The perpetual teach-in for perpetual indoctrination
By Bernard Chapin
“The professorial task is to teach students how to think, not to tell them what to think.”
Back in the summer of 1998, I enrolled in a graduate program at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology. The first night of class began as lecture, yet, after a break, a discussion session broke out. Its primary topic had nothing to do with child development, it concerned whether our text materials had any validity due to the “Eurocentricity” of their authors. The professor wondered aloud, “Why aren’t there more ideas from non-Europeans here?” From there she began a two hour harangue about men, Caucasians, and western culture in general. The question, “Why didn’t more scholars from the third world produce formal works concerning this subject?” was never posed and tenderly avoided. Only I appeared dumbfounded by the proceedings. My lack of participation was noted by the instructor who asked me if something was wrong. I lacked the courage to speak out. The next morning, however, I fought the battle with my credit card by going down to the bursar and withdrawing from the college.
My experience is not that unusual as the instructor, despite the hate she spewed upon her students, did not even warrant mention in David Horowitz’s newest book, The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America. Horowitz edited and rewrote many of these entries, some of which originally appeared on a website devoted to uncloaking the identities and activities of the political left. The Professors is a compendium rather than a woven narrative, but its pages are always informative and occasionally quite stunning.
In these short, appalling mini-biographies we are made privy to the belief systems of those most responsible for the decline of the American university. Many of these academics were veterans of the counter-cultural experiment that was the 1960s, and they began their long march through the institutions after reaching adulthood. By blocking the hiring of their ideological opposition, they have created an environment wherein long disproven theories like Marxism and post-modernism are able to still flourish and emit their poison into the greater culture.
Their devotion to power and control may be totalitarian but it certainly has been effective. By denying that there is such a thing as “objectivity” they are able to repudiate the need to search for truth and turn their sections into clubs for aspiring radicals. They then excuse their actions by declaring their “engagement” and that teaching of all forms is “a political act.” Veritas is replaced with opinion while students receive credit for attending rallies and writing papers about why George W. Bush is a war criminal.
The worst abuses occur in the liberal arts departments which are held prisoner to the race, gender, and class religion. Nowhere is the anti-intellectualism of these academics more prominently on display than in their racism. They claim to be “liberals,” but the depth of their race-based hatred is startling.
One of them, Regina Austin, observes, “…start with the premise that black people are at the center of the universe and go on from there.” Amiri Baraka who, for a minute or two, was the poet laureate of New Jersey, wrote: “Most American white men are trained to be f*gs. For this reason it is no wonder their faces are weak and blank,” and Baraka also contributed to the commonweal with this feel good injunction, “Rape the white girls. Rape their fathers. Cut the mothers’ throats.” Joel Feagin added to our collective understanding with this nuance-filled nugget: “There are two types of white Americans: racists and recovering racists.” Leonard Jeffries managed to form a union between racism and anti-Semitism when he proudly put forth: “Jews are a race of skunks and animals that stole Africa from the Black Man.” Yes, the sensitivity police appear to have no jurisdiction when it comes to scholars of color. Hamid Algar remains at his post after correcting Armenian students about the liquidation of their people by the Turks: “It was not a genocide, but I wish it were, you lying pigs.”
Legal clarification on the subject of race is provided by Mary Frances Berry: “Civil rights laws were not passed to give civil rights protection to all Americans.” No, why would white Americans need such protections with apparatchiks like Berry training minds while being employed by the federal government? Michael Eric Dyson argued that any suggestion that black Americans should take responsibility for their lives is absolutely anathema. To this Penn scholar, Tupac Shakur with his thug life, as opposed to Bill Cosby, is the individual whom youth should embrace. The untalented bell hooks weighs in on the question of racial harmony by confiding to readers, “I am writing this essay sitting beside an anonymous white male that I long to murder.”
With statements like these there really is no need to hatch conspiracy theories, that many scholars in America are racist is self-evident. We discover that the mother of the 1984-ish university speech codes, Mari Matsuda, openly admitted that the right not to be offended does not extend to everyone. The privileged white male is exempt from such protections. It’s a good thing that so many of my fellow privilegees are unable to locate employment applications for the faculty of Georgetown Law or we may opt to be oppressed in the same six figure manner she currently is.
In light of this institutional anti-white racism, Caucasians should feel fortunate just to be allowed the use of drinking fountains and buses as the only lesson to be learned from Jim Crow is that racism is okay as long as it’s directed against the right people. We live in a nation so drenched in white guilt that one of these professors actually escaped a jail sentence by arguing that the witnesses to her crime were not credible as they were white and people of that persuasion are genetically incapable of telling one black person from another.
No story of today’s colleges would be complete without addressing feminism. There is no shortage of feministas among the 101 who are analyzed here. Horowitz introduces us to Bettina Aptheker who, as daughter of communist legend Herbert Aptheker, was practically a professorial legacy. She holds that changing one’s sexual orientation is the last stage in our society’s progression from post-feudalism, post-capitalism, and post-socialism. To her, lesbianism is the “highest stage of feminism.” I concur wholeheartedly. Gayle Rubin of Michigan was the recipient of the prestigious Woman of the Year award from the National Leather Association (a sadism & masochism organization), and deems the practice of pedophilia to be in the interest of the feminist and gay community.
