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Indoctrination Curriculum at the University of Missouri (Continued) By: David Horowitz and Jacob Laksin
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, March 09, 2007


The claim of the Peace Studies Program is certainly scholarly: “The Peace Studies Program draws from a variety of courses that address the issue of peace and justice. The interdisciplinary nature of the program enables a student to pursue the concepts and realities of peace, war, violence, and justice from a variety of perspectives.” But the reality is that the Peace Studies Program at the University of Missouri is exclusively a course of leftist approaches to the causes of war and their remedies.

The perspectives actually listed in the mission statement are thus heavily slanted towards the program’s view that war is caused by social injustice and other inequities that provide the roots of social conflict. This means, astonishingly, that the program ignores the dominant schools of thought on the causes of war in political science and international relations studies, which emphasize not “social injustice” but the actions of states within a harsh environment of international anarchy. By contrast these are the themes emphasized in the program:          

  • Social, political and cultural roots of conflict
  • Economics of war and peace
  • Distribution of the world’s wealth
  • Peace and the treatment of the environment
  • Peaceful and non-peaceful uses of technology
  • Moral and religious views of war and peace, justice and violence
  • Images of peace and violence in literature and the arts
  • Nonviolent social change and resolution of conflicts
  • History of pacifism and nonviolent resistance to oppression
  • Strategies for promoting global cooperation and world order
  • Anticipation and prevention of aggression and armed conflict

From the syllabi available, the idea that there might be biological sources of human aggression appears to be as alien to this program as the idea that the system of states imposes its own harsh survival requirements on its constituent parts, or the idea that a strong military rather than the promotion of pacifist movements might be a surer guarantor of peace.

 

Like the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, the Peace Studies Program takes the view – which it shares with Communist and socialist totalitarians -- that human beings are malleable “blank slates” and that conflict is rooted in internal social structures. One of the required texts in its introductory course is described as dealing with “the social construction of cruelty.”

 

Introduction to Peace Studies
Peace Studies 1050
Instructor: C. Michele Martindill, Adjunct Professor of Sociology

 

The required reading for this course with the exception of a single text – a novel on the Holocaust by Elie Wiesel – is entirely drawn from the far left of the political spectrum. (Descriptions of the texts in parentheses are those of the instructor.)

 

1. Johnson, Allan G.  (2006)  Privilege, Power, and Difference, Second Edition.  Boston: McGraw Hill. (How sociologists view the differences or inequalities that can lead to conflict or peace; critical analysis, sociological reasoning and asking sociological questions)

 

2. Loewen, James. 1995 (2005 hardcover is okay, but more expensive). Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster. (How we traditionally learn about war and peace; how minds are numbed; why we don’t ask questions)

 

Lies My Teacher Told Me is a radical diatribe against the United States. According to Loewen, the lies teachers told him result from facts being “manipulated by elite white male capitalists who orchestrate how history is written.” A typical Loewen chapter is called “1493: The True Importance of Christopher Columbus.” Loewen summarizes the achievement of Columbus in these words: “Christopher Columbus introduced two phenomena that revolutionized race relations and transformed the modern world: the taking of land, wealth, and labor from indigenous peoples, leading to their near extermination, and the transatlantic slave trade, which created a racial underclass.” This is historically ludicrous: well before Columbus the Romans practiced the “taking of land,…etc from indigenous peoples leading to their near extermination and enslaved their captives.” Not for nothing was it said of the Pax Romana: “they make a desert and call it peace.”

 

3. Kozol, Jonathan. 2005 (2006 paperback is okay, but not essential).  The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America. New York: Crown Publishers.  (How and why schools perpetuate conflict and social injustice)

 

What does the subject covered in the Kozol book have to do with international conflict?  Kozol, on the other hand, is an author famous for his praise of the school system of totalitarian Cuba, which may explain its inclusion in a course whose organizing principle appears to be the elaboration of radical doctrine.

