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New ‘Common Language Guide’ Divides Students at Amherst College

New ‘Common Language Guide’ Divides Students at Amherst College

“It wasn’t the college’s place to tell us what these things meant”

The fact that this guide was created by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion is rather telling, isn’t it?

The Daily Hampshire Gazette reports:

Release of language guide roils Amherst College campus

In 2001, the late author and Amherst College alum David Foster Wallace wrote about the political battles that take place in an unlikely place: dictionaries.

“Did you know that probing the seamy underbelly of U.S. lexicography reveals ideological strife and controversy and intrigue and nastiness and fervor on a nearly hanging-chad scale?” he wrote in his Harper’s Magazine essay “Tense Present: Democracy, English, and the Wars over Usage.”

Last week, Foster Wallace’s alma mater stepped right into that controversy when the Office of Diversity and Inclusion released, and soon after retracted, a “Common Language Guide” featuring definitions of “key diversity and inclusion terms” that disturbed some on campus.

The document, which can still be found online (a college employee confirmed that it is the same version), emerged from a need to “come to a common and shared understanding of language in order to foster opportunities for community building and effective communication within and across difference,” according to its creators. But others took issue with the glossary of terms spanning a wide range of topics, including race, gender, sexual identity, class, global power and inequality.

Capitalism, for instance, is defined in the guide as “an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state. This system leads to exploitative labor practices, which affect marginalized groups disproportionately.” Another term is “white savior complex,” defined as “an attitude or posture of condescending benevolence based on the idea that white people inherently should, are in a position to and are qualified to ‘save’ people of color.” And fragile masculinity is “a state of requiring affirmation of one’s masculinity and manhood in order to feel power and dominance … For example, men being hesitant to cry is an example of fragile masculinity.”…

At the center of the controversy were the Amherst College Republicans, who were quoted in much of the press coverage of the episode. “It wasn’t the college’s place to tell us what these things meant,” Brantley Mayers, a member of the Amherst College Republicans, told the Boston Herald. “They were establishing the parameters of speech.”


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Old Navy Doc | April 28, 2019 at 2:24 pm

I wish these deluded academic “True Believers” would treat Orwell’s 1984 as a warning work of fiction and not as a guide book. Gullible Idiots.

amherst was my alma mater back when one was a “lord jeff.” it was an imperfect place, like all human institutions, and not a place that i ever loved, but i appreciated my time there.

then iceberg tips emerged. becoming “woolly mammoths” because general jeffery amherst was too inconveniently aggressive. sending politically partisan emails to alumni as putative news of the college in 2016. the dissing of invited, conservative speakers. finally, the diversity language guide, with the salaries behind it, the claimed botched rollout of “just a draft” that actually remains in place, and the apparent absence of fiduciary oversight by any fair minded adult, reveals the whole iceberg.

amherst doesn’t need anyone who strays from the party line. so amherst apparently doesn’t need my humble annual donations and a bequest derived from a lifetime of honest and frugal capitalism. i managed my professional and personal lives with much more fairness and responsibility than i see at amherst. i’m done with that place. there is nothing liberal or artsy about once fine and always selective/expensive colleges like amherst. there is nothing to emulate. they are now one-track, close-minded, monotone, tarted-up, self-congratulating gulags. i first read solzhenitsyn, marx and hitler at amherst, i wonder if anyone now does so. i pity, not admire, someone there now, and those who pay someone’s tab there.

NewSpeak. Doubleplussungood

An old trick, of course. Trivialize free markets by calling them “capitalism”, divert attention from the sources of fascism by calling it “right-wing”, pretend that radical gay activism has something to do with “gay rights”, define anything at all done by white people as “privilege”, define anything happening anywhere as proof of “global warming”.

It is unusual for them to be quite so blatant about it, though. “Here, this is the way we will frame the discussion to make meaningful response in English impossible. So shut up and stop beating your wife, already.”

Did they also define snowflake and SJW?