Phi Beta Cons

Speech Codes Constantly Stir Up Antagonism

Writing on Reason, Brendan O’Neill of Spiked has a simply devastating piece about campus speech codes.

O’Neill says that “the worst thing about these tongue-clamping rules is how they incite hyper racial-consciousness.” They actually make it a violation — a microaggression or worse — for students or faculty members to downplay the paramount importance of race. He points to the UCLA guide to “Recognizing Microaggressions” which declares that it’s a violation for someone to say that he favors “color blindness” and would rather not obsess over people’s racial background. If someone were to say, e.g., “There is only one race: the human race,” that would be bad because it denies others “racial and ethnic experience.”

How would Dr. King’s advocacy of a country that treated each individual as an individual, not favored or disfavored on account of race? O’Neill writes, “Today, MLK would be viewed as naive at best and suspect at worst….”

What accounts for this stupendous obsession over race? I’ll give you my take. The “progressives” are increasingly desperate to manufacture distractions that will keep the voters they depend on angry, edgy, and in line. Constant, red-hot rhetoric about race is useful to them. If the heat were turned off and people stopped thinking that race is America’s big problem, they might start thinking instead about the ways in which the mega-state fails them.

Hat tip: Instapundit.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.


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