speech

Daniel Kort, “Duke University senior, social psychology research fellow, and LGBTQ and health disparities advocate,” writes in Huff Post College about how various Blue Devil athletes are using their clout in the “YouDon’tSayCampaign.”

Of course, some — even most — of the featured words/phrases are those which any person with a modicum of common sense and courtesy would not utter in the presence of others, especially strangers.

In my humble opinion, it should be no-brainers today that terms like “fag,” “dyke,” the N-word, and even “retarded” be persona non grata, so to speak, in polite company.

But, naturally, college kids being who they are, they have to up the ante to the inane.

The College Fix’s Claire E. Healey reported on the (pre-athlete) version of the Duke campaign last April. Then, aside from the words noted above, the campaign also took aim at terms like “bitch,” “pussy,” “bossy,” and phrases like “man up.”

Duke’s athletes have added, among other things, “Run Like a Girl,” and “What Are You?” to the list.

For instance, take a gander at this pic:

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First of all, who actually says “run like a girl” anymore? More significantly, I thought progressives were “about science.” So, why the unscientific statement — that “gender doesn’t limit athletic abilities”? OK sure, saying that makes people (females) feel good, but having two X chromosomes actually does limit one’s athletic abilities … when compared to males.

After all, why do we have gender-separate sporting events? Why are there no females playing football? Baseball? Why are women’s times on the track and swimming pool slower compared to those of men?

Having a particular gender actually does limit one’s athletic abilities, doesn’t it?

Then, there’s another incarnation of this silly expression:

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Regarding this, The College Fix’s Sarah Greek wrote last March:

Girls are more likely to be catty than boys: boys are more likely to be violent than girls. Anyone who works with children knows this. Denying a special vulnerability of one’s gender does not equal confidence, but the lack of it.

A man would not be permitted to ban the word ‘violence’ or ‘bullying’ as it pertained to men, because doing so would be a farce: there are more men in prison for violence than there are women. A society that looks down on spitefulness and violence but values leadership and tact is a society that understands something important about life.

[Facebook bigwig Sheryl] Sandberg suggests a unique response when girls are labeled ‘bossy.’

“That little girl’s not bossy,” she argues. “That little girl has executive leadership skills.”

But is the behavior described by the word bossy really the skill set of an executive? A solid work ethic, savvy with assets, the ability to motivate people, a calm head under pressure, the ability to set goals and follow through, strong decision-making skills – it is traits like these that have always been necessary in leaders.

A bossy person is frequently lazy – pushing their own work onto other people, easily angered, predictably selfish, and always demotivating. While bossy tendencies in children can and should be guided into productive energy, perhaps the only one authorized to demonstrate this level of optimism is a mother.

Next, what about this phrase:

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Saying “man up” signifies … that women can’t be courageous? That masculinity is “superior?” (It is in the physical strength realm; see above.) And as such, shouldn’t be uttered? What about using it as a synonym for “grow up” to high school and/or college (male) students who are not at all acting their age?

Continuing, here’s a head-scratcher for you:

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This is only related to anxiety and depression? What about if a goofy, nasty boyfriend unceremoniously dumped you, and you’re now acting like the world’s come to an end? After constantly whining about it non-stop to your roommate(s), she/they would be out of line to tell you to “get over it?” Really?

But perhaps the most bewildering inclusion is the “What Are You?” phrase, as in asking someone about his/her racial/ethnic identity:

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Seriously? Nowhere else in the country (and maybe the planet) is one more identified by their skin color than at a university. And its representatives now want to claim otherwise? (Political correctness invariably contradicts itself; that, or its “hierarchy” is absolutely impossible to navigate.)

The campaign’s Facebook page has many more examples, some as befuddling and/or ridiculously PC as the examples above: “Illegal alien,” “It’s just a phase,” and “Kill me” are but three.

Look, I get Kort’s ideals when he says “I am proud of my peers for leading by example in challenging marginalizing language and bias both on and off the field, building safer and more inclusive communities, and validating the identities and experiences of people of all backgrounds.” I really do.

But the tendency to go (way) overboard will inevitably come back to bite him and the other speech police for, when taken to its logical end, everyone will take offense to something.

If you don’t believe me, just check this out.

Read the full Huff Post College article.

