Not my usual TV viewing habit. But damn this was funny.
On Friday night’s episode of ABC’s Last Man Standing , Mike Baxter (Tim Allen) has met the enemy of free speech on college campuses, thanks to liberal professors, and that enemy is known as “micro-aggressions.” Micro-aggressions are the words no longer allowed on campus because they may offend someone. Today’s special snowflake college students evidently will melt into a puddle if faced with an alternate opinion than what is spoon-fed to them by professors with liberal, politically correct agendas.
In the episode “Precious Snowflake,” Mike is asked by his daughter, Mandy (Molly Ephraim) to speak at her business school’s graduation. She isn’t graduating yet but is on the committee to find a speaker for the ceremony – for extra credit towards her own graduation. Mandy breaks it to him that politically incorrect speeches are not allowed on college campuses these days. His speech has to be approved by the liberal facility committee, too, which, of course, Mike finds to be ridiculous.
Mandy: Um…do you want me to give you some notes before you send it in?
Mike: Why — Send it in? What do you mean?
Mandy: The faculty committee needs to approve it after they check for micro-aggressions.
Mike: Micro-aggressions? You mean, like, midget warriors?
Mandy: No. They’re objectionable words or phrases. For instance, “Midget warriors.”
Mike: I know what micro-aggressions are. It’s the latest liberal attack at free speech. And a lot of fun if you do them right.
Mandy: The university has a list of stuff they don’t allow speakers to say. You know, to protect the students.
Mike: From what, ideas?
Mandy: It’s just the way that my school does things, dad. Please. My grade is riding on this.
Mike: Fine! All right. Just pretend like you introduced me to thunderous applause.
Mike: Some lady faints in the front row. “Ladies and gentlemen –”
Mandy: Okay, stop.
Mike: No, they’ll pick her up. Come on, EMS. Get her out of here.
Mandy: No, uh, you can’t say “Ladies and gentlemen,” because it excludes those who don’t identify as either.
Mike: Hmm. But those are the only two choices.
Mandy: No, not anymore. You just have to keep it gender-neutral, okay? Please continue.
Mike: “Hey, everybody.” “America is the land of opportunity. I stand before you as –”
Mandy: Stop! Okay, by saying that America’s the land of opportunity, you are implying that everyone has the same opportunities.
Mike: I’m not implying it. I’m saying it. If you live here and you work hard, you can succeed. That’s how this works.
Mandy: Uh…yeah, that one’s on here, too. It hurts the feelings of those who work hard and don’t succeed.
Mike: Give me that. Where’s the list of stuff that doesn’t hurt people’s feelings? That’s got to be a short one.
Mandy: You have no idea how seriously my school takes this stuff, dad. And remember the greater good here. You’re helping me scam my way to passing ethics.
Mike: This list is insane. If I go by these rules, I’ll be going against everything I believe in.
Mandy: I know, but just for 15 minutes. Thank you, Dad.
Mike: No, no, no. Can’t call me “Dad.” What if I identify as “Mom”?
Mike ignores Mandy’s advice and writes the speech to his own liking that includes everything the university told him not to say. He decides to run it by his wife, Vanessa (Nancy Travis), but she is way too concerned about the thought police for Mike’s taste.