Political Correctness

This Counts as a Microaggression: "America is the Land of Opportunity"

So does "WTF ever happened to the University of California system?"


Over at Fox News' site, Maxim Lott reports on a new faculty training guide for faculty and staff at the University of California, the 200,000-student system that ranks as one of the nation's largest higher-education groups.

The following phrases, say the guide, constitute "microaggressions," or common statements often meant as compliments that can leave alienated individuals feeling discriminated against. Here are some examples:


When the phrase "America is he land of opportunity" is considered a form of racist, sexist, or classist speech, the wheels really have come off.


Lott got the following response from the UC muckety-mucks:

"Given the diverse backgrounds of our students, faculty and staff, UC offered these seminars to make people aware of how their words or actions may be interpreted when used in certain contexts. Deans and department heads were invited, but not required, to attend the seminars," University of California Office of the President spokeswoman Shelly Meron told FoxNews.com.

Lott also talked with a former UCLA faculty member:

"I don't think University of California realizes how crazy it's become," Tim Groseclose, [now] an economics professor at George Mason University, told FoxNews.com.

Read the whole thing here.

Too related for mere words: "Trigger Warning: College Kids are Human Veal."

And watch this Reason TV video, "Trigger Warnings, Campus Speech, and the Right Not to be Offended," which documents how activists as UC-Santa Barbara pushed for onerous restrictions on the very sort of conversations and material that was once presumed to make up the college experience.

NEXT: No Virtual Reality Porn for Oculus Rift

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I, um, do think the most qualified candidate should get the job. What do I lose, Alex?

    1. -1 privilege

      1. Actually, he should lose +1 privilege, or gain -1 privilege.

        You must be math challenged. You microaggressed against my sense of signity.

        1. Yeah! No one is allowed to *lose* – that hurts people’s self-esteem.

          You will *gain* -1 privilege. You will no longer be disciplined but ‘awarded’ punishment (who knew the military was on the leading edge of the SJW even decades ago).

    2. That one stood out for me even more than the one in the title. I don’t get it.

      1. I dare say the “author” doesn’t get it, either.

        Of course, that’s *another* microaggression.

        1. BTW, is spellcheck flagging “microaggression” a micro- or macro-aggression?

          1. Both, shitlord.

            1. It’s aggressions all the way down!

          2. Everyone knows that correct spelling and grammar is a microaggression. Geeze, what are you, a brainless libertardian?

            1. Yeah, syntax is a tool of the white hetero cislord patriarchy

      2. Or “Gender plays no part in who we hire.”

        In other words, if you claim you won’t discriminate in favor of their chosen victims, you are to be denounced.

        This list is so egregious that I truly question it’s authenticity. Most of these items are so over-the-top stupid that they just can’t be real. I think you’ve been fished in.

        1. You’re too optimistic. The guide is based on this book. http://www.amazon.com/Microagg…..047049140X

          Search for “meritocracy” in Look Inside.

          1. There is an actual, almost 400 page, book about this shit?

            1. 1) Be a griefer
              2) Write a book about it
              4) PROFIT!

              Well, if “profit” weren’t a trigger word.

              1. 4) PROFIT! BENEFIT!
                5) REDISTRIBUTE!

                1. Progs don’t believe in redistributing their own money, just yours

            2. Oh, more than one. Dr. — I am not making this up — Sue has made a career of it.

              After all, he was President of the Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues (Division 45).

          2. So according to that, the reason that “The most qualified person should get the job” is a microaggression is that it implies that PoC are given unfair benefits on account of their race.

            Now, how on earth is THAT not racist, in that it implies that PoC cannot be the most qualified person?

            1. PoC? Does that mean Piece of Chit?

              1. Now, *that* is microaggression! Everyone knows PoC is “Plain ol’ Countryboy”.

              2. Don’t worry, the re-education camps are ready for you. The bus will show up at 2am tonight.

          3. And apparently this…rag…is used as a TEXTBOOK?!


        2. My interpretation is that the “author” believes *no one* could *possibly* be so, um, “privilege-free” as to be able to utter such things truthfully. If you’re hiring people, you *are* discriminating — you just are not aware of it.

          1. Of course you are discriminating. How else do you decide who to hire? Choosing the best qualified person for the job is discrimination. The problem is thinking that discrimination is always bigoted or unfair.

            1. Everyone gets the job!!!!!

    3. Take a remedial course in intersectionality before it’s too late.

  2. Maxim Lott is a good name for a male porn star.

    1. Full name: Maxim Plent? Lott.

      1. Maxim Cumma Lot

    2. Hmmm…interesting observation, there. Maybe he’s a London porn star? I mean, Maxim Lott has a sort of British ring to it.

