By using the phrase "that is offensive to me" without any real evidence people can adversely affect another person's life irreparablely. There is virtually no defense that a person can make against some one accusing them of being offensive. At least none that I know of. I have been accused in the past of being offensive to someone in the workplace. I apologized even though an apology was really not called for since my remark was obviously not directed at them personally. Nevertheless I apologized probably 5 times. Verbally and in writing. To no avail. I was severely reprimanded in writing by my boss at Human Resources insistence. I was so mad I could have .... I never spoke to that person I "offended" again.
The case of a Cal Poly Student being punished for posting a flier for a speech by an author is similar to mine. A Cal Poly student named, Steve Hinkle, legally posted a flier in a public area, the university's Multicultural Center, for an upcoming speech by Mason Weaver. Some other students saw the flier, as pictured on the left, as Hinkle was posting it and called the campus police and complained that the flier was offensive to them. Hinkle was taken before an university review board and was told by Vice Provost to write letters of apology to the offended students. The apology letters would be subject to review by the Office of Judicial Affairs. The board also said that its decision was final and that it could not guarantee that the apology letters would not become public. If the student refused to do as he was told he would be subject to further disciplinary action up to and including explusion from the university. Mr Hinkle sued the university. Good for him.
This kind of fascist behavior on the part of organizations like universities in order to appease groups that are simply out to stifle any thoughtful discussion of issues involving members of their groups has to stop. Freedom of speech trumps "being offended" in my opinion.
From a Amazon.com book review of It's OK to Leave the Plantation : The New Underground Railroad by Mason Weaver:
As a Masters level professional therapist I have read hundreds of books on behavior, thought process, belief, and social policy. Mason's book is one of the most revolutionary, honest, and accurate books I have ever read. The sad thing is, the people who need to read this don't have the love for the truth or the guts to do so. This book changed me, changed the way I view politics, race, and social policy. Mason has the credibility and bold honesty to force you to think about some of the core beliefs that you have about life in the US, hence the word revoulutionary. Now one of my top 5 favorite books ever. Mason is one of those rare individuals who is so deeply aware of racial and social truths that he is compelled to share them with everyone out of his love for this great country of ours. I have seen Mason speak publicly, met him personally, and believe him to be one of the greatest patriots the United States has ever produced. Inspirational.