October 3, 2008

Students and faculty protest political speech repression at the University of Illinois.

The Chicago Tribune reports:
The university's administration has sparked outrage by telling faculty, staff and graduate students that a 5-year-old state law designed to prevent state workers from campaigning for candidates on state time or with state resources meant they could not express support for candidates or parties through pins, T-shirts or bumper stickers while on campus. Nor could they attend any political rally or event on campus, the administration said.

"They're trying to control our bodies and our voices any time we're on campus. These policies are clearly a violation of our 1st Amendment rights," said Dan Colson, an English graduate student who, along with other students, professors and free-speech experts, has lashed out....

Tom Hardy, a University of Illinois spokesman, said Thursday that the university only wanted to inform its employees of the law and had no intention of enforcing it.
Informing people of the law when you have no intention of enforcing it? In other words, you want to scare people into shutting up. You intend to chill free speech.
The university, he said, would take no action against participants in the pro-Obama rally.
How about taking the action of rewriting the guidelines to express an interpretation of the law that you are willing to stand by?
"The purpose was to say, 'Keep these provisions in mind, exercise common sense, and everything will be fine,' " Hardy said of an e-mail sent to all employees and graduate students.
Talk about vague! The rule "exercise common sense" is itself not common sense. "Everything will be fine" is not at all reassuring.
"Academic freedom allows us to reveal our political views if we want," [English professor Cary] Nelson said.

85 comments:

Cedarford said...

Translation:

"We staffers at the State University want to sport clear identification of our Obama loyalty so we can better query those State employees and students who lack outward manifestation of Obama loyalty why they are lacking the obvious.....

Color of authority?
What color of authority!
Over grades and employment?
Don't be silly, we are better than that!

This is a free speech issue for government employees.

As progressive university members, we have no objections to other State employees, like cops...who might have wished to have worn "Support Bush & The Troops!" buttons."

End translation....

Apathetic Citizen said...

For amusement, I Googled "Cary Nelson," the English lit. professor quoted at the end of the article.

First, the quote:

"Cary Nelson, an English professor, has circulated memos on campus decrying the policy. He has a bumper sticker that proclaims "MY SAMOYED IS A DEMOCRAT," and wears an Obama pin to campus class.To defy the restrictions, he recently articulated his pro-Obama stance to a class, adding that he would never evaluate them based on their political views. "Academic freedom allows us to reveal our political views if we want," Nelson said."

Here's his bio (and cv). His works include "Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture," "Manifesto of a Tenured Radical," "Introduction: I Dreamed I Sang the Internationale to Adolf Hitler," and "Revolutionary Memory."

Hurry now to sign up for his class English 481 -- Marxism and Poststructuralism.

(The same guy was quoted a few weeks ago, with the same reference to his dog. What? The newspaper can't find another teacher to interview?)

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
erniecu73 said...

I don't like free speech restrictions any more than I like crazy Obamabots.

Pogo said...

"a 5-year-old state law designed to prevent state workers from campaigning for candidates on state time or with state resources "

It was unenforceable, and never intended to be enforced.

99% of college campuses are leftist and everything from exam questions to classroom discussions to their "student life" indoctrination sessions are run along Party lines.

This 'rule' was but a tiny fig leaf trying to hide too much liberal tootie, but the hippies still want to run nekkid. it was meant to fool the parents while feigning legal compliance.

Oh, yes, you are free to express conservative principles as well, although curiously, no conservatives are ever hired.
None are qualified, surely.

Crimso said...

The name "Cary Nelson" rang a bell. Yep, it's THAT Cary Nelson. I get emails from him (or actually his organization) from time to time, as do thousands of others. I recall one some months back that bordered on the hysterical (most of them sound fairly reasonable), nearly shrieking about how McBushitler was preventing foreign professors from entering the US. It sounded very much like something some halfwit on Kos would vomit out. Nelson is president of AAUP. I sure as fuck wish he would quit trying to speak in my name.

Peter V. Bella said...

It was unenforceable, and never intended to be enforced.

That is not quite true. State employees are prohibited and do not wear campaign pins while working. The same holds true for city employees in Chicago. The city actually had the ordinance on the books before the state. The law's intention is to keep employees who deal with or may deal with the public from appearing to be campaigning or supporting a candidate; enforced neutrality.

It is enforced- ususally the offending pins are made to be removed or the employee gets written up. As to vehicles, I think that is dumb.

sammy990099 said...

"Palin repeated a false claim that Obama once voted in favor of higher taxes on “families” making as little as $42,000 a year. He did not. The budget bill in question called for an increase only on singles making that amount,"

So perhaps a correction is necessary. Obama voted for higher taxes on single parent families making as little as $42,000 per year.

Zach said...

A similar law affects me at CU Boulder (I'm a grad student, not a professor.). A few thoughts:

1) You are a state employee, providing state benefits to residents of that state. You are completely covered by this law.

