Thursday, July 15, 2010

Speech Codes

I just saw an article about Defying the Constitution: The Rise, Persistence, and Prevlance of Campus Speech Codes

The Office of the Dean of Students claims that "[B]ecause of increased diversity, hate crimes and bias-motivated activity are occurring with greater frequency on college campuses."  They give an example of situations between students of different backgrounds where conflict could arise.  Here's some of what I find interesting: 1) The word "white" is capitalized.  What's that all about?  1) Christianity, the major religion in this country, is not even listed.  2) Students are classed not by worldview, but by nation of origin, "race" (what is that, anyway?), or sexual orientation.  The assumption is that members of certain classes think and behave the same, that their class identity trumps their individual identity.  Is this classism, or is this classism? 4) Students' worldviews are completely ignored.  They are classed only by externals.

I see two other fallacies in the short amount of information provdied here:
1) that diversity has only just started on universities, and
2) that diversity itself is the cause of unrest.

On point 1, I know this is false because my parents attended school with folks from many different backgrounds when they were in grad school. 
On point 2, let me point you to Orchard Downs, where an incredibly diverse group of people live together in harmony.  It's not diversity of culture that's to blame.

What's lacking in the mumbo jumbo of this university's ethics program is the answer to the question "Why."

How is a "hate crime" currently defined?

(Originally written 11/23/09)

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