Based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Marquette University is now the latest site within the higher education community at which microaggressions and their supposed prevalence have been a focus.
The Marquette University Intercultural Center hosted a recent forum titled “Men to Men: Responding to Microaggressions and Why They Matter” — during which faculty members and students alike deemed the university’s seal a microaggression, as Campus Reform noted.
The seal in question depicts Father Jacques Marquette, the 17th-century Jesuit missionary and an explorer after whom the university is named.
Marquette also lived among various Great Lakes tribes for nine years while seeking to win their commitment to the Gospel, according to the school’s website.
The fact that the seal shows Marquette in a small boat that’s being paddled by a Native American is why counselor and forum facilitator Nicholas Jenkins is now in a tizzy.
“Do you know what the Marquette seal looks like? Is that a microaggression?” Jenkins asked the audience during his speech. The crowd apparently responded with enthusiastic cries of “Yes!”
LifeZette reached out to Jenkins for comment about how such an outsized focus on microaggressions could possibly help prepare students for the real world, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
A microaggression is a subtle but offensive comment or action directed at a minority or other nondominant group, according to dictionary.com — one that is often unintentional or unconsciously reinforces a stereotype.
But make no mistake: The ever-growing parlance of microaggressions is widely used by academics to suppress the free speech rights of conservatives on college campuses — and to revise history as we know it. The emphasis on microaggressions also perpetuates a culture of victimhood, especially among college students — and does little to get them ready for life beyond academia.
“Microaggressions and white privilege are post-modernist concepts contrived by race hustlers [who are] targeting America’s historically white Eurocentric dominance for extinction,” William Becker, the president, CEO, and chief counsel at Freedom X, a nonprofit law firm that supports conservative causes, told LifeZette. “They are subjective, and calculated to conceal and erase America’s white racial heritage on the premise that white dominance is an evil remnant, or reminder, of slavery in our country.”
Becker recently defended the constitutional rights of the University of Washington College Republicans in federal court. And he likened a microaggression to a “thought crime” in George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984” — which today is considered “hate speech.”
Added Becker, “The law, however, does not punish offensive speech or expression. At least at public universities, the First Amendment protects offensive speech and expression, including speech [that] emotionally tender students and their enabling faculty sympathizers may be triggered by” — even if that “offensive speech” takes the form of a seal showing a Christian missionary being led by a Native American.
Elizabeth Economou is a former CNBC staff writer and adjunct professor. Follow her on Twitter.
(photo credit, homepage image: Johnston Hall (Marquette University), CC BY-SA 3.0, by Matthew Hendricks, SCUMATT; photo credit, article image: Marquette University Alumni Memorial Union, CC BY 2.0, by scott feldstein)