2) When you ask for state money, you're going to insist on being judged as a nonpolitical institution.

3)"They're trying to control our bodies and our voices any time we're on campus...." said Dan Colson, an English graduate student who, along with other students, professors and free-speech experts, has lashed out....

How embarassing. Repeating a smug and self-satisfied slogan "They're trying to control our bodies" out of context. By a man, no less, so the abortion reference doesn't even apply. One suspects that Mr. Colson does not expect to encounter anybody who will call him on this drivel.

4) Related to #3, politicization is killing the humanities. It competes with the scholarship they should be doing, and intrudes on the subject matter. And it's done by people with no particular political insight or skill. Banning political activity is exactly what English needs to do, as a subject.

Pogo said...

Peter, I was speaking only of its unenforceability on college campuses because they had no intent of enforcing it there. But I was being unclear.

Ann Althouse said...

If you're a single parent, you don't file as single, you file as "head of household."

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I agree with Peter and others. If you are a State employee (or for that matter of fact ANY employer that deals with the public) your employer has the right to ban political campaigning on their time.

That ban certainly shouldn't be extended to your car which is sitting passivly in a parking lot. But it should cover pins, banners, tee shirts and most of all your speech. In other words when you are working keep your political opinions to yourself and shut up.

It is not at all uncommon for private business to tell their employees not to campaign at work. The bank that I used to work at many years ago had a rule that you could not have anything political or religious at your desk if you were meeting with the general public at that location. Private offices... you can do what you want.

I suppose the difference between for profit businesses and Universities is that the for profit business doesn't want to offend or drive away customers, while the University feels that it has a captured audience that they can indoctrinate at will. Trapped. The students can't leave.

Crimso said...

"If you're a single parent"

Need the word "custodial" in there. I'm not nitpicking. Once upon a time, I was a noncustodial single parent. She got any and all tax breaks associated with being a parent. I got none. Even though I was monetarily paying my fair share (at a bare minimum; I was actually paying more, and was going above and beyond the bare minimum required to be a part of our children's lives).

Peter V. Bella said...

Peter, I was speaking only of its unenforceability on college campuses because they had no intent of enforcing it there. But I was being unclear.

You were clear. This has been a problem festering in all areas of public employment in Illinois.

Are state college or university campuses exempt from the law and its enforcability while other employees must comply?

EX:
Ane employee at the DMV is told to remove a campaign button and refuses. The employee is written up and or suspended from work without pay. Can that employee claim unfairness because university employees are not punished for the same conduct based upon the same law?

This stuff happens all the time in administrative and labor situations with public employees.

Are university professors and instructors state employees and does the law apply to them or is there an implied exemption due to "Academic Freedom"? That is the question that the ethics committee should have run by the legal department.

Would they protest so loudly if the decision came from the legal department instead of the ethics department?

The Drill SGT said...

My wife is a Fed and Fed's certainly understand and fully enforce the "Hatch" Act.

Same for both of us when we were in the Army. In my experience in the "Old Army", officer never spoke of politics. In fact most registered as Indepedent.

We ran very direct and near-mandatory, but completely non-partisan GOTV efforts, unlike lots of present day officially non-partisan events. In essence, we ran them like we did blood drives or CFC fund raising.

First SGT: "Everybody that wants to give Blood line up over there with SGT Smith, go give blood and take the afternoon off. All you useless maggots that won't give blood for our guys who need it, you go form up on SGT Jones. I have a list of things that need doing in the Motorpool today and maybe Saturday."

So nowhere did you ever see a button or a bumper sticker, but everybody voted.

SGT Ted said...

This sin't a free speech issue; this is a fraud issue. It is misappropiation of Government money and facilities to conduct partisan political activity. They receive Federal funds at this "college" do they not? Then the Hatch Act applies.

These State Employees need to reprimanded and if they continue to flaut the law and politic using Governement resources while working their Government jobs, they should be fired. Then they can be replaced by people who don't confuse political indoctrination and bullying with education.

I would be prosecuted and possibly fired if I did this shit.

Pogo said...

They're never going to prosecute a college professor for this.

Those rules only apply to the non-elite, the little people, the lumpenproletariat. Some citizens are simply more equal than others.

When the next financial credit victim falls, they may sing a different tune, though. We'll see what happens when the credit collapse strikes the University tuition bubble, via payrolls and student loans.

SGT Ted said...

We'll see what happens when the credit collapse strikes the University tuition bubble, via payrolls and student loans.

I am SO looking forward to that.

John Burgess said...

Two observations:

I've known many federal government employees and military who will not vote for any presidential candidate on principle. They believe that the conflict of interests is so great between their jobs and their personal preferences, that they simply leave the presidential box blank while voting for other offices. Or so they say anyway, and I've no reason to doubt them.

