There are times when I just have to say, YGBKM. Here we are on the verge of my most favorite time of the year, college football season. There are high expectations at my undergraduate alma mater, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville as coach Butch Jones heads into his third year. But there is something occurring which has me deeply concerned about what’s happening up on ol’ Rocky Top.As reported by the Washington Examiner, “In the boldest endorsement of a growing national trend, the University of Tennessee is urging incoming students and teachers to junk references to “he,” “she,” and “them,” in favor of gender-neutral “ze” and “xe.”
“With the new semester beginning and an influx of new students on campus, it is important to participate in making our campus welcoming and inclusive for all. One way to do that is to use a student’s chosen name and their correct pronouns,” blogged Donna Braquet, director of the school’s Pride Center.
“We should not assume someone’s gender by their appearance, nor by what is listed on a roster or in student information systems. Transgender people and people who do not identify within the gender binary may use a different name than their legal name and pronouns of their gender identity, rather than the pronouns of the sex they were assigned at birth,” ze wrote. On the school’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion webpage, ze offered these translations students and educators should use for subjects and pronouns: He/ze/zirs. or She/ze/hirs or Them/xe/xyr.
“These may sound a little funny at first, but only because they are new. The she and he pronouns would sound strange too if we had been taught ze when growing up,” wrote Braquet.The shift to gender-neutral words began a few years ago and took root on some northern college campuses, but it has sped up in the wake of Olympian Bruce Jenner’s shift to the transgendered Caitlyn Jenner and the media explosion that followed.”
Ok, you want to know why college education has become so expensive? What in the Sam Hill is an Office of Diversity and Inclusion? And who came up with a doggone Director of the Pride Center? What does Ms. Braquet do, make sure all students know the words to Rocky Top? Or maybe she ensures the Tennessee students know the history of the Tennessee Volunteers? Seems to me those are the basic fundamentals of “pride” for the University of Tennessee.
I was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia and am often asked why I chose Rocky Top? First of all, Knoxville is only about a 40-minute flight from Atlanta over the mountains. My mom’s sister, Aunt Brendalyn and my cousins Kim and Brandon lived there. Second, my physics teacher and senior homeroom advisor, Ms. Carolyn Payne was a Tennessee graduate.But there were three reasons for which I would find pride in being a Tennessee Volunteer:
First was the history of Davy Crockett and the Tennessee Volunteers who went to fight for liberty and freedom against Mexico. Now you can bet the radical Hispanic lobby will now refer to me as a xenophobe.Second, there was Condredge Holloway, the first black starting quarterback in the SEC. I became a Big Orange fan and my dad and I would cheer him on during his years in Neyland Stadium.
And finally, as a graduating high school junior ROTC cadet, it was the University of Tennessee that had one of the top ROTC programs in the nation — and I wanted to be with the best so I could become the best Army officer.
Now, I must ask, what has happened to my university? This creeping PC nonsense of dropping personal pronouns is insane. Could you imagine the venerable Tennessee football announcer John Ward referring to “ze breaks into the open, ze is at the 30, the 20, the 10, the 5, ze goes into the end zone, give ze six, touchdown Tennessee?” Or what would have been said that third Saturday in October 1982, my senior year, when the Volunteers beat Alabama with a last second interception in the end zone “Tennessee wins, xyr win, xyr win.”
I think the University of Tennessee could save money by eliminating this pride center and diversity and inclusion office — just like the diversity official in the Pentagon. It seems to me the only purpose these folks serve is to come up with these absolutely crazy ideas. Of course I would figure this coming from some Ivy League school, you know, Columbia, Harvard, or Cornell — but Tennessee?
We should not change the English language because someone decides to change their sex — that is a personal decision. We certainly do not need collective readjustment. If Bruce wants to be Caitlyn that’s his choice, his pursuit of happiness. But why does it mean my verbiage needs changing? And I actually have an interesting question: Bruce is being charged with vehicular manslaughter — but does Bruce Jenner still exist?
Herein lies the danger in all this PC restructuring gender speech in America. Because of individual behavior sexuality choices we have some places where forms no longer say “husband” and “wife” — just spouse 1 and spouse 2 like some sort of Dr. Seuss characters. Of course the liberal progressive left will say I’m an outdated Neanderthal. They would propose we’ve developed beyond any sense of “traditional” roles as men and women and that family has been redefined — hence the sitcom “Modern Family.”
A little while ago I wrote here about who is it that redefines language in America, who are these people that come up with the inane ze, xe, xyr crap? They walk amongst us and slowly they are indeed redefining societal norms under the guise of advanced intellectualism. But let me be clear, they are plum stupid.
One of the great traditions in which I take pride about my alma mater, Tennessee, is the prayer given before every home football game. That tradition was still in place last year when I went back for the Bama football game. And I reported here about the antics of the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) based in Madison, Wisconsin which demanded that prideful tradition be ceased.
On the wall in our home office here in Dallas there’s a reflection of my pride — my diploma from the University of Tennessee and there’s the picture of my parents, Buck and Snooks West pinning on the gold bars of an Army Second Lieutenant on their son at Stokely Athletic Center. I don’t need Ms. Donna Braquet and an Office of Pride to make my chest swell when I think about my days on Rocky Top. Sadly, the mentality of the progressive socialists is one where pride isn’t earned by great deeds but rather behavioral choices. I found inclusion in knowing that I was a Tennessee Volunteer and being a minority student. I brought diversity to the campus in my experiences.
The last thing The University of Tennessee, Knoxville needs is a bunch of Kommissars telling us what is acceptable behavior and the accompanying approved language. I will be back to Tennessee for Homecoming, and I will be proud — Big Orange, Volunteer proud. A final point, how does one say y’all in the new lingo Ms. Braquet proposes?