Class, with all its Marxist clunk and clamor, is integral to the identity of high achievers like Eric Foner, Michael Berube, Robert Dunkley, Miriam Cooke, Rick Eckstein, and Richard Falk. Many of these men and women have political beliefs which begin and end with socialism. This often takes the form of an outward devotion to “social justice,” and is intrinsic to the curriculums of feminist studies, post-colonialist studies, and liberation theology. To argue that previous attempts to mandate state socialism have been egregious failures which resulted in crimes against humanity is to simply not get it. The Venona decrypts, which proved that scores of Americans were members of the Soviet intelligence service, means nothing to experts like Victor Navasky who disavows all contrary evidence and will defend the Rosenbergs until the day he dies.
A reflexive hatred for all things Israeli seems to be a prerequisite for entering the professoriate today. The depth of vitriol directed at this microscopic Middle-Eastern nation is astounding. Israel is an obsession and compulsion to these educationists. Nowhere is the conformity of these minds more visible than in their cookie-cutter denunciations of that particular state. Countless political activists posing as scholars, such as like Laurie Brand, Norman Finkelstein, Dana Cloud, Marc Ellis, Hamid Dabashi, Joseph Massad, Nicholas De Genova, have made entire careers out of thrashing this piñata entity wherein Arab citizens live freer lives than they ever could in Syria or Egypt. Our Ivory Domers would disagree, however, and will always label Islamofascists as “so-called terrorists.”
I suspect that the real reason for the academic Palestinian fetish can be found in the confinement produced by having to work within the guidelines of political correctness. One must study the Middle East rather than Africa because if you didn’t there would be no way to blame the west for everything wrong in the world today. Too close an examination of African tribal relations or clitoraldectomies would lead to the acknowledgement that brutality and injustice have been present for millenniums. Besides, a pedagogue who writes papers about the Sudan or Robert Mugabe will never be invited to A list demonstrations or sit upon the dais when Michael Moore speaks.
Obviously the left will avoid reviewing this work. From my past dealings with them I believe they will summarily dismiss The Professors by labeling it a McCarthyist blacklist plot, and also that those figures discussed are in no way characteristic of college faculties on the whole.
Let me respond to the possible McCarthyist objection first. Although “Naming Names” is best practice in regards to university bias, David Horowitz does not have the power to blacklist anyone. What this work accomplishes is to merely give notice to those leftists who disguise themselves as “liberal” and excuse their propagandize with the phrase, “everything’s political,” that we’re ready to highlight and respond to their transgressions. Identification should allow some students to avoid being subjected to their machinations. Hopefully, more and more moderates will become aware of the brainwashing in store for their children, and boycott colleges which allow lecturers to confuse activism for instruction.
As for representativeness, Horowitz addresses this question in his third chapter. He convincingly postulates that universities are conformist by nature and that faculties are formed in the image of those who do the hiring. This is the method by which our campuses have reached the point of toxicity and where radicals reign supreme. Many times the “long short list” of potential candidates for positions is narrowed down by the department chair and reflect their ideological inclinations. The rest of the department is then presented with a fait accompli or a “pick any leftist you want” scenario when approving new colleagues. The law of group polarization causes colleges to become more and more left wing as, with no dissenting opinions to counter-balance it, the center moves to the extreme.
What one is left with upon completion of The Professors is a sense of sadness. Yes, it’s easy to laugh about the don who believes that teaching proper English is akin to oppression, and of the gay professor who opens sections by announcing, “My name is Michael Vocino and I like d*ck,” but somebody somewhere is having their bank account, prospects, and perceptions destroyed by this useless evangelizing. Just how many sections of “Gender, Nationalism, and War,” “Hip-Hop Eshu: Queen B*tch 101—The Life and Times of Lil’ Kim,” “They’ve Killed Kenny,” or “Feminist Geography” must one take before being considered truly educated? Such questions are best left unanswered if you’re a comptroller at a liberal arts institution.
Students mortgage their futures to pay for classes which will only delude, demoralize, and miseducate them. Only the very young and impressionable could survey America and confuse bounty, liberty, and security with oppression, conspiracy, and hate; yet, novices are exactly the people whom these pseudo-intellectuals lord over. In light of this work and the admission that school is now all-too-often a place for indoctrination, perhaps the next time someone impugns the reader for questioning the patriotism of the left, quote to him or her the words of a scholar : “Under no circumstances, therefore, should we ever support the U.S. government or believe what it says.” This can be more accurately applied to the multitude of pronouncements and publications emanating from our corrupted universities.
Bernard Chapin is a writer living in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Buy The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America at Amazon.com for only $18.45 (34% off)
Get weekly updates about new issues of ESR!