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Antiwar Protests for Fun and Credit By: Thomas Ryan
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, June 24, 2004


When parents send their students off to college, they hope their children will glean as much knowledge as possible from their professors during class lectures. However, at many universities, these students are instead being used to fill out the crowds at political demonstrations that meet with their professors’ approval. In Peace Studies programs all over the nation, students are being given course credit to ditch class and attend antiwar (and anti-American) political rallies. The University of Missouri-Columbia (MU) has raised this to a fine art. MU’s Peace Studies chairman John Galliher and other faculty in his department have publicly recommended students skip classes to protest the “arrogant and stupid” war in Iraq.– and are willing to give extra credit to those who go – and to remember those who do not. An MU Biology professor even gave students extra credit to protest a David Horowitz speech.

Peace Studies has become the Left’s newest pet discipline, a pseudo-academic veneer to obscure the faculty’s leftist bias. The Peace Studies program at MU is no different. Course subject matter includes in-depth studies of leftist History (the antiwar movement of the Vietnam era), leftist Science (the merits of the Green movement) and leftist Business and Political Science (alternatives to Capitalism and “Imperialism”). MU’s Peace Studies mission statement says students are sometimes (re-)educated through “public lectures,” it does not mention that these are actually antiwar rallies, peace marches, class “walk-outs” and “teach-ins.”

 

Sociology professor John Galliher is current director of the MU Peace Studies program. Galliher, who also the chairman of the Mid-Missouri chapter of the ACLU In the imminent stages before the start of the Operation Iraqi Freedom, Galliher used the internet as a forum to call for students to skip class in protest. “Should war be launched against Iraq,” one e-mail stated, “peace advocates are encouraged to refrain from their usual activities the day after (including work, classes, shopping), and join in visible demonstrations.” When asked point-blank to reiterate his stance on whether or not his intent was to encourage students to skip class, Galliher stated, “Absolutely.” Galliher freely tells observers, “(T)hat might be the assignment for the day – (to cut class) and observe the vigils and then write an essay.”

 

On the popular website Ratemyprofessors.com, where “the students do the grading,” one student wrote, “(Galliher is) disrespectful, completely left-wing biased, (he) tries to push his left-wing ideology rather than teach, and (he) once tried to recruit students to campaign for (Rep. Dennis) Kucinich in class. He indoctrinates, not educates.” (Emphasis added.) It should be noted that ultra-leftist Democratic presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich sought to establish a federal Department of Peace, with University Peace Studies programs directing the effort.

 

Galliher also supported a recent addendum to university law calling to allow students to get credit by attending antiwar rallies and demonstrations instead of college classes. In other words, the students must agree to pose as political props for their professors and swell leftist Hate America rallies – or run the risk of losing college credit. Forget the fact that their parents – who are footing the bills – may not agree with the rally, or that students run the risk of being arrested or even tear-gassed by attending.

 

(Galliher has pet interests besides condemning justified American wars wherever they break out; he also wants to legalize drugs and outlaw capital punishment. said, “I wake up every morning wondering why marijuana isn’t legal…in 35 years of teaching, I’ve had more trouble advocating for marijuana reform than for the abolishment of the death penalty.” A staunch supporter of death penalty abolition, Galliher has referred to capital punishment as “state-sponsored homicide.” Courses in which Galliher has spent 30 years preaching his overtly leftist, pro-drug/anti-justice rhetoric to susceptible MU students include Criminology, Introduction to Peace Studies and Contemporary Corrections.)

 

Nor is Galliher the only professor to lure students into attending antiwar rallies by offering college credit, even in his own Peace Studies Department. Bill Wickersham, current Adjunct Professor of Peace Studies and former president of the Peace Studies Program at Missouri U, has been a mainstay of the university’s peace movement since 1962, opposing everything from the War on Terrorism to the pernicious influence of local airshows. At a meeting to discuss a faculty response to the war in Iraq, Wickersham stated, “Can you imagine…going to any other group and saying to the group, ‘Yes, we are believing in democracy, we believe in democratic votes, but if you don't vote the way we want, we are going to do whatever we damn well please’? That to me is arrogant and stupid, and it's certainly no way to win friends and influence people.” Wickersham would later refer to the day the War in Iraq began as “one of the saddest days in U.S. history,” apparently sadder, to him, than the tragedy of 9/11.

