At colleges and universities around the country, liberal professors are dedicated to the tireless task of indoctrinating – not teaching – their incoming students in the ways of the left. Some of them are so afraid of conservative thought that they ban it from the classroom, turning the halls of education into a “safe space” where certain words, phrases, and points of view are outlawed.
One such professor at Washington State University made headlines last week when their classroom guidelines were published by education watchdog website Campus Reform. According to the guide, words like “illegal aliens,” “tranny,” and the use of gender descriptions like “male” and “female” would earn the offending student a lower grade. Conservatives and defenders of free speech were disgusted by the codes, insisting that the restrictions stifled discussion and limited academic debate.
In a turn of events that is exceedingly unusual when it comes to these situations, it seems that Washington State officials agree. They released a statement Monday that assured critics that free speech would continue to be protected on campus:
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. 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. No student will have points docked merely as a result of using terms that may be deemed offensive to some. Blanket restriction of the use of certain terms is not consistent with the values upon which this university is founded.
Obviously, professors have the right to keep classroom discussions civil, but there’s a difference between obscenity and Orwellian speech codes. These professors were not trying to limit offensive speech – they were trying to force an agenda on their students, turning their classrooms into miniature fiefdoms of liberalism. That’s politics, not classroom management.
While it’s encouraging to see a university stand up for the principles of free speech, liberals don’t have to assign specific penalties to get their way. Their most effective course of coercion is the one they use in the real world – a kind of social punishment system where the discussion stops every time someone uses a term they don’t like. Instead of addressing the points, they address the term itself, casting their opponent as bigots and winning the argument by default. The recent flap over Donald Trump’s use of the phrase “anchor babies” is a perfect example. Liberals avoided having to confront the realities of this troubling issue by making it all about the words themselves.
This might all be trivial if the left didn’t use language as a powerful political weapon. Their PC phrases are weighted with liberal meanings meant to obscure the truth. Consider what they prefer to call themselves: progressives. Who wouldn’t want to be a progressive? Who wouldn’t want to be “pro-choice?” These terms sound a lot more inviting than “liberal” and “pro-abortion.” With these word swaps, they win arguments without ever having to present one.
Which is, frankly, the only way they can.