University Cancels Spirit of Diversity Award Over Nonconformist Speech

Wayne State has canceled the Helen Thomas Spirit of Diversity in the Media Award, citing its namesake's controversial remarks.

You can’t make this stuff up:

The alma mater of journalist Helen Thomas will not bestow an award that had been given in her name, making the decision after the 90-year-old scribe made more controversial comments about Jewish people.

Wayne State University, the Detroit, Michigan, institution that Thomas graduated from in 1942, said in a statement Friday that the school will no longer give out the Helen Thomas Spirit of Diversity in the Media Award.

“Wayne State encourages free speech and open dialogue, and respects diverse viewpoints,” the school’s statement said. “However, the university strongly condemns the anti-Semitic remarks made by Helen Thomas during a conference yesterday.”

Pat Lang considers this a “spineless insult to Helen Thomas.”   Lord knows I’m not a fan of Thomas and don’t mind in the least her being insulted.

I’ll go along with the “spineless” part, though.  Beyond that, this is almost comical in its irony.  An award celebrating diversity in the media canceled because someone makes remarks in the media that are divergent from the conventional viewpoint?   Oh, and bonus points for reinforcing Thomas’ argument that only pro-Likud views are tolerated.


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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. It would seem that the academic commitment to “diversity” isn’t quite as strong as the commitment to political correctness.

  2. Rachel says:

    The thing about Wayne State, that people not from Michigan wouldn’t know, is that they have a tremendous Jewish student and alumni base. Want to be a lawyer/doctor but didn’t get into U of M? You go to Wayne… There is more at stake then the award name and “respecting diversity.”

  3. josh says:

    Are you kidding, she goes on a anti jewish rant. That’s what you hipster doofuses normally call hate speech. But that’s probably only for the flamers and minorities to call claim to cause “demm ebil jooos” deserve it right?