 

4. Nibert, David. 2002. Animal Rights/Human Rights, Entanglements of Oppression and Liberation. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc.  (A sociological theory about how and why social inequalities lead to conflict—macro level view)

 

5. Arluke, Arnold and Clinton R. Sanders. 1996. Regarding Animals. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.  (A micro level sociological view of conflict as it relates to our identities as humane or inhumane; the social construction of cruelty; a social-historical perspective on Nazi Germany not found in traditional history textbooks)

 

6. Trumbo, Dalton. 1984. Johnny Got His Gun. New York: Bantam.  (WWI story that was published at the onset of WWII…and then removed from the shelves; book also connected to the Cold War; how organizations and institutions can silence certain voices)

 

Dalton Trumbo was, in fact, a well known Communist writer. Consequently Johnny Got His Gun lays heavy blame on capitalists and corporations for causing unnecessary wars. The book was promoted by the American Communist Party in the 1930s when the Party was in its anti-war phase – i.e., when it supported the Hitler-Stalin Pact and denounced the allied coalition against Nazi Germany as just another agent in an imperialist war. Trumbo himself suppressed the book after Hitler attacked the Soviet Union – transforming the war into a “war against fascism” again, and turned the names of people who had asked him for copies of Johnny Got His Gun over to the FBI. The book is only tenuously – and tendentiously -- “connected to the Cold War,” by the fact that Trumbo was a Communist. Insofar as the book was concerned, any “silencing” as referred to in the bibliographical listing was done by the Communist Party and Trumbo himself.

 

7. Wiesel, Elie. 2006. Night. New York, NY: Hill and Wang. (Why asking questions matters)

 

8. Hobbs, Daryl and Charles Cowger, editors.  (2005). University of Missouri Peace Studies Review, Vol 1:2.  (Agriculture and war; Africa, corporatism, women and war)

 

The one-sided nature of this course is exemplified in its approach to animal rights, a subject that outside of a radical ideological perspective one would not obviously associate with peace studies. In this course, students are encouraged to accept the theory -- common to the more extreme elements of the animal-rights movement -- that eating animals is inhumane and a cause of war. To promote this view, students throughout the course are asked to consider leading questions such as: “How can some people make the claim that they are concerned with the humane treatment of animals, but they eat meat which necessitates the slaughter of animals?” In fact, there are answers to this question that do not require students to accept the view of animal-rights activists. In his book The British philosopher Roger Scruton provides an erudite exposition of one such argument in his book, Animal Rights and Wrongs, which is not assigned in this course.

 

Professor Martindill makes no effort to acquaint students with the possibility of reasonable disagreement on issues like animal rights. The sole text assigned on this subject is a book titled Animal Rights/Human Rights: Entanglements of Oppression and Liberation. The author of the book is sociologist David Nibert, a self-described “socialist” who has defended “animal liberationist” terrorist organizations. Nibert’s extreme thesis is that various groups, including women, gays, blacks, people with disabilities, and nonhuman animals, are victims of “capitalism.” As Nibert explains in his introductory chapter, “[t]his book will document how the historical oppression of humans and other animals has provided a benefit primarily for a relatively small number of humans, particularly those with substantial privilege and power…” Elsewhere, Nibert asserts that “the frenetic pace of global capitalism, as promoted by economic and political elites in the United States and like nations, is tantamount to war against the earth and the vast majority of its inhabitants.” There is no indication that Missouri students are made aware of just how extreme Nibert’s views are, nor are they assigned readings that might challenge such views.

 

Requiring students to read only one side of issues that are controversial is a form of indoctrination. It is not scholarly, it is not education, and it violates time-honored precepts of academic freedom. Equally disturbing is the absence from the reading list of works from the vast literature on the relationship between war and the very nature of inter-state relations done by political scientists. This lacuna is evidence not merely of ideological narrowness but academic incompetence.

