The View From 1776

Liberal-Progressives Will Teach Us What To Think

‘Academic Justice’: Inside the Abyss of the Academy, which appears on the FrontPage website, conjures up visions of ruthless, all-encompassing political rule by George Orwell’s Big Brother in the novel 1984.  Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon, based on Stalin’s 1938 purges of dissidents in the Moscow show trials, also comes to mind.

The common theme is that no one, under liberal-progressive ‘social justice,’ can be allowed to express opinions other than those approved by the ruling intellectual elite.  Anyone who ventures to question the elite must be liquidated, or at least, in the manner of the Democrat/Socialist Party, tarred with the brush of treason and racism.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/27 at 10:51 PM
  1. Thomas,

    Your heavy breathing about the writings of some college undergraduate barely out of high school is a little over the top. Get a grip!

    Your use of ultra-hyperbolic language: "purges," "show trials," "liquidated," "treason," may be entertaining for you to write, but is does nothing for your credibility and does not serve to encourage thoughtful discussion. But perhaps you prefer to be a bomb thrower than someone providing conservative insight on current affairs.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/28  at  10:41 AM
  2. My, My, Mr. Jay. Calm yourself.

    If you doubt that the young Harvard student is representative of the nearly universal urge to dominate and to destroy First Amendment rights of Christian and conservative student groups and professors, I refer you to the website of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).

    See also "The Shadow University: The Betrayal of Liberty on America's Campuses," by FIRE's co-founders, Alan Charles Kors and Harvey Silverglate. Mr. Silverglate, by the way, was an attorney for the ACLU at the time the book was written.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/02  at  10:29 PM
  3. I really doubt that anyone has the power to see inside the minds of our population and determine that there is a "nearly universal urge" to "dominate and destroy First Amendment rights of Christian and conservative student groups and professors."

    The lively arguments of students such as Ms. Korn are nothing new or shocking and are very similar to discussions I heard at my university 40 years ago. They are the normal part of the give and take of university life and I suspect they will continue into the future. They are not evidence of the sky falling or the coming of storm troopers to take over.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/05  at  10:40 AM
  4. No one has to peer into people's minds to determine their mass movement social urges. The evidence is in their actions.

    There is very little give and take on today's campuses. Christians and conservatives are forcibly prevented from expressing their beliefs. If a student wants to pass a course, he has to regurgitate his socialist professor's views. Say anything that offends any of the preferred groups (liberal-progressives, blacks, Hispanics, women, lesbians, or homosexuals), and a student or group risks expulsion from his school.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/05  at  04:54 PM
  5. Thomas,

    Your contention that there is no dialog on campuses today is the most far-fetched bit of nonsense that I have heard in a long time.

    Can you name a single individual among the millions of students in American colleges who has been expelled for expressing a conservative view on campus?
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/07  at  11:15 AM
  6. Mr. Jay, I didn't limit the subject matter to conservative views. Colleges and universities are equally tough in suppressing Christian views and "anything that offends any of the preferred groups (liberal-progressives, blacks, Hispanics, women, lesbians, or homosexuals), and a student or group risks expulsion from his school."

    Try this link to the New York Times:

    The most widely-publicized example of crushing, with probation, not expulsion, a student for exercising freedom of speech is covered in this link:

    See also the following from the Wikipedia page on Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE):

    FIRE sparred with the University of New Hampshire in 2004 over its treatment of student Timothy Garneau, who was expelled from student housing after he wrote and distributed a flier joking that female classmates could lose the "Freshman fifteen" by taking the stairs instead of the elevator. After FIRE publicly criticized the decision, Garneau was reinstated. He had been living in his car for three weeks.

    Other examples of suppression of speech, behavior, or personal thought:

    In 2003 and 2004, FIRE acted on behalf of Cal Poly student Steve Hinkle, who was punished for posting a flier on a public bulletin board announcing a College Republicans-sponsored speech by Mason Weaver, a black social critic, and author of the book It's OK to Leave the Plantation, which argued against dependence on government. Some students at the campus Multicultural Center found the flier offensive. Hinkle politely offered to discuss the flier, but to no avail. After he left, a student called the university police, whose official report stated that officers had responded to complaints about "a suspicious white male passing out literature of an offensive racial nature." The Cal Poly Judicial Affairs Office, after a seven-hour hearing in February 2003, found Hinkle guilty of "disruption of a campus event," as several students in the Multicultural Center public area claimed that they were having a meeting at the time, although no sign, announcement, or record of that event existed. Despite repeated attempts by FIRE to get Cal Poly's admin to correct the problem, FIRE brought suit in Hinkle's name. Eventually, Cal Poly settled out of court. The sequence of events is fully detailed in a FIRE press release, issued May 6, 2004.[27]

