A Translation of the Obama Administration’s Letter to America’s Universities

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan penned an op-ed for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in which he sympathizes with the protesters at Yale and Mizzou. After I recovered from the dizziness this caused me, I decided to take the most important portions of his piece and translate them for any non-liberal who may be wondering what exactly Duncan means.

Duncan: “Make ‘teachable moments.’ Shining a light on issues while recognizing the worth of all students can help heal and create a sense of community on campuses. Protecting free speech can sometimes mean protecting the right to hold and express views that are at odds with strongly held values. Campuses should not ignore the dissonance this creates, but use these moments to reflect, discuss and underscore the institution’s values independent of expressed views that may be anathema to those values.”

Translation: Because we are not allowed under the Constitution of the United States to apply duct tape to the mouths of those with whom we disagree–I think it’s in an amendment or something–the next best option is to publicly shame those who express opinions that fall out of line with our divine doctrine. Let’s call these “teachable moments.” These moments will shine an industrial UV light on our vampiric enemies until they either disintegrate completely, or learn to shut the **** up.

Duncan: “Diversify leadership and faculty. Diversity is critical to ensuring academic and social success. Diversity fosters a climate of healthy interaction among people from different groups, contributing to varied experiences, and ensuring students feel welcomed.”

Translation: Fire all White and Asian faculty–maybe keep a token of each–and fill their positions with Blacks and Latinos, regardless of their academic qualifications. The new, darker-skinned faculty will be a calming presence to our majestic and hallowed students, which will more than make up for any educational deficiencies that may come as a result of these diversity alterations. The next generation doesn’t need to be smart, they only need to be inclusive.

Duncan: “Support student-led efforts. Students can serve as experts on their lived experiences, helping to make colleges and universities safe spaces.”

Translation: Acquiesce to every demand made by these beautiful and sacred minds. Use their magnificent opinions to mold universities into massive happiness centers in which every student is ensconced by his, her, or zir’s singular worldview. In these student-made edens, any accusation of a racial, misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic, or transphobic nature shall be considered sacrosanct, and subject to no scrutiny. Those at whom the accusations are lobbed should be expelled without question or legal recourse.

Duncan: “Teach cultural competency. Cultural competency is a core message that colleges and universities should be teaching (and learning) as a foundational component of what it means to be an educated American.”

Translation: Mandate that any student who would dissent from the prescribed narrative attend “cultural competency” classes in which they will be told how deeply and intrinsically bad they are. It is vitally important for a culturally sensitive society to shatter the spirit of dissenters by beating into them the idea that they are the problem, and that minority students are always the victim, no matter the situation.

Duncan: “Institute a statement of values.”

Translation: Tell them what they are allowed to think and say.