Stanford University’s IT department in collusion with the local activist group, People of Color in Technology (POC-IT) have created and published a list of terms and phrases that they’ve deemed offensive accompanied by alternative recommendations to be now used in all Stamford University IT publication and discourses. It’s part of the university’s new Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative (EHLI), a multi-phase, multi-year project to reshape language and idiom in IT at Stanford in order to meet new #Wokespeak standards.
I’ve included the actual document in this post because people “picked on” Stamford so much that they no longer make it publicly available for download and perusal.
The list itself is divided into 10 sections: ableist, ageism, colonialism, culturally appropriative, gender-based, imprecise language, institutionalized racism, person-first, violent, and additional considerations. Each one seems to go farther afield and farther down the rabbit hole of #Woke insanity.
But, I’ll let the folks at Stamford’s own student newspaper, The Stamford Review provide a better preface to this:— “Big Brother is Watching You:
Stanford’s IT department recently launched its Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative, created by the Stanford CIO Council (CIOC) and People of Color in Technology (POC-IT). Stanford IT took a stab at putting together a master list of ‘harmful terms’ and suggested alternative phrases to use instead. Ironically, according to the guide, POC-IT should change its name, as people of color (used generically) is “imprecise language.” We at the Review are ballsy, therefore we’ve committed numerous violations of the ‘harmful language standard’ throughout the text — they are all bolded to show that we know the new rules, but choose to ignore them.
Stanford’s New ‘Harmful Language’ Guide”
Really, go read the article in its entirety! It’s a no holds barred, snarkilicious send-up of this idiocy and self-unaware insanity promulgated and seen to be enforced by the university’s administration. The ladies and gentlemen of the Review have done a laudable job of lampooning this attempt at newspeak.
But, While Laughable, This Is Well-Crafted Thought Policing
Humor is a fine weapon, if not the most effective on, against misused authority. But, even while laughing at the fools, one must respect their capacity to commit great harm. That’s important in cases like thought policing and speech control, especially when the guidelines thereof are, as in Stamford’s case, well-crafted from an indoctrination and social engineer standpoint.
It’s important to note that 10 sections: ableist, ageism, colonialism, culturally appropriative, gender-based, imprecise language, institutionalized racism, person-first, violent, and additional considerations – mixes terms that have long fallen out of the vernacular, e.g., spaz, retard, and Pocahontas, with the more egregious attempts to craft newspeak. Additionally, it category seems to go further and for more “esoteric” reasons in restricting and rewiring speech.
That’s actually how you achieve this sort of thing. You mix the either no longer popular or accepted already as offensive phrases in with, preferably near the beginning, with the more radical ideas. It builds acceptance in the subject’s mind by linking a certain level of equivalency between points. And then, you incrementally accelerate the process, as POC-IT has done in this document section by section, each building upon the ones before.
And some of their choices and rationale thereof are stupid and show an intrinsic bias based upon their preferred “demographics.”
Black Hat, White Hat, Grey Hat
Assigns negative connotations to the color black, racializing the term; Assigns value connotations based on color (white = good), an act which is subconsciously racialized; This term combines black hat and white hat, which both hold racial connotations.
Yeah, they just went with the colors involved – because Blacks are their preferred people and Whites are their preferred “oppressors.” Simple, easy, of far-reaching consequence… and ignorant and arguable racist. 😆
I mean, they could have gone with the the fact that Black Hat and White Hat both have their roots in the older American Westerns – movies which arguably romanticized our conquest of the West and eradication of the majority of the Amerindian Tribes. But they went with Black and White instead, which shows a specific bias and racial preference.
So too does those “esoteric” reasons as to why a world or phrase – e.g., rule of thumb – is to be deemed offensive and prohibited from use. It plays on the subject’s ignorance with the goal of them “realizing” that the word or phrase had at some point a dark history that the subject never knew about. This removes guilt from them for previous uses but instills guilt for future use and, given people egos, makes them more likely to call out others as much to show their knowledge of that bit of history as anything else.
But, since I brought it up, here’s a good example:
Rule Of Thumb
Although no written record exists today, this phrase is attributed to an old British law that allowed men to beat their wives with sticks no wider than their thumb.
Actually, this phrase originated during the Medieval period’s explosion of construction of cathedrals and castles. All measurements were predicated directly or indirectly upon the length of one person on the site’s thumb. It later became part of normal vernacular because millers tested the fineness and consistency of the flour the ground by rubbing it between their fingers and thumb.
So, not only is their rationale undocumented, as they admit, if it was used as measure in men beating their wives, this is a later use of a long established measurement.
But, if you “inform” people that it is associated with state sanction wife beating, some of them will go, “Oh fuck! I never knew that,” stop using the phrase, and cheerfully show off their “knowledge” by castigating others for using it in their presence, thereby extending the reach of the indoctrination.
So, while extremely laughable and even more extremely worthy of being pilloried, Stamford’s Harmful Speech regulations are, in fact, dangerous and Americans need to keep that firmly in mind.