Patterico's Pontifications


Stifling Speech Begets More Free Speech…Or Something Like That

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:17 pm

[guest post by Dana]

In yet another ridiculous decision made by academicians at one of those supposed last bastions of free speech, the University of Michigan recently began their “Inclusive Language Campaign”. While the program is designed to be educational and not regulatory, students are nonetheless encouraged to sign a pledge to use what is being referred to as “inclusive language” because, words hurt:

Words declared unacceptable through the campaign include “crazy,” “insane,” “retarded,” “gay,” “tranny,” “gypped,” “illegal alien,” “fag,” “ghetto” and “raghead.” Phrases such as “I want to die” and “that test raped me” are also verboten.

(I know I wanted to die after reading this. See what I did there…)

The mission of the campaign is:

“to address campus climate by helping individuals understand that their words can impact someone and to encourage individuals to commit to creating a positive campus community.”

Words hurt, people.

Thankfully, horseshit isn’t on the list, because what a load of horseshit this is (apologies to our equine friends). Cost for implementing the program? $16,000.00. And while that is certainly chump change (apologies to any chumps out there) in light of a university’s annual budget, it is nonetheless interesting to note that this university felt compelled to raise both tuition costs and fees for the past two years.

Further, the goal of the campaign is so insulting, it should simultaneously rankle the righteous rebel lurking in every student who values their right to speak freely while causing the simpering purse-lipped scolds on staff who endorse this campaign to hang their heads in shame.

Of course, we’ve already seen the inevitable outcome when at first it is just words that are monitored and slowly controlled – eventually ideas, thoughts and worldviews fall under the microscope, too. Especially on campuses of higher education. And that’s because the authoritarians simply Cannot Help Themselves. It has an insatiable appetite, this compulsion to tell others what language, what thoughts, what views are acceptable and unacceptable. The god of arrogance always finds its home in the hearts of the weak and self-deceived.

While some students believe the campus as a whole benefits from the program, not everyone has bought into seeing speech curtailed, even through a silly campaign:

As the Inclusive Language Campaign has enlarged its influence on campus through various kick-off events, interactive programming and provoking visuals, some students have called into question how it reconciles with the university’s policy on free speech, which “encourages open and vigorous discussion and strives to maintain an environment where the free exchange of ideas and opinions can flourish.”

Unfortunately, instead of jumping at the opportunity to actually dialogue with the students and make their case, the language police remain insulated in their smugness and take the easy way out:

Asked if the campaign stifles free speech, [campus spokesman] Fitzgerald said “we believe this program has just the opposite effect.”

“We believe it will make discourse more constructive by respecting the views and perspectives of others,” he said. “A campus conversation about the impact of words is good for everyone.”

A flyer from the program:


Somewhere, right now, Ayaan Hirsi Ali rolls her eyes and gags.


AP Reporters Discover the Real Motive Behind the North Carolina Killing of Muslim Students

Filed under: General — JVW @ 11:44 am

[guest post by JVW]

When Craig Hicks killed three young Muslim students at his condo complex last week, right away everyone sought a motive. Hicks’s Facebook posts showed him to be an outspoken atheist and also indicated his politics seemed to run pretty strongly towards the left side of the spectrum, both of which seemed to be disappointing news to self-styled progressives who had wanted to pin the crime on a Muslim-hating yahoo who listened to Rush Limbaugh, watched Fox News, and posted on Patterico’s Pontifications. The usual progressive media gaggle seemed to be genuinely baffled at how someone who shared so many of their beliefs could undertake such a heinous act.

And then they hit upon the real culprit.

Associated Press reporters Allen Breed and Michelle Blessecker published a piece which ran in many of today’s newspapers pointing to Hicks’s strong support of the Second Amendment and gun owners’ rights. They were clever enough to only refer to their argument in the story’s lede, explaining that Hicks’s Facebook page “seems to support an individual’s right to his own beliefs.” It’s in the seventh paragraph of the 41-paragraph article where the authors uncork their thesis:

But [Hicks] was just as passionate about personal freedom and liberty – championing an individual’s right to worship or not worship, legal abortion and gay marriage and, perhaps most fervently, the right to own and bear arms. If he has a creed, it’s the Second Amendment.

[emphasis added]

And there you have it: Hicks’s raison d’être [apologies for the Monday morning French] is firearms. He’s a gun nut. A Second Amendment absolutist. A loose cannon. A wannabe militia member. A survivalist whacko. It goes unspoken, but clearly to the AP writers all smart and decent people would agree that our nation’s obsession with gun ownership is what drove Craig Hicks to murder his three neighbors, certainly not militant atheism or left-wing self-righteousness. I would assume that had Hicks been a member of the National Rifle Association we would have heard about it by now, so he probably was not a part of that organization (perhaps they donated to too many Republicans for his tastes?). Maybe Michael Bloomberg can use his billions to somehow purchase Hicks a retroactive lifetime NRA membership.


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