Second, I wonder if any enterprising non-Democrat in Illinois has the gumption (and standing) to file a criminal complaint against UI-CU. There is, apparently, abundant proof that a law is being broken and officials charged with enforcing the law have no intention of doing so.

former law student said...

The people I know who work for public universities in Illinois do not think of themselves as state workers. They live in a bubble.

madawaskan said...

John Burgess-

Well....I lived on Eglin AFB during 2000 when the Dems brought lawyers in from Atlanta-because no local would do it-to challenge every absentee ballot coming in from the DMZ.

Ya-uh huh-things have changed.

I remember the other bullshit divisive crap the media use to spin.

Enlisted vote Democrat, Officers vote Republican-nothing like stirring up a little class warfare amongst the ranks....

So hell I bought it-but then I decided to look up the results of the on base precinct-which would be on base housing-majority enlisted and their families-

What do you think the Republicans won that precinct by-what percentage?

Remember you have to account for dependents-wives, voting age children and some dependent parents...

Give it a guess......

madawaskan said...

50%?

madawaskan said...

What would make you eyes pop?

What would be a statistically significant difference from the average population?

madawaskan said...

Let's see if the rest of the country was divided about 50/50, if the on base precinct went Republican by 60% would that get your attention?

Erik Opsal said...

What about this?

"And it delivered a sweeping twist, saying the state law meant that university students, not just employees, were prohibited from participating in political rallies on campus—an assertion at odds with the University of Illinois' interpretation of the law."

As I stated on the previous post on this regarding the faculty, it's one thing to proselytize in class about a candidate, it's another thing entirely to just have a bumper sticker.

But now applying this to students and saying they can't participate in political rallies on campus? THAT'S INSANE.

The Drill SGT said...

Not surprising at all. Your average Army NCO is a very conservative, law and order, values, god, mother and apple pie kinda guy and so is his family.

Other than Police, I can't think of another profession more conservative and equal opportunity (in the real sense of the word, not the AA definition)

Course the same sort of solid folks are in both.

madawaskan said...

OH hell-

try-

85-87%

I can no longer get the individual precinct results to load t the website but here are the results for the county of Okaloosa which is largely populated by Eglin AFB and retired military-

Here are the results for that:

2004 General Election
11/2/2004
Results last updated: 3/3/2006 3:11:20 PM
Vote Type: Precinct:
Vote type summary Precinct details
PRESIDENT
Vote for 1
Percent Votes
George W. BUSH 77.65% 69,693

Okaloosa County Supervisor of Elections

I think you can extrapolate from that-if the whole county with many civilians went 77.65% for the Republican the on base precinct was a shocker I remember it being 85 or 87%, but like I said the precinct breakdown link will not load anymore.

The Drill SGT said...

Erik,

I agree. Political rallies as long as they are not supported/restricted by the University/profs in any fashion, and that is a big if, should be just fine for students.
However, if it can be shown that profs are flxible about attendance the day Obama comes to town, but schedule a mid term on Palins day, you have an issue.

madawaskan said...

The Drill Sgt-
I can't think of another profession more conservative and equal opportunity

True, but man I was still surprised by those numbers-I guess I shouldn't have been but I bought into the media hype.

Beth said...

However, if it can be shown that profs are flxible about attendance the day Obama comes to town, but schedule a mid term on Palins day, you have an issue.

This is a conservative victim fantasy. Midterms are scheduled early in the semester; one can't just pull out a major exam overnight. It's on the syllabus. No just says "Hey, let's have the midterm tomorrow!"

madawaskan said...

Up at Boulder they did all kinds of things to this Russian Poli Sci prof when I was there.

They put his office in the Siberia of campus which was utterly ironic, in an effort to ostracize him.

I got docked in two classes for arguing SDI.

The prof in the middle of the discussion asked me what my position was on Israel----because I was pro-SDI.

I knew I was in big trouble but I'd already "outted" myself, I tried to tell him I didn't know enough about the Middle East and then he started making fun of me, asking how old I was, blah, blah.

He was from the M.E. and somehow at the time I was stupid to think that SDI had nothing to do with Israel.

So I get a bad grade in that class.

Then later I sign up for a M.E. history class-I am almost done and have an "A " average-then that Prof has a heart attac and who shows up to replace him?

Mr. SDI is about Israel-my "A" becomes a "D-" if I remember correctly in a matter of two weeks.

Now it could be my imagination but -ya I deserved it I was stupid to think if you cornered them in class and they used the Israel gambit exit strategy-your grade might not suffer....

madawaskan said...

Beth-

Is it all conservative victim fantasy.?

I don't know if you can be objective-

The commenter Michael is nasty and brutish and you insist over and over again that everyone else's problem with him is that he is "simply" liberal.

That really isn't it at all.

The Drill SGT said...

