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    You’ve caught me at a bad time / So why don’t you piss off

    I have to say that out of all the misinterpretations and distortions and namby-pamby-isms of PC, this stock statement (indirectly quoted in the bold text below) has to be my very least favorite–and I was an undergrad at Penn from ’91-’95, honey. I’ve heard them all:

    While the alleged felony of ethnic intimidation that involved a University student urinating on two Asian students continues to enrage student organizations on campus, the suspects and their neighbors say the Ann Arbor Police Department and the media have exaggerated the incident.

    Stephanie Kao, a Business senior and co-chair of the United Asian American Organizations, said that whether the incident is true or not is beside the point—-it highlights the negative campus climate toward Asians students.

    Since it fits our narrative of aggrievement, it’s symbolically true, you see. That makes it okay, nay necessary, for us to harp on it.

    “A lot of us are angry about these racial slurs — we’re so focused on this issue of urination and beer. It’s beyond this issue at this point. This incident might have been the catalyst, but we are trying to address why these incidents are possible and what in this University climate makes it possible and acceptable for racial harassment to happen,” Kao said.

    My question is this: If racial harassment did not, in fact, occur in this case, what could you possibly learn about the actual university climate from acting as if it had? If Michigan hasn’t forgotten about such trifles as free speech, the unshackled life of the skeptical mind, and vigorous debate in its rush to embrace pigment-level diversity, then surely the distinction between the threat of physical harm and the possibility that one may occasionally feel insulted should matter.

    But the current campus climate is such that the Michigan Daily reporter is duty-bound to proceed with poker-faced speculations about whether it would be possible to pee on passersby below from the balcony in question, based on its layout and dimensions, and about the counter-allegation that the complainants called the accused a “white fat American piggy” and a “bitch.”

    As always, the infuriating thing is that there’s a real issue here. It’s hard to argue that anything in American society is keeping Asians down economically–certainly not the stratum that’s studying at a public Ivy like Michigan. Nevertheless, prejudice is wrong, and it really is true that there are ignorant people who don’t seem to understand that there are people of Asian extraction who were born in America and are as much native members of our society as we with other genes are. As someone who majored in an Asian language and had a lot of Asian friends, I saw it quite a bit. There’s nothing wrong with discussing that, though I don’t know that there’s any policy that will help except the passage of time.

    I just wish that every once in a while, these people would get around to acknowledging that Korea, Japan, and China are not exactly beacons of racial inclusiveness themselves. In fact, a lot of the racism in East Asia is codified. Does that make Asia the world HQ of venality or, conversely, excuse racism in America? Of course not. But it behooves people who are going to come on all multi-culti and pro-sensitivity to have a sense of context and proportion. Fake-cosmopolitan college administrators may be cowed by this America-is-egregiously-evil-to-minorities crap, but it looks idiotic to anyone with experience of the wider world.

    (Via Erin O’Connor)

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