Continue tyranny

In Paul Kirk’s article (Oct. 15) there was another example of what George Orwell called “double think” perpetuated by a university administrator advocating “diversity.” The piece of “double think” in question is the remark attributed to Dr. Robert Self, Freshman English director.

It was reported that Mr. Self said “students’ grades would not be lowered (by the non-use of gender inclusive language), but a student’s effectiveness toward a diverse audience could lower their grades.”

This sounds nice, but Mr. Self’s underlying assumption was not exposed to the light of day—that the use of gender-inclusive language affects students’ effectiveness in communicating to diverse audiences. He and his wife have made that point ad nauseum.

Therefore, when he says that a student’s grade will not be lowered by his non-use of gender-inclusive language, Mr. Self either doesn’t understand logic of what he said or he is lying. He must be lying if he said that “non-use of gender inclusive language will not affect a student’s grade,” because he believes that the non-use of gender-inclusive language will affect the ability to communicate to a “diverse audience.”

Therefore, that student’s grade will be lowered, as he did say, because the student’s non-use of gender-inclusive language hinders the student’s ability to communicate to a diverse audience. The reason Mr. Self did and still doesn’t pursue a policy of “truth in advertising” is that he is afraid that if he was honest about his agenda he could not sell it.

Instead, like any good used car salesman, he hides behind “double think.” This permits him to sound like a tolerant liberal but in reality he is an “orthodox radical.”

Mr. Self’s sophism, however, will get by the students who take an English Writing Program designed by his ilk. When the emphasis of English composition shifts to social concerns like “diversity,” the essentials of composition (grammar, logic and rhetoric) are placed on the back burner.

Once that happens, students are not taught the skills to discern or understand the radical agenda perpetuated on them by the likes of Self. Without the critical skills of discernment, which English composition traditionally taught, students are pawns to the prevailing orthodoxy.

But this is the best reason to advocate diversity and gender inclusive language because it perpetuates the prevailing orthodoxy of university administrators whose political values and beliefs are neither examined nor questioned. Isn’t this convenient to perpetuate the tyranny of those petty officials?

Clifford A. Bates, Jr.

Graduate Student

Political Science