by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
If you’ve ever used the phrases “brown bag lunch” or “long time, no see,” congratulations: You’re a racist, according to Stanford University.
That’s the judgment of the university’s IT Department, which is rolling out its “Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative,” an effort to purge “potentially harmful terms” from the university’s websites. The guide cautions that the phrase “blind study” is “ableist” and that saying “balls to the wall” inappropriately “attributes personality traits to anatomy.”
Stanford isn’t alone in its linguistic purge. Down the coast, California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo warns incoming students against saying “father and mother” or “boyfriend and girlfriend,” according to a set of instruction slides for student orientation leaders obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. Suggested alternatives to mother and father include “supporter,” while the university prefers “partner, beloved or lover” to boyfriend and girlfriend.
Universities and other elite institutions have increasingly embraced “woke” language in a bid to appear progressive. The Biden administration referred to mothers as “birthing people” in its 2022 budget proposal. Stanford is one of several colleges that urge students to use the term “Latinx” to describe Spanish-speaking people, even though most Hispanic people disavow the term.
Both Cal Poly and Stanford apparently worry that mere mention of words commonly used by most Americans will upset their students. They offer “content warnings” before listing problem language like “stupid” and “OCD.”
The Stanford guide discourages the use of “gender-based” terms like “landlord” and “mankind.” Even the seemingly progressive phrase “preferred pronouns” makes the list, since it “suggests that non-binary gender identity is a choice and a preference.” The once-public Stanford list was hidden behind a university login page sometime Monday. The university did not respond to the Free Beacon’s request for comments on the change.