Campus Free Speech

Speech Police Back Down at University of New Hampshire, But War on Words Is Not Over

It doesn't end with the Bias-Free Language Guide.

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Dreamstime

The University of New Hampshire's outrageous Bias-Free Language Guide seems to have struck a nerve. The guide, which purports to help UNH students and faculty purge their vocabulary of dozens of offensive words and phrases—really hateful stuff, like "obese" and "midgets" and "elders"—was removed by the university's president late last week after all corners of the internet expressed universal outrage at such an over-the-top display of political correctness.

The Bias-Free Language Guide is indeed nauseating. But, as I argue in a recent column for The Daily Beast, people should be more outraged about the countless examples of overt censorship on American (sorry, I meant, North American—please don't report me to the language police) college campuses:

It's good that these public universities aren't explicitly requiring the use of inoffensive language, because that would be both illegal and impossible. It would violate the First Amendment rights of students and faculty while failing to protect everyone's delicate ears from words that hurt them. Everything is offensive to someone, and some things that are offensive to some people aren't offensive to others. One man's "fat" is another man's "person of size." The great war on hurt-feelings at American university campuses is unwinnable, and the causalities are significant.

In any case, universities should be careful not to confuse students about their right to speak their minds. They should also take better care to ensure that friendly speech reminders don't become unfriendly speech mandates over time. Censorship-creep is all too real a phenomenon at universities all over the country.

In just the last month, I have covered cases where students were formally disciplined for engaging in political activismcalling another student a "psycho,"and making idiotic statements on Facebook. Each of these students should have enjoyed a right to free speech, and yet each met with suspension or expulsion for speaking out of line. That's just crazy.

Read the full article here.

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  1. UNH doubleplusgood word guide.

    1. The University of New Hampshire’s outrageous Bias-Free Language Guide seems to have struck a nerve.

      Why do I think the President’s reaction wasn’t “We shouldn’t ‘purge’ student vocabularies” but “Why the [profanity deleted] did you [biased term deleted] write these [expletive deleted] guidelines down and post them where [derogatory term replaced] people can see what we’re up to?”

  2. I have to wonder that if they didn’t include “American” on their naughty words list if anyone would have noticed. It’s when you get greedy is when you get in trouble.

    1. They’re always greedy. They all want cake.

  3. A lot if the so called security implementations that have been introduced over the course of the last 4 decades in American! High Schools have been nothing more then an exercise to get kids used to the idea of not having rights. There just taking it to the next logical step in the castration of the sheep.

  4. “They should also take better care to ensure that friendly speech reminders don’t become unfriendly speech mandates over time. Censorship-creep is all too real a phenomenon at universities all over the country.”

    I think we’ll eventually see “hate speech” exceptions to the 1st Amendment within the next 20 years.

    1. The left is not bashful about asserting that there is no 1st amendment protection for “hate speech” right now….. at least the left as represented online.

      1. Don’t worry – Bo assured me that we shouldn’t criticize the left for this because they’ve never almost gotten such a law passed, unlike the Republicans with the flag burning amendment.

        Never mind the dozen or so western countries that have already implemented things like this. America is all that matters and we shouldn’t worry about the death of speech freedom in places like Australia and Britain or be concerned that such things could come here.

        1. Yeap, all all fears are straw man arguments until they’re reality. We see that over and over.

        2. As well as the fact that the Senate Dems voted as a caucus to amend the Constitution to lift the 1st Amendment protections of poltical speech.

          1. Got a link for that?

            Or at least something I can use to look it up?

            1. It was just last year:

              https://reason.com/blog/2014/09…..jlhmn:O7mn

  5. “Bias-free language”? Shouldn’t the post-modern deconstructionist types be objecting and saying that no such thing is even possible?

    1. It’s ok when they do it.

  6. Re-read “The Principles of Newspeak”, the appendix in your dogeared copy of 1984. It’s all there. Orwell is the Jeremiah of our days.

    1. I always read that first – it’s my favorite part of the book.

    2. I think I may actually buy a hard bound copy of that; it’s that relevant.

  7. One of the great banes of our existence as humans is our woefully short lifespan. It takes until you are about 40-ish to have lived through a couple of cycles of pop-culture / politics to start to see the pattern. With these “offensive” terms there is a common pattern.

    We as a society decide on a descriptive term for some condition. Over time that term comes to have negative connotations in the minds of some. They then push for a new, supposedly superior term. This term then becomes offensive. Repeat.

