September 11, 2015

Not a Parody

Trigger warning: I'm about to mention the words "Oklahoma" and "Sooners." (Your safe space is provided here.)

It turns out that "the former Sooner Mosaic: Social Justice Symposium dropped the 'Sooner' from its title in May after feedback from students and faculty revealed that many did not like the word in its title," The Oklahoma Daily reports.
Kasey Catlett, assistant director of LGBTQ and health programs at the OU Women’s Outreach Center, said that, being a student-based organization with its justice-oriented nature, the center wanted to make sure all voices were being heard. After much criticism regarding the name, it eventually dropped "Sooner" from the symposium's name. ... 
"We do not want anything to take away or distract from the purpose of the organization, which is for students to be heard or share their research or their work in social justice," said Kathy Moxley, the director of the OU Women's Outreach Center. 
The controversy over the name comes from the historical context of the word "Sooner," and according to Catlett and Moxley. 
"We understand that there are different feelings on the title, but since the symposium is about all different voices being heard, we really just wanted to be responsive to that," Moxley said. “What’s important in our title is Mosaic, because this campus is a mosaic of people and voices coming together as a whole, and that’s what this is about.” 
"Sooners" refer to the people who prematurely rushed to acquire land in Oklahoma before they were legally allowed to during the Land Rush in 1889.
Of course, the case can be made that "Sooner" isn't even the most offensive word on campus. As George Will pointed out last week in The Washington Post ("Out with ‘Redskins’—and everything else!"), "We have a new national passion for moral and historical hygiene, a determination to scrub away remembrances of unpleasant things, such as the name Oklahoma, which is a compound of two Choctaw words meaning 'red' and 'people.'"

As the campus left continues to devour itself, we await the day when "Oklahoma Sooners" is impermissible speech in Norman. In the meantime, I'm afraid no trigger warning will be sufficient to protect the little snowflakes from this.

UPDATE:  Citing "transgenerational trauma," the group Sooner Mental Health will drop the term "Sooner" from its name, The Oklahoma Daily reports. "Sooner Mental Health is one of many groups that have removed 'Sooner' from its names, including LGBTQ Ally and OU Students for Social Justice." It has been suggested that people who see "microaggressions" everywhere may truly have a DSM-5 mental disorder. In like manner, one wonders about the mental health of the people who dropped "Sooner" from Sooner Mental Health.

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