Now that school is back in session, fake professors all across America are trying to police speech, and warning their students that they will brook no dissent. We call them fake professors, even though they get paid, because their behavior is unworthy of the title ‘professor.’ These imposters get paid to do the job of a professor, but they’re doing the opposite. Instead of encouraging thought, discussion, and free speech, they’re suppressing all those things. Call them “anti-professors” or perhaps “Costanza-professors.”
The latest campus horror story comes from Washington State University, where at least three professors threatened to mark down students for using forbidden words. The banned words include “male,” “female,” and “illegal alien.”
According to the syllabus for Selena Lester Breikss’ “Women & Popular Culture” class, students risk a failing grade if they use any common descriptors that Breikss considers “oppressive and hateful language.”
The punishment for repeatedly using the banned words, Breikss warns, includes “but [is] not limited to removal from the class without attendance or participation points, failure of the assignment, and— in extreme cases— failure for the semester.”
And what are the banned words? Here’s an excerpt from her syllabus.
Gross generalizations, stereotypes, and derogatory/oppressive language are not acceptable. Use of racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, classist, or generally offensive language in class or submission of such material will not be tolerated. (This includes ‘The Man,’ ‘Colored People,’ ‘Illegals/Illegal Aliens,’ ‘Tranny’ and so on — or referring to women/men as females or males.” [Emphasis added]
People with a modicum of social intelligence generally know which words shouldn’t be spoken in polite society, but any list that includes “male” and “female” is not one that any normal or sane person is prepared to navigate.
[N]ot to be outdone, Washington State American studies professor Rebecca Fowler similarly warns students that she will lower their grades if they utter the phrase “illegal alien” at any time in her “Introduction to Comparative Ethnic Studies” course.
We wanted to take “Introduction to Comparative Ethnic Studies,” but didn’t feel we had the math background required.
The taxpayer-funded Fowler proclaims that she bans students from using the phrase “illegal alien” because the Associated Press stylebook “no longer sanctions the term.”
See, the Associated Press is a private organization that is free to set guidelines for its employees. Washington State University, in contrast, is a public institution that accepts taxpayer money. As such, punishing students for speech is prohibited by…what’s it called…oh yeah, the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution.
Besides Fowler, note that anti-professor Breikiss also had “illegal alien” on her verboten list, and her threatened punishments ran all the way up to “failure for the semester.”
Now, here at Yet, Freedom!, our preferred term is actually “undocumented Democrats.” But what should happen is that some student enrolled in Breikiss’ class should use the term “illegal alien” at every opportunity. Then after Breikiss punishes the student, and perhaps even fails the student for the semester, the student should bring a civil rights lawsuit against her. The student can also sue the university for conspiracy to violate civil rights.
Heck, even short of punishment, it could be argued that Breikiss’ syllabus alone contains criminal (not just civil, criminal) threats under 18 U.S. Code § 241.
If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same…They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
Is not Breikiss threatening and intimidating students who seek to exercise their First Amendment rights? Where is the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice when you need it?