Mixed views on mi­croag­gres­sion

Los Angeles Times - - OPINION -

Re “What’s a mi­croag­gres­sion?,” Ed­i­to­rial, June 24

It’s id­i­otic to limit dis­course and de­bate be­cause it might cause men­tal trauma in cer­tain in­di­vid­u­als. Isn’t a univer­sity where we are sup­posed to be ex­posed to new and dif­fer­ent ideas, where we are sup­posed to think out­side our ( some­times self- im­posed) boxes and get out of our safe zones?

Where does the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia sys­tem’s list of “mi­croag­gres­sions” end? Is an as­ser­tion in a math class that cal­cu­lus was de­vised by Isaac New­ton ( a white man) to be re­garded as mi­croag­gres­sive be­hav­ior? Will dis­cus­sion of evo­lu­tion in a bi­ol­ogy class be a mi­croag­gres­sion against a cre­ation­ist?

What will that leave, talk­ing about the weather? Oh, wait, that might be mi­croag­gres­sion against a cli­mate- change de­nier. I rest my case.

Martin Parker

Thou­sand Oaks

The Times has taken the un­for­tu­nate po­si­tion that “aca­demic free­dom” trumps all, and it marginal­izes the grave con­cerns that prompted the mes­sage about mi­croag­gres­sion on UC Pres­i­dent Janet Napoli­tano’s web­site.

UC stu­dents are be­ing in­tim­i­dated and bul­lied be­cause of their re­li­gion, color and their po­lit­i­cal be­liefs. They are afraid, and their fear be­comes their dom­i­nant univer­sity ex­pe­ri­ence. While lit­tle can be done to cir­cum­scribe non­crim­i­nal be­hav­ior by other stu­dents, a great deal can be done to stop fac­ulty from con­don­ing or, worse, en­cour­ag­ing it.

The Times con­cedes that the web­site does not for­bid fac­ulty to use mi­croag­gres­sive lan­guage, and hence is a mea­sured and much a needed guide­line that each fac­ulty mem­ber should, with wis­dom and tol­er­ance, con­sider.

Louis Lipof­sky Bev­erly Hills

Be­fore read­ing your ed­i­to­rial, I didn’t know what “mi­croag­gres­sion” meant. But now I can ex­trap­o­late a mean­ing for this word.

It well char­ac­ter­izes the UC of­fice of the pres­i­dent’s dis­sem­i­na­tion of nan­nys­tate pro­pa­ganda that makes moun­tains out of po­lit­i­cal- correctness mole­hills.

San­dra Perez Santa Maria, Calif.

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