In “Coming to America,” an awesome 1988 comedy, Eddie Murphy plays a wealthy African prince who takes a job at a fast food restaurant in Queens, New York called McDowell’s. As the owner, Cleo McDowell, tells Murphy, McDowell’s is not to be confused with McDonald’s.
Yes, the logos are strikingly similar. McDonald’s has the Golden Arches. McDowell’s has the Golden Arcs. Similarly, says Cleo, McDonald’s has the Big Mac. McDowell’s has the Big Mic.
“They both got two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions. But they use a sesame seed bun,” Cleo explains. “My buns have no seeds.”
The University of Oregon has now craftily taken a page from Cleo’s playbook by changing the name of its much-criticized “Bias Response Team” to the new, similarly-Orwellian-sounding “Bias Education and Response Team.”
Just like the Bias Response Team, Oregon’s newly-rechristened Bias Education and Response Team will exist to allow students to anonymously report any statements or actions they find offensive to administrators, according to Campus Reform.
The name change came after the release of the taxpayer-funded Bias Response Team’s 2014-2015 incident report.
One of the “bias” incidents from the 2014-15 academic year concerned The Daily Emerald, Oregon’s campus newspaper. Someone anonymously claimed to be greatly offended because the independent student newspaper wasn’t providing sufficient coverage to the causes of transgender students.
Did the Bias Response Team investigate that the student-run newspaper wasn’t teeming with stories about transgender students? Apparently yes!
Other highlights among the 85 incidents actually investigated by the Bias Response Team during the 2014-15 academic year include a “sexist” sign in a dorm asking students to clean up their messes, a “triggering image” on a poster related to body weight, a “culturally appropriative themed party” and a student who tried to “purposefully avoid” another especially tender reed of a student “in a biased manner.” (RELATED: The Daily Caller Presents: ATROCIOUS Colleges For Free Speech)
A number of professors have raised questions about the Bias Response Team’s investigations, saying such investigations are in effect efforts to police thoughts and speech which have the potential to chill classroom discussions and academic freedom.
“People are afraid to speak up” in opposition to the Bias Response Team, journalism professor Kyu Ho Youm said, according to Campus Reform. “Being offended is part of intellectual growth,” Youm explained, and the Bias Response Team has allowed students to be coddled when they encounter things they don’t like.
“The faculty needs to regain oversight of what the administration is doing here,” University or Oregon economics professor Bill Harbaugh told the Emerald in July. “It’s important for administrators to discuss things that could be reported, and make sure that we don’t leave them with responsibility for determining policy on what is taught in class.”
Going forward, a faculty task force will oversee the newly-named Bias Education and Response Team. A pair of professors — math professor Chris Sinclair and journalism professor Chris Chavez — will be in charge of the task force.
However, despite the name change and the new system of faculty oversight, there is no evidence that the Bias Education and Response Team will actually investigate complaints of bias any differently.
On the bright side, the now-named Bias Education and Response Team has revised its mission statement. The new mission statement explains that the taxpayer-funded administrative group’s “fundamental role” is to “respond to situations that affect the larger University of Oregon community through education about current and historical issues surrounding bias.”
Sinclair, the math professor on the faculty task force, said he expects the Bias Education and Response Team to operate with “a more transparent and structured policy,” according to Campus Reform.
In 2015, the state of Oregon spent more than $80,000 in taxpayer money on a two-day diversity conference focusing on “white privilege” and “microaggressions.” Government employees from 21 different agencies attended lectures and workshops tackling topics such as “biases and stereotypes related to food” and whether homosexuality is a racial issue. (RELATED: Oregon Spent Over $80,000 In Taxpayer Money On White Privilege Conference)
America’s most famous Bias Incident Response Team exists on the campus of Dartmouth College. In January 2013, an unidentified student at Dartmouth allegedly walked past two students, made eye contact and spoke a bunch of gibberish that the students perceived as mock Chinese. The Ivy League school’s Bias Incident Response Team — and the school’s Department of Safety and Security — then sprung into action. However, as far as The Daily Caller knows, that student remains a fugitive. (RELATED: Dartmouth Student Who Spoke ‘Mock Chinese’ Remains On The Lam)