Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

Washington State University fights back for first amendment

original article: Washington State U. SMACKS DOWN Professors Who Want To CENSOR Politically-Incorrect Language
September 1, 2015 by Eric Owens

Officials at Washington State University have now announced that taxpayer-funded professors on campus cannot proceed with their flagrant attempts to censor politically-incorrect terms or require students with white skin to “defer” to minority students.

The epic smackdown came on Monday in a strongly-worded statement from interim school president Daniel J. Bernardo.

“Over the weekend, we became aware that some faculty members, in the interest of fostering a constructive climate for discussion, included language in class syllabi that has been interpreted as abridging students’ free speech rights,” Bernardo said. “We are working with these faculty members to clarify, and in some cases modify, course policies to ensure that students’ free speech rights are recognized and protected.”

“Washington State University deeply values the tenets of freedom of expression for every member of our community, including all students, faculty and staff,” he stated. “Those First Amendment rights are reinforced in our policies, procedures and practices.”

At least three professors had proclaimed in their printed syllabi that they would suppress student speech or discriminate against white people this semester. (RELATED: Taxpayer-Funded Professors Censor Words ‘Female,’ ‘Illegal Alien’ And Make White Students ‘Defer’)

One professor, John Streamas, has written in his “Introduction to Multicultural Literature” syllabus that he expects white students who want “to do well in this class” to “reflect” their “grasp of history and social relations” by “deferring to the experiences of people of color.”

The taxpayer-funded critical studies professor also writes in his syllabus that Glenn Beck is a member of a group of “insensitive whites.”
Streamas, who obtained his Ph.D. at Bowling Green State University, is most notable because he told a student who supports limits on illegal immigration: “You are just a white shitbag.”

A second Washington State faculty member, Selena Lester Breikss, has warned students in her “Women & Popular Culture” course this semester that they risk “failure for the semester” if they use the terms “male” or “female.”

Breikss, a taxpayer-funded graduate assistant, apparently, who does not have a faculty page, declares in her syllabus that the words “females” and “males” constitute “gross generalizations” and “derogatory/oppressive language.”

Not to be outdone, Washington State American studies professor Rebecca Fowler has also warned that she will lower their grades if they utter the phrase “illegal alien” in her “Introduction to Comparative Ethnic Studies” course.

Students at the public school who dare to use the phrase “illegal alien” in Fowler’s course “will suffer a deduction of one point per incident,” Fowler promised.

Bernardo, Washington State’s president, promised that he and the administration will protect the free-speech rights of students enrolled in courses taught by Breikss, Fowler and Streamas.

No student will have points docked merely as a result of using terms that may be deemed offensive to some,” Bernardo said in his Monday statement. “Blanket restriction of the use of certain terms is not consistent with the values upon which this university is founded.”

Bernardo wrote eloquently about free speech as well.

“Open dialogue, vigorous debate and the free exchange of ideas, as well as the language used to convey these ideas, are at the core of who we are as a higher education institution,” he said.

“Free speech and a constructive climate for learning are not incompatible. We aim to cultivate diversity of expression while protecting individual rights and safety.”

Additionally, though he did not mention it, the Declaration of Rights of the state of Washington decrees that “every person may freely speak, write and publish on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right.”

Bernardo’s statement also asks every Washington State faculty member to assess their syllabi and other course materials to make sure no student’s right to free expression is encumbered in any course.

Breikss, the Washington State professor who tried to ban the words “male” and “female,” refused to answer questions, notes Inside Higher Ed. Instead, she referred inquiries to the school’s public relations staff.

It’s rare to see a university administration defend free speech rights. We still need a separation between school and state.

abuse, bias, bigotry, bullies, censorship, corruption, culture, discrimination, diversity, education, elitism, free speech, freedom, hate speech, hypocrisy, ideology, indoctrination, intolerance, left wing, liberalism, oppression, pandering, philosophy, political correctness, progressive, propaganda, public policy, racism, racist, reform, relativism, scandal

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Filed under: abuse, bias, bigotry, bullies, censorship, corruption, culture, discrimination, diversity, education, elitism, free speech, freedom, hate speech, hypocrisy, ideology, indoctrination, intolerance, left wing, liberalism, oppression, pandering, philosophy, political correctness, progressive, propaganda, public policy, racism, racist, reform, relativism, scandal

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