 

Following the beginning of the War in Iraq, the faculty of Peace Studies program of MU held a teach-in, haranguing a throng of students gathered in campus hall. Professor John Kultgen told them, “I think that our current action in Iraq is both imprudent and immoral…It’s an act of flagrant aggression, which we condemn.” Professor Victoria Johnson accused the U.S. government of covering up the numbers of enemy casualties. Johnson stated, “The print media is not good. The evening news is absolutely abominable. Let’s be leery about what our media says about the number of casualties…If our media isn’t going to give us the information we need, go to the foreign media.” (Al-Jazeera, perhaps?) Both Kultgen and Johnson fail to see terrorist groups and rogue nations as our enemy, instead ascribing that label to the very the country that allows them to make their venomous comments.

 

Demonstrating that this leftist thinking isn’t limited only to the Peace Studies program, in the spring of 2003, Biology professor Miriam Golomb offered students course credits to protest lifelong Civil Right advocate David Horowitz. The controversy began when a student in one of Golomb’s classes asked if she would provide credit for attending a speech to be given by Horowitz. Golomb replied, “No, why would I, since I don’t like what he has to say? He’s a racist.” Golomb then continued, “But I will give you twice as many credits if you go to protest.” Feeling her message could reach more students via e-mail, Golomb, like Galliher, sent an e-mail to MU students asking them to protest the speaking event.  

 

Indeed, according to one student I interviewed, MU professors have been urging their students to attend political rallies since the days of apartheid in the 1980s. (See the full interview below.)

 

And Peace Studies programs are proving successful in achieving the indoctrination of their students. One student, after graduating from MU’s Peace Studies program stated, “I learned more about my country in 16 weeks (of Peace Studies) than I had in 23 years. This class gave me a totally different perspective on the reasons for war.” Another said, “Thanks for making me realize that something can and must be done about the state of this planet.” The program boasts that it is averaging more than 100 students each semester for its introductory course, which, in its own words, is aimed at “teaching students to think.” And what is it the Peace Studies program is “teaching students to think” about?

 

Biased textbooks and leftist literature are another weapon in the department's arsenal to indoctrinate impressionable students. In the book Hell, Healing and Resistance by Dan Hallock,

the author accuses the U.S. military of widespread corruption and systemic atrocities. In Amazing Grace by Jonathan Kozol, the author blames former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani for the inequities effecting a neighborhood in the Bronx, including babies being born to drug-addicted mothers with the AIDS virus. Both books are used by the MU Peace Studies department.

Colleges and universities are there to serve the students by instilling in each student both a firm grasp on his or her desired discipline – e.g., Business, Science, or the Arts – and providing the tools the student needs to become an independent thinker. For this to happen in today’s academic environment, an equal and balanced curriculum must be established. It's the least that could be expected of a real education. But don’t look for it to occur in the Peace Studies department, at MU or anywhere else.

 

ADDENDUM: An Interview with fmr. MU Students on Campus Bias

I had an opportunity to interview two former Missouri University students, who now serve on MU’s staff. Both wish to remain anonymous, an indication of the culture of leftist intimidation that has gained ascendancy throughout academia. Both testified to rampant bias on campus.

Question: Do you feel that both liberal and conservative political ideologies are adequately represented in the faculty of MU?

MU Staff Member #1: I think there are more liberals than conservatives on the faculty overall. Some departments are more unbalanced than others...for instance, I think that Peace Studies is pretty much completely hard-Left liberal.

MU Staff Member #2: MU faculty is represented by both ideologies, however, it leans very heavily to the extreme Left. 

Question: Are the leftist professors vocal about their beliefs?

