Culture

U of M Spent $16K on Campaign Against ‘Offensive’ Language

Freedom from speech (Images via Facebook)
Avoid using words like “crazy” and “insane.”

The University of Michigan reportedly spent $16,000 plastering its walls with posters telling students they shouldn’t use “offensive” language such as “crazy,” “insane,” and “gypped.”

The posters are part of the school’s new Inclusive Language Campaign, which “aims to encourage the campus community to consider the impact of their word choices on others,” according to the official college website.

Now some might consider this a questionable use of money for a school that has raised tuition and fees for the past two consecutive years, but university spokesman Rick Fitzgerald told the College Fix that it’s actually totally cool because it’s “helping individuals understand that their words can impact someone.”

(FYI: Even preschool kids know that already.)

The ILC’s Facebook page includes plenty of examples of posters with the phrases “Would you say this/If you knew that” that had been filled out by students.

“Would you say … ‘We/I just need to work the kinks out’ if you knew that sentiment was rooted in racism. Kinky hair is beautiful. Natural hair is powerful,” reads one.

“Would you say… ‘Teach me how to twerk?’ if you knew that people of privilege consume, appropriate, and reject the culture of minority communities at their convenience when it’s ‘trendy,’” reads another.

Students have been asked to sign a pledge promising not only to use “inclusive language” themselves, but also to make their peers “understand the importance of using inclusive language,” according to the campaign materials. (According to real life, that’s called: “Becoming the annoying, wet-blanket, judgmental friend that no one wants to hang out with because you make having a conversation insufferable.”)

— Katherine Timpf is a reporter at National Review Online.

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