To the editor: 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? ("UC system going the wrong way on free speech," editorial, June 24)
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
To the editor: 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
To the editor: 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 nanny-state propaganda that makes mountains out of political-correctness molehills.
Sandra Perez, Santa Maria, Calif.