Monday, February 7, 2011

Top 10 Campus ThoughtCrimes - Or, How PC Police Attack Free Speech and Common Sense


The concept of free expression, in this country, has been invoked to protect the right of scumbags like Larry Flynt to exploit women who are willing to degrade themselves in front of a camera. Whether or not you agree with that definition of “free speech,” it’s hard to align that broad (no pun intended) definition with what continues to happen on America’s campuses. Free expression, in these areas where minds should be most open, is under fire – and in some cases, already on life support. (Hope you enjoyed that little dab o’gun imagery.)

Campus speech codes have long been criticized as free speech “chillers,” but that isn’t stopping universities all over the country from continuing their attacks on free expression – particularly free expression of a political nature. What’s more, with every PC incursion into free expression, common sense gets kicked a little further out the door. In fact, on some campuses, it’s on permanent sabbatical.

So, what’s a prospective college student (or parent) to do?

Well, how about joining us on a metaphorical college road trip? We’ll make a circle tour of the United States, and take a closer look at some schools where having an original thought is not celebrated as a triumph of academic freedom, but punished as a thought crime – and where it seems the inmates have taken over the asylum.

Let’s start with – of course – the vaunted Ivy League…




10. Princeton peabrains (chickpea brains)

What is it with these pro-Palestinian groups? Don’t they want us to be healthy? After all, nutritionists say hummus is a great high protein snack, made as it is with chickpeas. I’ll bet Michelle Obama LOVES hummus (or, loves for US to eat it). But the Israel-haters hate Sabra hummus, because it’s partially owned by an Israeli company. So when they’re not protesting Sabra by terrorizing innocent grocery store patrons… they’re kicking up a stink about it on college campuses.

The Princeton Committee on Palestine kicked up such a big stink that the college held a referendum election on whether an alternative brand of hummus should be offered to students (hey Princeton parents, aren’t you glad that pricey tuition is being used wisely?). So for three days, students went to the polls to cast a vote on this internationally pivotal issue… and in a rare display of common sense, the students actually defeated the ridiculous referendum. However, in an un-rare display of kowtowing to asinine Left-leaning demands, the university says it’s willing to continue working with student activists on this matter.

If the referendum had passed, a delightfully snarky editorial in the New York Daily News was already standing by with suggestions for how the students could “truly honor their convictions” if they wanted to wash their hands of all things Israeli:
“Trade that computer for an abacus; Intel, the ubiquitous chipmaker, does business in Israel. Stop wearing Hanes underwear and J. Crew shirts. Stop watching CNN. Stop sneezing into Kleenex. Stop eating anything cooked on a GE range or chilled in a GE refrigerator. The kids should also stop paying taxes or, for that matter, living in America. Because tax dollars support the Israeli military.”
Yeah, Princeton Palestinians – how about putting your money where your big fat mouths are?

Next: The food wars continue!

Looks good to me! What's the problem?

9. UC Irvine gets all huffy about fried chicken-n-waffles

Okay, so let’s get this straight. On Cinco de Mayo, a lot of us indulge in tacos and margaritas. On Chinese New Year, lo mein and fried rice. On St. Patrick’s Day, corned beef and cabbage (never really popular with the kids, that one). On the Fourth of July, hot dogs and apple pie. College cafeterias across the country also often place these items on their menus on the appropriate days.

In other words, we have a long history of tying culturally-based holidays to food.

Moving on. Throughout the country there are a number of specialty restaurants (including one founded by soul singer Gladys Knight) that serve what is often referred to as a soul food tradition – chicken and waffles. Soul food, as in food associated in some way with black culture.

SO. It is not too awfully shocking that the chef and some cafeteria workers at UC Irvine decided to offer chicken and waffles on Martin Luther King Day.

BIG MISTAKE.

A member of the Black Student Union at UCI, just itching for a chance to play his victim card, lodged a formal complaint. He was offended, apparently, by the offering of a traditionally black-favored food on a traditionally black-favoring holiday.