 

Introduction to Peace Studies

Peace Studies 1050

Instructor: Colin Wark, graduate student in sociology

 

This is a second section of the introductory course for the Peace Studies program which reveals its nature as a program of indoctrination in radical ideologies: 

 

Course Objectives:

 

This course will deal primarily with issues related to peace building and social justice….Hopefully the student will consider the ways in which phenomena such as poverty, racism, sexism and violent conflict are closely intertwined with one another as well as linked to human suffering generally.

 

The required texts for this course have little bearings on the causes of war and peace but are principally texts designed to expose students to a radical viewpoint:

 

Books: 

 

King, Martin L. 2000. Why We Can’t Wait. New York: Signet Classics.

 

Reiman, Jeffrey H. 2005. The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison: Ideology, Class, and Criminal Justice, 7th ed. Boston: Pearson.

 

The Power of Nonviolence: Writings by Advocates of Peace. 2002.     Introduction by Howard Zinn. Boston: Beacon Press. (PN) University of Missouri Peace Studies Review, 1 2005. (1, 2). (PSR)

 

One of these texts The Power of Nonviolence: Writings by Advocates of Peace, is a collection of essays by antiwar writers and activists. In the introduction, the radical Howard Zinn, who has called America the world’s greatest terrorist state, writes, “We need to be resolute in our decision that we will not go to war, whatever reason is conjured up by the politicians and the media, because war in our time is always indiscriminate, a war against innocents, a war against children. War is terrorism, magnified a hundred times.” Neither the reading list nor the selections in this text provide students with an opportunity to consider criticism of such extreme views.

 

While being fed a radical perspective by the course, students are required to work for organizations that are, in the main, integral to the political left.

 

All students must complete a peace practice. The peace practice is worth 15 points or 15% of your total grade. The main requirement for completing the peace practice is to volunteer sixteen (16) hours of your time to a non-profit organization during the course of the semester.

 

Potential Organizations to help with peace practices:

 

St Francis House Catholic Worker -- Homeless shelter.    

 

Columbia Friends Meeting Local Quaker Meeting. Historic peace church, observe activities on Sundays FOR Religious based activism. 

 

Fellowship of Reconciliation, anti-war, anti-Death Penalty, anti-draft.

 

AVP, Workshops on Conflict Resolution.

 

Alternatives to violence Project offers one 2-day wkshp/semester.   

 

Peaceworks - make signs for and attend vigils and/or protest.    

 

Peace Nook - volunteer 2 hours weekly at store selling fair trade products. 

 

SPA - Students for Progressive Action (Weds 7 pm).   

 

Rockbridge High school Global Issues Group (Fair Trade/AIDS).    

 

Sierra Club Environmental projects, possibly work on annexation petition.

 

GRO - Grass Roots Organizing for affordable housing.  

 

Boys & Girls Club - After-school and school based tutoring Programs.   

 

Centro Latino - After-school and school based tutoring Programs.  

 

Moving Ahead - After-school and school based tutoring Programs  Carrie Brown.   

 

Fun City Saturday Youth Academy - After-school tutoring Programs.   

 

Hickman Kewpie Success Ctr.  After-school and school based tutoring Programs. 

 

Cedar Creek Riding Ctr. - Children/Adults with Disabilities.     

 

Columbia Healthcare & Rehab Ctr. - Help the elderly.   

 

Woman’s Shelter - Help women escaping domestic violence.  Note: You will have to complete 30 hours for this group and will work on sensitive issues so only viable if you are really committed.

 

Central MO food bank - Dill jed4f3@mizzou.edu

 

Central MO. Food Pantry - (the facility on Indiana that serves families in need )  

 

Salvation Army 

 

American Life Program - you get matched with a new Intl student.  

 

IE P - Conversation Partners English as 2nd language.

 

Intl TA’s work with International students.     

 

Students United Concessions to raise funds for food drive.    

 

What rationale is there for the taxpayers of Missouri to be footing the bill for such a political training and recruitment program? 

 

Department of English

 

Studies in Criticism and Theory English 8060

Instructor: Karen Piper, Associate Professor of English.

