Author’s Note: Sadly, this is an actual case. The name has been suppressed to protect the innocent.
Recently, a tenured UNC professor was forced to retire early because of offensive remarks he made in the classroom. Had he not retired early, he might have been stripped of tenure altogether. Or he might have simply been disallowed to teach and instead assigned to handle various administrative tasks. He was already serving a temporary suspension from the classroom when he decided to avoid further embarrassment by taking his early retirement. It’s worth taking a few minutes to discuss what he did in order to land in such hot water with the university administration. It speaks volumes about the current cultural climate in higher education.
Dr. Early-Retiree (pseudonym) had a problem with religion, and especially with Christianity. He also had a problem keeping it to himself. For decades, he would use the term G*d d*mn in the workplace. He was also fond of using the name of Jesus Christ, but only after giving our Lord the middle name F*cking. He used this kind of language in front of his colleagues and in front of students. But that’s not what got him in hot water with the administration.
Dr. Early-Retiree, as you may have already guessed, got in trouble for offending a black student. In the process of talking about racism and racial stereotypes, he would occasionally use graphic language and actual slurs. He didn’t use the terms in an approving way. In fact, it was just the opposite. He employed racial slurs in lectures specifically expressing disapproval of racism. Although he had not a racist bone in his body, it did not matter. He used certain language and a black student was offended. Intent was irrelevant.
Contrast this for a moment with Dr. Early-Retiree’s intentional use of anti-theistic and anti-Christian speech. One could almost say that he hadn’t a bone in his body that wasn’t full of religious animus. While we’re in the business of drawing contrasts let us draw one with the early American universities. Back then, God was elevated above all else in higher education. But in today’s university setting, whom or what do we worship? The answer is: victims in general and victim groups in particular. There are at least four reasons why this claim is no exaggeration.
1. We have numerous victimhood centers that serve as sanctuaries for victim worship. On my campus alone, we have a black victimhood center, a brown victimhood center, a queer victimhood center, and a feminist victimhood center. The only victimhood center we’re missing is one for men falsely accused of rape by the radicals at the feminist victimhood center. Actually, that’s not true. We’re also missing a victimhood center for unborn babies murdered by the radicals at the feminist victimhood center. If you don’t think it’s fair to call them sanctuaries then just wait until the next round of budget cuts. These places are always immune from such cuts. They are all sacred ground in the eyes of the administration.
2. Speech and conduct codes are commandments. You’ve obviously heard of the Ten Commandments. It is significant that the first four of them deal with reverence towards God, providing specific guidance in how to avoid offending God – No other gods, no idols, no taking the Lord’s name in vain, and no disrespecting the Sabbath. It is pretty much the same thing on college campuses. The first four commandments are to never offend blacks, never offend feminists, never offend LGBT people, and never offend any other people we decide to add to the minority victim bowl of alphabet soup.
3. Orientations are worship services. Last year, two of my friends dropped their 18 year old girl off for her freshman year at one of our public universities here in North Carolina. They stuck around for a freshman orientation program that lasted ninety minutes. Thirty minutes of the program was consumed by a short skit on tolerance of homosexuals as well as an overview of university services for the LGBT community. The LGBT Center director and her flamboyant homosexual assistant consumed fully one third of the orientation program. When four percent of the population gets 33% of the attention at such events it’s hard to deny that the university is obsessed with the worship of sexual minorities. The orientation program is nothing more than a sermon where the high priests of diversity formally begin the process of indoctrination into the university’s official religion of moral relativism.
4. Training sessions are confessionals. If you commit the sin of offending someone who isn’t in the dominant group then there’s no need to worry. You have a chance at redemption. If you are young and have no prior record, all you have to do is attend mandatory sensitivity training and confess your sins. Once you show proper remorse, university communities will remembrance you. When you leave mandatory reeducation, the high priest of diversity will likely tell you “neither do I condemn thee, go, and offend no more!” If you are older and should have known better then they will try to put you out to pasture.
I try to write about these situations with as much humor as possible. But my heart is heavy for this professor who was pressured into ending his 35 year career in shame and humiliation even though he intended no harm to anyone, black or otherwise.
Unfortunately, in higher education “equality” means sacrificing an occasional lamb on the altar of political correctness. It also means that some animals are more equal than others. No offense to animals intended.