Hilarious but scary: Ohio State’s “Diversity Statement”

FIRE’s speech code of the month for September 2007 has been awarded to Ohio State. While it’s important that we get along with each other, OSU has crossed a line here and ventured into the realm of the ludicrous. As FIRE puts it:

The Diversity Statement also contains another, quite cryptic, prohibition: “Words, actions, and behaviors that inflict or threaten infliction of bodily or emotional harm, whether done intentionally or with reckless disregard, are not permitted.” Could anyone at Ohio State actually explain what this prohibition means? How exactly does one threaten to inflict emotional harm? Would that mean shouting, “Hey you! Get out of here or I’m going to hurt your feelings…”?

They explain that this is “unconstitutionally vague,” since “no reasonable person can figure out exactly what this sentence prohibits.” As a consequence, the whole campus is reduced to talking about the weather. They must live in an oppressive climate of fear, accepting that they could be punished for unwittingly saying something, at some time, that might offend someone. And scariest of all, judgment of wrongdoing will be left to the least tolerant people on campus: the Diversity Bureaucrats.


2 Responses to “Hilarious but scary: Ohio State’s “Diversity Statement””

  1. Janice Says:

    So how IS the weather there, Curly? If you don’t mind me asking …

  2. Curly Says:

    Actually, I can’t say . . . someone might be listening!

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