Dave Huber is an assistant editor of  The College Fix. (@ColossusRhodey)

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IMAGES: Facebook screencaps

A video released Thursday of Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s recent speech at Yale University included a shocking revelation from the global women’s rights activist and outspoken critic of Islam: At one point in her young life she considered herself a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

She couched this admission in a much larger explanation of how and why radical Islam is oppressive and breeds violence, and to explain how she knows personally that it does.

She’s been accused of being angry at Islam. She’s been accused of not being an expert on Islam. She’s been accused of not understanding Islam.

But in her speech that the Yale Muslim Student Association didn’t want her to give, she delves into her Islamic credentials and exposes what she calls “the cancer” of Islam:

Why is my experience relevant? Is it because I was raised a Muslim? Is it because I was married off or had my genitals cut? No.

Is my experience relevant because my citizenship in Holland was revoked? No. Is it because I am traumatized, because I am angry, and I decided to blame my family and my past? No. I am not angry, I have been happy for a very long time and I am not blaming anyone.

I’ll tell you why (my life experience) is relevant to what we are seeing now. I learned from my early teachers of Islam that to be a Muslim was to testify that there is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger. I learned to pray five times a day. … To give alms to the poor and to attempt at least one trip to Mecca.

She goes on to say that the typical Muslim is peaceful and loving. But when she was 15, a different type of instructor came along who differed from the instructors of her youth. These new teachers created an “enlightened vanguard” of Muslim students who were taught that neglecting religious duty makes them an infidel, that their duty is to command right and forbid wrong. These teachers made students vigilantes, and she recalled one such “preacher teacher” in particular:

He preached like all the others, incessantly about hell. … He encouraged us to be relentless in enforcing the rules of Islam … for the stubborn who refused to obey and observe, we were to cut ties with them … he encouraged us to convert non-Muslims or cut ties with them. … Jihad – we were to wage Jihad for the sake of Islam. Martyrdom, the best thing to ever happen to us was to die while fighting for Allah. We were to strive for the establishment of Sharia law in our society and beyond … be suspicious of Christians if they refused to convert to Islam … and aspire to destroy the Jews, all Jews, not only the ones in Israel. The preacher teacher would rant against gays, they were to be hanged, and women were to know their place … their place was at home (and they were to) sacrifice everything, even life and the lives of their children for the sake of Allah. … We were supposed to cover ourselves from head to toe when running errands outside the home.

This process of indoctrination that I describe, that affected me, I considered myself once a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, it’s this the process of indoctrination that I have seen from up close and personal that makes my experience relevant. It’s this process of indoctrination that is overlooked. We focus on the Jihad, the violence, but we ignore the Dahoa, we ignore the years and years and years of preaching.

Dahoa in the West is protected under religious freedom, but Jihad is not. We have to rethink that. Dahoa leads to intolerance, and eventually violence. This preaching teacher … is the cancer … this preaching teacher is active in our communities here in the United States and in the U.K., and in Europe and the rest of the world. This preaching teacher is embedded in homes, streets, neighborhoods, schools, colleges and mosques and Muslim centers. … His goals are clear, and he’ll use any and all means necessary to indoctrinate young and impressionable minds with the creed of Jihad.

Watch the video:

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Just as former Vice President Al Gore did recently at Princeton, president Obama chose to focus on the issue of global warming in his commencement address at the University of California, Irvine, calling those who question the scientific evidence for man-made global warming a “radical fringe” who shouldn’t be taken seriously.

“The question is not whether we need to act” on climate change, Obama said. “The overwhelming judgment of science, accumulated and measured and reviewed over decades, has put that question to rest. The question is whether we have the will to act before it’s too late.”

The speech and creation of the fund follow Obama’s announcement earlier this month of plans to cut power-plant emissions, the nation’s largest source of carbon dioxide, by 30 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels.

“When President Kennedy set us on a course for the moon, there were a number of people who made a serious case that it wouldn’t be worth it,” Obama said. “But nobody ignored the science. I don’t remember anyone saying the moon wasn’t there, or that it was made of cheese.”

Full story here.

