From the recent ouster of the President of the University of Missouri, to the hallowed halls of Ivy League institutions, administrations are being intimidated by legions of protestors, whose incongruity of invoking free speech, while trampling upon the free speech of others-silencing anyone who dissents from their view, is palpable. Boards of Trustees and university regents are muted-refusing to tell the “vagabond scholars” and dissident faculty this vital message, “We are here to educate students, with a robust exchange of ideas, absent safe havens to those who refuse to consider other opinions, and we shall steadfastly continue to establish curriculums to that end. We shall appoint faculty and administration who promote these ends. Should anyone be unable, or unwilling, to accept and promote these terms and conditions, you are free to go elsewhere.” That statement militates against their hermetically sealed world of “political correctness.”
There’re a few bastions of scholarship, and discipline where students learn and prosper academically, absent the leftist brain washing: Biola University, Harding University, Hillsdale College, Geneva College, George Mason University, Grove City College, Liberty University, Oklahoma Wesleyan University, Texas A&M, University of Dallas, and a handful, where left-leaning faculty and administration doesn’t have a strangle-hold on academics. Recently the ignoble “Black Lives Matter” crowd occupied a library of a “prestigious school,” hurling barbs and profanity at students who chose to study, rather than join their march, demonstrating their myopic, distorted sense of free speech. Faculty members are more divisive and Draconian than the recalcitrant, in-your-face students. Anyone who deigns to disagree is stigmatized as stodgy, ill-informed, and academically viperous.
One may errantly think that the majority of students are open-minded. A closer look may challenge that notion. The offer of “unlimited free tuition” seems to make it easier to digest this root of liberal bias. It’s no secret the most radical, liberal infestation of faculty occurs in the social sciences, education and gender/women/LGBT studies departments. Even in departments of economics and finance at once-great institutions, the bias against free market capitalism’s shamelessly dominant.
Our President’s 17 year old offspring Malia, is on her college tour for the class of 2020. Her “wish list” is dominated by East Coast schools, like Brown, Tufts, Barnard, Pennsylvania, Princeton, Yale, Wesleyan-Cal Berkeley and Stanford on the “Left Coast.” Who’ll turn down the President’s daughter? Her publicized visit to a recent party at Brown University, while playing “beer pong” shocked the folks. We’ll see how far this acorn falls from the tree.
There’s no shortage of “PC” run amok. At the University of Connecticut, a proclamation was issued banning “inappropriately directed laughter” and “conspicuous exclusion of students from conversations,” and other farcical “safe guards.” Professor Stephan Thernstrom, professor of history at Harvard, was forced to drop an undergraduate course, after he was harassed because he used the term “Indian” rather than “Native American.” Great books of Western Civilization, philosophy, and American literature in particular, have been under assault for the past 35 years. Conversations of “old dead white men” aren’t in-vogue.
During the Persian Gulf War, officials from the University of Maryland requested that students refrain from hanging American Flags and pro-war banners. “This is a very diverse community, and what may me innocent to one person may be insulting to another,” according to a University of Maryland administration. However, those opposing the war were permitted to protest. Alan Bloom’s, 1987, The Closing of the American Mind, (Simon & Schuster) is a brilliant and provocative criticism of contemporary higher education, and it’s liberal slant. They’re in derision over our educational post mortem.
Handing off one’s offspring to one of these citadels of relativism is fraught with risk. They don’t post signs in neon admitting, “We don’t believe in absolute truth, or any of those archaic fables of the past; enter at your own risk.” Marxism, socialism, secularism, atheism, and disdain for the free market, and our Constitution, routinely spewing invectives. It’s not passive. Intended targeted coercion. Rather than debate an issue, these insentient students are committed to eradicating any vestige of Western Civilization, and Judeo-Christian principles. The “greatest “sins” are racism, global warming, and income disparity. It’ll take generations for some students to shake this insidious exposure-if ever.
The worst of this tale is this generation of students will be turned loose on future generations that’ll run our public and private social agencies, and find their way as staff advisors to liberal urban administrations, like Detroit, Baltimore, future teachers and faculty members on this educational cul-de-sac. What does this privileged generation of “shielded” students need? Less exposure to the truth? Insulation from competing ideas? More “stress passes?”
Last week, the President of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, Dr. Everett Piper, amid nationwide university student protests, sent his clarion call to “offended, victimized” students in a chapel service. His stinging rebuke, was, in short, “Grow up!” In a blog titled, “This is not a daycare, it’s a University,” his comments were also directed at a culture at-large, and his academic peers. Piper asserts that students are inculcated to be “self-absorbed and narcissistic” and they become defensive when something makes them feel “uncomfortable or hurts their feelings.” His post continued, “Oklahoma Wesleyan is not a ‘safe place,’ but rather a place to learn.” He’s served as President since 2002, and writes a weekly blog. His sentiments went viral in the face of rampant political correctness that’s silenced free speech for conservatives on many university campuses nationwide.
The implication? Ideas have consequences. Years of liberal and progressive brainwashing policies have ultimately marginalized and nullified the notion of absolutes and long standing values, and public policies that’s served as a societal lynchpin for centuries. Predictably the “war of ideas in academia” will intersect at the “war on the streets.” “PC” is a death knell! Any challenge to the far left narrative garners a tag of xenophobic. The next “great idea” will likely come out of a remote cabin in the mountains somewhere. What do you think?
Mike Pyatt’s a Natrona County resident. His email’s firstname.lastname@example.org