by Alan Saulinsky Ph.D.
In an attempt to encourage and promote a climate of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the Subcommittee on the Regulation of Speech and Harassment of the Presidential Task Force on Campus Climate has been reassembled in order to expand upon the definition of off-campus. This definition establishes where the Cornell University speech code will be enforced. Speaking about the expansion, an infamous Dean on the subcommittee crowed, Not only are we going to New Hampshire…we’re going to South Carolina and Oklahoma and Arizona and North Dakota and New Mexico, and we’re going to California and Texas and New York. … And we’re going to South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan, and then we’re going to Washington, D.C. In fact, the definition of off-campus, which is where the Cornell University speech code will be enforced, now includes the entire United States.
The reassembled subcommittee was also asked to reimagine the First Amendment, which currently states in violent and noninclusive language that is hurtful to people from historically marginalized communities:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Taking into consideration, the recent disclosure that Cornell was founded upon and perpetuates various injustices, including settler colonialism, indigenous dispossession, slavery, racism, classism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, antisemitism, and ableism, the members of the reassembled subcommittee realized that to reverse these various injustices, the First Amendment must be strengthened to prevent offensive, triggering, and harassing speech. Examples of offensive, triggering, and harassing language include, but are not limited to, the denial of climate change and misgendering of someone by using the incorrect and perhaps daily-changing, pronouns.
The reassembled subcommittee, which seeks to address and repair the harms caused by these intersecting forms of oppression, has proposed a rewording of the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion except for the nonsecular religion of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; or abridging the freedom of speech, unless it is felt to be offensive and harassing to people with historically underrepresented acronym-laden identities and intersectionalities, including but not limited to BIPOC and LGBTQ+ peoples, and people who hold university-sanctioned beliefs regarding settled science, or of the press, unless such press is deemed racist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, or a denier of climate change (e.g., Fox News and the New York Post); or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and burn down buildings, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances, although speaking truth to power by highly-paid speakers at universities is the preferred method.
While still working on the reimagining of the next nine amendments, the members of the reassembled subcommittee realized that the Bill of Rights itself should be renamed, and they unanimously proposed to call it the Bill of Lefts.