Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

University of Chicago Students Disregard Context, Call for Ban on ‘Hate Speech’ After Dan Savage Lecture

June 6, 2014 by Ari Cohn

In the crusade to eradicate “harmful” speech from campus and ensure that students are never forced to endure the unspeakable horror of confronting an idea with which they disagree, context is often the first casualty. FIRE frequently encounters efforts to punish, or declare as wholly “off-limits,” certain words or ideas—even when examination of the context in which they were expressed exposes those efforts as utterly ridiculous.

FIRE has combated this pernicious tendency at Brandeis University, where a professor was found guilty of racial harassment for using the word “wetbacks” in explaining its origins and criticizing its use to his students. We saw it again at the University of Nebraska, where a student senator faced a hearing after including the word “nigger” in a speech arguing that words should be examined in context rather than banned wholesale. Most recently, we fought it at Lewis & Clark College, where two friends were disciplined after a third party overheard them sharing racially themed humor at a party.

The latest example comes from the University of Chicago (UC), where students have started a petition calling on the university’s Institute of Politics (IOP) to ban the use of the word “tranny” and other “transphobic slurs” in its events.

The petition was written in response to a recent seminar held by the IOP featuring noted columnist and gay rights activist Dan Savage and moderated by Guardian blogger Ana Marie Cox. During the seminar, Savage spoke about the reclamation of slurs and their empowering potential, using the word “tranny” as an example. Speaking of her personal experience with the word, Cox noted that she “used to make jokes about trannies.”

A student in the audience interrupted, apparently not comprehending the point Savage was making, and requested that Savage and Cox use the phrase “T-slur” rather than actually saying “tranny.” Savage balked at the request and debated the student, explaining his objective and inquiring as to whether he could use other particular “slurs” without objection. The student reportedly left the event in tears.

read full article: University of Chicago Students Disregard Context, Call for Ban on ‘Hate Speech’ After Dan Savage Lecture

censorship, culture, diversity, education, free speech, hate speech, ideology, intolerance, left wing, liberalism, nanny state, oppression, philosophy, political correctness, victimization

Advertisements

Filed under: censorship, culture, diversity, education, free speech, hate speech, ideology, intolerance, left wing, liberalism, nanny state, oppression, philosophy, political correctness, victimization

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: