Research Question
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This appeared in The Corner, and I will refrain from comment, and just email the answer to Jonah, but I thought it it might interest's readers, too.

The Corner on National Review Online PC BLEGS [Jonah Goldberg ]

Am I remembering this wrong, or during the hight of the PC craze (and the anti-PC craze) didn't some kid get an F on a paper for using the word "individual"? This would have been at least a decade ago. Ring a bell?

Also, I'm doing research on contemporary PC, anybody read a good overview (pro, con, analytical?). I've read Kindly Inquisitors and, of course, Illiberal Education but I'm looking for more up-to-date material. The folks at Fire have some great — i.e. depressing — examples. What I'm particulary interested in is stuff that puts it in a larger context; the crusade for social justice etc. It seems on the one hand PC has receded a bit, but on the other hand what's left behind has more official sanction. Any thoughts, examples, counter-examples are welcome.

Please send solely to my [email protected] account.

Actually this is fairly easy to answer, it's on page 9 and 10 of Illiberal Education and on the Internet here:

What attracted the most attention in the editorial—indeed, it developed a life of its own in hundreds of citations—was an exchange between a student and an administrator who both were on the committee to design “diversity education.” In truth, I had encouraged this brave, female undergraduate both to join the committee with her own sense of a university and to speak her mind plainly. She wrote a memo to her colleagues about the emphasis on group, expressing “my deep regard for the individual and my desire to protect the freedoms of all members of society.” An administrator sent her memo back to her, with the word “individual” underlined, and writing, “This is a ‘RED FLAG’ phrase today, which is considered by many to be RACIST.”

FIRE - ‘We Shall See’ By Alan Kors, May 19, 2005,

The original source was It's speech, not sex, the dean bans now, Wall Street Journal, 12 October 1989, pA16.

Here's the story as it appeared there:

"Racism" is not prejudice alone, but prejudice plus "institutional power," which only white males possess. "Culture" is not an evolved system that confers survival and life-enhancement benefits upon its inheritors, adapting as material conditions and ways of thinking change, but a system of creating and preserving "hegemonic dominance" for white males. "Diversity" is not the coming together of diverse individuals, but the recognition of the primacy of group-identity.

One brave undergraduate on Penn's planning committee for "diversity education" wrote a memo to her colleagues about "my deep regard for the individual and my desire to protect the freedoms of all members of society." An administrator paid to think about such things wrote back to her, circling the quoted phrase, underlining the word "individual," and commenting: "This is a 'RED FLAG' phrase today, which is considered by many to be RACIST. Arguments that champion the individual over the group ultimately privileges {sic} the 'individuals' belonging to the largest or dominant group."

Central administrations have the final word on such programs and they will inhibit or advance the full force of their ideological agenda as conviction, careerism, public monitoring, local unrest and the politics of universities dicate. Make no mistake, however: The "in loco parentis" role of today's universities is meant to cleanse the souls of undergraduates of the political, social and moral sins of the communities, churches, high schools, peer groups and families from which they come. It is, as well, to designate official agents for groups such as America's blacks, women and gays and to preach an official history of their place in America to them.

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