Stanford Administration Tries to Walk Back ‘Harmful Language’ List

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Stanford University administration is walking back its stated desire to remove certain words from its website and computer code.

News broke recently that Stanford had instigated a project designed to eliminate harmful language within the IT department.

The list of words that were targeted was recently published, and contained several shocking examples of potentially offensive words.

READ: STANFORD HATES AMERICA: UNIVERSITY SEEKS TO ELIMINATE THE TERM ‘AMERICAN’ CLAIMING IT’S ‘HARMFUL’

“American” was far from the only example, however.

The report also stated that innocuous terms like ”grandfather” and ”white paper” could also be harmful.

READ: STANFORD UNIVERSITY DEEMS ‘GRANDFATHER,’ ‘BRAVE’ AND ‘WHITE PAPER’ AS HARMFUL WORDS

Justifiably, Stanford received criticism and push back for claiming that basic conversational terms could be deemed dangerous.

Now, it seems that the criticism paid dividends, as university leaders distanced themselves from the report.

The San Francisco Standard reported that Stanford’s President issued a statement on the harmful language list.

“In a statement sent to the Stanford community on Wednesday, President Marc Tessier-Lavigne wrote that the list of terms, which included commonly spoken phrases like ‘you guys’ and ‘American,’ did not reflect official university policy.”

Stanford University Campus
View towards Stanford campus, Palo Alto and Menlo Park, Dumbarton bridge and San Francisco Bay. (Getty Images)

Stanford Claims They Support ‘Academic Freedom’

The statement continued, with Tessier-Lavigne claiming that the group’s conclusions wouldn’t be used to censor speech at the university.

“Many have expressed concern that the work of this group could be used to censor or cancel speech at Stanford,” Tessier-Lavigne wrote. “I want to assure you this is not the case. From the beginning of our time as Stanford leaders, [Provost Persis Drell] and I have vigorously affirmed the importance and centrality of academic freedom and the rights of voices from across the ideological and political spectrum to express their views at Stanford.”

While it’s encouraging to see that pressuring institutions to back away from woke progressive policies can have some effect, this statement isn’t entirely accurate.

Professor Jay Bhattacharya has been a vocal opponent of many COVID policies that Stanford openly supported. Instead of defending his right to express his views, they virtually shut down debate.

READ: STANFORD PROFESSOR WHO CHALLENGED COVID POLICIES SAYS ‘ACADEMIC FREEDOM IS DEAD’

Similarly, Dr. Scott Atlas was demonized by his colleagues for associating with the Trump Administration and contradicting COVID consensus.

In both cases, health policy experts made evidence based arguments that have since been proven right. But Stanford showed no interest in defending the ”rights of voices” who spoke out in defense of individual liberty and focused protection.

It seems extremely unlikely that university administration would have ever denounced this list or objected to its conclusions without receiving substantial public pressure.

Like many of their ideology, the results are never cause for concern, no matter how absurd. The concern is getting caught.

Written by Ian Miller

Ian Miller is a former award watching high school actor, ice cream expert and long suffering Dodgers fan. He spends most of his time golfing, eating as much pizza as humanly possible, reading about World War I history, and trying to get the remote back from his dog. Follow him on Twitter.

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