      Sorta like Ian Andout

      1. Ah, the old in and out. Reminds me of A Clockwork Orange

        *rapes all the women, kills all the men – eats steak*

        1. Oh, I’m sure Ian is a professional*…

          *professional what, I don’t know

  3. And why is that girl holding a sign about ‘paying’. Is she saying a woman not paying is a micro-agression? Now, that is super fucked-up.

    1. No, she’s saying that someone asking her why she went dutch is a microaggression against her.

      1. Ah! You speak their language!

        Can you ask them what IS permissible to speak about? Thank you!

        1. For you? Nothing, shitlord.

          1. Would someone *kindly* enlighten me about this “shitlord” shit?

            1. YOU’RE SOAKING IN IT

              /Madge from Palmolive

              1. This shit is *shit*!

                /Midnight Express

            2. Asking questions is a microaggression.

              1. Since it puts the other person “on the spot”, I suppose it must be.

            3. Sorry, no can do. Mansplaining is a microaggression.

          2. Hey! How do you know I’m not a transgendered minority species-flexible? HUH??

            1. “Hey! How do you know I’m not a transgendered minority species-flexible? HUH??”

              Because.. if you were, you would know it.. and so would we, as you wouldn’t miss an opportunity to give your take on issues, from your.. “perspective”, and mention it all day/everyday.. regardless of relevance to the discussion. Soo.. stop appropriating, cis-shitlord , this isn’t about you..

    2. Just FYI, your handle links to an address. I don’t know if that’s your address or not, but if you did that on accident you might want to take it down so randos on the internet don’t know where you live.

      1. Too late….


      2. Damn autofill.

  4. Well, it certainly is “micro”! Perhaps even “nano”.

    1. Look, if aggression exists at all, even in completely and even theoretically undetectable levels, an oppressor must die. Each time.

      1. Is that like homeopathy?

    2. I like “femto-aggression”. It sounds vaguely misogynistic.

  5. University administrators are certainly getting aggressive, but all they can manage is *micro* aggression, if you know what I mean and I think you do.

  6. So, notions of meritocracy amount to microagressions. Got it.

    1. A great way to protect the brand of the UC system!

      Don’t worry, we are not concerned with merit!

    2. So, notions of meritocracy amount to microagressions.

      No, no. That is the ‘Myth of Meritocracy.”

    3. Unless you disagree with them, in which case.. you don’t merit consideration of your opinion..

  7. Can there be any doubt that the SJW movement is a bid to rid the world of rational thought? They won’t stop until all that’s good about western civilization has been snuffed out and erased from history.

    1. What we need is a Re-Enlightenment, returning to the idea that rationality isn’t a bad thing.

      1. Just after the half-life of plutonium fallout, the quaint notion of ” Re-Enlightenment, returning to the idea that rationality isn’t a bad thing” will become trendy again, and probably not a minute before…

      2. What we need is a Re-Enlightenment, returning to the idea that rationality isn’t a bad thing.

        You mean we should vote for an open, out-of-the-closet, practicing intellectual? Again?

    2. Can there be any doubt that the SJW movement is a bid to rid the world of rational thought?

      Just sayin’…

      1. Visualizing images in your mind, and emoting about them, bereft of words and higher reasoning is.. “liberating”. Soon, it will be all the rage..

  8. Making hiring decisions based on race is not racist, or is acknowledging thre truth the problem?

    1. And you can’t even use the “only white people can be racist” excuse for affirmative action, since it is largely invented and run by white people.

      1. There’s a deep and profound truth in there, somewhere.

  9. “Gender plays no part in who we hire”

    We’re through the looking glass. Progressives have now determined that not being sexist is actually sexist.

    I also like that they mix actually racist statements with totally not racist statements and then behave as if they’re all identical. So saying “America is the land of opportunity” is just as bad as saying “People of color are lazy.”

    1. Since not being racist means you’re racist according to the progs, why would it be any different for sexist?

    2. “We’re through the looking glass. Progressives have now determined that not being sexist is actually sexist.”

      I take that as a good sign. The SJW serpent is eating its own tail.

  10. Even if one believes the statistics show we are not a meritocracy, it’s more destructive not to believe than to believe. Apparently striving for what you want despite the odds is considered to be for suckers. Expand that on a large scale and you don’t want to live in that society.

    1. And someone who works hard will be more successful than the exact same person who doesn’t work hard, so if people act like we’re a meritocracy (even if in practice we aren’t a pure meritocracy, since nowhere really is) everyone will end up in a better position than if they don’t behave that way.

