Rutgers University has quietly removed language from an online guide for students which asserted that “there is no such thing as free speech.”
Last week, Campus Reform revealed how the university’s ‘Bias Prevention and Education Committee’ had published a guide advising students on how to avoid committing “bias incidents.”
“Think before you speak; There is no such thing as “free” speech. All speech has a cost and consequences,” the guide stated.
The university also encouraged students to anonymously report “bias incidents” if they involved, “[v]erbal, written, physical, psychological acts that threaten or harm a person or group on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, atypical heredity or cellular blood trait, military service or veteran status.”
After refusing to comment on the Campus Reform article, Rutgers removed the line without addressing the innumerable other news stories that drew attention to the controversy in the first place. The university’s Facebook page instead features a post about how “Rutgers has been named among the Top 25 LGBTQ-friendly universities in the nation.”
The language caused an outcry given that universities are supposed to be the very institutions where free speech is nurtured and encouraged.
“Rutgers defines bias so broadly that all kinds of clearly protected speech would likely trigger an incident report and subsequent investigation by this Orwellian committee,” wrote Reason’s Robby Soave.
As we have exhaustively documented, guidelines on behavior and speech being provided to both teachers and students at colleges across the country are emphasizing political correctness at the expense of free expression.
A “Bias-Free Language Guide” posted on the University of New Hampshire website which made headlines last month asserts that the word “American” is “problematic” because it “assumes the U.S. is the only country inside [the continents of North and South America].”
Other discouraged words and phrases included, “obese,” “normal,” “mothering,” “fathering,” “homosexual,” “illegal alien,” and “senior citizens.”
Last month we also reported on how the University of Wisconsin (Stevens Point) was teaching faculty members that all manner of harmless behaviors and phrases were examples of “racial microaggressions.”
Examples included; Asking someone where they are from or where they were born, telling someone they speak good English, telling someone that you have several black friends, saying that you’re not a racist, and complimenting an Asian person by telling them they are very articulate.
The biggest gay rights lobby group in the United States also recently called on schools to eliminate “gender stereotypes” by training staff to avoid using the words “boy” and “girl” in class.
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