 

Course description:

 

This course focuses on “empire,” looking specifically at texts that chart the course of empire from the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries—including Edward Said’s Culture and Imperialism, Arundhati Roy’s The Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire, and Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt’s, Empire. First, however, we will discuss the history of the field of “post-colonialism,” as well as the history of the decline of European colonialism in the mid-twentieth century. Then, we will look at some of the field’s main terms: decolonization, neocolonialism, hybridity, black atlantic, double consciousness, settler societies, and globalization. We will read Leela Gandhi’s primer to the field, Postcolonial Theory, which looks at theoretical connections with Marxism and feminism as well as giving a concise overview of the field, and selections from Colonial Discourse/Postcolonial Theory and Robert Young’s Postcolonialism: An Historical Introduction. Finally, we will talk about empire in all its contemporary permeations, including Negri and Hardt’s amorphous sense of the term. This course is useful for anyone interested in becoming more fluent on issues of race and globalization.

 

This is a training course in radical doctrine. It’s wide-ranging subject matter underscores the amateurishness of departments of the university that have been suborned by ideological agendas. The viewpoint of the course is Marxism and radical feminism, which is a variant of Marxism; its subject matter is imperialism and decolonization. The instructor, Karen Piper, however has no academic expertise in these subjects. She has a Ph.D. in comparative literature, with no background in fields that might provide her with a professional understanding of the subject she is teaching. 

 

A central text of the course is Empire by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, which is an express attempt to update Marx and Lenin. According to his official Duke Website, “Michael Hardt’s recent writings deal primarily with the legal, economic and aspects of globalization. In his books with Antonio Negri he has analyzed the functioning of the current global power structure (Empire, 2001)…” But Hardt is neither a professor of law nor an economist. Like the course instructor, Karen Piper, Hardt is a Professor of Comparative Literature. His professional training is language and works of fiction. Hardt is an academic amateur and Empire the work of a dilettante. Hardt’s co-author Antonio Negri is an Italian Communist who was tried, convicted and sentenced to thirty years in prison by an Italian court for promoting terrorism in his native land.

 

Other books assigned for the course also fail to qualify as professional works of scholarship on imperial history. For example, the late Edward Said was a professor of comparative literature, not a historian, a fact that, as many critics have noted, is all too apparent from his often factually flawed writings on imperialism. Arundhati Roy, similarly, is a novelist and far-left political activist, which is the real credential through which her work comes to be included in this course. An Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire, is not a work of scholarship but a crude polemic against what Roy calls “neo-liberal capitalists,” and “the project of corporate globalization,” which she portrays as a sinister conspiracy to “subvert” democracy. Students are presented with no contrary perspectives.

 

Major Women Writers, 1890-Present

English 4189

Instructor: Karen Piper, Associate Professor of English

 

This course is listed as a course in major women writers 1890 to the present, but as the course description shows it is anything but.

 

Course Description:

 

“Imperialism and Gender.” This class will examine women’s role in modern warfare, particularly looking at imperialist wars and postcolonial rebellions of the twentieth century. We will look at the way in which women either felt confined or liberated by war, as well as examine the alternatives to warfare that women have created through writing. The connections between “nationalism,” “patriotism,” and masculinity will also be called into question. Finally, we will draw conclusions about the place of women in contemporary warfare. Starting with Imperial Leather, we will discuss the way gender definitions shifted under British imperialism. We will then read the South African and British novels: Olive Schriener’s Story of an African Farm, and Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, discussing the impact of colonization on white women at home and abroad. Then will we read African, Indian, and Caribbean novels by Bapsi Sidhwa (Cracking India), Tsitsi Dangarembga (Nervous Conditions), Jamaica Kincaid (A Small Place). Finally, we end with the memoir of Kayla Williams, an American soldier in Iraq, called Love My Rifle More than You.[3]

 

This course, taught by an Associate Professor of English is about the instructor’s unprofessional leftwing views on “nationalism” and “patriotism” (scare quotes around each) and their alleged relation to masculinity. Only one major English author is mentioned in a course purportedly about major women writers, Virginia Woolf. Kayla Williams, the author of one of the main texts of the course, is not even a writer but a disgruntled Iraq War vet whose memoir serves as a pretext for discussing the course’s real theme which is Professor Piper’s opinions about American “imperialism.” This is a travesty, abusive both to students who pay tuition in order to receive expert instruction and to Missouri taxpayers who underwrite the transaction.

