Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Grow up or go home.

Tongue Tied reports yet another attack on academic freedom by the censorship-minded Left. A professor at the University of Iowa Law School read a passage in class that continued "racial slurs". It is appropriate that the dustup occurred in a course on the power of language. The language in the class readings had the power to turn grown men and women into three-year-olds who go whining and crying to someone seeking protection from "offensive" language.

Look, when you go to college, you will run into things that offend you. This is part of life, so you might as well grow up now. When I was an undergrad at Indiana University, I was offended that the Indiana Daily Student published pictures of homosexual couples kissing on the front page of the paper, and I was offended that the IDS published a how-to guide for a certain sex act on the opinion page. I did not demand sensitivity training or censorship.

Having the maturity to accept ideas or language you may not like is even more important in the academic arena. The whole point of going to college is to be educated. Shutting out anything that might be "offensive" is antithetical to the pursuit of knowledge on a university campus. We have seen this first hand at Indiana University, where crybabies have been trying to censor a historical mural in Woodburn Hall for years. (See here, here, and here for more.)

The bottom line is this: someone who is too immature to handle ideas or language he/she finds "offensive" should not be attending college. Some time in the "real world" will help prepare an emotionally unstable crybaby for the academic world, and it will have the secondary benefit of reducing pressure on administrators to violate the First Amendment rights of faculty, staff and students. This can be summed up with five simple words: Grow up or go home.