      1. Wow – ^^ SOMEONE ^^ needs re-education camp this summer!

      2. Fry to Leela: It’s just like the story of the grasshopper and the octopus. All year long the grasshopper kept burying acorns for winter while the octopus mooched off his girlfriend and watched TV. Then the winter came, and the grasshopper died, and the octopus ate all his acorns and also he got a race car. Is any of this getting through to you?

    2. Their position seems to be that since we are not a meritocracy, we shouldn’t try to be meritocratic. Which seems a bit wrong.

    3. Well, you know comes next… calls for government intervention to make sure there are enough women, blacks, Hispanics, etc., in various positions.

  11. Interestingly enough, they are so worried about microagressions, but not about actual aggressions, like theft and slavery.

    “A rose by any other name…”

    Oh, that’s surely a microagression too…

  12. When reviewing this list, it occurred to me that these examples effectively stifle the speech of anyone to the right of the average UC professor.

      1. MW is right. I reckon this is a feature, not a bug.

    1. How about pointing out to the average UC professor that they didn’t get hired for their qualification/competence in their chosen field, but rather just for showing up.. Explain to them how their coveted PHDs are largely irrelevant..

  13. Because Minitrue loves you.

  14. What’s amusing is that recent research shows that STEM fields have a bias TOWARDS hiring women over men, with the sole exception of Economics, which has no bias.


    Of course it would not be politically correct to state the truth.

    1. That’s because there are so few women in those fields that people are desperate to hire them for diversity purposes. Washington Post is ‘surprised’ but only an idiot could be surprised by that given that people have known this is going on pretty much from the moment diversity became a modern craze.

  15. There are certainly a lot of people *trying* to make a myth of meritocracy.

  16. So a microaggression is not anything resembling actual aggression. Got it. Thanks. No need to cover this again.

  17. Has UC eliminated their mathematics department yet?

    1. Of course. Mathematics was stolen by white Europeans from Persians.

      1. AH! Cultural appropriation.

  18. Since when do the Reptilian Overlords care about ‘hurt feelings’?

    Since Mattress Girl was exposed as a fraud and a liar. I answered my own question, I guess.

  19. OK, how about “America comes closer to meritocracy than just about every other society past and present”? Would that be acceptable?


    2. No, because their goal is to make the concept a dirty word.

      1. hey, are you one of our cause celebre?

        1. “Special place in hell” affirms the designation

    3. Meritocracy is a racist term. Try again and edit your post.

  20. How about Rachel Dolezal got special privileges by pretending to be black?

    1. Well, you noticing is racist, straight up.

      1. Not noticing is also racist.

        1. Yep. Racist, all the way down.

    2. Apparently she’s resigned. Guess that’s easier than answering questions.

      1. “We hope that Rachel will get the help that she needs to deal with her identity issues,” [said her parents.]

        Or at least change her name to AisH’a Johnson.

    3. You have something against blackface?

    4. “She looks as black as I do . . . ”

      Reptilian Overlords, is that passable?

    5. It worked for Obama!

  21. Is performing maintenance on my woodchipper a micro-aggression? Just using my woodchipper? Referring to it in song and verse?

    I’m very unclear on this whole business as regards woodchippers.

    1. I wish I was an Oscar Meyer chipper
      That is what I truly want to be
      Cuz if I was an Oscar Meyer chipper
      I’d have plenty of judge meat to feed my dog

      (It’s a work in progress…)

      My chipper has a first name
      It’s O-S-C-A-R
      My chipper has a second name
      It’s M-E-Y-E-R
      I’d love to use it every day
      And if you asked me why I’d say
      Cause Oscar Meyer has a way
      of turning a judge into mulch today

      Much better…

  22. “According to psychological and public health research, micro-aggressions can lead to negative health consequences including heart disease, diabetes, depression and substance abuse,” she [OiYan Poon, assistant professor of higher education at Loyola University in Chicago] said.

    What the actual fuck?

    1. What a great name.

      1. Except it led to heart disease, diabetes, depression and substance abuse.

      2. Tell me Mr/Ms/Hex/whatever that word was takes Tang to work for lunch. Cause you know I wanna try Poon’s Tang. YOU KNOW I WANNA

      3. Oh. I read that as, “What a great band name.” But at 1st I thought you meant What The Actual Fuck, & only later did I see Oi Yan Poon. Oy, Ian Poon?

        1. It’s the nicotine vape talking now. It really does get me giddy.

    2. Hilarious. This is especially funny since “microaggressions” are entirely in the eye of the beholder and there’s no objective definition – micro-aggressions are whatever makes me feel bad. They’re your personal pet peeves.

