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College apologizes because teacher accurately quotes historical document

The coming dark age: The head of the University of Oklahoma has publicly apologized for a journalism professor because that professor had, after warning the class, accurately read aloud an historical document that included the word “nigger.”

The heart of the apology says it all:

The professor, a faculty member in History, read from a historical document that used the “N-word” repeatedly. While she could have made the point without reciting the actual word, she chose otherwise. Her issuance of a “trigger warning” before her recitation does not lessen the pain caused by the use of the word. For students in the class, as well as members of our community, this was another painful experience. It is common sense to avoid uttering the most offensive word in the English language, especially in an environment where the speaker holds the power.

This apology is downright hostile to the pursuit of knowledge, and coming from the head of a university is especially appalling.

My regular readers know that I forbid the use of obscenities by commenters, as I oppose the recent cultural trend to make their use ubiquitous and casual. I think it debases everyone, and prevents thoughtful debate. However, if you want to get an accurate sense of history you must have the open-mindedness to tolerate hearing such things in order to understand that history.

Moreover, this administrator assumes that his students are so pathetically weak and delicate that hearing this word would destroy them. Poppy-cock! What is really happening is that he is bowing to the race-mongers and political bullies who have been using their demands on what language to speak to force everyone to endorse their political rule.

The future is grim if it will become impossible to learn anything that might offend you. In fact, in that culture you really will not be able to learn anything at all.

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  • Phill O

    I will write the most offensive word in the English language: Liberal

  • Cotour

    Those poor psychologically abused children, this is an outrage!

    (What kind of weak people are we creating where in an historical context a word can not be used or spoken?)


    I make a distinction here, I think the proper most offensive word would actually be “Leftist”, or “Leftist operative”, and that is what we are seeing more of in our education system (See: Bill Ayers etc) . I see a Liberal or a Liberal Democrat as a more acceptable American political animal and I can put up with them to some degree. Even if they tend to in the end of their cycle become coopted and more Leftist subversive, “Politically Correct” tools than acceptable American political animals.

    In the end they all become the enemy, knowingly or through their ignorance.

  • Phill O

    Cotour Yes, you are more correct!

  • Patrick Underwood

    The students get out of class, go back to the dorm and watch some Tarantino flicks.

  • Patrick Underwood

    Which is, of course, totally fine for everyone.

  • TJMorrill

    I do not who is to blame for this: the University Administration that encourages this intellectual cowardice or the so-called adults in the room.

  • Mitch S.

    Most of those “pained”, “triggered” students left school that day, put on their music devices and spent the rest of their waking hours listening to pop songs filled with lyrics about “Me and my [ N-word]s [doing criminal things] and [committing violent acts and demeaning activities on women]”.
    Of course most of the actual lyrics wouldn’t meet the standards of this forum, but if you think I’m exaggerating check out the words of this popular song from about 2018 (How do I know about it? Because I heard my daughter listening to it – and there are plenty more like it!

  • Mitch S. I am curious. When you discovered your daughter was listening to this what did you do?

  • wayne

    N. W. A.
    ” —– Da Police”

    Ice Cube, MC Ren, Eazy E, Yella, and Dr. Dre

  • Mitch S.:

    Your lyrics paraphrase was great. I think we can make it forum-rated, though:

    Me and my African-Americans were engaged in activity
    Doin’ things for which we have proclivity
    Not what you would find in the Nativity
    Nor are we much engaged in civility

    You make a good point. I often hear music in public places that would earn a scarlet letter were the practitioner a person of pallor.

  • wayne

    “Blow You Away”
    Robert Earl Keen A Bigger Piece of Sky

  • Wayne:

    I have a collection of late ’80’s rap. NWA, Public Enemy, Run DMC, LL Cool J (gave my daughter his first album for her 13th birthday. She was a fan.), Tone Loc, and so on. Compared to stuff nearly 35 years later (Wow! That’s old!), it’s pretty clean stuff, and without the ‘posturing’ currently prevalent.

  • Mitch S.

    When I first heard my daughter listening to that stuff I asked her “What ever happened to Taylor Swift?”.
    Then I discussed the content of the songs. She understands the bad words are bad and wouldn’t speak like that herself
    (though I’ve heard her drop an “f” or “s” bomb when she’s frustrated, but never the “N word”).
    She just considers them part of the art of the song. I can’t completely argue with that, but I found I needed to explain to her that the acts often depicted in the songs are not just “poetic” language, that many of these people do many of those things.
    That drugs and violence are often part of their lives – and while you can go to a Taylor Swift concert, no way will I let you go to one of those concerts – it’s simply not safe.
    Do I worry that the music will turn her bad? Not really – I’m not a sex crazed drug addict even though I listened to rock of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, but she needs to know that hip hop/rap is a world she wants to look at from a distance.

  • eddie willers

    “trigger warning”

    The jokes write themselves.

  • wayne

    that, is hilarious.

  • pzatchok

    This started when they removed Huck Fin from the school library.

    They then added in any work or book with the N-word on it.

    Hollywood self edited its own previous works. You will never see anything with black face in it again. Unless its a study in black face and its effects. The same with any movie with a ‘step and fetch’ character in it. They don’t even want to show Gone With The Wind anymore because it depicts slaves in bad light.

    All of those works could be used as good examples of just how bad it used to be for black people.

  • Gary

    “Moreover, this administrator assumes that his students are so pathetically weak and delicate that hearing this word would destroy them.”

