Express & Star comment: Academics should drop PC silliness
The decision by the University of Wolverhampton to withdraw a promotional poster for its clearing system following complaints on social media is as depressing as it is predictable.
We have great sympathy, however, for the senior figures at the university, who will have understood the dangers of an angry social media mob.
The university has become a proud symbol of progress in the Black Country in recent years.
But such a burgeoning reputation can easily be damaged by howling heretics joining together from far corners of the globe.
Such was the case with this advert, which featured a woman ostensibly working in a developing country, in a straightforward attempt to encourage prospective students to study in the city.
It prompted an astonishing backlash from a number of academics, including accusations of colonialism and racism.
Of course, ‘gender issues’ were also raised, although there seems no clear reason why.
In addition, one lecturer seemed to take umbrage with the perceived ‘patriotism’ of the image, as if this has somehow become a bad thing.
Perhaps in this day and age we should not be surprised when people use social media to show the world just how outraged and appalled they are.
Virtue signalling is so de rigeur.
But what this episode really represents is the startlingly warped world that some people in academia now inhabit.
The truth is, we suggest, that the average person in the street would find this whole reaction completely over the top (if such a phrase is allowed).
The vast majority of people, we say, would take no offence whatsoever from the university’s billboard poster.
Yet there are those who will take offence at almost anything, and revel in the victory of having a large and highly-respected organisation cave in to their fatuous protests.
What is almost as worrying as this trend however, is the fact that these people are in positions to teach, lecture to and influence the thoughts and opinions of the next generation with thought processes barely out of the Grange Hill common room.
What a thoroughly depressing prospect.