Culture

British Student Union Aims to Ban Clapping and Cheering Because It Excludes Deaf People

(Photo: Rawpixelimages/Dreamstime)

The National Union of Students warned audience members at its conference that they must not clap or cheer during speeches because clapping and cheering make deaf people feel excluded.

According to an article in The Telegraph, attendees at last week’s conference were warned that clapping and cheering could have a “serious impact” on deaf participants, and they were instructed to use “jazz hands” to show their support instead.

“No whooping, it does have a serious impact on some delegates’ ability to access [the] conference,” Estelle Hart, an NUS elections-committee member and chairwoman of a Thursday session, told students.

According to The Telegraph, Hart had to remind people not to “whoop” at least one other time during the conference, and NUS Vice President for Welfare Shelly Asquith had to bring it up as well, claiming that the group has had “a number of requests that people stop whooping.” In fact, the whooping issue apparently became so serious that the Durham University student union used time at the conference to propose a motion that called for “reduced cheering or unnecessary loud noises on the conference floor, including whooping and clapping,” at all future NUS events on the grounds that “access needs of disabled students are disregarded/overlooked in terms of conference member behavior and NUS structures” and that this can be a threat to their “safety and wellbeing.” The motion added that there would be “consequences for those who ignore this requirement.”

Although the demonization of whooping and cheering is new for NUS, the demonization of clapping is not. As The Telegraph notes, attendees at a 2015 conference were instructed to use jazz hands instead of claps to show support on the grounds that clapping could “trigger anxiety.”

You know what triggers my anxiety? Having to read garbage like this. I mean, seriously. The NUS is the largest student union in Britain, and when they all get together for a conference, this is what they choose to talk about? All of the potential pitfalls of clapping?

Why don’t they focus on some of the more important issues? You know, like the potential pitfalls of jazz hands. After all, if clapping excludes deaf people, wouldn’t jazz hands exclude blind people? Terribly insensitive. The NUS really shouldn’t rest until people completely stop showing any visual or audible signs of approval whatsoever. Until people just sit still and silently at all times for fear of upsetting someone. Yes, that’s the world we should all want to live in. It doesn’t sound like a creepy, totalitarian Twilight Zone — no, not at all.

This story was previously covered in an article on Heat Street.

– Katherine Timpf is a reporter for National Review Online

READ MORE:

Most Popular

PC Culture

Hate-Crime Hoaxes Reflect America’s Sickness

On January 29, tabloid news site TMZ broke the shocking story that Jussie Smollett, a gay black entertainer and progressive activist, had been viciously attacked in Chicago. Two racist white men had fractured his rib, poured bleach on him, and tied a noose around his neck. As they were leaving, they shouted ... Read More
World

Ilhan Omar’s Big Lie

In a viral exchange at a congressional hearing last week, the new congresswoman from Minnesota, Ilhan Omar, who is quickly establishing herself as the most reprehensible member of the House Democratic freshman class despite stiff competition, launched into Elliott Abrams. She accused the former Reagan official ... Read More
PC Culture

Fake Newspeople

This week, the story of the Jussie Smollett hoax gripped the national media. The story, for those who missed it, went something like this: The Empire actor, who is both black and gay, stated that on a freezing January night in Chicago, in the middle of the polar vortex, he went to a local Subway store to buy a ... Read More
U.S.

White Progressives Are Polarizing America

To understand how far left (and how quickly) the Democratic party has moved, let’s cycle back a very short 20 years. If 1998 Bill Clinton ran in the Democratic primary today, he’d be instantaneously labeled a far-right bigot. His support for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Defense of Marriage Act, ... Read More
U.S.

Questions for Those Who Believed Jussie Smollett

The “we reported the Jussie Smollett case responsibly” contention has been blasted to smithereens. Twitter accounts and headlines in the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times reported as fact Jussie Smollett’s wildly implausible allegations, and many other journalists did so as ... Read More
Elections

One Last Grift for Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders, the antique Brooklyn socialist who represents Vermont in the Senate, is not quite ready to retire to his lakeside dacha and so once again is running for the presidential nomination of a party to which he does not belong with an agenda about which he cannot be quite entirely ... Read More