This is a conservative victim fantasy. Midterms are scheduled early in the semester; one can't just pull out a major exam overnight. It's on the syllabus. No just says "Hey, let's have the midterm tomorrow!"

Fine, I concede your point, but what about my underlying issue.

The administration and its profs should not support/punish either side of a politica campaign by any direct or indirect means. My mid-term example was an indirect means applied to one side and no the other. You know what I'm talking about.

Pogo said...

Beth said... "This is a conservative victim fantasy."

How about class credit for working on the Obama campaign or going on a demonstration/protest?

Because that's never happened.

Synova said...

I know that my mom told me to give the teachers in college the answer they wanted to hear even if I disagreed. That the questions on tests weren't really about what was true, but about what the teacher thought, so show you paid attention and "learned" what the teacher taught.

She explained that it wasn't lying to do this.

Now, I went to a really conservative school, all told, and my main poly-sci teacher when I had that major was a Korean who had major issues with communism (or saw the truth, whatever) and the only person I saw who had a problem with a teacher was a fellow from Nigeria (?) who had a complete fit over the colloquial term "devil's advocate" in a Freshman English class and got the instructor hauled to some inquiry over it. (She also had a list of "may not chose this subject" for papers written in class that included anything overly political, such as abortion... I don't know if she just disliked conflict or if she was outnumbered by excessively conservative farm kids and felt intimidated.)

Oh wait... there was the Anthro 101 teacher who got in an argument about evolutionary origins in class (it was one of those 300 student ones, and I'm still trying to figure out what the genesis of life has to do with the study of cultures.)

Not being able to put political stickers on your car seems wrong, and anyone should be able to attend a rally (who says you went because you love the guy?) But many students are intimidated by teachers who express their opinion about certain topics, religion or politics, either because they really dislike confrontation or because they just don't *know* if their grade will suffer.

I also think that men often face an implicitly hostile environment on campus. It was true even at my Engineering and Agriculture school 20 years ago. I can't imagine it's *less* that way at other schools today.

Triangle Man said...

I'd like to see that law updated from "enforced neutrality" to "enforced cruel neutrality".

Erik Opsal said...

"How about class credit for working on the Obama campaign or going on a demonstration/protest?

Because that's never happened."

You act as though the same professor wouldn't give class credit for working on the McCain campaign (or a third party expenditure for that matter) or for going to a McCain/Palin rally.

Luckily, UW is an equal opportunity school, despite the student body (and probably many of the professors) being overwhelmingly liberal. I'd get emails almost every day from the poli sci adviser about internships or jobs (funny, the only one's that paid were the GOP), and there was never any bias for one side or the other, and you can get internship credit no matter the political party.

How long ago were you in school? I was there a few months ago, and through 4 years of poli sci classes I saw professors discussing both sides, only mentioning their own political leanings (if ever) when appropriate.

In fact, numerous poli sci professors have told me they purposely hid their political affiliation, especially in intro level classes, because they knew it had no business being there.

And if you're trying to say that a 21 year old adult can't understand that a professor may have certain views, but won't let that affect what happens in class, well then I don't know what to tell you. We're smarter than you think.

blake said...

And if you're trying to say that a 21 year old adult can't understand that a professor may have certain views, but won't let that affect what happens in class, well then I don't know what to tell you. We're smarter than you think.

No, the problem is that the professor does let that affect what happens in class.

Though, frankly, I never saw it.

But then, I was a music major. (Although I doubled in English when they let me.)

One of my best classes was an early Christian Church class--Christianity dovetails nicely with music history--and on the first day there was a Christian trying to engage the professor in debate. His main bones of contention were about when the books of the NT were written (well after the death of Jesus) and whether or not early peasants were Christian, since they were unaware of the scripture (the professor's argument was only that they would have been offended at the suggestion that they weren't).

The prof handled him very well, and had the data on his side, and we never heard from the Christian guy again.

But to this day, I never knew if the professor was, himself, Christian. I got a kind of Catholic vibe off him, but never could pin it down. (And it seemed almost offensive to ask, really, since it would imply relevance.)

A truly great teacher.

Erik Opsal said...

I think it depends on the class. I was in an American Presidency class first semester last year and in the discussion section only 3 or 4 students ever said anything, and we all happened to be liberal. I think in Madison it's more the students who drive the discussion than the professors.

In that section, the TA would try to prod us about the Republican side, and we had good debates on it, and the conservatives and independents would finally participate.

In the actual class, where we also discussed the race at length, the professor would do the same, always challenging us to think outside campaign talking points and admit when the other side was right.

Great class, great professor. At the end of semester he asked the class whether we thought he was a Democrat or Republican, and we all were correct in saying Democrat, but that's only because as upper level students we could pick up on that sort of thing.

I actually think my TA was Republican. Never asked.

Pogo said...

