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The College Fix’s Top 10 most outrageous stories of the 2020-21 school year

OPINION: From ‘Elbee’ the non-binary shark to the phallicism of a tall building, academia continues to outpace anything that satire could dream up

It’s time to say goodbye to the 2020-21 school year, but before we do, let’s take a trip down memory lane to review some of the most outrageous, absurd and politically correct headlines coming out of higher education over the last 12 months.

This year we saw scholars target everything from Hawaiian t-shirts to the New York City skyline, and just about everything in between.

If you thought COVID might slow down some of the stupid that’s coming from our institutions of higher learning, we’re about to disappoint you.

There is never a dull moment on college campuses, and every year it seems to get worse.

Without further ado, here is a Top 10 list of the most outrageous stories of the 2020-21 school year.

1) Cal State Long Beach’s new mascot: a non-binary shark who uses plural pronouns
This was the year that Cal State Long Beach unveiled its new mascot: “Elbee” the Shark. But not just any shark, mind you. Elbee identifies as “non-binary” and uses the plural pronouns “they/them/theirs.”

2) UMich’s IT department told to stop using word ‘picnic,’ it could ‘harm morale’
Those lists of words people are not allowed to say keep getting longer — and dumber. Case-in-point: a lengthy list put out by the University of Michigan’s Information and Technology Services’ “Words Matter Task Force” advised employees to avoid the word “picnic.” Apparently campus diversity gurus relied on a debunked claim that picnics are, wait for it … racist!

3) UCSB teaching assistant says he would ‘assassinate Jesus’ if he had a time machine
All that needs to be said about this one is: Can you imagine the outrage if a TA talked about taking a time machine back to off the prophet Mohammad?

4) ‘Feminist geography’ professor argues tall buildings are sexist
Leave it to a “feminist geography” professor to accuse a building of “toxic masculinity.” Apparently the city is filled with reminders of “masculine power.” That’s right, the height and shape of a building reflects “patterns of gender-based discrimination.”

5) UW-Madison students demand removal of Lincoln statue
Remember President Abraham Lincoln, the guy who basically led the charge to free the slaves and save the union? Yeah, that guy. A bunch of student activists have been demanding all year to remove a statue of him at UW-Madison.

6) Some critical theory scholars argue 2+2 can sometimes equal 5
You thought Common Core math is bad. And it is. But somehow, academia always finds a way to lower the bar. The latest is the argument (and they’re totally serious) that math is subjective.

7) GWU professor who built her career as a black woman admits she’s actually white
The headline says it all, folks.

8) Profs: Hawaiian shirts represent American colonization, imperialism, racism
Hawaiian shirts are the “embodiments of the history of American colonization” and “the fashion equivalent of a plantation wedding,” according to some scholars. What’s the next target? Watching “Magnum PI” reruns?

9) To fight racism, math teachers urged to accept Tik Tok videos instead of asking students to ‘show their work’
In case you missed it, they’re dumbing down K-12, too. The new anti-racism argument is that asking students to “show their work” is “white supremacy.”

10) Students claim soap dispensers are proof of systemic racism
Automatic soap dispensers force “black and brown bodies” to show their palms — “the only light areas of the skin” — in order to get soap out. Yes, this is real life.

MORE: Here are 50 campus hate-crime hoaxes The College Fix has covered since 2012

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About the Author
Fix Editor
Jennifer Kabbany is editor of The College Fix. She previously worked as a daily newspaper reporter and columnist for a decade in Southern California, and prior to that held editorial positions at The Weekly Standard, Washington Times and FrontPageMagazine. She is also a Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship recipient and has contributed to National Review.