We covered the “tranny” controversy at the University of Chicago in the Saturday Night Card Game, When everyone shuts up, we will have reached the “safe space”.

The short story is that the student speech police attacked liberal gay activist Dan Savage for using the word “tranny” in discussing at a forum why he no longer uses the word “tranny.”  More than that, they demanded that the word be banned from use at U. Chicago’s Institute of Politics, where the event took place.

Savage responded to the controversy (h/t Instapundit), by noting that the activists who attacked him refer to “trans” people as “it” — a characterization Savage says is particularly offensive to the “trans” community.  I don’t know if that’s right or wrong, but it’s a point.

Andrew Sullivan writes, surveying this all this:

Yes, this occurred at the University of Chicago! Now, I’m not interested in defending Dan, because he can defend himself. And John Aravosis is right that there’s a potent and destructive strain in the LGBT world that aims more hate at someone like Dan Savage than at Rick Santorum (tell me about it). What I am interested is condemning this pathetic excuse for a student. This plea in a university to be free of hearing things that might hurt, offend, traumatize or upset you is an attack on the very idea of education itself. And don’t get me started about “trigger warnings.” So many things worth thinking about, grappling with, and chewing over can be offensive at first or second blush. That’s what a real education is about: offending your pre-existing feelings and prejudices with reason and argument and sometimes provocation. Education is not and never should be about making you more comfortable and more safe within your current worldview. It should not be about accusing someone with whom you might disagree of a hate crime.

And the idea that trans people or gay people are those signing up for this mindless crap is particularly distressing.

Policing language is something no gay person should ever countenance – if only because our language and our speech, as tiny minorities, could be the first to be policed in that brave new world. And what does it say about someone’s self-esteem that they run crying out of a seminar because they cannot handle a simple fricking word (and that they do that, while preferring to be referred to as “it”!)….

I think there’s another point here.

We’ve reached the point where speech police are lurking everywhere on campuses.  Accusations of “-phobia” and being “-phobic” curtail and suppress speech daily.  Including accusations of homophobia used for political purposes on issues such as religious freedom and marriage.

As I wrote in April 2013, “Bigot!” is the new “let me convince you of the wisdom of my argument”):

The number of topics in which an attempt to have a discussion of opposing viewpoints is shut down by a fusillade of taunts of “bigot” seems to be multiplying.

On the gay marriage issue, the Most important legacy of Obama’s gay marriage switch was freeing Dems to play the “bigot card”.  Once a viewpoint, held by Obama less than a year ago, is redefined as bigotry, the discussion is over, as John Fund pointed out last fall, The New Blacklist.  It has been a very effective tactic.

We see the same thing on immigration, where the term “illegal alien” or “illegal immigrant” was declared racist even though the term describes a legal status which is race neutral.  Nonetheless, AP has caved in to the pressure and no longer will use the terms.

David Sirota of Salon.com, who we previously wrote about because of his obsession with “white privilege,” engaged in a Twitter rant this week accusing people of being a “bigot” — it was so crazed that even liberal Twitterers shook their figurative heads in disbelief.

This brings into play the ancient legal and political maxim:  What goes around comes around.