The View From 1776
Sunday, August 02, 2009
Henry Lewis Gates and the Debasement of American Education
More consequential than Professor Gates’s racist rant against a Cambridge police officer is the core rot in American education introduced by his academic specialty, black studies, which is an excrescence of 1960s and 1970s student radicalism.
Harvard’s Professor Henry Lewis Gates is, of course, not solely responsible for the muddle-headed mess that is American education today. But the politically-correct, identity-politics education, of which he is a champion, has destroyed the historical purpose of education, leaving us an ignorant and divided people.
Student radicals of the late 1960s and 1970s demanded “relevant” subjects, but those subjects gave them no useful knowledge or skills, thus leaving them outside the mainstream of employment and contributing to their bitterness and feelings that they were victims of discrimination.
Black studies and the other identity-politics specialties are radicalizing preparation for work as community organizers. Their effect is to establish a separate culture that is critical of the ethos upon which the United States was founded.
They produce attitudes like Michele Obama’s declaration in February, 2008: