July 30, 2015
The University of New Hampshire recently released a totally bizarre politically correct speech rulebook which they labelled a “bias-free language guide.”
The thing is straight out of 1984, and goes so far as to condemn the use of the word “American,” claiming that it might hurt or otherwise disenfranchise people from South America by implying there is only one America. The guide says you should say “North American” or “South American” because the word “American” by itself “assumes the U.S. is the only country inside these two continents.”
This reminds us of when a Syracuse University professor, while condemning the concept of logic as a “White Christian social construct” condemned the use of the term “true north” as offensive to people from the southern hemisphere.
The University’s President, Mark Huddleston, has released a statement attempting to distance himself and the school from the rulebook.
“While individuals on our campus have every right to express themselves, I want to make it absolutely clear that the views expressed in this guide are NOT the policy of the University of New Hampshire. I am troubled by many things in the language guide, especially the suggestion that the use of the term ‘American’ is misplaced or offensive. The only UNH policy on speech is that it is free and unfettered on our campuses. It is ironic that what was probably a well-meaning effort to be ‘sensitive’ proves offensive to many people, myself included.”
— UNH President Mark W. Huddleston
Following the mess of confusion, New Hampshire Senate majority leader Jeb Bradley also released a statement on the rulebook, saying the school “should concentrate on educating students to compete in the 21st century economy rather than taking political correctness to farcical levels.”
Not surprisingly, this rulebook was inspired by a “conversation about language accuracy” which the school’s Women’s Commission presented in its “Guide to Non-Sexist Language. The writers of the rulebook thank them.
Thank you to the many editors and proofreaders of this outreach to build a better campus climate at UNH.
Writers and editors: Sylvia Foster, Szu-Hui Lee, Joelle Ruby Ryan, Sean Moundas, and the Women’s Commission members in the 1990’s who drafted the “Guide to Non-Sexist Language” to inspire conversations about accuracy and creativity in language.
It is good to see the condemnation of this coming from the highest levels. It definitely seems as though we have reached peak PC, and the pendulum is beginning to swing back our direction.