    In my lifetime we’ve had:

    crippled – disabled – handicapped – differently abled (or in one hideous attempt, handi-capable)

    negro – black – afro-american – black – african-american

    fat – obese – weight-challenged, high-BMI, etc.

    dwarf – midget – little person

    I might have missed a couple of steps in there. It is pretty confusing, after all. The whole purge of gendered titles still has me confused. There’s no such thing as actress any more. They are all actors. So now if you want to specify a female, you have to say “female actor”. Chairman became chairperson and then just chair. So now instead of being a person, you are a piece of furniture. That’s progress.

    There’s no end to the manufactured outrage. When I was in school, ‘homo’ was an insult, as was ‘queer’. Gay was the sort of formal, polite term. My gay friends mostly used ‘fag’. Now that’s the worst, unutterable slur you can imagine.

    Because of this, their work never ends.

    1. Just say no.

      I don’t care if they’re outraged. The only power they have over me is if I care that they care. They can all smooch my big fat, white, male, Polack ass.

      1. ^This

        I have actually used this very line before: “Feelings? Did you just say ‘my feelings’?
        Fuck your feelings.”

      2. I’m with the Polack.

        Fuck ’em. The can lick my small, white, Wop ass.

      3. What do you do when a Polack throws a grenade at you?

        Pull the pin out and throw it back.

        1. But then what do you do with the grenade after you throw the pin back at the Polack?

          I’m asking for a friend.

    2. Pinker calls this the “euphemism treadmill.”

    3. Then there’s the “update the international handicapped access graphic with a more active wheelchair design” thing.
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..ork-state/

      1. “New York is again leading the way by being the first state in the Nation to update our outdated ‘handicap’ signs with a more active, engaging symbol. Working together we will continue to be a shining example for disability rights throughout the country,” Sen. David Carlucci (D) said in a statement.

        HAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!

        1. What’s the symbol for “retarded”?

          1. “What’s the symbol for “retarded”?”

            Apparently, a “D” after your name.

            1. What i do this time?

              1. Nothing, I was responding to “Sen. David Carlucci (D).”

                Seriously, I totally wasn’t insulting you.

                1. LOL

                  the brief pause of me not actually understanding the joke helped amplify the humor

                  i wus gilmored for a second

                  1. Good one.

        2. O.
          M.
          G.

          “JaniceSchacter
          7/29/2014 8:39 PM EST
          Perhaps it is also time for The Washington Post to update and use politically correct language? Using the term “handicapped” in the headline is offensive http://ncdj.org/style-guide/ (Although, hearing impaired which is recommended by these Guidelines is also not recommend. http://www.nad.org/issues/amer…..guage/c… The H-word needs to be eliminated. As President Obama said when he signed Rosa’s Law, people are what you call them. People with disabilities do not view themselves as handicapped so nor should everyone else.

          This is not a symbol for people with disabilities but people who use wheelchairs. A person in a wheelchair who is active or not active is not the appropriate symbol for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. An ear symbol is. Otherwise the symbol gives the impression that wheelchair access is the only disability of consequence.

          1. HAHAHAHAHA watching these people eat other up is going to be so epic.

            1. Good grief, lady.Do deaf people need access ramps? How about ADHD sufferers? Get a clue about what handicap access means before spouting off.

              Besides, aren’t the deaf people protesting research to restore hearing arguing that the deaf aren’t disabled but just different, even better in some ways, than typical folks?

              1. Soon people with ‘head mates’ will be getting priority parking and their own bathrooms, not to mention the unrestricted right to drive in the car pool lane.

          2. “Victim Class Parking Only”

            All seven White Male Hetero Cisnormative parking spaces at WalMart will be out next to the highway.

            1. No problem… Just tell them that you happen to “feel” like a woman at the particular moment that you parked your car. They can’t disprove it without giving up on their premise that gender is just a meaningless thing that anyone can change whenever they want.

          3. As President Obama said when he signed Rosa’s Law, people are what you call them.

            As President Lincoln said, calling a dog’s tail a leg does not make it a leg.

          4. “As President Obama said when he signed Rosa’s Law, people are what you call them.”

            Oh, no they aren’t. If they were, that guy would be working the streets again in Chicago.

          5. This is why I use crippled when referring to myself. Go find another group to make your latest victim class.

      2. Oh come on. This is parody, right?

        In the frightful event it isn’t… as a New Yorker it makes me happy they’re wasting time on frivolities like that rather than stamping my face.

      3. I didn’t see anything in the article about how much changing all those signs is going to cost.

        I did see this though, with regards to the new design: “Head Position – Head is forward to indicate the forward motion of the person through space. Here the person is the ‘driver’ or decision maker about her mobility

        Arm Angle – Arm is pointing backward to suggest the dynamic mobility of a chair user, regardless of whether or not she uses her arms. Depicting the body in motion represents the bymboically active status of navigating the world.”

