Thought Police II

Here are the “Principles of Community” that will be enforced by the “SafeWatch” program in Virginia Tech (see previous post, “The Thought Police Have Arrived):

  • We affirm the inherent dignity and value of every person and strive to maintain a climate for work and learning based on mutual respect and understanding.
  • We affirm the right of each person to express thoughts and opinions freely. We encourage open expression within a climate of civility, sensitivity and mutual respect.
  • We affirm the value of human diversity because it enriches our lives and the university. We acknowledge and respect our differences while affirming our common humanity.
  • We reject all forms of prejudice and discrimination, including those based on age, color, disability, gender, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, and veteran status. We take individual and collective responsibility for helping to eliminate bias and discrimination and to increase our own understanding of these issues through education, training and interaction with others.
  • We pledge our collective commitment to these principles in the spirit of the Virginia Tech motto of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).

Most Virginians would share most of these sentiments. The problem isn’t the principles themselves, but how they are enforced, and who enforces them. A couple of red flags:

First: Everyone has the right to express themselves freely, but only “within a climate of civility, sensitivity and mutual respect.” Who defines what behavior falls within the acceptable parameters of “civility” and “sensitivity”? Who has the burden of proof when someone is offended by something someone else says — the person who took offense? Or the person who made the remark?

Second: “We take individual and collective responsibility for helping to eliminate bias and discrimination and to increase our own understanding of these issues through education, training and interaction with others.” Who’s in charge of the educating and training here? What form does that “education and training” take? And how much “diversity” of points of view is permitted?

Nervous yet? Now check the online “Incident Report Form.” If the political/philosophical orientation of this initiative doesn’t smack you over the head, here is all you need to know: People are asked to fill out “general information” about themselves. Under the “gender” category, there four (count ’em four!) choices: male, female, transgender, and questioning. Why not “neuter,” while we’re at it? We wouldn’t want to discriminate against castrati, would we?

Hmmm. I’m wondering… Could that last remark be construed as “insensitive”? Could I already be a candidate for “re-education”?


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Comments

6 responses to “Thought Police II”

  1. Rtwng Extrmst Avatar
    Rtwng Extrmst

    Jim, you better not apply to Va Tech any time soon! 😉

  2. Virginia Centrist Avatar
    Virginia Centrist

    Mother of God…insensitive remarks are what make this country great!

  3. Jim Duncan Avatar

    This is frightening stuff. My first response to this news is sadness and despair that this is what qualifies for “education” now.

    What does one do if one is offended by others’ telling them how to think and act? Is there a form for that?

    Everybody has a right to an opinion and free thought. I would hope that the students would have the freedom to protest this asinine, inane policy.

    That a policy such as this could make it this far is scary. Where is the right not to be offended spelled out in our Constitution?

  4. Tugboat Phil Avatar
    Tugboat Phil

    “We reject all forms of prejudice and discrimination, including those based on….”

    So by rejecting ALL forms of prejudice & discrimination, does that mean that the food service department will stop inspecting the food they purchase for freshness? Will Coach Beamer have to make allowances for wheelchair bound players? Will the Muslim Students Association have to admit Jews? And lastly, will the Admissions Department drop all grade/scholastic achievement requirements for prospective students? Sounds like they may have already done the last one.

  5. Anonymous Avatar

    Absolutely amazing. That reporting form, with its gender classification of “questioning”, is just priceless. Internet-powered Thought Nazis. My tax dollars support these fools?

  6. Anonymous Avatar

    I’m sorry, I can’t resist… Which bathroom do the questioning people go to? Is there nothing left that is sure anymore?

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