      So basically this woman is saying “being a whiny vagina who complains about everything is bad for your health.” Well no shit, lady.

      1. “…no objective definition…”

        That’s what allows the scam to continue unabated.

        1. We will never be good enough. If we were, people could stop using offense for control.

    3. We need to see the actual research data. Frankly, I think it is post hoc logic at its finest.

      But I believe I will kindly ask Ms. Poon to provide evidence of her claims before I out her as a fucking retard.

      1. Her father did not care for sugar in his coffee.

        1. Okay . . . What about Johnny Walker (tee hee)?

      2. I find it highly unlikely that legitimate studies have been run regarding ‘micro-aggressions’ given that the subject did not even exist in the public consciousness until like 2 years ago. Somehow I doubt that they’ve managed to run studies regarding long term health impacts in such a short period of time.

        1. Never underestimate the corners a SJW will cut in the name of bringing social justice.

          1. Abandon logic and reason, all ye who wish to teach at the University of California.

    4. Post hoc or bull shit? We report, you decide.

  23. And Nick drops below ENB on Crusty’s favorite Reason writer list. I do not ask for much, Nick, but throw a fella something! Geez.

  24. Anyone care to hazard a guess how these brave champions of social justice would respond to a real, honest-to-goodness, genuine racist thug? My guess is that there’d be a stampede of the cadres running up to fellate the thug and treat him like a champion. Hell, a goodly number of them probably wear t-shirts with the image of a guy who shot gays and compared Africans to monkeys emblazoned on it. These clowns go after “micro-aggressions” because they no full well they’re safe doing so.

    1. It will depend a lot on exactly which racist thug they encountered.

    2. They would start a hashtag campaign against him on the Twitter. He’d get like a million reTweets and all kinds of thumbs-down. Remember how they defeated Kony back in 2012 and Boko Haram a few years ago?

  25. “Assimilate to the dominate culture”. . . What dominate culture UC? Your students are primarily Asian. Are you insulting Asian students, because they are dominant.

    1. “Assimilate to the dominate culture”


  26. its notable that the people promoting this kind of speech policing will deny that they themselves would consider any of these statements ‘offensive’ or oppressive to them specifically…but that they believe *someone*, *somewhere* could interpret these statements in a manner that would offend them.

    The presumption that they have the authority to speak on the invisible victim’s behalf just multiplies the insanity.

    They’re also “educating” people in how to use inoffensive statements made by disfavored people and attack them as ‘microaggressors’.

  27. “You Didn’t Let Him Pay”

    Fuckin’ lesbians….

    1. I figured it had to do with the difference between a slut and a whore. Shows you what I know.

  28. God, I hate these thought Nazis! Fuck you, California and the fucking moral high horse you road in on.

    1. rode in on . . . (fucking Korean smart phone piece of shit)

  29. I make up to $90 an hour working from my home. My story is that I quit working at Walmart to work online and with a little effort I easily bring in around $40h to $86h? Someone was good to me by sharing this link with me, so now i am hoping i could help someone else out there by sharing this link… Try it, you won’t regret it!……


    1. Jeez, even the spambot is microagressing by stating that it’s easy to make a lot of money.

      1. “Don’t give a man a fish and feed yourself. He’s a grown man. And fishing’s not that hard”.

  30. Everybody knows that Mexico is the land of opportunity.

    1. Si. Yo quiero taco bell

      1. Ay! Chihuahua! Que racista!

        1. Yo quiero Don Julio

          1. Quieras un bailar?


  31. Of course Gillespie doesn’t understand how to be polite in a multicultural society — he’s a goddamn guido.

    1. Is there a mulatto-like word for half-guido? Or does it matter much considering the other half is Irish?

        1. WINNER!!!

      1. Half a guinea is 10.5 Shillings.

    2. I thought he was a goddamn Mick.

      1. Gillespie is the americanization of Gilliseppi, I guess.

        1. His mother is the guido.

        2. Or Irish dad, Italian mom?

          1. Oy, the family reunions.

  32. The word ‘opportunity’ itself is a nano-aggression as it can be used as part of a micro-aggression.

    The letters of the alphabet are pico-aggressions, as they can form nano-aggressions and emphasize a western latin alphabet viewpoint over greek, cyrillic, or glyph-based alphabets.

    1. Quantum-aggresssions, the next big thing, trumps mere micro-aggressions and nano-aggressions. And the beauty of quantum-aggressions is that they can’t even be defined. They just pop in and out of existence at any time, even their location or state cannot be identified. Once you are accused of a quantum-aggression, you can never be proven not guilty of it.

