It always bothers me hearing about “outrage” as being in and of itself a societal ill and one that can be blamed on a certain group of people. Right now there’s a cottage industry around accusing young people, people on college campuses and/or people who use the Internet of becoming the “p.c. police,” living in an “echo chamber,” etc.
Outrage over outrage–meta-outrage, which itself apparently does not count as outrage–has become very popular, with two of the leading peddlers of meta-outrage,Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff, building their brand around the “Coddling of the American Mind.” Lukianoff, the president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)–the Jesse Jackson of the Rainbow Coalition of meta-outrage, if you will–has been going around college campuses expressing his full-throated outrage at students’ outrage, most recently coming to Yale University to make a big deal out of how the students made a big deal of racist Halloween costumes.
It’s always been convenient for people talking about “campus outrage” to zero in on incidents where the offense seems petty and the stakes low, such that we can all point and laugh at people upset by something as seemingly trivial as a white dude in a sombrero or an Op-Ed in a campus newspaper (who even reads campus newspapers anymore?) or whatnot.