Imagining A Campus Without Offense

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

A law professor from Penn came up with her own words to ban on campus but it’s much more limited than the speech codes of her adversaries. “No one can be heard to say, ‘I’m offended,’” Amy Wax said at the Heritage Foundation. “They all have permission to be offended.”

“But they just can’t express it. No one is allowed to accuse anyone else, in the classroom or out, dead or alive, of being racist, sexist, xenophobic, white supremacist, or any other derisive, identity-based label. No slurs or name-calling. These don’t enlighten, educate, or edify. They add nothing. Give us an argument. Tell us why the other person is wrong.” Think of what this would do to the Modern Language Association. They could shrink the four days of hundreds of panels into an hour and a half.

Wax went on to urge caution in going to the front office at the slightest sign of offense: “No one can complain to administrators—those officious thought police—about anything said in class.”

Lastly, she hit on a theme that Republicans have refused to address for at least four decades: “Finally, both the government and private donors need to rethink the lavish financial support for higher education, and especially for elite and selective institutions, which serve only a teeny-tiny portion of our population and which in many ways, I’m afraid, have become an anti-Western and anti-American liability.”