"How long ago were you in school? I was there a few months ago,"

Well, good for you. My daughter did in fact experience lefty professors blatant about the 'right' answers this year and last year in college, and my 3 kids have all had high school teachers do the same thing. This isn't news, Erik, the indoctrination of PC speech and multiculti/diversity training in freshman year is common enough.

Erik Opsal said...

What do you mean the "right" answers? Rarely in poli sci classes do the tests even talk about current events or anything to do with ideology. It's usually based on theories and history more than anything else. I seriously can't remember ever being faced with taking a liberal or conservative position on a test question.

"This isn't news, Erik, the indoctrination of PC speech and multiculti/diversity training in freshman year is common enough."

UW has like 8 percent black students. Some people who go there have seriously never had contact with a minority or a gay person. You're telling me talking about diversity is a bad thing? Please.

We live in a multicultural world, and that's something we need to learn about in college, especially as freshman. You sound like you're stuck in the "Leave it to Beaver" past.

Synova said...

And if you're trying to say that a 21 year old adult can't understand that a professor may have certain views, but won't let that affect what happens in class, well then I don't know what to tell you.

And yet, you're liberal. What do you have to worry about? Do you suppose there was a reason that it took encouragement before... the conservatives and independents would finally participate.

Usually there will be a fundy Christian who has been conditioned to expect to stand alone against the opinions of others who will stand up, such as in that Anthro class I mentioned... which actually had about three of them, but it was a huge auditorium with a couple hundred students or so taking a required class. (And who can say if they expected it not to impact their grade or if they were simply willing to accept it as the price of their faith if it did?)

But really... there are those prone to argue and there are far more students who just wish everyone would shut up so they could get on with the class already. Of those will be a number of students who simply do not like any sort of confrontation. For them, the confrontation itself, even if they are not involved, will create a hostile environment in the classroom.

And while most professors (for sake of argument) will not putatively grade... some do, and how is a person supposed to know that going in?

It sounds like your teachers, Erik, were very careful to be sure that the students did understand that they wouldn't grade according to how well students agreed with their political views, or even played those down significantly. Probably... they saw that it could be an issue and worked hard to avoid that.

Synova said...

Talking about diversity and requiring a class meant to produce students with the proper attitudes are NOT the same thing.

Surely you can see how anyone concerned with liberty would have a problem with the second.

Pogo said...

"You're telling me talking about diversity is a bad thing? Please."

Yes, I am. I am also saying you don't know what you're talking about. What you just experienced was a very very insular liberal coccoon, and you think it actually represents the world.

It isn't.

Erik Opsal said...

Re: conservatives and independents finally participating.

As I said, I think it's the students who drive the discussion. Since Madison is 80 percent liberal, there will be more of us to speak up. I don't think that's a professor's fault.

Those students also just came off as very quiet. In most discussion sessions only the post opinionated (loud, boisterous, annoying...whatever other words you want to use to describe us) will actually speak out. I've had other sections where the conservatives were the most outspoken. As someone who usually participated in discussions, I never felt threatened by them and it didn't stifle me. Although I'm sure I was aware I had a solid majority agreeing with me.

I guess my point is that it's possible for political affiliation to affect a class, whether it's from the professor, a TA, or students. Professors and TAs definitely need to keep it in check, and anything appropriate needs to be dealt with swiftly and harshly.

I'm lucky that I haven't encountered it, but then again, you're probably right in saying it's because I went to Madison. I'm sure if I was in the minority I'd still say the same things because, you know, I love debating.

Erik Opsal said...

If I was in a liberal cocoon then wouldn't I be reporting professors blatantly showing their political affiliation with no repercussions and no one caring? Doesn't the fact that professors actively seek to not let it influence class (I've had conservative professors do the same), mean something is working correctly?

And please explain why talking about diversity is a bad thing, especially considering we're going to be a majority minority country within 30 years.

knox said...

Look, no one can be perfectly objective. No one.

If you want to insist that universities, despite being overwhelmingly liberal, are somehow magically perfectly objective... well, you can expect someone to call "bullshit."

You might as well assert that liberals are superhuman.

We're lectured in the same way about the overwhelmingly liberal media and that's bullshit too.

knox said...

the TA would try to prod us about the Republican side, and we had good debates on it, and the conservatives and independents would finally participate.

So, all the conservative and independent students just didn't feel like talking? Riiiiiiiiiiight.

Erik, no offense, but I would submit that you yourself have lost some objectivity.

Pogo said...

"Doesn't the fact that professors actively seek to not let it influence class (I've had conservative professors do the same), mean something is working correctly?"
Let's just say I am skeptical of your claim, based on experiences widely written about regarding academia for decades.

"And please explain why talking about diversity is a bad thing...
Coerced multiculturalism has been a disater. Rather than increase harmony it has increased balkanization and made PC speech the de facto law in many businesses.