        There is more, but I had to stop typing so I could vomit.

        1. I wonder what happens when all the disabled people who don’t feel like they want to join the special olympics start to get offended because the signs imply they ought to be working out a lot more.

          What if I *want* to relax in my motorozed wheelchair? Does that make me a lesser person?

      4. It looks like the person is falling out of their wheelchair?!

    4. ‘The whole purge of gendered titles still has me confused. There’s no such thing as actress any more. They are all actors. So now if you want to specify a female, you have to say “female actor”.’

      Yet, many of my friends on the left who use (and correct me on my usage of) gender neutral words will still differentiate by using ‘latino’ and “latina’. I never hear them use similar gender titles for people of other ethnicities, even though there are plenty other languages that make that distinction.

      Increasingly I think I am a liberal that has missed getting those free e-mail updates about what a liberal is supposed to think, feel and do.

      1. correct me on my usage of

        Hm, I don’t have any friends that do this. Just my luck I guess 🙂

        1. Sorry, that should have been ‘..correct me on my lack of usage of gender neutral words…’

          1. Yeah, I would find some new friends.

      2. many of my friends on the left who use (and correct me on my usage of) gender neutral words will still differentiate by using ‘latino’ and “latina’. I never hear them use similar gender titles for people of other ethnicities

        And commit a micronegression?!

      3. Makes me glad I don’t have friends. I would feel compelled to suggest to any such friend that they go and shove a cactus up their ass. And I would probably lose a friend.

    5. Carlin had nice routine about how shellshock became post-traumatic stress disorder.

      1. The title of that routine is simply, war WILL fuck you up real good.

    6. Exactly. The problem is, no matter how hard you try, you just can’t convince people that having no legs or being paralyzed from the waist down is just as good as having legs and not being paralyzed from the waist down.

      Thus no matter what word you use for crippled/lame/handicapped/disabled people, people still are going to keep seeing that as something negative, and over time whatever word you use for it, is going to acquire negative connotations.

      Ditto for most of the other things on your list.

      Progressives believe that our attitudes are determined by our language. They think that calling people “disabled” is what makes us think that they are somehow inferior, so if we come up with a more neutral sounding term, we’ll stop thinking that being disabled is a bad thing. But it’s the opposite. Language acquires meaning from how we feel about things. It doesn’t matter what words you use, people just prefer having all their limbs working, so no matter what word you use for the disable, it’s *always* going to mean spomething bad to people.

  8. Good job Robby…no qualifiers.

    1. So long cocktail party invitation.

      1. It he even old enough to drink?

  9. then: “I should add that I personally find Vincent’s remarks distasteful”

    now: ” making idiotic statements on Facebook”

    1. re: idiot statements

      The cited examples seem pretty standard fare… by twitter/internet-comment levels.

      I think it would be fairly easy to cherry pick similar things, completely out of context (but often in response to some provocateur like Bo, Tony, etc) in every single comment thread here.

      i.e. – i’m not sure its fair to pass judgement on internet-comments based on some prudish language standard which doesn’t apply to ‘commentary’/facebook posts the way it does to formal, edited, published writing.

      One might as well be forced to answer for every single conversation you’ve ever had, with every single uttered statement extracted and treated in isolation.

      Its a ridiculously unrealistic standard which doesn’t even seem to merit any examination.

      One of his “awful” remarks was,

      Almost as tan as a terrorist. Gon to be disappointed if i’m not racially profiled on my trip to gulf shores

      While other things the guy says are far dumber…the fact that this was included among his ‘thoughtcrimes’ is an indication that the Offended People are really scraping the bottom of the barrel to try and find examples of ‘bad taste’.

  10. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5Rz_CklQHk

    Ezra Levant’s Rebel Media has uploaded basically all of his arguments before the Canadian Human Rights Commission. The whole thing is awesome.

    1. Say, you’re in Chicago, aren’t you? Did you happen to see Rand Paul speak yesterday? Heard he was at some affluent Chicago suburb to give a speech.

      1. It doesn’t matter. His candidacy is DOOOOOOOMED!!!111!!!

      2. He spoke in the North Suburb of Niles.

        1. That’s a suburb of Glenview.

          1. And Glenview is a suburb of Northbrook.

    2. I just wish Ezra were reliably honest. You can’t trust this guy. No objectivity. awful judgement. Bane of the short-lived SNN.

      1. what his example of dishonesty?

        just curious

        1. Where to begin? All of his coverage of Omar Khadr, whom he is bizarrely obsessed with, his coverage of the election of Brad Wall in Saskatchewan, and almost everything else.

