Core requirements of substance

Score one for freedom of speech and the insensitive.

We’re always hearing about fraternities, individuals, faculty members and the like being forced to take sensitivity courses hotwired to improve their collective multicultural outlooks on life.

This time it backfired at the University of California at Riverside. It’s the kind of thing that makes you want to stand up and sing the Star Spangled Banner with Jimi Hendrix blaring at full throttle on guitar.

A Cal fraternity, Phi Kappa Sigma, produced some rather insensitive T-shirts. They were fairly stupid, as fraternity hijinks often are.

The shirts depicted some Mexican caricatures of bandito types slinging beer bottles with the slogan an innocuous slogan.

Apparently double-secret probation wasn’t enough for these guys as far as the university was concerned.

Insensitivity was the war cry. The fraternity was ordered to be disbanded for the heinous felony against universityspeak. Seems a bit drastic. Usually, a crash course in sensitivity would be considered a suitable panacea.

Well, none of the above happened. In fact, this case took an ingeniously wicked turn.

A Cal-Riverside settlement called for reinstatement of the fraternity, but they didn’t stop there. The administrators who attempted to disband the fraternity were forced to take a mandatory core requirement of a different nature—First Amendment sensitivity.

I think I’m getting a little teary-eared. Yes Virginia, there still is a Constitution.

It’s good to know the Berlin Wall vanished, communism failed in the Soviet Union and China will soon be facing reform.

U.S. universities truly represent the last bastion of communism in the world and even those walls are crumbling. It’s good to be an American.

I’ve been more than entertained watching the battles between the politically correct and the “insensitive.” I tend to take the skirmishes lightly, but outcomes are quite serious.

While many are wounded when offensive speech comes in conflict with PC on college campuses, the only real casualty is the First Amendment.

NIU has a pretty lame reputation as far as the freedom of speech is concerned but not the worst. Even when we trash the Constitution we do it with a certain level of mediocrity.

There are quite a few administrators at this university who would do well to take a little refresher course on the First Amendment. President John La Tourette, Legal Counsel George Shur and Center for Black Studies Director Admazu Zike have publicly expressed their inefficiencies in regards to understanding the vital significance of freedom of speech, and I think that’s pretty sad given their stature at NIU.

I was rather surprised that Zike finds the Star’s “not-so-subtle campaign for the First Amendment” somewhat contemptible as a newspaper adviser himself.

I’m glad the campaign isn’t subtle. Fighting for freedom of speech is a battle to protect individuals from government and university tyranny—not merely to protect the press.

It’s also kind of embarrassing that Shur, a lawyer, has such a meager understanding of the First Amendment himself. Unless Shur was a One-L at the University of Beijing, he should hit the books again. He might want to attend a First Amendment workshop himself. Maybe he could get his boss to make the necessary travel arrangements?

The great local irony is that NIU used to have a Constitution course as a graduation requirement. Now we’re considering a multicultural course requirement. The times they are a changin‘.

Well folks, the times may be changin’, but the Bill of Rights ain’t budging. God bless the U. S. of A.!