I confess. I marched in a protest once. Several female students and I felt compelled to object to a new admissions policy at Hunter College, one of the oldest colleges established for women only  in the USA. We learned from a very reliable inside source that the administration was changing its admissions policy. The minimum high school grade average for admission was 90% for entering freshmen. Hunter’s administration decided to lower the admission average from 90% to 80% but only for a specific demographic group not particularly bright enough to matriculate at Hunter under standard admissions policy.
We were outraged at this special treatment policy, of course, so we staged a very peaceful and civilized protest. We marched up and down the sidewalk carrying handmade signs and were very respectful and well mannered. No one rioted or destroyed property. No one swore. No one waved the one finger salute. The only reason we raised our voices at all was to articulate our one demand of Hunter’s administration: Ban the Boys!
Pretty tame compared to today’s campus protests, right?
The mature adults amongst us today who viewed current protests on television and YouTube experienced a rude awakening, with particular emphasis on rude, since many of the student protestors displayed their advanced proficiency in profanity. The thought that these young people might possibly be our nation’s leaders someday made me cringe. I can’t begin to imagine a presidential primary debate with the candidates right up in each other’s faces spewing profanity.
If one particular protestor’s bleeped out potty mouth rant made me cringe, I had to wonder how that protestor’s parents might have reacted upon seeing the fruit of their loins as the star of a YouTube cellphone video in which she cussed out a university staff member at the top of her lungs. Would it have gone something like this?
MOM: [sitting at her computer] Honey, I just got an email from Mrs. Busybody next door. She said her son saw our daughter swearing big time in a disgusting YouTube video. She sent me the link.
DAD: Our daughter? That idiot son of hers must be mistaken.
MOM: That’s what I thought.
DAD: Well, click on that link and go ahead and play it.
Mom plays the video and both watch, slack jawed.
MOM: Oh. My. God. That is our daughter.
DAD: What the [expletive deleted]? Where the [expletive deleted] did she learn [expletive deleted] language like that?
MOM: No idea, Sweetheart. [major eye roll]
DAD: [grabbing the cordless telephone from the mom’s desk] I’m going to call that [expletive deleted] little garbage mouth and give her a piece of my mind.
MOM: Now, Honey, try not to overreact.
DAD: Didn’t you just watch the same [expletive deleted] video I did?
MOM: [deep sigh] Yes.
DAD: [speaking into phone] Guess what, Little Girl, your mom and I just watched your video on YouTube.
LITTLE GIRL: Yeah. I really told that guy off. Cool, wasn’t it?
DAD: Cool? Young lady, you were spouting language that would make a sailor blush.
DAD: [covers mouthpiece and whispers] You need to hear this too. [puts the phone on speaker] We didn’t send you to college so you could go around cussing people out and making a spectacle of yourself.
LG: It’s called protesting, Dad. Political action is an important part of the college experience.
DAD: Is that what you’re majoring in? Political action? Is that what your tuition pays for?
LG: Oh, please.
DAD: Don’t you “Oh, please” me. I want to know what I’m getting for my money. I want to see what classes you’re taking, and I want to see your grades.
LG: Sorry. You don’t get to see any of those things. I’m over 18. I’m an adult. The university sends my grades to me, only me. I get to make my own decisions about my education. You don’t have any say in that.
DAD: That’s bull [expletive deleted]. I’m the one writing the checks. Your mother and I could have travelled, could have had a bigger house, and could have had more than one car. We sacrificed a lot to save enough money to send you to a prestigious college. I decide if you go to class or [expletive deleted] away your time “protesting” like a godless communist.
LG: That bourgeois attitude is so typical of white privileged males like you. You’re an anachronism and an embarrassment to me.
DAD: What the [expletive deleted] is white privilege?
LG: Don’t pretend ignorance, Dad. You know very well what it is. You live it every day.
DAD: I don’t know what the [expletive deleted] you’re talking about. Who the [expletive deleted] is brainwashing you with this [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted]?
LG: No one is brainwashing me. My professors have assured me that by protesting, I’m doing my part to put an end to oppression and offensive speech.
DAD: From what I heard on that video, you’re the one contributing to offensive speech.
LG: That’s it. I don’t have to listen to any more of your insults. Good-bye.
DAD: Don’t you dare hang up on me, you ungrateful little [expletive deleted]. Hello? Hello? [puts phone back in its cradle]
MOM: [wiping her eyes with a tissue] If that girl was our daughter once, she isn’t any longer. What on earth have those college professors done to her?
DAD: Turned her into that girl from The Exorcist. Maybe her head spins around now too.
MOM: [sighs] I think we may be partly to blame for the way she turned out.
DAD: Us? How?
MOM: We wanted her to have an easier time growing up than we had. We gave her everything she ever wanted—even that new car we really couldn’t afford. We never said no to her.
DAD: And this is the way she repays us. [shakes his head]
MOM: Hmmm. I just realized something. We should give her what she wants one last time.
DAD: Are you nuts? After the disrespectful way she spoke to me?
MOM: Trust me. [picks up her cellphone and begins texting] It’s time—actually past time—for some tough love. I’ll copy you.
MOM’S TEXT TO LG: You were correct, my dear daughter. You are an adult and we were wrong not to treat you as one. We will do so starting right now. As an adult, you are responsible for yourself. We’ve decided to respect that, so as of today, you’re on your own. We will stop paying for your tuition, room and board. You might ask one of the protest-happy professors you so admire to lend you the money for your tuition and to put you up until you can find a job and a place to live. We will also stop making the loan and insurance payments on that brand new car you couldn’t live without. Those are your debts now. From what you told your father, we’re sure it would weigh heavily on your conscience and no doubt compromise your integrity to continue living off such bourgeois and politically incorrect parents. We’re also certain you wouldn’t want to live under our oppressive white privileged roof ever again, so we are going to remodel your old bedroom. I’ve always wanted to have a sewing room. We’ll put to good use all the tuition money we saved and once intended for you. Now that you made it clear you’re an adult and we’re no longer legally bound to support you, we’re going to live it up in grand style and travel the world. Good-bye, my dear politically correct daughter, and good luck. You’re going to need it.