Everyone needs to know the rules in a situation like this, right?

The Editors’ Guide to Free Speech on Campus

In late July, the University of New Hampshire issued a “Bias-Free Language Guide” designed to help students “invite inclusive excellence” on campus. To many commenters, the Guide represented the apex of political correctness and asinine policymaking. Why?

  • The word ‘American’ is ‘problematic’ because it excludes residents of other North and South American nations. Instead, students should use the term ‘U.S. citizen.’
  • But wait, ‘senior citizen’ should not be used (likely because it excludes non-citizens).
  • ‘Healthy’ and ‘handicapped’ are also no-no’s, as are ‘rich’ and ‘poor.’
  • Gendered terms like ‘mothering’ and ‘fathering’ should be avoided, as should ‘mailman’ and ‘manpower.’
  • Well, can we at least say ‘Caucasian?’ Nope. You should say ‘European-American individuals.’ What about ‘black?’ Sure, no problem.

The University of New Hampshire ultimately retracted the guide. Alas, it is indicative of a terribly alarming trend on college campuses nationwide. And we’re not referring to bad writing. Rather, having realized the minor inconvenience known as the First Amendment prevents public college administrators and professors from punishing those who espouse heterodox opinions (i.e. conservatives and libertarians), the modern university now seeks to employ social pressure as a means of coercing self-censorship. There are three common means of doing so:

1. The Microaggression

The most potent weapon in the arsenal of the political-correctness officer is the so-called “microaggression,” defined by a University of California Los Angeles guide for faculty members as “everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.” Examples of microaggressions according to UCLA are:

  • “America is a melting pot.”
  • “Men and women have equal opportunities for achievement.”
  • “Gender plays no part in who [sic] we hire.”
  • “Affirmative action is racist.”
  • “I believe the most qualified person should get the job.”