March 16, 2004

Understatement of the Year

You know, I spend some time on this blog complaining--and rightly so, I believe--about the tyranny of speech codes that treat every non-verbal nuance and accidental bodily tic as deserving of death, but I have finally found a speech code that manages to find that capital murder is merely a violation of the racial harassment policy. From the Code of Student Conduct for Oklahoma State University at Stillwater:

Racial Harassment may be defined as: An unwelcome or hostile act or series of acts carried out on racial grounds.

This covers actions ranging from rudeness to murder, it is also aimed at individuals, groups or whole communities.

So if you kill someone at Stillwater, not only will you go to jail, you'll be (gasp, shudder) EXPELLED!

Sometimes those broad brushes? Not really helpful to the cause of justice much. Just sayin'.

I love Speechcodes.org. That site just keeps bringing the funny.

Posted by Big Arm Woman at March 16, 2004 10:32 AM
Comments

Yes, that juxtaposition is odd, but I think it's a descriptive rather than prescriptive. It describes the history of racial harassment which literally has included rudeness, murder and everything in between. I don't think it's an (obvious) instruction to not murder.

Sometimes the way lines are drawn in the law can appear very weird when viewed from a distance. At Davidson, for instance, picking up a lost penny is an Honor Code violation, but assault, battery, rape and murder aren't, even though they are far more dishonorable.

Posted by: Chris Martin at March 16, 2004 02:06 PM

I see a penny and I pick it up
It's not the money I could use the luck
And if it's face-down then I turn it over
Head for Wood Avenue between Inman and New Dover

Back in my home town

Gas is cheaper where I'm from
But the driving's not so good
People go and stay where they should not
And they don't do it like I would.

Work is not the same as before
More softwear hands in the hardware store

Oh Abraham look at all the money now
Oh Abraham good night
It's your party but
I'll cry if I want to
I wouldn't care how much they have
If they would only do what's right.

I was born by a Kerouac stream
Under Eisenhower skies
They say freedom as a big idea
Now it was right before my eyes ...

(recorded in Ohio off Radio Australia real audio 328kb )

a song about Abraham Lincoln and current leaders not measuring up. I don't know how that fits with the Honor Code at Davisdon, what with picking up the penny.

Gorka seems to be a pimply-faced whiner but this song is pretty nice, good poetry and lyrics.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at March 16, 2004 03:33 PM

If you like speechcodes.org, have you ever checked out www.tonguetied.us? I think you would enjoy that one as well.

Posted by: Heather at March 17, 2004 01:13 AM

That reminds me a bit of this Rowan Atkinson sketch:

Headmaster: Well, quite frankly, Tommy is in trouble. Recently his behaviour has left a great deal to be desired.

Mr Perkins: Dear.

Headmaster: He seems to take no interest in school life whatsoever. He refuses to muck in at the sports field. And it's weeks since any master has received any written work from him.

Mr Perkins: Oh, dear me.

Headmaster: Quite frankly, Mr Perkins, if he wasn't dead, I'd have him expelled.

Mr Perkins: I beg your pardon?

Headmaster: Yes, EXPELLED!

Posted by: Jim C. at March 17, 2004 02:22 AM