I'm Offended

More

I think this post (and this one) crystallized a lot of why the Harvard Law story has repelled me. Leaving aside the nature of the personal beef, when someone forwards you someone else's personal e-mail, I think it's always worth thinking about the forwarder's motives, as well as what we might be losing without context. This is true with public officials, but, for me, it's doubly true with private citizens. It's worth considering whether you're just carrying someone else's pettiness.


Whatever her personal thoughts, the student sent a note of apology (and not the "If I offended anyone" variety.) I understand black students at the law school being pissed off, and voicing it. They have the right to their struggle. I'm not there, and they are.

But I think those of us in the broader world should be careful about who we bestow martyrdom upon. A cause that is so fragile that it necessitates hysteria based on a single civilian e-mail isn't much of a cause. Outrage is a resource that has its uses--and its limits. 

(H/T to the Crimson.)
Jump to comments
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

When Will Robots Take Over the World?

"In a sense, we're already becoming cyborgs."


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Video

The Origins of Bungee Jumping

"We had this old potato sack and I filled it up with rocks and dropped it over the side. It just hit the water, split, dropping all the stones. And that was our test."

Video

Is Trading Stocks for Suckers?

If you think you’re smarter than the stock market, you’re probably either cheating or wrong

Video

I Spent Half My Life Making a Video Game

How a childhood hobby became a labor of love

Writers

Up
Down

More in National

From This Author

Just In