University Of Michigan ‘Inclusive Language Campaign’ Banned Words List Sparks Free Speech Debate

The University of Michigan recently released a banned words list as part of its $16,000 “inclusive language” campaign on campus. The move, which many are deeming an infringement on free speech, is reportedly designed to teach students that “certain words are considered offensive.”

Inclusive Language Campaign posters now dot the landscape at the University of Michigan. The posters “warn” students on the Ann Arbor campus not to use words such as, illegal alien, crazy, insane, retarded, “tranny,” gay, gypped, “fag,” ghetto, and “raghead,” according to a The College Fix report.

The University of Michigan also does not want students using phrases like, like “I want to die” and “that test raped me.” University spokesman Rick Fitzgerald said that the Inclusive Language campaign seeks to “address campus climate by helping individuals understand that their words can impact someone and to encourage individuals to commit to creating a positive campus community.” Firtzgerald also added, “This program is intended to be educational, not regulatory. We hope there is only the understanding that we all participate in, and have the power to influence campus culture.”

University of Michigan students have also reportedly been urged to sign an Inclusive Language pledge promising to follow the new speech and phrasing guidelines on campus. By signing the pledge and essentially casting aside their First Amendment rights, the students vow that they “understand the importance of using inclusive language.”

university of michigan

Kidada Malloy, a University of Michigan student who helps promote the Inclusive Language (ILC) program on campus said the project “is a great program because it will improve the day-to-day language of students on campus by providing education around words that are offensive,” in an interview with the Michigan Daily.

ILC’s Facebook page shares a host of “inclusion-based material,” quotes, personal stories, and a video that instructs University of Michigan students on how to address another person by the correct pronouns. The Inclusive Language Campaign functions in conjunction with two other campus initiatives, Expect Respect and Change It Up! Both of the university programs instruct students on how address each other both in and out of the classroom.The significant amount of money spent on the University of Michigan’s Inclusive Language campaign has also irritated some students and parents. Tuition as the school has increased for the past two years.

What do you think about the University of Michigan Inclusive Language Campaign? Is is an infringement upon free speech rights?

[Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images and The College Fix]