After working at Iowa State for over 9 years, I feel obliged to write this. But I should warn the reader that the following would probably be considered “hate speech” in Canada, despite hatred having no motivation in its writing. Fortunately we are still somewhat free in the United States. Being forced to buy low-flush toilets, non-incandescent light bulbs and health insurance is the exception rather than the rule. We still have the First Amendment.
First, a quiz. Which of the following are good? Diversity. Discrimination. Sustainability. If you believe that diversity and sustainability are good, and discrimination is bad, congratulations! You have already been indoctrinated. Welcome to thought control, ISU style.
All three words are neutral. Diversity consisting of an axe murderer, a rapist and a bank robber is not what most students want on their dorm floor. Iowa State discriminates on the basis of sex when it comes to athletics. Sustained winds over 100 mph would wreak havoc on campus. But at Iowa State, these words are code for politically correct (or incorrect) beliefs. Take sustainability. A possible one- or two-degree temperature increase a hundred years from now is cause for panic, but an unsustainable federal deficit that could collapse our economy in a few years is ignored.
A vibrant, living university requires the free discussion of ideas. Some actions may offend people, even when no offense is intended. Certain departments at Iowa State do not put up Christmas trees because of complaints from atheists. But the zodiac on the floor of the Memorial Union causes far more annoyance, judging by the masses afraid to walk over it. Why has it not been removed? In both cases, we should appreciate our right to be annoyed, instead of attributing malice where none exists.
For example, the Department of Residence displays “free condom” buckets. This annoys me, treating our students like trained monkeys unable to control their passions. I am sure these buckets also bother many visiting parents who hold their children to higher standards. Unfortunately, abstinence before marriage is not a politically correct view, despite being the only method 100 percent effective in preventing sexually transmitted diseases. Our students are actively encouraged to settle for less than the best, but I do not attribute this to malice on the part of DOR.
As another example, consider a man who thinks he is a pirate and wants to cut off his hand, replacing it with a hook. This is not hypothetical; research “alien limb syndrome.” We would try to help and cure that man for his own good. Now what about the man who wants to become a woman? Why do we try to cure one but celebrate the other?
No one has yet explained why all forms of love are equally valid, whether heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, polygamous, or involving pedophilia, bestiality, incest, necrophilia or any of the letters in the gender alphabet soup. Is it really best not to discuss the ramifications of such an idea? Here at Iowa State though, people questioning the above have been called bigots. Meanwhile, students suffer.
Political correctness has run amok at Iowa State, stifling dissent. Diversity is fought for in all areas except thought, creating a suffocating environment for those who want to think, question and test everything. Nonetheless, I am hopeful. As long as students are willing to speak out and not blindly follow indoctrination, Iowa State can regain the stellar reputation it had when I was a student here in the '80s.