Political Correctness

Williams College Students Can Report Each Other for 'Making Comments on Social Media' About Religion or Politics

Bias incident reporting system undermines the very point of having a university.

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Williams
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Williams College is one of at least 100 campuses with a system in place for students to report each other for saying or doing something slightly offensive. These trivially disturbing occurrences are known as "bias incidents"—and at Williams, virtually anything could qualify.

According to the Massachusetts college's website, "name-calling and stereotyping" are examples of bias. Telling a joke that draws its humor from a stereotype is also wrong. Students shouldn't use slurs, or the word "gay" as an insult, or display "a sign that is color­coded pink for girls and blue for boys," or imitate someone's "cultural norm or practice."

And since religion and political affiliation are considered protected classes for the purposes of categorizing bias incidents, the following kinds of expression are also considered verboten:

Making comments on social media about someone's disability, ethnicity, race, national origin, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, or political affiliations/beliefs

Writing on a white board about someone's disability, ethnicity, national origin, race, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, or political affiliations/beliefs

Drawing or creating pictures that imitate, stereotype, or belittle/ridicule someone because of their gender, gender expression, race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, faith, or political affiliation

Mocking someone's disability on Twitter would be awful. "Making comments on social media" about another person's religious or political beliefs isn't remotely similar. Some people's religious and political beliefs should be discussed, challenged, and even mocked. As the Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker once observed, "that's the difference between a university and a madrassa."

As The College Fix noted in a recent article about Williams' bias reporting procedures, the college's website correctly distinguishes between a bias incident and a hate crime, explicitly telling students that the former is not a crime. Still, the website claims that bias incidents are "abhorrent and intolerable" and that any people who think they're victims of, or witnesses to, such an episode should feel free to report it to the proper authorities: the Dean of the College, the Office of Strategic Planning and Diversity, counselling services, or even campus security.

It bears repeating that the theory behind bias reporting systems—that relatively trivial slights, known as microaggressions, can negatively impact students' educational experience if left unaddressed—is scientifically unsound. In his review of the research concerning microaggressions, the Emory clinical psychologist Scott Lilienfeld found little evidence of such a connection between microaggressions and psychological trauma. And when the Cato Institute polled minority students about whether various microaggressions offended them, most said nope.

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    1. Reported to the Reason Bias Team.

  2. I think self-inflicted mental retardation is fair game for mockery.

  3. Political orientation is really no different from religion. Both are choices and are solely a set of beliefs and ideals. There’s no reason why the former shouldn’t be included in these laws that cover the latter. Which is why these rules and laws are stupid and unconstitutional.

    There is evidence that core political beliefs are as hereditary as homosexuality is, and the latter gets a protected category. Also, just because I am gay doesn’t mean I don’t have the choice to not have sex with men. It’s still a choice in the end.

    This haziness and logical inconsistency is why all hate crime laws are stupid, especially now that gender and race are flexible as well.

    1. “”Political orientation is really no different from religion. Both are choices and are solely a set of beliefs and ideals. There’s no reason why the former shouldn’t be included in these laws that cover the latter””

      The only approved hate is republican hate.

      1. Yeah, reporting on your neighbor for hating Republicans, conservatives, Jews, Christians, white males, or libertarians is like reporting someone in China for being too communist. It won’t even get you any points with the politburo.

    1. Hey, YouTube, I have my phone volume muted for a reason.

      1. If this clip isn’t already your ringtone, that’s another thing in your life you need to rethink.

  4. You are hereby denounced to the Thought Police!

  5. True but still, Israel is off limits.

    Hitlary for OberC?ckenFuhrer 2020 approves this message.

  6. But if some snowflake calls Trump or Milo a nazi on social media and get’s reported for it, they’ll cry about their First Amendment rights being violated.

    They’d be right, of course, but in their small minds that defense is only valid when defending the rights of leftist shitbirds.

  7. > *Writing on a white board about someone’s disability, ethnicity, national origin, race, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, or political affiliations/beliefs*

    Somehow I doubt this standard will be upheld. Can the College Republicans write Republican on their whiteboard? Can LGBTWTFBBQ not hold a grief counseling session for the prevalence of cishet white male nazis-in-training? Was Jesus even a Jew?

  8. > *Writing on a white board about someone’s disability, ethnicity, national origin, race, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, or political affiliations/beliefs*

    Somehow I doubt this standard will be upheld. Can the College Republicans write Republican on their whiteboard? Can LGBTWTFBBQ not hold a grief counseling session for the prevalence of cishet white male nazis-in-training? Was Jesus even a Jew?

    1. WHY’S IT GOTTA BE A ‘WHITE BOARD’ HUH?! WAS THE BLACK BOARD NOT GOOD ENOUGH!?

  9. In his review of the research concerning microaggressions, the Emory clinical psychologist Scott Lilienfeld found little evidence of such a connection between microaggressions and psychological trauma.

    It was never about “trauma” – it’s about mind control.

  10. “name-calling and stereotyping” are examples of bias.

    Christ, what a bunch of assholes.

    1. “””name-calling and stereotyping” are examples of bias.””

      or comedy.

    2. That’s two bias incidents for you, mad.casual.

      1. ‘bias incident’ seems to imply that one can go through life without being biased, which is itself a biased view.

