USC puts a professor on leave because snowflakes can't handle a Chinese word
Political correctness at American colleges and universities is so over the top that it's moved beyond parody. At the University of Southern California, a professor at the Marshall School of Business was explaining to students that different countries have different filler words — that is, meaningless words that, um, people use in their speech when, uh, they're stuck. The Chinese filler word sounded so much like the word that shall not be named that it drove the black MBA students to paroxysms of grief major enough that the professor had to be put on leave.
This video shows Professor Greg Patton's crime:
Did you catch that? In China, said Patton, when they need a filler word, they say something that sounds like "nay-geh" (or, in the phonetic alphabet, "nèi ge"). Thus, in China, my sample sentence in the first paragraph might read: "That is, meaningless words that, nèi ge, people use in their speech when, nèi ge, they're stuck." It turns out that the professor might have mispronounced the word. It doesn't matter, though, because the black students were now victims, and they were rolling with it.
National Review was able to obtain a copy of the email that "Black MBA Candidates c/o 2022" send to the USC administration:
"It was confirmed that the pronunciation of this word is much different than what Professor Patton described in class," the students wrote. "The word is most commonly used with a pause in between both syllables. In addition, we have lived abroad in China and have taken Chinese language courses at several colleges and this phrase, clearly and precisely before instruction is always identified as a phonetic homonym and a racial derogatory term, and should be carefully used, especially in the context of speaking Chinese within the social context of the United States."
The students accused the professor of displaying "negligence and disregard" in using the word and said he "conveniently stop[ped] the zoom recording right before saying the word," calling his actions calculated.
"Our mental health has been affected," the group continued. "It is an uneasy feeling allowing him to have the power over our grades. We would rather not take his course than to endure the emotional exhaustion of carrying on with an instructor that disregards cultural diversity and sensitivities and by extension creates an unwelcome environment for us Black students."
The students added that the incident "has impacted our ability to focus adequately on our studies."
"No matter what way you look at this, the word was said multiple times today in three different instances and has deeply affected us. In light of the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and the recent and continued collective protests and social awakening across the nation, we cannot let this stand," the group concluded, before calling for an immediate remedy to the situation.
For normal people, it would take a heart of stone or a communist's sense of humor not to fall on the floor screaming with laughter after reading that missive. At USC, though, the administration is in thrall to political correctness and the paranoia that has now infected all campus administrators who are afraid of being the next people to be called out by the Red Guard.
Rather than pointing these emotionally handicapped students to the nearest exit, Dean Geoff Garrett humbly apologized to the students, acknowledging their "great pain and upset" and confessing that he was "deeply saddened by this disturbing episode that has caused such anguish and trauma." His administration immediately tossed the professor out of the classroom.
Almost worse than Garrett's groveling was what Professor Patton did. Patton should have told these losers to auto-fornicate. Instead, he too groveled, confessing his sins. He's now about to undergo re-education.
When I was at law school, in my first-year torts class, the professor called upon an incredibly shy young man and put him on the spot about a torts case involving a hysterectomy gone wrong. The man tried to avoid technical words for the female anatomy or mumbled them softly.
The professor called him out, not meanly, but firmly: "You're an adult now, and you're training to become a lawyer in the real world, with real cases. You must be prepared to deal with the facts of the cases that come to you. This is not the place for embarrassment." And that was that. The young man, incidentally, went on to become a wildly successful defender of gun rights and other American principles.
Whatever it is that USC's MBA students are being trained for, it's not the real world.
Thomas Lifson adds:
This is just plain wrong about conversational Chinese:
The word is most commonly used with a pause in between both syllables. In addition, we have lived abroad in China and have taken Chinese language courses at several colleges
If you look it up in a dictionary, yes, there is a pause between syllables. But in conversational usage, as a filler, there is no pause. I know this because I have heard it used a lot that way for decades, and early on, I noticed the homonym nature of its usage.
Image: USC professor Greg Patton.