      1. Ah, you’re familiar with the Racismberg Uncertainty Principle.

      2. FUCK. YOU.

        Stop giving them ideas!!!!

        1. There are scientists working on a Unified Aggression Theory, unifying all forms of identity oppression into one.

          1. What about the other agression?

            1. What other aggression? There’s only aggression against identity. All other aggressions are derived from that.

              1. Isn’t ‘other’-ing a form of (micro-)agression?

        2. Well, it’s not like I’m actually giving them ideas. I’m just anticipating the ascertained path of their stupidity.

          1. I felt microagressed just reading that as I know I’m going to those exact phrases in an article’s abstract in the next AERA journal I receive. I believe I am now suffering from pre-traumatic stress disorder.

      3. Once you are accused of a quantum-aggression, you can never be proven not guilty of it.

        This is a common misinterpretation, technically, you occupy a universe where you are both guilty and not guilty of quantum-aggression. Your guilt is determined upon observation, at which point all innocence collapses and you stand, observed, in one of an array of previously undetermined guilty states.

        1. Goddamn cat

        2. You mean, in order to understand, we need to occupy Planet Stupid.

          I need to tell my Planet Stupid self that it is better to be labeled an aggressor than to be mocked for being just plain dumb.

      4. Well, the universe splits into two universes, where in one universe you committed the aggression and in the other you did not. However,you are right in that you are accused of committing the aggression in both universes and found guilty.

      5. They’d never go for that. That’d mean there is something so trivial that it doesn’t count as an aggression.

      6. And the beauty of quantum-aggressions is that they can’t even be defined.

        Double-slit experiment: There are no aggressions until you look for them…at which time they magically appear.

        Entanglement and spooky action at a distance: Can Mattress Girl be raped by a frat boy standing in the Eagle Nebula instantly!?

      7. And the beauty of quantum-aggressions is that they can’t even be defined.

        Double-slit experiment: There are no aggressions until you look for them…at which time they magically appear.

        Entanglement and spooky action at a distance: Can Mattress Girl be raped by a frat boy standing in the Eagle Nebula instantly!?

  33. You Didn’t Let Him Pay?

    Pay is such an ugly, micro-aggressing word.

    1. Not as ugly and micro-aggressing as “him.”

      1. Gender words are so offensive. This is why enlightened souls like Miley Cyrus don’t identify as a gender.

        1. Even suggesting that there is a dichotomy like gender is a micro-aggression.

        2. Shit, that bird ought not even identify as “human.”

        3. Everybody ought to speak Hungarian. There’s no gender in that tongue.

      2. Which is weird . . . “He” and all their derivitatives sound better than the gender-neutral “It”.

        “It” is just rude.

  34. Related: Trigger warnings are triggering, per Everyday Feminism:

    “Everyday Feminism definitely believes in giving people a heads up about material that might provoke our reader’s trauma. However, we use the phrase “content warning” instead of “trigger warning,” as the word “trigger” relies on and evokes violent weaponry imagery. This could be re-traumatizing for folks who have suffered military, police, and other forms of violence. So, while warnings are so necessary and the points in this article are right on, we strongly encourage the term “content warning” instead of “trigger warning.””


    1. To give a personal example, I am often triggered when I see books by Terry Pratchett. I have been told that his books are fantastic, but I cannot bring myself to read any of them because Pratchett now suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.

      Somebody better tell Gillian Brown that Terry Pratchett (PBUTH) isn’t suffering Alzheimer’s any longer and that being ignorant of that fact is triggering or a micro-aggression or w/e.

    2. Holy shit, these people are accelerating their descent into madness.

      1. And, you cannot debate them or question them. To question their logic is an aggressive action in and of itself. One that just shows your ______ privilege (white, male, dominant, Western European, etc.- etc.).

        Hence, Jerry Seinfeld nailed it. Too bad we fed the progressive, Orwellian monster for 25 years before he woke up.

        1. Damn squirrels again! Get back in your cages!

          “Too bad HE fed the monster . . .”

    3. I interpret “trigger warning” as meaning someone might go postal as a result, so everybody duck!

    4. Good lord. They need to just shut up

    5. I actually almost wrote a joke comment like that a few days ago. Apparently, reality beat me to it.

  35. Microaggression.

    For people who reject the Non-Aggression Principle, and think that violence against peaceful people is a great way to solve social problems, they sure pick a funny word to use when describing their grievances.

    Does getting thrown in a rape prison for smoking pot count as a micro aggression?

  36. Why doesn’t UC just come out with an acceptable terms list?

    If meritocracy is ‘bad’- what term should be used?

  37. Are we at peak derp yet?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.