MU Staff Member #1: The more liberal they are, the more vocal they are likely to be…The ones who are really vocal seem to be the ones who are furthest Left (like Black Studies, Women Studies, Peace Studies, etc.). The "teach-in" sponsored by the Peace Studies Department at the start of the current Iraq War was pretty blatantly one-sided. Every week there are statements in the Maneater  (the student newspaper) and other places that the campus is "racist," "intolerant," "homophobic," or the like. There was a "campus climate" survey last year…in which the questions were so slanted that it was obvious that you were supposed to answer that whites, heterosexuals and Christians were actively trying to make minorities, gays and Muslims feel unwelcome on this campus. I have yet to see anyone being discriminated against or harassed because they are black or gay or Muslim.

MU Staff Member #2: Definitely. Years ago I took several college courses to advance my skills and education so as to be more "employable." I wanted to major in English. The core courses in Sociology, Psychology, etc., were so incredibly slanted to the Left it was hard to avoid getting the professors’ intended message. The professors or TAs would often spend the entire lecture time explaining how Marxism is superior to democracy, or how religion is the "opiate of the masses" and needed to be stamped out. Their assigned reading lists were mostly socialist literature with absolutely no countering viewpoint included.

I soon learned that in order to make a passing grade in those classes, I had to regurgitate their viewpoint in my writing assignments and on essay questions on exams. The Creative Writing and Poetry classes were just as bad. In order to pass, one had to write in a manner that satisfied the professor's PC viewpoint – no other voice was allowed. The younger students didn't realize they were being victimized by propaganda and ignorantly went along (but) I was in my 30's. The pervasive socialist indoctrination was extremely noticeable to me and other students who were older.

Marxism, socialism, and Left-leaning courses are openly and proudly taught here. Some courses are called by their correct title; others hide behind more mainstream course names in various disciplines like English, Romance Languages, Philosophy, Communications, etc…

Having spoken to many students over the years, it is apparent this influence has become even more magnified. One journalism student with whom I was friends tried desperately to present balanced reports for his assignments. He was usually given a low grade when he would do this. (When) he presented the information with a leftist tilt, he would be told that he was finally getting the idea and his grades improved.

Question: Do you feel that students are at all pressured by leftist professors to attend rallies and protests?

MU Staff Member #2: Yes. When I was a student, we were always being asked to attend the anti-apartheid demonstrations on campus. One sociology professor advised we'd get extra credit for attending. Many of the students went to the protests…There have been dozens of such incidents over the years and one occurred very recently when David Horowitz spoke on campus. A professor had organized a protest group to heckle Mr. Horowitz while he was on stage, and several students and professors stood outside the building with their signs and shouted at attendees as they entered the auditorium.

Question: Have you witnessed any examples of this pressure?

MU Staff Member #2: I visited an anti-abortion display on campus a few months ago. Although the display was set up in an area that has been officially declared "the free-speech circle," they had to get police permission. Many liberal professors/students would walk by the display and insult the kids who were working the booths. Protesters with signs were stationed all over and would yell at students and staff who would visit the display. I told one of the young men who had worked to get the display to campus how proud I was of what he was doing. He replied he hadn't gotten much encouragement, mostly condemnation to Hell and told how ignorant and un-Christian he was.

A group of young conservatives started a new campus publication a couple of years ago. They try to present another viewpoint than the ones from dozens of other liberal publications on campus. It is the ONLY conservative voice published here. Their papers were removed from various drop spots. They had to band together is small groups to distribute the paper for safety. Of course, the other publications print articles ridiculing them and personally vilifying them. They are very brave to keep going back under such conditions…The oppression is subtle at this time, but it is becoming more acceptable in our society to denigrate, humiliate, insult, and discriminate against anyone who doesn't join in with the Left's group-think. I expect overt actions and systematic humiliation will escalate unless the conservative students can get a toehold on campus. They must point out the unfairness and inherent dangers of a one-voice educational system masquerading as tolerant and presenting itself as quality education. If conservatives fail to complain, confront, question and change the system, it will continue to erode until it is no longer education, but re-education.


You may e-mail Thomas Ryan by clicking here.


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