Carnes: Do the easily offended completely deserve to be easily offended? Yes (column)
September 10, 2018
Whether it's politics, religion or sports, being "easily offended" is clearly the hottest gimmick in the self-righteous toolbox.
And all sides use it equally.
Sure, each and every one of us are guilty of it from time to time, but I'm referring to the professionally offended, those who never stop searching for the opportunity to be so. We all know a few of them, but wish they would realize just because they are offended doesn't guarantee they are right.
That will never stop them from being offended, of course.
Being easily offended is really just today's way of saying you disagree with what someone says or claims, as if throwing the hands on the hips and shouting with indignation, "Well, I never …" has actual societal value.
I certainly find it ironic that we are taught to celebrate diversity, yet as Americans, we appear to be more intolerant than ever, especially of one another.
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It's also ironic that we seem less likely to be offended, and are downright tolerant, of things that are unarguably offensive, such as Nazis, religious pedophiles and elected leaders making demonstrably false statements on a daily basis.
I guess, like a spouse spending more than an hour in a shoe store, some things in this world are never meant to be understood.
Personally, I am offended by the easily offended, but perhaps annoyed is a better description, as their selfish pettiness is easy to ignore with a few simple tactics.
If you're offended by MSNBC or FOX, simply change the channel.
Offended by a Facebook post? Stop following the person who made the post, or better yet, stop using Facebook.
Offended that Twitter and the Apple app store have banned Alex Jones from their platforms? Learn to use the "delete" key.
Offended by Google's alleged selective search results? Use Bing.
Offended by books written by former heads of the FBI, former swamp dwellers from the White House and respected journalists? Don't buy their books.
Offended by the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal? Don't read it.
Offended by so-called fake news? Do your own research and see if the report is actually true.
Offended by the vocalizations of a Trump or an Obama? Turn off the audio.
Offended by "your guy" being made fun of daily because of stupid things he says and does? Grow a pair and defend him — publicly.
Offended by professional athletes having opinions? Don't watch or attend any games.
Other celebrities expressing opinions? Don't watch their TV shows or movies, attend any theater or listen to any of their music.
Offended by Nike and want to burn all your Nike stuff? Don't buy any more (but don't be an idiot, especially if you have a pair of sneakers decorated with the American flag).
Offended that Nike stock barely took a dip and sales went through the roof last week? Hey, deal with it.
Offended by either political party? Vote this November.
Offended by a local columnist? Turn the page.
It should be obvious I am pointing out the absurdity of so many being so easily offended by so little, as I believe the easily offended completely deserve to be easily offended because it is the role of the hypocrite to be offended by a truth they do not wish to acknowledge.
Either way, never forget the First Amendment guarantees the freedom of speech can be used freely to offend, and never forget what occurred 17 years ago today.
It offended us all equally.
Richard Carnes, of Avon, writes weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.