    Sadly, this is not an assumption. There is a growing segment of college students with serious emotional problems and Student Affairs divisions and Counseling Centers are being overwhelmed with cases. At my campus a researcher presented voluminous data showing that a mild decline in emotional stability from the 1990s suddenly dropped sharply beginning in 2010. This was the point when smart phones surpassed 50% market penetration and social media took off. No other factors were as obvious as this one, not even the economic affects of the recession. It shows up in the high school data too. The comment was made that we used to get new freshmen with17-18 year-old maturity. Now its 14-15. It’s not all students, of course, and more female than male, but the numbers are significant and growing. There is plenty of blaming to pass around; dealing with the problem will be enormously difficult.

  • Mitch S: You might not like this, but I have to say it. You essentially taught your daughter that the casual use of such language in public situations is acceptable. You did not set any rules (as I do here on this website).

    Thus, the coming dark age.

  • mike shupp

    Well, yeah, the students are foolishly overacting. And the school administration. But that’s what happens when you zealously enforce an “No exceptions will be permitted policy” of political correctness.

    It happens elsewhere. Wikipedia has pages devoted to the ever-so-important differences between Scot, Scots, Scottish, and Scotch. These matter a lot in Scotland, not so much elsewhere in the UK, and little in the USA, but to the people who take the distinctions seriously, they’re politically relevant and emotion-tinged and very serious. As counterpart, in the USA there are nuances to notice when using “Hillbilly” and “Appalachian”. I’ve an impression there are similar issues where French and German and Dutch are spoken.

    For another, the word “bastard” varies considerably in acceptability. It used to be de rigueur in some settings (“the bastard second son of Edward III”), got applied neutrally in other settings (the wood-worker’s “bastard file”), and then became in the 20th Century, a very pejorative term indeed — you could start a fight by calling someone that in a bar. These days, the offensiveness of “bastard” has faded considerably; there’s even some respect in referring to a potential opponent as “a right bastard.” It may be germane that in the USA today (and most European nations) that 40 % or more of births are to unwed mothers, (up from about 5% in the 1950s), so bastardry is increasingly a common condition.

    Language evolves, I’m trying to say. Words and phrases take on secondary meanings, they acquire and lose emotional relevance over time. “Wokenness” is not a new phenomenon; probably the best response is pretend obedience to “proper usage” when it’s demanded and ignore it otherwise, much like the rough language increasingly found in pop music and movies. It’s how societies evolve.

    (Taking off my Soc Sci hat, I’ll admit that “it’s how societies evolve” does NOT mean or imply “It’s proper and desirable for our society to evolve in such a direction and we are morally and philosophically required to accept such changes.” Sometimes standing athwart history to scream “No, you shall go no further!” is praiseworthy. )

  • Mitch S.

    Robert Zimmerman said:
    “You essentially taught your daughter that the casual use of such language in public situations is acceptable”.

    I didn’t teach her the use of such language is acceptable, just acknowledged that in some segments of society it’s common. She does have rules, it’s not acceptable for her to speak that way though I will forgive a slip made in anger or frustration as long as it’s not directed at someone. A couple of years ago I was having a frustrating time fixing something on a car and let out some “choice words”. My daughter happened to hear it and asked the obvious “Why is it OK for you to say it?”. I explained to her that my emotion le me to say something I shouldn’t but most importantly it was not directed at a person.

    We had a discussion about cuss words and other things like tattoos and piercings.
    I explained people have “the right” to say or do such things but other people have the right to judge you by the way you sound or look.

    As much as I might want to shield my kid from the crudeness in society, I know I can’t. Better to teach her how to understand and judge for herself. And the best way to teach is by example.

    Am I worried that kids listening to crude music performed by people of dubious character will lead us to “the dark age”? Not really. The 1960’s were over 50 years ago and we didn’t go “Wild in the Streets” at least yet!
    What worries me intolerance and selfish bitterness on the left. The mantra of the 60’s was peace and love, the mantra of the Bernie bunch is “Down with whites, down with rules, give me what’s mine or else!”

  • Lee S

    @Mitch…. You speak some wise words…. I am a quite sweary individual… I won’t try and justify the fact, but it is what I am.
    I have a 12 year old and a 14 year old, and I’ve taught them that there is no such thing as a bad word… They are only sounds after all… But there are definitely bad situations to use certain words. If they want to cuss like sailors amongst their friends… Fair enough…
    Use that language in our apartment… Not so much!
    I’m all in with you guys that snowflake FAR leftists should be stopped from any form of violence.. that goes without saying.. but I guess they should be allowed to express their opinion, and also taught that by given that right, they have to accept the right of others to have their say.
    I hold no time for holocaust deniers, white supremacists, radical Muslims or any other extreamists groups, but I do believe in the absolute right to free speech… The idiots that this post is referring to need to be educated that free speech is reciprocal…
    This “triggering” of the younger generation is worrying…. I hold long and deep conversations with my kids about exactly this issue…. If you can’t use the N word in a historical context, then you can’t understand history….
    I just hope that enough parents are educating their kids to understand the difference between an insult and a reference.

  • Lee S

    ( by the way…. I was raised on Princes music…. The first music to get a “parental guidence” sticker…. Back in 1984… I am a bit sweary, as I have mentioned, but I blame that much more on the construction sites I worked on than any music I ever listened to!)

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