Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Nebraska university tells students not to say crazy, ghetto and other bad words

By Deena Winter

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has launched a campaign to get students to stop using certain words and phrases including “man up,” “no homo,” “retarded,” “ghetto,” “crazy” and “rape” (out of context).

In fact, students may notice one of 300 student volunteers wearing brightly colored T-shirts with the banned words emblazoned on the back. A pink shirt informs students that saying “man up” only “reinforces masculine stereotypes that are unhealthy for everyone.”

A purple shirt tells students saying “no homo” just “devalues love and sexual identities.”

A blue shirt says the word retarded “suggests disability and stupidity are interchangeable.”

A red shirt says the phrase “that’s so ghetto” only “misrepresents the experiences of others and negatively stereotypes minority groups.”

A green shirt informs others that saying “you’re crazy” just “minimizes human emotion and those affected by mental illness.”

And finally, orange shirts warn that saying rape out of context “ignores the reality of sexual assault.”

The campaign, launched Oct. 22, was organized by University Housing’s Multicultural and Diversity Education Committee to encourage students to “think before they speak.”

“We often hear students say things like, ‘That test raped me,’ or that something is ‘so ghetto,'” said Melissa Peters, assistant director of residence life for student leadership and diversity initiatives, in a university announcement. “The vast majority of students aren’t using these words to be malicious. But, intended or not, these are words that have impact and can hurt.”

The campaign has already attracted the ire of a Daily Caller columnist who wrote that “Thus, for example, according to officials at the public school, it is wrong to say ‘Purdue’s football team raped Nebraska’s cellar-dwelling football team 55-45 on Saturday’ or ‘If you would have told (me) before the season began that Nebraska’s football team would be 3-6 and a humiliated national laughingstock, people would have called you crazy.’ ”

Gerard Harbison, an outspoken UNL chemistry professor and libertarian blogger, calls it political correctness.

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