This Article Will Trigger You

This Article Will Trigger You

“We do not merely destroy our enemies; we change them.” - George Orwell

Many of you who know me personally know that I follow politics very closely and I have previously used Facebook as the medium in which I discuss political topics from gun control, to LGBT rights and everything in between. I’m excited to use my new platform here on Odyssey to interact with the rest of the world and hopefully start some intellectual and productive discussions.

The topic for the day is a hot one, and one that has caused incredible division and strife across the country; on college campuses, on social media and in our everyday lives. The topic is free speech, and it is most certainly under attack in the United States. It’s been a long time coming, but we all live in a world where the things you say and think can be used against you and wielded as a weapon by those who want you to shut your mouth. You’re only allowed to have the “politically correct” opinion and the words you use have to be “PC friendly” or you face persecution from the Thought Police that make sure things like that never come out of your mouth again. Its all about control.

Before we proceed, let me give you an example of what I mean. Earlier this week on my Twitter (follow me, fam @EliForbes56), I was discussing the latest shooting of Alton Sterling in Louisiana with some of the kids I graduated high school with. I originally tweeted a statistic I obtained from data compiled by University of Toledo criminologist Dr. Richard R. Johnson and the FBI Supplementary Homicide Reports, talking about how it would take policemen approximately 40 years to kill the same number of African Americans as African Americans did to each other in 2012 alone. My desired intent was to show that yes, black lives do indeed matter, and police violence needs to certainly be minimized, but perhaps we have much bigger problems to tackle than police shootings, whether they were justified or not (for the record, I don’t believe the latest shootings were at all justified.) I did not put any political spin on the tweet, it was a simple stat that I thought was important to note when discussing institutional racism in the U.S.

In addition to about 20 likes and several retweets in the first two hours or so after tweeting, I was met with militant hostility from two young women as well as someone I had played football with in high school. The two women called me racist, told me they had lost respect for me as a person, as well as run my name through the dirt via social media for the world to see. The other gentleman (white) got very angry that I used the word “blacks” instead of “African Americans.” He said that using blacks was “insensitive” and proceeded to call me a “retard” for not agreeing with his point of view. After I pointed out how ironic that statement was, he threatened to kill me. For the world to see. That escalated pretty quickly…

This, ladies and gentleman is the work of the regressive left. I have not seen it manifest itself anywhere but on the left and it is truly a cancer to our society. I was not allowed to provide statistics, because it was “racist” and “insensitive.” They demanded me to be silent and that my opinion does not matter and should not speak it. What a time to be alive...

Does this sound familiar? This happens all over the country, especially between millennials on college campuses. We hear about it all the time, when a conservative student, or anyone for that matter, makes a statement or raises an argument that someone else takes offense to, that student is punished and taught to not voice their opinions, as it can hurt the feelings of those around them. Wow, really? In American colleges, words really do hurt, as conservative speakers (such as the fabulous Milo Yiannopoulos) are protested, students are lectured about micro-aggressions, professors are all progressive and safe spaces are readily available for those who have been oppressed by the hate speech written in chalk promoting the candidacy of Donald Trump.

So what does this teach the young, conservatively minded college student? It teaches him or her that their opinion is worthless. It teaches that they are “racist, sexist, xenophobic, bigoted” and whatever else the left wishes to label them with. They are either ashamed of their political beliefs and will not admit to them as to not hurt anyone’s feelings, or they simply say nothing, as they know they will be punished for their actions.

Political analysts and politicians on both the left and the right have spoken out against this kind of behavior, and the time has come for us, as millennials, as college students, to take a stand. We will not stand by as you ruin the lives of our professors who are fired or forced to resign because of a difference of opinion (looking at you, Yale.) We will not cater to your feelings and emotions. We will not allow you to hide behind your safe space rainbow wonderland every time you see the face of a candidate you don’t agree with. We will not be silenced.

I challenge you, on the left, to have the courage to debate civilly and freely with your colleagues on the right. Respect their opinions, and they will most certainly respect yours. Try to come up with an argument other than “check your privilege, s**tlord!” or “You’re an Islamophobic bigot!”

And please… micro-aggressions do not exist. Try to act like grown men or women and realize that words and different opinions, do not, in fact, hurt you. Let’s be the generation that can truly work together to accomplish what previous generations could not do. It starts now. Let the discussion begin.

Thanks for reading! Feedback is always appreciated, y’all. Big thanks for all of the support so far! You guys are amazing! Next week I plan on continuing the Bound in Blood series with the second installment. Get hype. Roll Tribe.

Cover Image Credit: New Statesman

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Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.