 

Sexuality and Gender Theory

English 3080

Instructor: Elisa Glick, Assistant Professor English and Women’s and Gender Studies

 

This is an example of how ideologues from Women’s Studies have invaded the wider academic curriculum. The following English Department course description makes no attempt to conceal the fact that the subject matter of this course is not about English language or literature, and is frankly political. The topic “sexuality and desire under capitalism” presumes that there is system “capitalism” (a derisory term Marx applied to societies featuring private property and free markets), and that it has structural characteristics that affect human sexuality and desire. This is another incarnation of the secular creationism theme -- the idea that sexuality and desires is “socially constructed.” “Sexuality and Gender Theory” is a course in feminist ideology offered under the auspices of the English Department, another example of the debasement of academic standards at the University of Missouri.

 

Course Description:

 

“Sexuality Studies: Theory, Culture, and Politics.”  Debates about the politics of sexuality have been at the forefront of contemporary efforts to rethink concepts of identity, desire, and the body. This course seeks to provide a theoretical and cultural context for such debates by investigating the complex and often contradictory relationship between sexuality and society. After tracing the historical emergence of the modern sexual self, we will survey contemporary theories of sexuality and sexual representations, particularly as they intersect with systems of race, class, and gender.  Topics will include sexuality and desire under capitalism; feminist theories of sexuality and the feminist "sex wars;" cultural representations of HIV/AIDS; racialized sexualities; sexual and gender diversity; gender performance; the politics of embodiment. Readings and other course materials range from theoretical and historical essays to literary texts, films, and popular culture.

 

The Colonial Encounter in African Fiction

English 4170

Instructor: Christopher Okonkwo, Assistant Professor of English

 

Like other courses in the English department, this course is misleadingly presented as a course in fiction, specifically African fiction. Closer examination shows that its actual subject matter is the sectarian ideological viewpoint of Professor Okonkwo. The professor’s interest in “post-colonial theory” – a term that encapsulates a Marxist view of “late capitalism” – informs the tendentious political theme of the course: that the Western world holds a “disparaging” belief about Africa that “has yet to completely depart Western consciousness even as we enter the twenty-first century.” Professor Okonkwo attributes this allegedly pervasive belief to the history of Western colonialism in Africa and devotes much of the course to a discussion of the negative effects of colonialism. For instance, students are asked to consider such themes as “colonial destabilization of native cultures; the colonizer’s religion, education, and language; land and economic exploitation; identity, gender, and class politics; ‘race’ and interracial relationship; violence and decolonization, and the post-colonial condition.”

 

Professor Okonkow, however, is not a historian – let alone a historian of colonialism. He brings no observable academic expertise to bear on the subject. Moreover, while there is nothing inappropriate about examining the influence of colonialism on African fiction, the demonstrable aim of this course is to promote a one-sided critique of the Western world and colonial history -- an objective that would be unprofessional for a history course and is even less justifiable in a course taught by a Professor of English.

 

Africana Theory and Literature Criticism English 8410

Instructor: April Langley, Assistant Professor of English

 

This course is not remotely connected to the study of English literature, and in fact is the same course as Women & Gender Studies 8005. It is conceived entirely within the framework of a sectarian radical viewpoint, which is reflected in the ideological idiom in which the course description is written. The required reading for the course is an excursion in the ideological mindset of the radical left.

