of them are good.
But this Emory uprising, in which 50 or so students are shell-shocked by a scribbled message in chalk on a sidewalk, takes the cake. Well, unless cake is upsetting to folks with diabetes, then it takes the low-fat dessert option that also is OK for the lactose intolerant.
What's the protocol for a soon-to-be adult who is intimidated by chalk? Does the chalk haunt his or her dreams?
And, should these college students — kids who spend more than $60,000 a year for an Emory education, mind you — be aware that if the big, bad, nasty ol' chalk gets really offensive, that water will wash it away.
If you are intimidated by chalk, well, chalk is scared stiff by a squirt gun.
So here we are. Chalk scribblings about a GOP front-runner have scared some college kids.
Forget making America great again. Let's start by making Americans mentally tough enough to not start squalling when a chalk message doesn't jibe with their delicate sensibilities.
The Emory president emailed the student body to let them know the school is offering emergency counseling sessions for anyone traumatized by the chalk trumpeting Trump. Yes, you read that correctly — emergency support groups for the students who are troubled by chalk talk.
"During our conversation, they voiced their genuine concern and pain in the face of this perceived intimidation," Emory's top (lap) dog wrote in the email to students.
The cold, cruel world is waiting. Life's rules are harsh and rarely include emergency support groups or safe spaces for those scared by messages scrawled in chalk.
Those rules — the rules that we all wrestle with — are going to be even tougher for the next generation. And goodness forbid if those rules are ever written in chalk.
Contact Jay Greeson at firstname.lastname@example.org. His "Right to the Point" column runs on A2 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.