When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

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Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

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I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

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6 Reasons Why Title IX Isn't Protecting Students

The pathway set out for students seeking help with sexual assault is flawed.


The protections against sexual assault college campuses need to provide must be easily accessible to everyone. That's because sexual assault on college campuses is a common problem. A problem that often goes unreported. Why is this a problem that is not being reported? Reasons vary from person to person; from being embarrassed to be called a liar to being terrified of any form of retaliation. We need to speak out against the injustices we face. Predators need to punished for their actions. Now, how can we help protect victims and exile predators in the "open-field" of college campuses?

In 1972 the Federal Civil Rights Law, Title IX, was passed. This law was established to prohibit sex discrimination at educational institutions; including sexual harassment and sexual violence. For many college campuses, this is the one and only option victims are geared towards. Though some argue we need title nine now more than ever, many disagree. Why? Well, Title IX has extensively dropped the percentage of successfully prosecuted cases from the time they started to the present day. It has become ineffective. Title IX is a critique of a system that protects sexual predators and hurts victims.

When talking to my friend, Mallory Clark, who has experienced going through Title IX, she described her situation like this: "I didn't report it to the police because everything was in his favor. I didn't have any support from Title IX."

Here and 6 reasons why Title IX is doing more harm than good in the status quo.

1. Title IX protects predators

Title IX can only successfully prosecute 9% of cases compared to 60% when they started. Why? That's because Title IX is informing predators on how to avoid "getting caught" or "getting in trouble". In a more detailed illustration; Title IX is educating predators on how to rape or sexually assault individuals. Predators are now modifying their tactics on their abusive actions in order not to fall under the laws Title IX has laid out. It's almost like telling predators "if you cut a sandwich down the middle, you'll be in trouble, but if you do it diagonally, you'll be good."

2. Emotional destruction is belittled

Unless an assault is categorized as "the worst accident in the world," Title IX won't actually do much about it. When a victim is called to give their testimony to Title IX officials, questions like "Did they force themselves on you?" "Did you say no?" "Were you drinking?" "What do you think caused this?" are asked in an interrogating-like style. Because of how Title IX makes it seem as if the only way you're a "true victim" is having been raped, victims feel as if maybe there really isn't any reason for them to be there testifying, much less any reason to feel broken.

An example of this is the way Title IX defines consent. They truly cannot frame or do anything about sexual assault/consent violations that are not clearly defined. Actions, like spreading naked pictures or stealing, are things Title IX still struggle to keep up with. For these reasons, many predators are clear off the radar because to Title IX, they didn't actually "do anything" physical to the victim, i.e. rape.

Something to consider: the physical and mental destruction a victim goes through on the daily having to see their abuser walk around freely, smiling, laughing, living. While the victim feels empty, disgusted and ashamed.

3. Their system takes forever

Title IX does not take immediate action. At least not in most cases. If they do it most likely because the student body was extremely involved in pushing actions to be taken not because Title IX was in a hurry. Title IX will tell us the process is inherently long. However, for as much red tape and bureaucracy they cite as reasons their investigations take so long, they sure do have a shocking amount of oversight. In a recent Title IX investigation at Boise State University, the investigation went four months over their deadline and the predator was able to graduate without them knowing about it. They claimed their hands were tied until the victim and their support system showed up with lawyers.

4. Title IX does not listen

Title IX has a lack of oversight. Title IX has been found to miss deadlines in approximately 54 college campus cases. This shows how little they pay attention to victims. Aside from not prioritizing their cases, Title IX has been giving victims bad advice. An example of this dates back to an incident at Baylor University where Title IX told the victim there was "nothing they could do about her situation" when there was. They simply did not want to deal with it.

The only agency able to regulate their behaviors is the office of ethics—which doesn't have enough funding money and only takes major cases into consideration. They can botch investigation after investigation without any consequences or ways to report or change their behavior

5. Gives institutional legitimacy to predators

Title IX makes it extremely difficult for survivors to find other avenues of justice. Hence why it is the one solution provided throughout college campuses on how to report and get help with any form of assault or discrimination. It makes it seems as if their validation and results are always correct. It makes it okay to call a survivor a "liar" if the invention was not successful.

6. The lack of an official Title IX coordinator

Though many college campuses may have an official Title IX coordinator, this is not applicable to everyone. In fact, Boise State University has not had a legitimate Title IX coordinator in four years. The person in charge at the moment isn't necessarily "qualified" for the position, yet they are still doing the job. This structural problem with Title IX is not being filled. This gets pushed off to the Gender Equity Center which is not equipped to handle the load of victims.

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