 

Course Description:

 

“Black Feminist/Womanist Thought, Theorizing the Dilemma of Race and Gender.” This course will investigate political, cultural, and historical aspects of a range of gender theories from the African Diaspora—from 18th- and 19th-century pre-womanist and feminist works to contemporary ones.  Accordingly, race and gender will be studied as occupying shared and intersecting positions from the margins, periphery, and center.  Thus, while the course will deal with theories of gender, we will do so with the understanding that both “womanist” and “feminist”—as descriptive, delimiting, and liminal terms—constitute a central component of the dilemma posed by debates in which theories of "race" and "gender" are simultaneously engaged.  Importantly, neither womanist nor feminist is fully representative of the constructed and constitutive nature of race and gender as it applies to women of African descent and their struggles  against multivalent oppressions—which include but are not limited to race, class, and gender.  To that end, while we engage theoretical approaches primarily authored by women, we also study key texts in black male womanism/feminism.  Further, while we examine scholarship primarily authored by black women from United States, key texts from the Caribbean and Africa (West, South, and Central) will constitute an essential component of our study as well. Indeed, our engagement with black feminist/womanist thought will contend with several inextricable issues: naming, the position/place of black men in black feminist studies, and the geo-political dilemmas posed by constructions of nationality, race, and cultural identity outside of U.S.-centric race/gender models.  Readings will be taken from Joseph A.  Adeleke, Michael Awkward, Anna Julia Cooper, Barbara Christian, Frances Smith Foster, Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Clenora Hudson-Weems, bell hooks, Joy James, Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison,  Chikwenye Okonjo Ogunyemi,  Hortense Spillers, Maria Stewart, Sojourner Truth, and many others. 

 

Africana Womanism English 4420

Instructor, Clenora Hudson-Weems, Professor of English

 

Course Description:

 

Africana Womanism, is an undergraduate course specifically designed to broaden one's scope in the area of issues, recurring themes and/or trends in modern Africana women fiction. An in depth study of the lives and selected works by five (5) leading Africana women writers, Zora Neale Hurston, Mariama Bâ, Toni Morrison, Terry McMillan, and Sister Souljah will be enhanced by critical readings of scholarly articles by and about the various authors. Thus, students will be introduced to an authentic theoretical concept and methodology, Africana Womanism, and will be applying Africana Womanist theory to these Africana womanist novels.

 

Professor Hudson-Weems is the author of Africana Womanist Literary Theory and Africana Womanism and the inventor of the term “Africana Womanism.” Africana Womanist theory is thus a fairly private ideology, but it is an ideology nonetheless. Teaching students to be Africana Womanists is no more legitimate for class in a modern research university than teaching them to be radical feminists, Marxists, conservatives, monarchists or anarchists.

 

There are numerous similar politically motivated courses provided by the Missouri English Department, alongside perfectly legitimate academic courses like “Introduction to English Literature,” “Introduction to American Literature,” and “Introduction to Medieval Literature: The Age of Chaucer.” But this sampling of ideologically based instruction will suffice to show how far afield and outside any conceivable academic standard many courses are.

 

Black Studies
 

Introduction to Black Studies

Black Studies 2000

Instructor: David L. Brunsma, Associate Professor of Sociology.

 

Professor Brunsma makes no secret of his activist agendas as a teacher. In his faculty biography, he writes: “…I am committed to investigating and initiating ways in which scholarship can be actively used to combat structural racial injustices.” Professor Bunsma describes his own preferred brand of pedagogy is “utopistic sociology” and suggests that a key focus of his teaching and scholarship is to reduce “inequalities” in society -- a goal far more appropriate for a politician than an educator. According to his website, Professor Brunsma is engaged in writing a book called White Lives As Covert Racism.

 

The anti-white bias of Professor Brunsma’s outlook as expressed in the title of his book is also reflected in his introductory course. According to its catalogue description, the course goal is “[t]o begin to understand the social, cultural, and economic underpinnings of privilege and the structures and processes of race, racism, prejudice, and discrimination both historically and contemporarily.” The claim that certain “structures” in American society perpetuate racial “privilege,” is a controversial one that a professional academic course should be expected to examine critically not to assume.

