You’ve seen it before. A handful of malcontents are “offended” by the flying of an American flag or saying a prayer somewhere, and a school or a community caves.
Yesterday, I was stunned to hear that the University of Michigan went weak-kneed over a petition signed by a group of Middle Eastern and North African students.
The giant “M” on the field of the University of Michigan’s Big House does NOT stand for Muslim. (carpoolcandy.com)
They demanded that the film, American Sniper, scheduled to be shown on campus be cancelled, citing “Chris Kyle (the American sniper) was a racist who took a disturbing stance on murdering Iraqi civilians,” adding that “Middle Eastern characters are not lent an ounce of humanity and watching this movie is provocative and unsafe to MENA students who are often reminded of how the media and world values their lives.”
The university’s Center for Campus Involvement, responsible for the UMix scheduling quickly cancelled the showing and stated that “we have elected to pull the week’s program and screen another movie in its place that we believe better creates the fun, engaging atmosphere we seek.”
And what was that replacement film? Paddington, the misadventures of a stuffed bear.
When word of the cancellation became known, a backlash quickly developed, accusing the university of censorship, forcing a reversal of the decision.
“It was a mistake to cancel the showing of the movie ‘American Sniper’ on campus as part of a social event for students,” said R. Royster Harper, vice president of student life. His statement went on to point out that “The initial decision to cancel the movie was not consistent with the high value the University of Michigan places on freedom of expression and our respect for the right of students to make their own choices in such matters.”
Big Blue Coach Jim Harbaugh is taking his team to see the film, American Sniper, saying” if it offends anyone, so be it.” (foxsports)
Jim Harbaugh, the university’s new football coach, supported showing of the movie and tweeted, “Michigan football will watch ‘American Sniper. “If it offends anyone, so be it.”
When Big Blue again takes the field at the Big House on Sept. 12, we’ll know that giant maize-colored “M” on the field doesn’t stand for Muslim.
At last a minority group of “the offended” is put in their place … a front row seat at the showing of Paddington at another on-campus location.
Hail to the Victors!