"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Monday, March 9, 2015

I was recruited by the thought police

In the liberal ghetto of Ann Arbor, several University of Michigan administrators recently gathered for a passionate brainstorm. The head of student affairs declared he was simply “going to die” if he heard about one more so-called micro-aggression on campus.

When a colleague told him he was “acting crazy” for being so sensitive, he was shipped off to a mandatory session for freshmen where he learned about white privilege and determined that he would never say anything potentially controversial again. And with that, the Inclusive Language Campaign was born.

Under this new initiative, which is all the rage at Michigan and some other universities, the quoted words used in the above paragraph are considered offensive. In addition to posters plastered around campus urging us to “Stop. Think.” before we speak, my peers and I have been encouraged to sign an ambiguously written Inclusive Language Campaign pledge. We’re all being drafted as thought police, charged with regulating the speech of our peers.

Sounds like a joke, right? If so, it’s one that my school, a public university, has reportedly spent $16,000 on. Apparently that’s the budget necessary to explain that words such as “jewed” and “gyped” are offensive. My grandmother could have told you that for free, saving Michigan thousands on the morally obvious.

But this politically correct campaign is about something bigger and more insidious than putting a few words on the dare-not-speak list.

Operating under ILC’s logic, I am hostile for offering a cupcake to a diabetic without knowing of his condition, racist for suggesting we “work the kinks out” on a group project and generally insensitive for having an opinion on any subject that I have not directly experienced.

I guess I can’t write that paper on Homer this weekend: I wasn’t there to witness the violence of the Trojan War.

This year, I attended several mandatory assemblies for freshman students where we were taught, among other things, that wishing someone a merry Christmas is a micro-aggression. I am Jewish and proud to report that I have faced this very verbal assault and survived.

Yet while my school spends thousands of dollars to influence student vocabulary, it overlooks actual harassment. Earlier this semester, my friend Omar Mahmood was fired from the campus paper for writing a satirical essay making fun of political correctness on campus. Apparently that wasn’t enough punishment for some of his fellow students, who threw raw hotdogs and eggs at his door and left profanity-laced notes telling him to “shut the … up” and that “Everyone hates you, you violent …,” among other acts of ugliness. So much for inclusivity.

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