Thought Police at Queen's University

The only reason I can come up with is that Queen's doesn't want my money.

It's hard to figure out what my Alma matter has been up to the last little while. There was the course last year on hippies. Homecoming as turned into near riots, with the Kingston Police ceding control of parts of the student ghetto to party goers.

And now Queen's as introduced Thought Police.

The idea is to have 'trained' people interject themselves into conversations deemed 'offensive', especially if they use the word 'retard' or 'homo', and presumably other bad words, like 'stupid' and 'liberal'. The part that chills me is "along with an array of other language that could be deemed offensive."

I could go in as to whom is making those determinations, but that's familiar ground to re-tread. One presumes that if a student were to object to this program, (possibly by accurately calling it 'retarded' and 'really gay') he/she would be 'engaged in a dialogue' about 'inclusivity' -- all of which translates into keeping your mouth shut and going along.

The way the program was unveiled shows how out of touch Queen's has become. The media used the university as a speed bag, and the school responded with an email that further compounds the damage:

The Intergroup Dialogue program is not disciplinary but educational in nature, and more than anything else it resembles peer mentoring, long an established part of university life across Canada. It does not exist to force or even encourage consensus on any issue, except one: that freedom of speech and thought is impossible without respect, consideration, and a commitment to mutual understanding. It is difficult to see how we could claim to be educating global leaders if this commitment were not a cornerstone of our institutional life.

Yes. Well. Right.

Except that if a student is pulled aside and 'engaged in a conversation', it seems obvious that the student has been marked as being insensitive or politically incorrect or whatever term you want to call it. It might not be discipline, but it looks like discipline. The appeal to free speech is an interesting one, as most free speech seems to happen without 'dialogue facilitators'.

It will be interesting conversation when Queen's alumni fundraisers call me for my money. Perhaps a dialogue facilitator will be needed for that conversation for all the insensitive language that I will use.

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