Ethics Dunce: Washington University in St. Louis

Halloween prank

Before we leave the topic of the ravages of political correctness and the excessive fear of  grievance bullies, let’s pause to ask the administrators of Washington University in St. Louis…What’s wrong with you?

On October 30, several students posted a photo (that’s it on the left) on Facebook costumed as three U.S. soldiers pointing super-soakers at another student dressed as Osama bin Laden, with a fifth student holding a large American flag as a backdrop. Several things are not in doubt. 1. This was a Halloween stunt. 2. Osama bin Laden masks and costumes have been relatively common since Halloween 2002, as have been all historical villains in U.S. history since Halloween became a tradition. 3. There is nothing wrong with that. 4. An Osama bin Laden costume  is in no way, shape or form an insult to Muslims. 5. Osama bin Laden himself was an insult to Muslims.

Notwithstanding all this, a typical grievance bully on campus named  Mahroh Jahangiri, was determined to flex her muscles on behalf of her religion and make innocent fellow-students knuckle under and bow to her will. Maybe she thought they’d even let her speak at the next Democratic national convention, who knows? She posted a screen shot of the photo on her website, and wrote,

“This photo makes a costume of the lives of the thousands of civilian Muslim men who have been murdered during our ‘War on Terror’ and the countless others who have been mutilated, robbed, and stabbed to death in hate crimes across the United States. This is disgusting and cannot be tolerated on this campus. There are very few Muslim students on this campus, and our voice is not loud enough. For those of you who had not heard of this until now, now you have. What are we going to do to change this?”

The proper way to handle this would have been for the student body and others to put her firmly in her place for a demented rant that is unequivocally anti-American, and mark her as a hysteric with a perspective that would be generous to call “warped.” Is Osama bib Laden, the murderer of innocent Americans, now a legitimate representation of all Muslim men? Great, thanks, good to know and information we can use. “Countless” Muslims have been mutilated, robbed, and stabbed to death in hate crimes across the United States” ? What is that countless number, and where’s your justification for slandering your country and fellow citizens ?

The student’s objection is about as persuasive as a German-American objecting to students mocking Hitler on Halloween in 1946, which is to say, not at all. The current President of the United States repeatedly boasted about his role in killing bin Laden, and used that boast as a campaign asset. Yet five grinning students re-enacting the event with colorful super-soakers on Halloween is “aggressive (and apparently violent) Islamophobia”? Get some help, grow up, shut up, and leave us alone. You’re the offensive one here, not them.

So, naturally, the administrators of Washington University sided with her 100%.

In a statement signed by Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton, Provost H. Holden Thorp and Vice Chancellor for Students Sharon Stahl, the college’s leaders declared that were “disappointed and saddened” over the incident, and  was “looking into the posting of the photo.”

“Whatever the intention, the image has offended and hurt members of our community. The image also is entirely inconsistent with who we are as an institution, our values and the way in which we engage in the world around us,” it said in part. Also naturally, the campus’ Muslim Students Association was planning an open forum Thursday night to discuss the issue.

“Who we are,” in the case of those who run the university, are apparently cowardly, confused, un-American, foolish, and lacking common sense as well as proportion, and exactly the kind of pusillanimous officials that allow hysterics, power-mongers, race-baiters and outliers to strangle free speech and logic on campuses and everywhere else.

If I were a student, I’d leave. Nobody can get a useful education jaw-droppingly silly leadership.cation in such an incompetently run institution, with such incompetent leadership. Leave Washington University in St. Louis to Muslims who think American college students should avoid offending those who identify with terrorists.

33 thoughts on “Ethics Dunce: Washington University in St. Louis

  1. “Whatever the intention-” Are there more chilling words to hear from a person in authority? Intent doesn’t matter. Mens Rea doesn’t matter. The level of sensitivity of the complainant doesn’t matter. The obvious context of the event doesn’t matter. Because the concept of bullying and the spectre of being called racist/sexist/something-ist combine to terrify the people of this country, INTENT DOESN’T MATTER. You are guilty because someone says you hurt their feelings, full stop.

      • Yep. That’s what I absolutely hated about any college argument- “Racist,” “Sexist,” “Check your privelige,” and more- all conversational A-bombs, because if you argue you are put on the defense, distracted from the original point, and still convicted by virtue of hurting feelings.

    • No, because mocking Hitler is trivializing the Holocaust which offends Jews and Roma and Gays, etc- you still get in trouble with mocking Hitler, Germans just don’t get to complain. Catholics either, even if we did get Holocausted.

  2. Pretty much everybody is scared blind of the “peace-loving, tolerant eco-friendly” Muslims. Mostly, because they are afraid that if you tell them to sit down and shut up, you’ll get your head blown off (or separated from your shoulders with a machete).

