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The End of the Campus Dark Ages By: Darren Bernard
MNDaily.com | Friday, March 11, 2005



Was I naive to believe the left really carries the Holy Grail of free, Rousseauian philosophy and open, relativistic discussion?

People are wondering if David Horowitz’s Academic Bill of Rights might be needed to reign in professors. All of the sudden, the famous liberal magnanimity is exhausted.

I guess we see where the self-proclaimed champions of “diversity” and “multiculturalism” draw the line, huh?

Ideally, professors would be embarrassed by the controversy surrounding classroom indoctrination and stop sashaying vegan-loving liberalism in front of, well, vegan-loving liberals. Ideally, liberal and conservative faculty members alike would put an end to an outrage out of control for decades.

All I want for Easter is to go to class without the apprehension of being ostracized by teaching assistants and professors with whom I disagree. But universities’ social science departments don’t like that idea. So now the government needs to dive into extreme management to guarantee the basic right to intellectual expression.

No one likes passing this kind of law, especially conservatives.

But students can’t so much as say “peep” anymore about why the United States isn’t an “imperialist” country without radical professors barking down their adolescent throats. Walk into a college’s political science class and you’ll see it. Open the first page of a sociology text. Go to the University YMCA’s service-learning orientation and learn from taxpayer-backed ideologues how we live in a “racist, classist, sexist and anti-gay” society.

Any serious student at any serious university can attest to the palpably anti-U.S. atmosphere concocted by college faculties. The documented cases of pure, shameless indoctrination across the country are endless. Students have been failed, verbally harassed, even physically threatened because of their political beliefs.

And the trusted purveyors of scholarship, if the American Association of University Professors’ reply to Students for Academic Freedom is any indication, have formulated a brilliant response: the academic equivalent of giving young adults the finger.

From listening to State Senate and House Democrats and campus professors go up in (symbolic) arms, you’d think all Midwest children were raised on Michael Savage and Billy Graham speeches. To the far-left, the distinction between ultraconservative and moderate is imperceptible. Only on this issue do professors believe, “You’re either with us or against us.”

This is why some — to be fair, by no means all — professors feel justified in down-grading papers that don’t fit their views on U.S. social stratification. I imagine this happens to be why I have learned nothing more about mainstream conservatism since coming to college but could write a 500-page thesis on the eristic dogmas of Michael Moore.

Most social science professors react to strong criticism like gasoline to a lit match. Usually, if you remind your professor, who is ranting about President George W. Bush’s “lies,” that he teaches geology and not a course on Ward Churchill’s personal philosophy, you’ll get the same confused response about “fascism” conservatives get whenever they mention personal responsibility. That and a “D-.”

Harsh? You can bet your tenure on it. But professors would be copying and pasting my article if semester after semester students shouted degrading epithets, slandered liberal leaders, callously dismissed left-leaning thought and called professors war-mongers, fascists and racists.

The liberal intelligentsia is being spoon-fed an eight-carat golden opportunity to prove that the diversity sticker pasted to the back of their Geo Metros refers even to that diversity that doesn’t benefit their favorite causes. Once they recover from their self-serving collective hissy fit, I’ll be curious to see if they take the opening to prove they are not to be hypocrites.

Darren Bernard welcomes comments at dbernard@mndaily.com.




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