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The University of Michigan 'language police' have a point

To the editor: Jonah Goldberg ridicules the University of Michigan's "Inclusive Language Campaign," an effort to discourage students from using language offensive to historically persecuted and marginalized minorities. ("The University of Michigan's tolerance problem," op-ed, Feb. 16)

In so doing, Goldberg cherry-picks a few of the least offensive terms included on the list of 12 disfavored expressions, including "that's retarded," "tranny," "that's so gay" and "I want to die." He omits far more offensive terms, including "faggot," "towelhead" and the notorious N-word.

Goldberg's omissions speak volumes. He evidently can't bring himself to admit that free speech should be balanced with sensitivity to historically oppressed groups.

Where our universities nobly strive to instill ideals of social equality in students, let them err on the side of inclusion.

Devra Mindell, Santa Monica

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