  3. “This photo and its ‘Amurrica’ caption imply that ‘Amurrica’ is white (male) Americans; people with beards, or of darker color, or implicitly Muslims, are not,” Jahangiri wrote. “This photo implies that not only are Muslims not American, their lives are expendable.”

    This may be a good lesson on the difference between “imply” and “infer”.

    • She’s not using them wrong- the photo would imply a meaning, the viewer would infer a meaning.

      Unless you mean that the photo isn’t actually implying what she claims, and those meanings are only in her interpretation. In that case, see what Steve-O and I are talkign about above. If she SAYS the photo implies racism, then it does. If the guys in the photo say they didn’t do anythign racist she can say “no, but you IMPLY racism. Making fun of Bin Laden is CODE for hating all Muslims.” Game set and match.

    • Luke…I’m with you. She says the photo implies many things which I believe any reasonable person would not. Either she is just stirring the pot or needs therapy.

  4. Jack, This is a perfect example of an instance where I love the Non-Apology Apology: I am sorry if you are offended. If someone pretends to be injured, I will pretend to apologize to them. The apology perfectly matches the injury.

  5. The concept of the university as a center for independent thought, investigation, study, and speech is long gone. Now the ‘university” is simply a hotbed of moronic political correctness, and administrations so desperate for students that they’ll go to any lengths to support/attract them.

    As for the University’s “apology” for possibly ‘offending’ a student, this is cowardice in the extreme. And if you ask me, any Muslim who is offended by a joke about bin Laden — a terrorist, not a religious leader — ought to be just a bit more precise about what offended her. She supports bin Laden? She’s glad he’s dead but joking about him offends the religion he thought he represented? We are constantly told that Muslims are, generally, a peaceful group who only want to pursue their beliefs — though the religion itself it does abuse/offend/control women and promises male martyrs to it 70 (?) virgins when they get to heaven (which creates a fair amount of cognitive dissonance in we thinking non-Muslim people).

    By the way, I’d love to know why and how Mayroh Jahanjiri ended up at Wash U in the United States. A convert? Or from a family that simply couldn’t live in the totalitarian atmosphere of Muslim states? Maybe they moved here to protect her from the basics of the religion, its treatment and attitude toward women, and to give her an education and the opportunity for free speech. Good use of same, Mayroh…

    P.S. Mayroh, girl. Are you prepared to defend and prove your statement your statement about the “thousands of civilian Muslims” who have been murdered, mutilated, stabbed to death, etc., etc. in the US. Jeez, (oops, that’s a slang reference to a DIFFERENT religion!!! Can’t do that, can I?) but I haven’t heard anything about this, and though I don’t trust the media, would love to see the stats. Any by the way, the term “civilian Muslims” says it all, in my opinion.

    • The “Thousands of civilian Muslims” are hiding in the same place as the huge number- was it thousands again?- of lynchings that Oprah claimed happened. If you call that number out as obvious BS you are a racist and a bigot, because what number of murders do YOU think is OK?

      • Eeyoure….no need to conceal. Take a squirt gun. That’ll let them know you mean business! But it has to be a big neon squirt gun.

      • No numbers are okay. Just want a little honesty, a bit of credibility, and some stats to prove that those assertions are true. As an American living for years with lies and half-truths, is it unfair to ask a burgeoning “academic” to back up her assertions? I am just sick to death of over-the-top assertions that are believed to be true just because they’ve been posited. Witness the pathetic Obama “apology.” The greatest nation in the world is going to hell because no one, NO ONE is ever held accountable for their words or their actions. Checking out.

        • I’m not actually asking you that, but it’s the response faced by anyone who asks people to back up ridiculous assertions. They can throw out an inaccurate number to get an emotional response, but if you challenge them on facts they turn it around and make you the bad guy.

          • Luke: Name of the game these days. We’ve become so inured by a (variously) prejudiced news media that it’s seeped over into all of society. “I say it’s so so it is so.” And we’re populated by enough morons to buy it.

            When it comes to academic administrations, more should be required. But it is not. So who’s running these much-vaunted institutions? And is it any wonder that more and more parents and young people are blowing off the long-respected BA, MBA, PhD and going straight to institutions that will actually teach them skills instead of drilling them into unthinking conformists?

            And, by the way, an Administration led by a liar and populated by sychophants doesn’t help much, does it? I’m STILL waiting for someone to ask why the Obamacare website was sole-sourced to a Canadian company when we have the best cyber techs in the world right here. A young friend of my son’s told me that four students put together a website in three days that would handle 50,000 requests a day… But I guess Canada needed the $660 million… CANADA????? Can’t be seen as anti-Canadian, I know, but the question remains: what has Canada contributed to cyber technology?

