Okay, I’ll say it: getting offended might be bad. This might be an overgeneralization, and it might not be true, but I think the way people get offended can be unproductive and bad. I say this because a lot of times, I see people getting offended without any self-awareness of why.
There is a level of nuance that should go into thinking that just isn’t there when people get offended. Often, the intentions of the speaker are completely disregarded, and people are offended by something not because they themselves are offended by it, but simply because they are supposed to be offended by it.
The fact is, when people get offended, they stop thinking with their brains and switch to an angry tirade against whoever they see as their oppressor. All logic goes out the window — the victim feels wounded, and they argue solely on emotion. It takes incredible self-awareness to stop and take a moment to think, “Should I be offended by this?” and then ask the follow-up question: “Why?”
The average person seems to be unable to separate the things they think are wrong from literally anything else in the world. An example of this is the tremendous backlash of Boston University students at the fact that Domino’s Pizza tweeted in reply to the infamous Nicholas J. Fuentes. Students were outraged — and offended — that the pizzeria had the audacity to thank young Nicholas for his endorsement of their brand as the “unofficial pizza pie of American First!”
How could the company possibly think it was okay to interact with such a vile man in a friendly way on Twitter? They should understand that thanking him for his kind comment about their product is the same as stating outright that they agree with Nicholas J. Fuentes, and want to give him a platform.
Naturally, many people gallantly defended Domino’s, citing that the company couldn’t have possibly known Nick’s stances on multiculturalism, immigration or economics. Yet I have to ask: Why does any of that matter? So what if Domino’s knew who Nick Fuentes was and what he believed? What does that have to do with how he feels about their pizza? What are they supposed to do, state they are not affiliated with him and kindly ask him to stop eating their pizza?
From what I have seen, this is not just about people being overly sensitive. I think getting offended at things might be an actual trend. People didn’t get mad about the tweets because they had been wronged in any way shape or form, but because they simply do not like Nick Fuentes and do not think he should not be treated with the decency of a human being.
The biggest thing that needs to be remembered is this: Just because you are offended does not mean you’re right. I’m sure racists in the ‘60s were incredibly offended when they found out that black people were no longer prohibited from dining in the same rooms as them. They were definitely wrong for that.
And here is where we discover the core of the problem. There is an idea held by many people that simply feeling a certain way makes what you want a reality. The actual implicit thought process then is “I don’t like Nick Fuentes so Nick Fuentes is bad, and other people should understand that and treat him differently.” How someone feels is very real to them, and that should never be discounted — but people still need to maintain the paradigm that their feelings are not more important than someone else’s. It’s not about who is right or wrong.
Maybe letting someone offend you is bad, to an extent. Why should you ever give someone else the power to make you unhappy? There’s a certain power in disagreeing with someone and not caring. And at the end of the day, we all get offended sometimes, but that’s okay. Next time something really gets your goat, stop and ask, “Is this thing that is offending me true or false?” If it’s true then you shouldn’t be offended by it — if it’s false, perhaps you shouldn’t care.