 

However, judging from the assigned readings, Professor Bunsma is uninterested in promoting a discussion of these assumptions. Without exception, the course texts reinforce Professor Brunsma’s extreme views. One text, Beyond the Down Low: Sex, Lies, and Denial in Black America, is a polemical attack on the “racism, sexism, classisim, misogyny, homophobia, heterosexism, and cultural imperialism” that according to the author characterize American society. This text repeatedly claims that Americans judge blacks on the basis of negative “preconceived perception[s]” rather than as individuals -- in other words, that white America is racist. He does not explain how, at the same time, Condoleeza Rice and Barack Obama could be two of the most popular political figures in America. Similar sectarian themes inform the other assigned texts, such as Black Looks: Race and Representation, by the radical feminist bell hooks, and Let Nobody Turn Us Around: Voices of Resistance, Reform and Renewal: An African-American Anthology, which takes a sympathetic view of criminal organizations like the Black Panther Party and assorted radical black activists, including the convicted murderer Mumia Abu Jamal.

 

Graduate Seminar on Race Relations

Black Studies/Soc 8087.

Instructor: Professor David L. Brunsma

 

A graduate seminar taught by Professor Brunsma is marked by the same ideological agenda. The seminar is a forum for Professor Brunsma to expound his views on “critical race” theory, a school of Marxist doctrine on racial issues whose central contention is that minority groups systematically “oppressed” in present-day America. Though such contentions are debatable and diverse views on the subject are readily available, students in Professor Brunsma’s seminar are required to absorb the views of one extreme school of thought. Accordingly, students are instructed to accept the validity of “critical race knowledge and read the past through its lens” in order to arrive at an “understanding of race and racism in the United States and the World System at large.” Thus in the required text White Supremacy and Racism in the Post-Civil Rights Era the author, Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, argues that since the 1960s a “racial structure -- the new racism for short -- has emerged that accounts for the persistence of racial inequality.” This book is not a work of scholarship but a shallow political polemic. For instance, rather than giving due diligence to the wide range of arguments and findings at odds with its racial thesis, the author simply dismisses them as “representing the conservative view on race in the United States.”

 

Another assigned text, Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment, claims that “African-American women’s experiences as mothers have been shaped by the dominant group’s efforts to harness Black women’s sexuality and fertility to a system of capitalist exploitation.” Filled with categorical condemnations of the United States and unexamined references to the “dominant White society” and “white male control of the marketplace,” the book asserts that “[w]ithin U.S. culture, racist and sexist ideologies permeate the social structure to such a degree that they become hegemonic…”

 

In a third text, The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: How White People Profit from Identity Politics, author George Lipsitz finds whites to be characterologically deficient. Complaining that whites have a “possessive investment” in their “whiteness,” the author laments that “white people refuse to acknowledge their possessive investment in whiteness even as they work to increase its value every day…We can’t blame the color of our skin. It must be the content of our character.” Yet a fourth text, the Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class, is a Marxist tract that disparages the white working class and sets out to document what the author calls the “the racist thought of white workers.”

 

All of these texts paint an extreme and negative portrait of white Americans. Some can themselves be reasonably characterized as racist diatribes against whites. Students are asked to read “Somebody Blew Up America,” a notoriously anti-Semitic poem by the radical black activist Amiri Baraka, which blames Jews for 9/11. No critical texts of these extreme views are provided to students in  Professor Brunsma’s course.

 

Assignments are also designed to encourage students to become racial activists. A “community engagement component” requires students to become engaged in radical protest. “Each day we meet I expect a brief discussion of  what you have done over the past week that merges scholarship and activism, whether it be volunteer work, thinking about departmental policy, writing letters to the editor of the Columbia Tribune, attending a rally/protest, etc.” Students are required to parrot Professor Brunsma’s views,, specifically “critical race theory.” Thus, the course’s final paper requires students to “write a piece of critical race sociology for this course.”

 

This is ideological indoctrination, not education. It is typical of far too many University of Missouri courses, where it should be a characteristic of none.

 

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David Horowitz is the founder of The David Horowitz Freedom Center and author of the new book, One Party Classroom.



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