“Tunnel of Oppression”

This sounds just unimaginably lame.

A boyfriend yells and pushes down his girlfriend.

She starts whimpering.

The boyfriend approaches her.

“I love you. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Don’t make me do this anymore,” he says. “And don’t you even think about telling anybody either. You understand me?”

This particular scene was only an act, but it demonstrated a very real form of abuse. It was one of many scenes depicting abuse and hate crimes that visitors observe on a tour of the Tunnel of Oppression, an interactive program that discusses past and current oppressions.

But it does have its potential. If they had a scene of George Bush standing on the backs of Iraqi civilians or Hillary Clinton forcing Obama to pick cotton or face the whip — now that would be gold, Jerry!

Otherwise, it’s just one of those lame things that allegedly makes faculty feel good completely with a circle of discussion at the end. And you *know* you just *know* that there will be one whimpering college co-ed in a sorority sweatshirt who cries and tells everyone how righteous she felt after it was over. There will also be the guy in the sorority party t-shirt who exudes sympathy because he’s trying to score.

This reminds me of my freshman year at Mercer when the Freshman Seminar Program went on a ropes course to bond. You know nothing says bonding like being tied up in a ropes course. Anyway, in my group, one girl got hurt on an activity several faculty members said they didn’t even want us to do because every year someone gets hurt on this particular activity. After it was over when we did our “sit in a circle and ‘decompress’”, the injured girl was encouraged to tell us how she thought we’d failed her and let her down. She looked up plainly to the professor and said, “I only feel let down by the a–hole professor who decided we should go on a damned ropes course. We all clapped. The professor said we’d clearly failed to learn an measurable lesson and she was highly disappointed in us.

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Erick Erickson
By Erick Erickson

Erick Erickson

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