Have The Speech Police Become The Thought Police? On Some College Campuses It Appears To Be The Case
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When I was growing up my parents were no strangers to calls home from school. Whether it involved my friends and I placing obscene jokes into the ‘anonymous questions box’ in sex ed, or my brother running through the halls with an inflatable ummm phallus in his arms like a medieval jouster, my parents were well acquainted with the assistant principal at Glen Rock High. So it came as a shock to me when I read about the police being called on a third grader who allegedly made a racist comment regarding brownies.
That’s right, bigotry apparently met baked goods in Collingswood, New Jersey recently. As Philly.com reported:
A third grader had made a comment about the brownies being served to the class. After another student exclaimed that the remark was “racist,” the school called the Collingswood Police Department, according to the mother of the boy who made the comment.
First things first I need to get the following statement out of the way – this is absurd. Even if the kid did make a racist statement regarding brownies the situation could have been handled with a 15 minute detention, an apology, and a call home to mom and dad.
Okay, now onto the real issue. This incident is symptomatic of a far larger problem that has been surfacing on college campuses in recent years – an increase in official intervention where crimes are defined by little more than offense on the part of the ‘victim.’
Reason.com has recently shed light on programs at the University of Oregon and Michigan State where school officials intervene in any situation in which offense, no matter how slight, is taken and reported.
An annual report on the activities of University of Oregon’s Bias Response Team provides a frightening yet fascinating glimpse into the practices of these organizations, which are common on college campuses. Students, faculty, and staff who feel threatened, harassed, intimidated, triggered, microaggressed, offended, ignored, under-valued, or objectified because of their race, gender, gender identity, sexuality, disability status, mental health, religion, political affiliation, or size are encouraged to contact the BRT.
At Michigan State police officers are being trained in bias prevention.
That’s right, at Michigan State University it seems your socially unacceptable viewpoint can and will be used against you, reports Reason.com.
Michigan State University has created just such a thing. Its “Inclusion and Anti-Bias Unit” is charged with training police officers and members of campus to identify and handle bias incidents.
The unit came into existence in February. Since then, a police officer has assisted the campus’s Bias Response Team in reviewing complaints and determining which administrative agency should handle them.
Yuck, no wonder Jim Harbaugh chose Ann Arbor.
In the eyes of the perpetually offended it’s easy to come off as a crotchety, old, white guy who just wants to complain about ‘political correctness’ and is scared by diversity when we raise concerns about these policies.
But at 31 I don’t consider myself all that old, and hypersensitivity among young people is an issue that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
I had a thought the other day and I’d like to share it here.
To some degree I think we can find a link between helicopter parenting – the type that might prompt a school to call police on a third grader over a comment about dessert – hypersensitivity on college campuses, and the popularity of socialist political platforms among our nation’s young people.
It seems that well intentioned parents, in an effort to provide a safe environment for their offspring, have created a generation of adults who eschew free will in favor of an omnipotent guardian who will exist in perpetuity throughout their lives.
For those of us who love free speech, free markets, and free will we ignore this trend at our own peril.
This contributor is a Marine veteran that has served in the Middle East. Due to the sensitive nature of his current job, he has requested to remain anonymous.