Student leaders at the University of Oregon considered removing a famous Martin Luther King Jr. quote from a wall on its student center on the grounds that it was just not inclusive enough — because it talked only about racial discrimination and not discrimination based on stuff like gender identity.
The quote has been displayed at the Erb Memorial Union (which is currently being renovated) since 1985. It’s probably something that you’ve heard before — “I have a dream that my four little children that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I have a dream . . .” — without even thinking that it might be problematic.
But that’s because you’re just not as smart or culturally aware as these kids.
“Diversity is so much more than race,” sophomore Mia Ashley told the Daily Emerald, the school’s official student newspaper.
“Obviously race still plays a big role,” she continued. “But there are people who identify differently in gender and all sorts of things like that.”
According to the Emerald, the students ultimately decided not to change the quote, but “that decision was not made without some hard thought by the Student Union Board.”
Oh, and it gets worse: The entire reason that quote was put there in the first place was to replace another quote that students had found offensive — one that called the university “leader in the quest for the good life for all men” — which is obviously, you know, sexist as hell.
Now, I personally don’t get triggered by seeing the word “men” anywhere. But hey, what do I know? After all, I had no idea that the “I Have a Dream” speech was actually kind of transphobic. I guess you learn something new every day.