        /brain explodes

  11. What? No political speech? Oh man, i would be reporting EVERY progtard I ran across, just as a didactic exercise.

  12. Not that I agree with Williams’ positions, necessarily, but does Reason intentionally leave out the fact that Williams is a private college? The market has a solution for this. Stop spending your money on Williams University if you don’t like this behavior.

    You don’t have a 1st Amendment right to say whatever you want wherever you want. Congress shall make no law doesn’t say that every Dean at every private institution shall make no rule.

    1. “You don’t have a 1st Amendment right to say whatever you want wherever you want.”

      Perhaps you could specify, and please spare us the tired old trope about fire in a crowded theater [coined by OW Holmes in defense of his 1919 decision supporting repression of a man’s right to protest conscription into the Army].

      1. “Perhaps you could specify”

        It’s pretty clear. You can’t come to my house and say anything you want without the fear of me evicting you. You can’t say whatever you want at your location of employment (assuming you don’t work for the Government) and expect to not be fired. You can’t go to a private school and say whatever you want without fear of being expelled or otherwise reprimanded.

        Now, that being said, it’s worthwhile for Reason to point out restrictions on speech in both the public and private domains. However, it’s sloppy journalism for Reason not to point out that Williams can run their private college basically any way that they see fit.

        The solution is not laws or lawsuits. The solution is don’t go to Williams College or give them any more money.

        1. To be sure, Robby Soave’s waffle iron is always plugged in and ready to go

          1. ^ I have no idea what this means, but find the visual image incredibly amusing.

        2. The theory, at least since the Grove City case, is that colleges accepting students who have received federal aid to pay for their schooling makes them, in effect, federal contractors who have to follow all sorts of non-discrimination rules that a private college not accepting such aid at second hand would not have to.

          This is one reason why places like Grove City and Hillsdale run their own financial aid programs without government “help.” Who takes the king’s shilling….

          Now, wait for an aggrieved conservative or libertarian student, or even a moderate, to fight back against a bias claim by filing a Federal civil rights suit under Title Whatever of federal law providing Pell grants or other aid.

    2. I think that covering stories about where free speech is threatened as a cultural value is worth doing as well. Yes, of course there is no legal answer to this.
      Writing blog posts about the Williams story is also part of the market solution.

      1. Fair point Zeb. Thanks for pointing that out. However, I do believe that it’s sloppy journalism for a libertarian magazine not to report that Williams is a private institution, thereby avoiding the property rights angle of this story.

  13. Since the modern University is a white European male invention, isn’t every other attending race and gender imitating their “cultural norm or practice”.

    I’d like to have a day pass to a degree program so I can report them all.

    1. You’re off the hook as long as you don’t define “modern” to be equivalent to “what Europeans did.” The University of Al Quaraouiyine is considered to be the oldest degree-granting university, which was founded in Africa. Africa and Asia had what could be considered universities before they developed in Medieval Europe.

      1. ‘what could be considered’ is a pretty wide net to be casting. Did they predate Rome, because our system of universities is based on that of the Romans.

        1. Nope, Tony got it right. ‘Modern’ was in my statement for a reason…

  14. “Bias incident reporting system undermines the very point of having a university.”

    Reason seems to believe that people are idealistic when most of the time they hate ideology. I don’t think that people who make it up to the top of the heap in a university are anywhere near as idealistic as they claim, although they are often bound to be unrepentant ideologues in some way or another, a defect that might not serve them as well in a non-academic setting. From the perspective of a freshman/grunt, the point of a university education is to materially improve your future quality of life, to make your future career easier, and to feed your eternally starving ego. Intellectual curiosity is secondary, and that is going to be even truer when a university education becomes a “right”. You don’t need to be enrolled in some institution to get your hands on a good book, and the only way you can make the former sound reasonable cost-wise is if someone else is paying the bill.

    A university is like any other bureaucracy. You can’t get rid of it, but the people who run that bureaucracy are constantly in a tug of war for power and a bigger slice of the budget, regardless of how large the budget (and the bureaucracy) gets. Intellectual inquiry?!! Honest, detached, critical thinking? Who has time for that? The weapons of this war are the effective ones: political advocacy and indoctrination.

  15. So how are all you retarded cracker-ass faggots doing?

    1. I’ll own up to the retarded, but I’ve had a long time to catch up and possibly surpass. Tortoise and hare, don’cha know…

      Cracker-ass faggot sounds kind of painful in a crunchy way. Can’t say I identify with that much.


  16. And when the Cato Institute polled minority students about whether various microaggressions offended them, most said nope.

    The modern progressive white intellectual is wise enough to realize that students of color are scientifically inferior and not only need a leg up to even get into an institution of higher learning, but also need to be told what offends them while there. It’s for their own good, because without their diversity in higher education white people wouldn’t know how guilty they are.

    /Progressivism

  17. “Bias incident reporting system undermines the very point of having a university.”

    Points change.

    The purpose of a university now is to indoctrinate people in the Progressive Theocracy.

  18. If I was a student at a private school who didn’t want to transfer I would take advantage of the massive loophole in their policy for anyone to take advantage of. Have myself ordained a minister of a faith whose central tenant is that this type of policy and hypersensitivity is harmful to society and preach away.

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