            Finally (this IS addictive, and should be banned) an anecdote: For years I worked for a DC think tank, and every month we had “brown bag’ lunches with members of various Administrative departments. Once, the Secretary of HHS came, and in the course of his comments told us the HHS budget alone was as large as the 9th largest national budget in the world, and far outweighed any other portion of the US national budget. In conversation with my father (a pacifist and uninformed liberal who just hates the military, tho it has defended his life and country countless times) I relayed this information. His response: “I don’t believe it! He lied to you. The military gets all the money!” I only suggested that the Secretary of HHS had no cause to tell us such a lie, and that he (my Dad) could get a copy (free) of the US budget and check for himself. Too much trouble, apparently, because he’d rather stick with his uninformed ideas (ideals) than find the truth. And I don’t think he’s an anomaly in our general population; do you? (I was, as you might expect, the “lying bad guy” in this exchange.) So if this happens in personal conversations, any wonder why anyone who asks for real facts from members of the public sector is ipso facto prejudiced, mean, and a bad guy?

      • See for an answer. The second Iraq war was sold to us as part of the war on terror.

        As regards deaths within the US, she didn’t say “thousands”, though it’s fair to describe “countless others” as hyperbole.

        Was it clear to everyone who saw the picture that it was intended to represent Osama bin Laden and not some Abu Ghraib prisoner?

        Would the students have been so keen to celebrate an extra-judicial execution if the deceased had not been a Muslim? Quite possibly if not probably. Is there enough doubt to raise the question? Yes.

        I haven’t checked the citation on this, but Wikipedia does have a reference for “between 1882 and 1968, the Tuskegee Institute recorded 1,297 lynchings of whites as well as the 3,446 lynchings of African Americans during that period”. Why is that “obvious BS”?

    • Elizabeth, I wish you were a student at that university, and would attend that Muslim Students Association forum (if it happens). I wish that SOMEONE would go to that meeting and use what you have said here. Students might attend who need more education than they think they need. I hope the guys who did the photo will show up there, as well as the over-educated nitwits who put out that signed statement.

      I am so pissed-off about this, I am about to go stalking some local Muslim Student Associations…to pursue the making of some points to some people…about how incivility gets disguised as civility; how civility gets perverted to enable incivility; how incivility leads to more incivility, not more civility, and how phony obsessions with civility on campuses is the “due diligence” of cowardly, pathologically petty, malicious, destructive germs in the body of a sick, dying, death-wishing society – a soon-to-be-lost “civilization.”

      I’m also readying to burn copies of campus speech codes on campuses, on camera, mic-on.

      With appropriate concealed weaponry.

    • There are plenty of places (administrated over and populated entirely by Muslims) where this outraged young lady would get a face full of ACID for daring to attend any kind of school at all, especially considering that she dares to expose her scandalous woman-devil chin.

      But sure, Halloween costumes and super-soakers= outrage. First world Muslim problems.

  6. I am ashamed to see two such prominent chemists bow to political correctness. Come on, Holden. It’s Halloween and you know there isn’t anything wrong with this.

  7. Just what good Muslims need right now.
    Another reason to hate them.
    Way to go, Mahroh Jahangi!!!!!!!!
    You’re a credit to your people.

  8. Big neon squirt guns!! Seriously. The guys in the picture are using neon squirt guns! If these squirt guns were not present in this photo, I wonder if this girl would feel that the picture would still incite violence against Muslims? I think the answer here is to obviously ban squirt guns. The big neon scary looking kind.

    • No, you can’t ban them. Their purchase should be restricted to people aged 21 or over. There should be a 5 day ‘cooling off period before such a super squirter can be purchased. There also needs to be a purchase permit required with a time period to allow community input to make sure this person is responsible enough to be allowed to acquire such a weapon. The volume of water allowed in the squirter should be severely limited, to minimize the amount of wetness that could be caused before reloading by an unstable person should the decide to go on a rampage. Purchasers will be registered, monitored, and may be required to demonstrate proper prior and continuing training on the proper use of the super squirter.

      However, if you can put a liquid in the squirter that will cause the abortion of a pregnancy, then the restrictions will only apply to men trying to purchase super squirters. In such a case, super squirters will be stocked by all schools, universities, and health departments and will be given anonymously at no cost to any female over the age of 9 on demand with no questions and no records kept.

      • Oh come on! You Leftist emotionalizer.

        Everyone knows the difference between Hunting Squirt Guns and Assault Squirt Guns is purely cosmetic. They function exactly the same. Hollywood has hyped up mainstream fear of the so-called Assault Squirt Guns so that eventually the government can outright ban them.

        • Let’s not forget that the Founders clearly meant single-spray squirt guns that cannot be pumped (like high powered Super-soakers) when the Bill of Rights was written…

          • The text is clear sir:

            “An unruly and disorganized mob, being necessary for the entertainment of a fun State, the right of the children to keep and bear squirt guns shall not be infringed.”

            There is no other way to interpret it except as an absolute. Don’t go all activist judge on me now.

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