The Coming Blizzard: Millennial Snowflakes and Bloodstains in the Snow
The epithet of “snowflake” has become the conservative’s favorite less-than-flattering term to describe millennials on contemporary collegiate campuses. Just who are snowflakes?
Snowflakes are young people who have grown up with lavish provisions to protect their feelings and self-esteem. New collegiate innovations cater to their comforts, expectations and demands. Some of the novel accommodations of the millennial student include safe zones, trigger warnings, protection from micro-aggressions and banishing non-liberal and non-leftist ideologies from campuses.
Because millennial “snowflakes” are deeply concerned with social justice and the necessity of rooting out all appearances of racism, black-only organizations are promoted and white-shaming classes are introduced to undo omnipresent white privilege. Fat-shaming and bullying, however, are strictly prohibited. But no one seems to worry if reverse black segregation and the institutional inculcation of white-shaming may actually be new forms of bullying and racism.
Snowflakes even enjoy new stress reduction techniques developed just for them. These include extended times for final exams, dispensing with final exams altogether, comfort dogs and safe-zone music rooms with play dough and arts and crafts. Other benefits provided the contemporary co-ed are free birth control, transgender bathrooms and same-sex support groups. The Obama military, not to be outdone, has experimented with government funded sex-change operations for transgender warriors.
What created the description of a millennial as a snowflake? Clearly it’s not due to their purity, as in the phrase, “as pure of the driven snow”. Nor does it seem to be due to the fact that no two snowflakes are alike. After all, there is great ideological homogeneity among these students.
I think what is in mind is the high sensitivity that many millennial collegiates have toward stress and especially toward views that are opposite to theirs—those that oppose their views that reside on the left side of the ideological spectrum. Snowflakes are called snowflakes because they have a quick “melt down” time. They quickly lose their cool when the heat of opposition or intellectual diversity impacts their settled convictions. Snowflakes celebrate diversity. They do so in every possible manner except in terms of intellectual deviation. Incubating in the left’s insistence on ideological uniformity, there is no room for diversity of thought in a snowflake’s worldview.
Many believe that snowflakes have emerged from a milieu where competition is forbidden and sameness and equality are extolled. The consequence is that diversity of thought must be forbidden lest the sameness of ideology be undermined by competing worldviews causing untoward stress. We could dismiss all this as the byproduct of a self-esteem culture run amok. How else could a young adult student be? After all, they were raised with everyone winning, with each receiving a trophy and a blue ribbon.
But don’t be deceived by their seeming weakness of personal resiliency or by their unwillingness to personally engage opposing views. Remember that when many snowflakes move together, they can launch a paralyzing avalanche. Think of the various conservative thinkers that have been prevented from speaking on campuses by the deployment of protest, violence and intimidation. The winds of the zeitgeist can drive snowflakes forward, to blow hard against the views they oppose. The result is a vast swirl of snowflakes causing a cultural whiteout to occur. Fragile though they are, an innumerable number of snowflakes can bury the public square leaving blindness and chaos in their wake.
This risk looms before America. Will our nation face a future where the ideology of the snowflake becomes a blizzard? What if their agenda is not merely a short-term college protest against America’s founding values? What if the rising generation possesses more sympathy for the socialistic revolution of Marx than the American revolution of Washington? As we have again learned of late, snowflakes may be beautiful but northeasters and arctic blizzards are deadly.
But snowflakes are not new to the American story. Washington’s revolution knew about snowflakes too, especially at Valley Forge. General Washington wrote on April 21, 1778 about his army’s struggle through winter in defense of liberty:
…no history…can furnish an instance of an army’s suffering such uncommon hardships as ours have done…—To see men without Cloat⟨hes⟩ to cover their nakedness—without Blankets to lay on—without Shoes, by which their Marches might be traced by the Blood from their feet—and almost as often without Provisions as with; Marching through frost & Snow, … & submitting to it without a murmur, is a Mark of patience & obedience which in my opinion can scarce be parallel’d.
The stark contrast between contemporary snowflakes and the revolutionary army’s bloody footprints in the snow should give us pause. Snowflakes today melt in the face of ideological disagreement. Yesterday, heroic feet melted the snow with their fierce love of freedom and their red blood of courage. Our founding generation opposed an ideology that sought to force them to think in a way they knew led to tyranny. Snowflakes today insist that no one disagree with their ideology.
Will the two perspectives collide? Will there be blood in the streets, and bloody footprints again in the snow? A storm of protest and opposition led by snowflakes is gathering at America’s horizons. Are there those who still care enough about American freedom to withstand the approaching blizzard?