I want to take a moment to say thank you to a couple of groups of people. First, thank you to the men who solidified our Bill of Rights. Second, thank you to the men and women who have fought to maintain our way of life to make sure that in 2019, I have still have the freedom afforded me by the framers in the 1stAmendment. It is that very amendment that allows me to say what I am about to say, the very same that allows LET to print the following.

Unfortunately, there is an assault on that very freedom on our college campuses and we cannot allow it to continue unchecked.

On March 21, 2019, President Donald Trump signed an executive order making federal funding for colleges and universities contingent on their assurances that speech will be free on their campuses, and not one-sided, as it has been. There has been an onslaught of activity meant to silence the conservative voices on campuses across this country. While most administrators are adamant that the schools they represent are inclusive of all points of view, many of them work covertly to be bastions of leftist ideology. Other campuses are not so covert, operating completely in the open.

 

Amherst College is trying to respond to accusations that they are attempting to stifle the very speech that the President’s executive order is trying to protect.

The college released an online document called the Common Language Guide that was created by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Resource Center Team. The team included the following statement to open the document: “This document was created by the Resource Center Team within the Office of Diversity & Inclusion in collaboration with various campus partners as a guide to common, shared language around identity. This project emerged out of a need to come to a common and shared understanding of language in order to foster opportunities for community building and effective communication within and across difference. This is a list of carefully researched and thoughtfully discussed definitions for key diversity and inclusion terms. It is by no means a comprehensive list, but it is a good place for us to start. We understand that language around identity, privilege, oppression and inclusion is always changing, evolving and expanding. If there is a term that you feel should be included here, please let us know.”

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Before we dive into the contents of the actual document, we need to address a few things in the opening statement.

  • In collaboration with various campus partners. This obviously did not include any groups that lean right in their ideology.
  • Common and shared understanding of language. I would struggle to believe that the verbiage used would be common place in the every day conversations of conservative campus groups.
  • Carefully researched and thoughtfully discussed. By whom? I am not seeing this as something agreed upon by right-leaning students.

The 40-page guide includes groupings of General Terminology, Isms, Race and Ethnicity, Gender and Gender Identity, Sexual and Romantic Identity, Class, Politics and Policy, Global Power and Inequality and Disability. While we will not be able to cover the entire guide, it can be found in its entirety here.

San Francisco

(Wikipedia Commons)

 

The Inclusion Resource Team ran the gambit of the typical trigger words like inclusion, microaggression, power, privilege and social justice. They also went so far as to make sure that anyone reading is aware that while women can be just as prejudiced as men, they CANNOT be just as sexist as men (See the definition on Reverse Oppression), marginalized communities cannot oppress other communities because they do not have access to institutional power, and that heterosexism is a pervasive system of beliefs and practices that manifest across societal/cultural, institutional and individual domains that centers and normalizes heterosexuality.

 

This guide addresses the pay gap, based on median salaries of all working men and women. There statistics exclude careers choices, education levels, etc. IRT defines capitalism as an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state. They further define it as an exploitative labor practice that affects marginalized groups disproportionately. Legal/illegal is apparently a highly racialized term to describe a person’s presence in a nation without government-issued immigration status.

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The guide wrote a glowing definition of Black Lives Matter, but no mention of Blue Lives Matter. They claim capitalism is an exploitative system, but no mention of socialism. They define heterosexuality is a “hyper-infatuation” with the opposite sex yet define homosexuals merely as someone who is attracted to the same sex.

 

But, by all means, the group that authored this guide is all about free speech with no bias. They walked through these conversations in a fair and balanced way. They researched and thoughtfully discussed just exactly how to paint the picture of inclusion for all points of view and creating a safe place to converse and have a free and intellectual exchange of ideas.

Wait. That is not quite accurate.

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The reality is that this guide and the people at Amherst College who wrote it have an agenda. This agenda is not friendly to people who lean right. This agenda is not friendly to those who are part of the LEO community or to the people who support them. This agenda is the exact reason that the President had to issue and executive order to safeguard free speech in colleges. 

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