April 14, 2008

The University of Delaware just can't get beyond the absurd

This time it's part of their ridiculous "speech code." Brace yourselves:

The University of Delaware has revised a speech code that used to classify "[a]ny instance that is perceived by those involved as being racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, or otherwise oppressive" as an emergency equal to fire, suicide attempts, and alcohol overdose. This code was blatantly unconstitutional and about as absurd as you can get in 20 words or less, for these reasons:
  • This language is overbroad because "oppressive" is not a clear term on which to base judgments of one's language or actions.
  • "Perceived by those involved" is an improper, unconstitutional standard for determining whether a statement or action truly is a violation.
  • Racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic language, however offensive it may seem to many persons, in itself is protected by the First Amendment.
  • Classifying "sexist" occurrences on the same level as rape, requiring immediate notification on the level of fires, suicide attempts, alcohol overdose, drug busts, and so on, is ludicrous.
  • Classifying so-called oppressive speech as more serious than actual fights and minor thefts is also ludicrous.

Here's the "revision" -- it now refers to "[s]ignificant bias related acts that have the potential to create a significant disturbance to the community." But the bit about who "perceives" the supposed homophobia etc. remains. Resident Assistants and students themselves are the primary "judges." This sounds eerily like some claptrap I've heard at educational "seminars" regarding similar topics. We're told that students' "perception is their reality;" in other words, what they want to be true ... is.

Who can fight that? And as FIRE notes, UD students could still be expelled for "bias-motivated" behavior:

The university still maintains a zero-tolerance policy against "hate." In the words of former president David P. Roselle: "Those who engage in acts of hatred and bias-motivated threats and behavior will be confronted, prosecuted and expelled from our community."

And when RAs and students themselves define "reality," you can bet that "hate" is all too "common." Especially when they want it to be.

Posted by Hube at April 14, 2008 06:55 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Gee -- given Obama's racist statements over the last four weeks, I'd have to argue that white students should immediately report any instance signs, t-shirts, and rallies related to Barack Obama to the school and demand that action be taken to immediately end the speech supporting the Democrat hate-monger -- and punish ever student involved in it.

That ought to put a quick end to the speech code.

Posted by: Rhymes With Right at April 14, 2008 07:33 PM

I sent this post to one my conservative partners in crime from college with the message that we wouldn't have been allowed to graduate, getting kicked off campus under these rules. His response: "Yeah..I would have been expelled from the whole community. It takes a Village to destroy freedom of speech and the U of DE is the Village People!"

Posted by: Paul Smith at April 15, 2008 11:43 AM

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