Something you are soon to find out.

Erik Opsal said...

knox,

Read my previous comments. I've already addressed the fact that an overwhelmingly liberal campus can't be perfectly objective, and I argued that the student body as a whole drives the debate and it's largely out of the control of professors or any faculty.

I also addressed the conservatives and independents participating line. Some people just don't participate in discussion because they don't like to talk very much, they're lazy, haven't done the reading, or tired. That class had 4 very outgoing, liberal students. Other classes have been the exact opposite.

A college experience isn't singular.

Pogo said...

"and the conservatives and independents would finally participate."

And you knew they were conservative how exactly?

Did it ever cross your mind that some of the 'liberals' speaking up were faking it in order to 'get along' and not risk a bad grade?

Erik Opsal said...

"And you knew they were conservative how exactly?"

In an early class we did an exercise where those on the left had to make the case for a GOP candidate and vice versa. Fred Thompson beat out Hillary Clinton. It was funny.

And no, they weren't faking it.

Erik Opsal said...

"made PC speech the de facto law in many businesses."

By PC speech do you mean no racist, sexist, or homophobic jokes allowed? Oh the horror!

knox said...

Erik,

I didn't get to read your latest comment until I'd already written mine. Now I have and I still find it wanting.

the student body as a whole drives the debate and it's largely out of the control of professors or any faculty.

This is incorrect. Students come to college totally green and very quickly learn which behaviors/opinions are "acceptable" by university standards. Those standards can be spoken of unspoken, but they are set by the university faculty--tenured people who are there for decades.

knox said...

By PC speech do you mean no racist, sexist, or homophobic jokes allowed? Oh the horror!

If this is the only "problem" you perceive with Political Correctness, you really have been in a liberal cocoon.

Erik Opsal said...

"This is incorrect. Students come to college totally green and very quickly learn which behaviors/opinions are 'acceptable' by university standards. Those standards can be spoken of unspoken, but they are set by the university faculty--tenured people who are there for decades."

That is complete crap and you know it. Maybe some students are like that, but believe it or not, there are people out there who can think for themselves.

Now if you're talking about socially acceptable behaviors, like drinking, then yes, we learn that in college, but not from faculty of course. At least I hope not...

Pogo said...

"By PC speech do you mean no racist, sexist, or homophobic jokes allowed? Oh the horror!"

"I may not agree with what you say,
but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
------Voltaire

Not taught anymore, no doubt.
Now it's "You have the right to remain silent."

blake said...

That is complete crap and you know it. Maybe some students are like that, but believe it or not, there are people out there who can think for themselves.

What you're missing is that those who don't agree do think for themselves--but they're smart enough to not let the teacher know that.

If I may draw a parallel, white people often think that there is no racism because they don't see it. But they don't see it because it's not directed at them.

Liberals on campus aren't going to see the discrimination against non-liberals because it's not directed at them.

Synova said...

Not only is that not taught anymore, Pogo, but you'll see people make the claim, with apparent sincerity, that free speech does not include the right to offensive speech.

So only acceptable speech is free.

(And it's not necessary to be tolerant of people with the incorrect opinions.)

knox said...

If I may draw a parallel, white people often think that there is no racism because they don't see it. But they don't see it because it's not directed at them.

Thank you. I was struggling for a way to express this and couldn't come up with one.

Andrew said...

They tell you that you have the right to remain silent.

But they only have to tell you that in some circumstances.

And they don't tell you all the ifs ands or buts attached.

You do however have an unqualified right to get flimflammed by the cops.

Among other things, the cops have the right to lie to you.

If you, on the other hand, lie to the cops, you go to jail.

blake said...

If you, on the other hand, lie to the cops, you go to jail.

Yeah? Who's in jail for lying to the cops?

Erik Opsal said...

I think the Voltaire quote is still taught. I've used it before and strongly believe in it.

"you'll see people make the claim, with apparent sincerity, that free speech does not include the right to offensive speech."

Yes, people make that claim, but it doesn't make them right in saying it. But don't businesses have the right to restrict offensive speech in order to make the work place more comfortable? If they didn't, would (verbal) sexual harassment even be against the rules?

And if you don't believe they have that right to limit offensive speech, then what right does the state have to regulate any speech, including political speech, which is what this entire post and this entire argument is about?

Blake, your parallel makes perfect sense and I agree with it.

"Liberals on campus aren't going to see the discrimination against non-liberals because it's not directed at them."

I've seen discrimination on campus against non-liberals, but the political ideology of professors have nothing to do with it. I maintain that it's the make up of the student body that creates it.

Bill said...

The thing is, it's not that big a step from "Businesses have a right to provide a comfortable workplace by disallowing non-PC speech," to "People in public places have a right to not be made uncomfortable by other people speaking in non-PC ways."

No one has a right not to be offended.