And because of his foot-stomping snitfest, all managers and chefs for the company that provides dining services at UCI now have to pay for this thoughtcrime by sitting through “cultural sensitivity training” designed to brainwash them into mindless conformity with prevailing political correctness. (Well, that last part’s not in the “cultural sensitivity training” brochure, but I’m pretty sure that is the intent nonetheless.)

Next: How do campuses become such hotbeds of lunacy?


8. Nothing is Right at Wright State University – the arrogance of the leftist nutty professor

There is a reason that college campuses are pretty much the only place where firestorms regularly ignite over something as stupid as waffles or chickpeas, and it’s got a whole lot to do with the inmates who are running these asylums – the professoriate. Rogue professor (and national columnist) Mike Adams recently profiled a brave dissenter, like Adams himself. Professor William Irvine teaches philosophy at Wright State and recently weighed in on his school’s decision to invite the Reverend Jeremiah Wright to campus (despite the name share, there is no relation, I assume, between Wright State and the race-baiting hater preacher).

Professor Irvine welcomed Reverend Wright to campus, because he “believes that a university should be a marketplace of ideas.” But he went on to note that the marketplace is “curiously one-sided in the speakers it brings to campus.” People like the Reverend Wright (“God Damn America”) and Angela Davis (she bought guns used by her friends to kill a judge and was a fugitive on the FBI’s most wanted list) have been invited and, as Adams says, “paid to speak on campus at considerable expense to the taxpayer.”

So, Professor Irvine suggested to his colleagues that the university should invite some conservatives. One colleague responded by saying, “You mean someone like Glenn Beck?” As Adams succinctly puts it,
“This kind of reaction shows how off-center our universities have become. What educated person could consider Glenn Beck to be more extreme than Angela Davis? Another professor reacted to Irvine’s reasonable suggestion by saying that it wouldn’t be a good idea to bring any Holocaust deniers to campus. The statement is an odd one indeed. It suggests that most conservatives refuse to accept the Holocaust as fact.”
There are INDEED people who reject the Holocaust as fact, but they aren’t conservatives. In fact, nutty professors, you welcomed one of them to one of our “top” colleges just a few years back! Remember?
Now we know where the term “absent-minded professor” comes from. These guys are literally absent a mind.

Next: If they’re not welcome as speakers, conservatives certainly aren’t welcome as professors…


7. University of Kentucky nixes professor even they admit is the most outstanding applicant

Professor Martin Gaskell is respected as a superbly qualified astronomer. And he is now $125,000 richer, thanks to the taxpayers of Kentucky, because he decided to sue (and who can blame him) after the University of Kentucky refused to hire him based on his alleged religious beliefs.

You see, he’s an outspoken Muslim and the other faculty members could not tolerate him practicing Islam , so – what? You’re not buying that? How very astute of you.

Yeah, okay, he’s not a Muslim. In fact, I don’t know for sure what he is. But I do know that he has expressed sympathy for the scientific concept of intelligent design. And that, alone, is enough to get you boxed out and silenced at many American universities.

Email traffic flowing among the various members of the University of Kentucky faculty hiring committee show the professors worrying that Gaskell was… GASP… “potentially Evangelical.” HORRORS! An astrophysicist on the committee noted that Gaskell might be rejected “despite his qualifications that stand far above those of any other applicant.”

As upsetting as this is, it is far from an isolated incident. David Klinghoffer outlines a number of such academic abominations in an article on National Review Online, pointing out this rot in academia:
“An enormous, largely hidden transformation has taken place in what we mean when we speak of ‘science.’ For centuries, the free and unfettered scientific enterprise was fueled by a desire to know the mind of God. ‘The success of the West,’ writes historian Rodney Stark in his important book The Victory of Reason, ‘including the rise of science, rested entirely on religious foundations, and the people who brought it about were devout Christians.’ Now, increasingly, voicing such a desire is likely to get you excluded from the guild of professional scientists.”
Very likely, as Ben Stein’s excellent and thoughtful movie Expelled made crystal clear. And, as the backlash Stein suffered as a result of Expelled makes crystal clear. Boy, he really made those folks over at Scientific American squirm.