(Image: PeteSouza.WhiteHouse)

(Via Drudge)

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John Daniel Davidson writes for The Federalist on why novelist David Foster Wallace’s famous commencement speech wouldn’t sit well with today’s dogmatic student activists:

In a now-famous commencement speech delivered nearly a decade ago at Kenyon College, the late novelist David Foster Wallace unpacked the old cliché that a liberal arts education isn’t about teaching you what to think but teaching you how to think. Wallace said the cliché is actually shorthand for a much deeper, more serious idea: “learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience. Because if you cannot exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed.”

We have to do this, he said, because it’s the only way to get free of our “natural, hard-wired default setting, which is to be deeply and literally self-centered and to see and interpret everything through this lens of self.” Throughout the speech, Wallace evinced an almost Roman Catholic understanding of human nature and the way that passively moving through life on our “default setting” can leave us “uniquely, completely, imperially alone day in and day out.”

The danger in such profound isolation is that it warps our perception of reality. Specifically, Wallace cautioned against a kind of selfish, arrogant intellectual dogmatism that takes the form of “blind certainty, a close-mindedness that amounts to an imprisonment so total that the prisoner doesn’t even know he’s locked up.”

Read the full article here.

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Former U.S. president Bill Clinton is scheduled to deliver a commencement address to students of NYU’s Abu Dhabi campus. NYU’s decision to open a campus in Abu Dhabi, located within the United Arab Emirates, where many freedoms and basic human rights that westerners take for granted don’t exist, was controversial to say the least.

If you are wondering why “New York” University has a campus half way around the world in the middle east, it may help you to understand that the government of Abu Dhabi contributed tens of millions to NYU’s coffers. Selling your academic brand abroad can be lucrative business.

The United Arab Emirates has a long list of abuses according to Human Rights Watch, including jailing political dissidents, criminalizing political speech, torturing prisoners, and denying women basic legal rights.

Clearly there’s a problem here: How does a western university built on the notion that the free exchange of ideas is sacred, operate a campus in an oppressive nation where basic free speech rights are not guaranteed and political corruption is rampant?

Shortly after NYU opened its Abu Dhabi campus, I wrote the following at National Review Online:

By leasing out their names, academic prestige and credibility to some of the most repressive governments in the world, our leading universities are showing that they place ultimate value not on the principles of liberty or the free expression of ideas, but on corporate-style expansionism, power, and the almighty dollar.

The morally suspect nature of the whole operation is made all the more stark by the presence of Bill Clinton at this year’s commencement. The former U.S. president will address a graduating class of 140 and their families.

That’s right. The former leader of the free world with fly across the world to it’s less-than-free nether regions all for the purpose of talking to 140 kids. That’s quite a commitment for a guy in Clinton’s position. Makes me wonder how much oil money the sheiks of the United Arab Emirates are throwing at him. $200,000? $500,000? $1,000,000?

Clinton, who makes tens of millions of dollars every year from paid speeches, earned $500,000 for a speech he delivered in Abu Dhabi in 2011. Stands to reason he’s getting that much or more this time around.

So what you got is a little pet university, funded by untold millions from the corrupt government of the UAE, rubber stamped by NYU, inc, and further legitimized by a fly-in pay day for Clinton where he will talk to a small room full of students, no doubt, about the importance of integrity, liberty, accountability, and all the other characteristics epitomized by his political career and by the cadre of oil barons who rule the UAE with absolute authority.

If you follow the money, it all makes sense.

Then again, if you genuinely care about human rights, maybe the NYU/Bill Clinton/Abu Dhabi partnerthip doesn’t make any sense at all.

Nathan Harden is editor of The College Fix and author of the book SEX & GOD AT YALE: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad.

Follow Nathan on Twitter @NathanHarden

(Image: bootbearwdc.Wikimedia Commons)

How do you improve a nation? Do you start by amending its laws? Not so, according to our nation’s most famous conservative jurist.

A nation’s character is a reflection of its citizens’ character, more so than its laws.

During a recent speech before the Baton Rouge chapter of the Federalist Society, a national organization of conservative lawyers and law students, Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia addressed topics ranging from Duck Dynasty to Obamacare. But perhaps his most poignant remark had to do with the character of our nation’s citizens:

“To the extent that the country is in a downward spiral, Scalia said, “it’s not because of the law, it’s because of the people. You can’t have a good country without good people. I fear we have lost some of the virtues that characterized Americans in the past.”

Read more of Scalia’s remarks here.