Erik Opsal said...

I agree, but don't we have the right not to be harassed?

Bill said...

No, you don't. If you did, how would the internet function?

blake said...

I've seen discrimination on campus against non-liberals, but the political ideology of professors have nothing to do with it. I maintain that it's the make up of the student body that creates it.

And you figure the 80% liberal makeup of the student body was not influenced by professors--or teachers in elementary, middle and high school?

Pogo said...

"don't we have the right not to be harassed?"

I am more frightened of tomorrow than ever.

Synova said...

Taking away the notion of "fighting words" has done a lot to make people more offensive.

It doesn't matter anymore how much you harass someone, they can't haul off and pop you one, right in the nose. So people don't catch on about what is going over the line or not.

So then we need rules. And the rules are generally idiotic.

Because the rules don't recognize the difference between someone expressing an unwelcome viewpoint in general, and personal harassment in particular.

Which is one reason why people simply can not understand the difference between expressing the opinion (for example) that homosexuality is a choice and the act of harassment or oppression of homosexuals.

There is no tolerance, because the expression of disagreement is the same thing as harassment... there is nothing to tolerate anymore. No one is willing to fight to make sure that someone has the right to express opinions they hate, because the existence of the opinion itself is considered harassment.

Erik Opsal said...

I love how this became a conversation defending free speech when the argument started when all of you were in favor of RESTRICTING free speech for professors. Hilarious.

And stop this nonsense about teachers having so much influence over students' political ideology. If you want to point the finger at anyone, point it at the parents. Are you also going to argue that the reason a kid is religious is because his teacher taught it to him?

SGT Ted said...

We live in a multicultural world, and that's something we need to learn about in college, especially as freshman.

It is one thing to study other cultures, but thats not what is going on. Colleges are teaching that other cultures are just as good as ours adn we're bigotas if we think that freedoms we have here make us better than other countries. Why else are outright anti-semites, radical islamists, and Marxists are welcome on campus, but Conservative groups who hold bake sales making fun of affirmative action are shut down and Conservative newspapers are stolen and trashed simply for presenting an opposite view that the dominant leftwing ideology present on many campuses. It's why Achmadinijad, who's religious beliefs include killing gays and women for being uppity gets welcomed at Harvard, but the US Armys ROTC programs are not because of "don't ask, don't tell", which was signed into law by Clinton. You have formal, college supported Islamist groups who advocate the destruction of Israel and support PLO terrorists, but Vice President Cheney is not welcome and conservative speakers are shouted down and/or attacked by students. Its the Dominant campus cultures that conflates disagreeing with liberal orthodoxy is racism, sexism and homophobia and is "hate speech" therefor not allowed. Nevermind the actual destructiveness of leftwing ideology, which has helped kill millions of people worlwide in their quest for "social justice". Their views are valued, while conservative, small government views are not.

Erik Opsal said...

Please see the David Horowitz appearance at UW last year as an example of conservatives coming to campus. There was a peaceful protest, and the event was fairly subdued (except for Kevin Barrett being a moron, but that's expected).

Ahmadinejad was at Columbia, not Harvard, but you're arguing we shouldn't restrict speech from conservatives, yet shouldn't allow someone to speak because we don't agree with him? I thought this was supposed to be about dialogue. Let's go back to that Voltaire quote when talking about Ahmadinjejad -- "I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

Is this only an American value? Do we not apply this to other nations? After all, I thought that was the point of the conflicts we are in currently, to spread freedom.

Your views of the MSA are absurdly uneducated and flat out false. I have met many members of MSA, and attended some of their events, and all they want is to increase awareness of Islam, since people like you seem to think it's all extremism.

Yeah, conservative papers may be stolen and trashed, but there are very conservative universities out there that do the same to liberal newspapers (try going to the South some time).

It's ironic that you talk about the quest for social justice as a dangerous leftwing ideology when the current administration has engaged in it more than any other in history.

Obviously I don't agree with you, but why don't you keep things consistent?

Erik Opsal said...

Oh, and btw, SCOTUS ruled that military recruiters are allowed on campuses that take public funds, despite the protest of many over the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

SGT Ted said...

My point is that the leftist academic culture that welcomes Achmedinijad to speak is not so accomdating to actual US citizens or Government officials. I support free speech. Many Universities do not. This is proved with "free speech" zones and speech codes and political indoctrination diguised as "diversity" when it is anything but an exclusion of certain points of view; they celebrate leftwingers of differing skin colors and not intellectual diversity.

My point isn't to forbit wanna-be Hitlers from speaking: its the blatant hypocracy of the left in their attempt ot control discourse on campus by punishing their idiological opponents and branding them as bigots for disagreeing with their policy preferences.

Don't take my word for it: Go to www.thefire.org and read about the stuff that alot of allegedly "elite" colleges resort to in their bigotry towards conservative ideas. This stuff shouldn't be blown off.