    FIRE supported Linda McCarriston, a poet, professor and self-described socialist at the University of Alaska Anchorage, in a case in which the University was investigating her for a poem she had published on sexual abuse involving Native Alaskans. In explicit response to FIRE's intervention, University of Alaska President Mark Hamilton ordered that the investigation cease on constitutional grounds, stating that "there was nothing to investigate"; he was formally commended for defending academic freedom by Democratic governor Tony Knowles and by unanimous vote of both houses of the Alaska legislature.[28]

    FIRE joined with a number of other civil liberties groups in the case of Hosty v. Carter, involving suppression of a student newspaper at Governors State University in Illinois,[29] and has been involved in a case at Arizona State University where it condemned the listing of a class as open only to Native American students.[30]

    In 2007, FIRE took issue with a document from a Resident Assistant training session at the University of Delaware's Office of Residence Life Diversity Facilitation Training. The brief handout, compiled and presented by Dr. Shakti Butler, included a controversial definition of the word "racist". The author noted that it "applies to all white people (i.e., people of European descent) living in the United States, regardless of class, gender, religion, culture or sexuality".[32][33] About this event, Walter E. Williams wrote, "This gem of wisdom suggests that by virtue of birth alone, not conduct, if you're white, you're a racist."[34][35]
    FIRE sent a letter[36] to the President of University of Florida on November 29, 2007, expressing outrage that the Vice-Chancellor had sent a mass email which condemned a showing of the movie Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West and called for an apology from those responsible.[37] The state Attorney General had threatened legal action due to possible freedom of speech violations. Two weeks later, the Vice-Chancellor and President signed a follow-up statement retracting the call for apology.[38]
    In 2007, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) disciplined a university employee, who also was a student, for reading "Notre Dame vs. the Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan". This book was available in the university library.[39] FIRE took its criticism of IUPUI public. The chancellor finally apologized to the employee-student after mounting criticism from FIRE, the ACLU, and other free speech groups.[40]
    In May 2007 Valdosta State University expelled T. Hayden Barnes, who had protested against the construction of two new parking garages on the campus which he saw as encouraging the use of private transportation. University President Ronald Zaccari misconstrued a caption of the proposed garages as the "Ronald Zaccari Memorial Parking Garage" as a threat to himself. With FIRE support, the expulsion was overturned and a court found VSU to have violated Barnes's due process rights.[41]
    In 2008, college professor Kerry Laird was ordered by Temple College to remove the quote, "Gott ist tot" (God is Dead), a famous quote from Nietzsche, from his office door. FIRE wrote a letter to the Temple administration hinting at the possibility of legal action [42] and stated, "Please spare Temple College the embarrassment of fighting against the Bill of Rights, by which it is legally and morally bound." [43] Temple has since lifted the ban.

    At Tufts University in 2000, FIRE defended a Christian group that had been de-recognized by the university for refusing to allow a homosexual student to take a leadership position in the group, although the student was permitted to remain a member of the group. FIRE defended the group on religious freedom grounds, arguing that members of student groups that have an expressive purpose should be allowed to organize and operate religious groups based on that expressive purpose.[15][16]
    FIRE has also criticized Columbia University's sexual misconduct policy;[44] according to FIRE, the policy "lack[ed] even the most minimal safeguards and fundamental principles of fairness".[45][46] That controversy led to the resignation of Charlene Allen, Columbia's program coordinator for the Office of Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Education, whose policies were at the center of the controversy. Allen's resignation was considered in part due to FIRE's activism.[47]

    FIRE criticized Brandeis University on both free speech and due process grounds in early 2008 over its treatment of veteran politics professor Donald Hindley. Provost Marty Krauss informed Hindley in October 2007 that comments he made in his Latin American politics class violated the school's anti-harassment policy. Krauss placed a monitor in Hindley's class and ordered him to attend racial sensitivity training.[48] FIRE, along with Brandeis' own Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities, has criticized Krauss for never explicitly telling Hindley what specific in-class comments constituted harassing speech and for not granting Hindley a process by which to appeal the decision. According to Brandeis' student press, Hindley is rumored to have used the epithet "wetback." An anonymous student-witness, quoted in the Brandeis Hoot,[49] called Hindley's remarks "inappropriate." Other students praised Hindley's pedagogical approach as encouraging "students to face racist narratives head on" and that any disagreement "is a dispute for students and faculty to solve through rational dialogue, not one for the administration to settle in secret inquisitions."[50]

    In 2010, FIRE criticized DePaul University for denying recognition to a group advocating for decriminalization of non-medical cannabis in the United States stating that student groups must "be congruent with our institutional goals regarding the health and well-being of our students." [51]
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/07  at  03:03 PM
  7. Thomas,

    Keeping peace on college campuses is always a challenge.

    In the Brown University (a private institution) incident you cite, the student was expelled in part for repeatedly violating drinking on campus regulations as well as for shouting obscenities and racial epithets. If a private organization establishes behavior regulations, and a student repeatedly violates those regulations, would you deny the private institution the right to dismiss the offender?

    In that case which you cite, it was hardly a case of an institution "suppressing Christian or conservative views."
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/08  at  10:23 PM
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