    3. When they decided to go after him again recently I thought “Yeah, what could be better press for the Human Rights Commission then to have Levant’s ‘you’re a thug’ speech circulating on the internet again.”

  11. and making idiotic statements on Facebook.

    Is there any other kind of statement on Facebook?

    1. well, baby pictures.

      1. You horrid breeder!

        1. Sweetie, we only call them breeders behind their back.

    2. My statements.

  12. OT: speaking of police: I haven’t seen this posted yet, What happens when the cops show up at the wrong address and the homeowner has a gun? This article isn’t going to help you answer that question at all. But you knew that.

    1. the three teens knocked on the front and back doors of Barreau’s residence in Sparta, New Jersey believing they were at the home of a friend

    2. Crusty Juggler posted it yesterday morning.

      I see that tony once again did a little corpsefucking in the thread several hours afterwards.

  13. The guide, which purports to help UNH students and faculty purge their vocabulary of dozens of offensive words and phrases?really hateful stuff, like “obese” and “midgets” and “elders”?was removed by the university’s president

    Oh, yeah? Well, that president is an obese midget elder!

    1. I am still using ‘fat’.

      Now ‘obese’ is offensive?

      Fuck me.

      1. *Morbidly* obese!

        1. We say “Christie” now

      2. I just call them whales, and pour water on them while I solicit other passersby for help rolling them back into the ocean. Remarkably, I’m not in jail yet.

  14. OT: finished Ender’s Game. Mostly good but I preferred the movie. Should I read the other books in the series?

    1. You are just trolling us science fiction fans now.

      1. Yes, anyone preferring that movie to the book is trolling.

        1. Why is it trolling to prefer sensible pacing and cutting to the point? To avoid using a puerile term like ‘dorkling’?

    2. There’s a movie?

      OK, more seriously – no, you should not read any of the other books in the series. Unless you’re into Mormonism.

      1. Well, who the Hell isn’t?

        1. Space Aliens and Magic Underwear. What’s not to like?

      2. I never understood the “he’s a Mormon!” objection. Sure, if you go looking it you can find Mormon themes in his works. Just like you can find versions of the Christian story in many works of fiction. But if you are not a student of Mormonism I doubt it will make much of an impression on you.

        I had no idea what a Mormon was when I started the series some 20+ years ago and never noticed anything of the sort, beyond the ordinary “protagonist as mythic hero” sort of fiction stuff that is common in Sci-Fi.

        It is a fun series with some interesting takes that gets weaker as it drags on. In this way it is exactly like most every fiction series I can think of. After all, Jack Ryan gets sillier by half as the editions pile up, and that’s not even Sci-Fi.

        1. To be fair, I didn’t catch it as anything other than annoying preachiness in the 2nd and 3rd books of the Ender series (I think I crapped out in the middle of the 3rd book). But then he wrote this ridiculousness which I started and was like, WTF?

    3. Dull damn book with an ending that would surprise no-one. Why this is a classic escapes me.

  15. Expelled, pffft. Ridiculous. It isn’t grade school.

    There are other universities and colleges in NH and surrounds if you’re local, and obviously other locations throughout the US. Take your business elsewhere. Whatever amount the gubbermint kicks in on taxpayers dollars doesn’t make up for the loss of paying clients.

  16. Speaking of idiotic comments…

    …why is it that these college-douchehat remarks about moolims and beaners are so atrocious that they require such substantial disavowal and public denunciation…

    …while every day…*actual journalists*… will tweet shit like, “It would be funny if all gun-owners were murdered“…?

    …while publishing breathless denunciations about other people’s impolitic revenge-fantasies ?

    One seems to be given latitude as, well “contextual”, humor and stuff.

    The latter WE MUST MAKE CONCERNED FACE ABOUT ELIMINATIONIST RHETORIC AND CULTURE PROBLEM!!

    The selective-outrage meter is broken.

    1. That’s hilarious, but I hope the infidel cat is ok

    2. That’s hilarious, but I hope the infidel cat is ok

      1. Mohammed, for all his faults, loved the pussy. Wait, that came out wrong.

    3. You’ll pray towards Meccat, two-legs!

  17. Midget, midget, midget.
    Obese, obese, obese.
    Fat, fat, fat,
    Ugly, ugly, ugly,
    Stupid, stupid, stupid,
    Nigga, nigga nigga,
    Faggot, faggot, faggot,

    Just practicing some free speech. It exists wherever I am. I take it with me everywhere.

  18. In all seriousness. What are good schools for STEM that don’t have all this crap? Or is it global?

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