Im not sure how Bush got brought into this but it isn't germain to any arguement I've made. BDS maybe? If Bush did it, it's ok for others to do it? I dunno.

The MSA is an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood and was created by members of such, which is an Egyptian radical Islamic terrorist group. Please don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining. Taqqiya works really good with the useful idots on the left like you.

Erik Opsal said...

Awesome! Now I'm a terrorist!

I wouldn't call someone a bigot for disagreeing with me on policy. I'd call them that for actually being a bigot. I'm not saying I have ever even done that before. I'd call Ahmadinejad a bigot, that's for sure.

You say you support free speech but you're in favor of restricting the rights of free speech for professors. That just makes no sense. Is it because most of them don't share your views? Are you the one now trying to stifle opposition?

SGT Ted said...

http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/000884.php

When Pipes brought up the need to support moderate Muslims over those who subscribe to militant Islam, they booed.

When he brought up the need to improve the status of women in Islamic countries, they booed.

When he warned that peace in the Middle East would never be achieved as long as the Palestinians continued to subscribe to a ''cult of death,'' they booed.

When he mentioned Middle East Studies professors who have been arrested under terrorism charges, they booed.

When he discussed the need to combat Islamic terrorism, they booed.

When he referred to the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks as subscribers to militant Islam, they booed and shouted ''Zionism''--no doubt a reference to the myth that Jews were behind the attacks....

...And when he mentioned Iraqis’ ''liberation'' from Saddam Hussein’s tyranny, they booed even louder.

''I’m sure the Iraqis were much better off under Saddam Hussein,'' Pipes responded sarcastically.



http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/014195.php

As the largest student group on campus, the Muslim Students' Association has made its presence known in student politics. Former MSA vice-president Muhammad Ali Jabbar is heading up the RSU, thanks to support from the MSA. The group has monopolized use of the multifaith room, putting the true meaning of the room's name in jeopardy.
Through its renewed fight against Islamophobia, the MSA has also been criticized as being increasingly polarized and turning the RSU's attention mostly toward Muslim issues. Smaller religious groups with less influence have been left wondering when their needs will be addressed.

A variety of religious groups on campus have said they have felt uncomfortable trying to use the multifaith room.

Eric Da Silva, president of the Catholic Student Association, says the group looked into using the room for mass but was told by RSU front desk staff that the room was "permanently booked"; by Muslim students.


http://jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/004439.php

The Muslim Students' Association of the University of Houston has a most interesting website, especially its page headed "Questions Related to Aqidah (Faith)." (Thanks to MB for the link.) Among other things, it tells Muslims that they should not hire unbelievers, and that Muslims are permitted to be polite to unbelievers for the purpose of calling them to Islam.

(I wonder if the UH authorities know that the MSA is advocating religious discrimination.)


Yea sure, The MSA is just another "awareness" group. mmhmm. Tell it to the Marines, dude.

SGT Ted said...

State employees conducting partisan political activity using state funds and time should be illegal, just like it is in the Military.

You may not be a terrorist but you are supporting groups who advocate for and condone terrorism.

Erik Opsal said...

You're citing a few instances acting as though it's a widespread problem. I've only been involved (and by involved I mean went to an event sponsored by) the MSA in Madison, and they have never had any problems like you cite.

How is putting a bumper sticker on your car using state funds or state time?

blake said...

except for Kevin Barrett being a moron, but that's expected

Exactly so.

Kooky left-wing nuts on campus: Just part of life.

Kooky right-wing nuts, or, hell, just right-leaning people: Protests and unrest.

Erik Opsal said...

That's not what I was saying. The Campus Antiwar Network, College Dems, and MSA were all there, and when Kevin Barrett interrupted the event, everyone booed him because he's a jackass. In fact, we booed him into submission. He sat down and shut up. We wanted to protest, but not like that.

SGT Ted said...

How is putting a bumper sticker on your car using state funds or state time?

Not an issue; to me it isn't. Organizing and holding rallies on campus, however, is. They should organize their rallies off campus and during their time off.

These are more than a few isolated incidents; do a search for MSA on jihadwatch and see how many "isolated incidents" are taking place under the auspaices of an alleged "civil rights" group.

SGT Ted said...

But, kudos for booing Barrett. He is a class A nutbar.

Erik Opsal said...

I think you might be misunderstanding the organizing of political rallies on campus. Professors don't organize political rallies. They may give students credit for attending a rally (although few do outside of an intro level class I'm guessing), but that is completely different.

If they are organizing political rallies on university grounds while a faculty member, absolutely, that is going to far. I don't think simply attending a rally should be out of bounds.

Erik Opsal said...

I do, however, see a distinction between organizing rallies and organizing a protest against what they see as a bad policy, which this article highlighted.

Chip Ahoy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.