A public university in Maryland is spending thousands of dollars on a “diversity” campaign targeted at students to stop them from using “insensitive” phrases such as “illegal alien,” “that’s so retarded” and “no homo.”
The University of Maryland, or UMD, has spent $15,000 just this year on its “inclusive language campaign,” CampusReform.org reports.
The following poster tells students to reconsider using the term “illegal alien” and opt instead for “undocumented immigrants” and “undocumented citizens”:
Yet another entry warns students against stating that another person “looks like a terrorist” because “the phrase may offend people who are of Arab decent, Muslim, and people who phenotypically look like the stereotype of a terrorist”:
UMD’s “words have power” campaign seeks to post and distribute posters, buttons and promotional materials to create an atmosphere on campus that doesn’t offend illegal aliens, homosexuals and other minority groups.
The UMD inclusive language campaign website declares:
“The words you use may have an impact on others. Consider the power of your words as you choose what to say, and consider different ways that you can communicate the same message. If you are offended by someone’s language, engage them in a discussion. Ask them what they really meant by what they said. Together, sharing each other’s stories, we can help others see the power of their words.”
The campaign features the following video from a student who describes himself as homosexual who is offended by popular phrases such as “That’s so gay”:
The UMD website states that the phrases “No homo” and “That’s so gay” support “homophobic beliefs that people who do not identify as heterosexual or straight are delinquent, abnormal, or wrong.”
It adds, “Keep in mind that this may offend people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Use instead: Inappropriate, Weird, Strange, Out of Place/Order/Line, Wrong.”
Another sign tells students to shun phrases such as “that’s so ghetto” and substitute them with words like “grimey,” “wack,” or “messed up.”
The campaign also directs students to a page that lists resources for students, including left-leaning advocacy groups such as:
- The American Civil Liberties Union
- Southern Poverty Law Center
- Teaching Tolerance
- The United Nations
- Congress of Racial Equality
- National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
- Feminist Majority Foundation
- Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
- Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network
- National Organization of Men Against Sexism
A March brochure from UMD’s office of the president also declares, “If you witness a hate crime please call 911 immediately!”
The flyer explains, “Incidents that are motivated by prejudice and hatred pose a unique danger to our society. Such acts affect the fundamental rights of our community, not just the immediate victim. These incidents cause tension and may erupt into violence.
- RRESD (race, religious, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability) slurs
- Computer/phone harassment
- Physical attack
- Hate symbols
- Hate literature
- Verbal abuse
- Destruction of property
Why should students report possible incidents of “hate crimes”?
UMD explains, “Reporting acts of harassment and intimidation provides assistance to the victim and the community and promotes community harmony.”
The school’s campaign urges students to “be apart [sic] of the solution.”
According to CampusReform.org, Tommy Masino, a resident assistant working on the campaign, told the school newspaper he believes it will be effective as long as the college takes a “strong stance” and remains serious about “enforcing it.”
But Ross Marchand, president of the libertarian group Students for Liberty, told Campus Reform, “It is important to be civil with one another, but this goes too far in taking language that most people would not find offensive and making us feel guilty for using it.”
Marchand said he’s concerned about UMD squelching constitutionally protected speech.
“An environment conducive to freedom of speech [on campus] … requires the ability to say things without guilt,” he said.
Amy Martin, the campaign administrator, told CampusReform.org while the operation is making students “think about their [non-inclusive] language,” it has been challenging to “eradicate things like this.”