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Academic Cesspools By: Walter Williams
The Washington Times | Tuesday, October 23, 2007


The average taxpayer and parents who foot the bill know little about the rot on many college campuses. "Indoctrinate U" is a recently released documentary, written and directed by Evan Coyne Maloney, that captures the tip of a disgusting iceberg. The trailer for "Indoctrinate U" can be seen at www.onthefencefilms.com/movies.html.

"Indoctrinate U" starts out with an interview of Professor David Clemens, at Monterey Peninsula College, who reads an administrative directive regarding new course proposals: "Include a description of how course topics are treated to develop a knowledge and understanding of race, class and gender issues." Mr. Clemens is fighting the directive, which applies not to just sociology classes but math, physics, ornamental horticulture and other classes whose subject material has nothing to do with race, class and gender issues.

Professor Noel Ignatiev, of the Massachusetts School of Art, explains his concern is to do away with whiteness. Why? "Because whiteness is a form of racial oppression." Mr. Ignatiev adds, "There cannot be a white race without the phenomenon of white supremacy." What's blackness? According to Mr. Ignatiev, "Blackness is an identity that can be plausibly argued to arise out of a resistance to oppression." Bucknell Professor Geoff Schneider agrees, saying, "A lot of our students, I think, are unconsciously racist." Both Mr. Ignatiev and Mr. Schneider are white.

The College of William & Mary and Tufts and Brown universities established racially segregated student orientations. At some universities, students are provided racially segregated housing; at others, they are treated to racially separate graduation ceremonies.

Under the ruse of ending harassment, a number of universities have established speech codes. Bowdoin College has banned jokes and stories "experienced by others as harassing." Brown University has banned "verbal behavior" that "produces feelings of impotence, anger or disenfranchisement" whether "unintentional or intentional." University of Connecticut has outlawed "inappropriately directed laughter." Colby College has banned any speech that could lead to a loss of self-esteem. "Suggestive looks" are banned at Bryn Mawr College and "unwelcomed flirtations" at Haverford College. Fortunately for students, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has successful battled such speech codes.

Central Connecticut State College set up a panel to discuss slavery reparations. All seven speakers, invited by the school, supported the idea. Professor Jay Bergman questioned the panel's lack of diversity. In response, two members of the African Studies Department published a letter criticizing Mr. Bergman, saying, "The protests against reparations stand on the same platform that produced apartheid, Hitler and the KKK." Such a response, as Professor Bergman says, is nothing less than intellectual thuggery.

At universities such as Columbia and Yale, military recruiters are unwelcome. But they welcome terrorists such as Columbia University's invitation to Col. Moammar Gadhafi and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Yale admitted former Taliban spokesman Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi as a student, despite his fourth-grade education and high-school equivalency degree.

On other campuses, such as Lehigh, Central Michigan, Arizona, Holy Cross and California Berkeley universities, administrators banned students, staff and faculty from showing signs of patriotism after the September 11, 2001, attacks. On some campuses, display of the American flag was banned; the Pledge of Allegiance and singing patriotic songs were banned for fear of possibly offending foreign students.

Several university officials refused to be interviewed for the documentary. They wanted to keep their campus policies under wraps, not only from reporters but parents as well. When college admissions officials make their recruitment visits, they don't tell parents their children will learn "whiteness is a form of racial oppression," or that they sponsor racially segregated orientations, dorms and graduation ceremonies. Parents and prospective students are kept in the dark.

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute (isi.org) has published "Choosing the Right College," to which I've written the introduction. The guide provides a wealth of information to help parents and students choose the right college.


Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University, Fairfax, Va., and a syndicated columnist.


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