Next: Taking a sucker punch…


6. University of Arizona uses campus email server to take a shot at conservatives

Imagine. You’re a conservative student at the University of Arizona, and you pop open your laptop one fine morning and get ready to log in to the campus email system. The publicly-provided school server always offers a “quote of the day,” and you take a moment to check out today’s offering. And BOOM – you take this sucker punch:
“Two symbols of the [GOP]: an elephant, and a big fat white guy who is threatened by change.”
Uh…really?

Graduate student Jeffrey Koessler reported this incident, stating:
“I found it discriminatory and racist in nature, while reinforcing the double standard that exists regarding liberal and conservative philosophies…imagine the outrage had the quote been about [liberals] and included similar racist comments.”
Indeed. Let’s imagine! You’re a leftist student at the university, and you pop open your laptop, log in to the university’s server, and read this:
“Two symbols of the Democratic Party: a donkey, and an anorexic black guy with no birth certificate.”
Ha ha ha! Now that IS funny!

But the serious question is, why is the staff responsible for the “big fat white guy” remark not being forced into mandatory “sensitivity training” like the poor cafeteria workers?

Next: Midterm election fun!


5. Loyola University Chicago bans free speech – at least before the midterms

In a particularly egregious assault on academic freedom and free inquiry, Loyola University Chicago refused to allow conservative speaker Karl Rove to speak on its campus this past fall prior to the midterm elections. A high level Loyola staff member said the Rove event would be “problematic given the campaign cycle.”

Really?

Well, all right. It’s not as if Loyola has ever let anyone else talk politics in the months leading up to an election. And especially not any, you know, leftists.

Unless you count Howard Dean. Or Ralph Nader. But I mean, other than that.

For this offense, Loyola University Chicago received the coveted (by leftists) number one ranking for top PC offense of the year from Young America’s Foundation.

Congratulations, Loyola, on your recognition as a bastion of (the suppression of) honest discourse!

Now at some other colleges, they talk a LOT about politics in the weeks before an election. In fact, they’ll even help you fill out your ballot!

Next: A high-level university staffer shows a great deal of chutzpah (in a bad way)…


4. Winston Salem State University – let us help you vote

Yeah, you don’t have to do any pesky thinking, or anything like that, at Winston Salem. Because the university’s chancellor of student affairs, one Michelle Redford, does it for you!

Redford sent an email to all 6,400 students, staff and faculty prior to the recent midterm elections, encouraging them to vote early – and for Democrats!  The email went on to encourage university employees and students, at this taxpayer-funded public school, to visit the Democratic Party website in order to volunteer for the Democrats.

Now, Redford claims it was an honest mistake. She accidentally overlooked the email’s political biases and forwarded it on to everyone, supposedly just to encourage them to vote.

Yeah.

Our list of leftist thoughtcriminals who need “re-educating” is getting long, isn’t it? Who will force Michelle Redford into some mandatory sensitivity training?

Next: The leftist mob mentality strikes again…


3. Washington University’s student government caves to the leftist bullies and bans Bristol Palin

I like the way Jonathon Burns put it over at Big Journalism:
“Let’s imagine that Washington University’s student government decided to put on a conference on race. Let’s say they invited Al Sharpton as guest speaker, and in initial negotiation, agreed to pay him his usual $30-50,000 speaking fee. Finally, let’s say at the last minute, a number of bigoted students protested Sharpton, and then the student government decided to pull the plug on Sharpton out of fear of the protesting, bigoted students. What do you think Sharpton’s response would be? …He’d have the heads of the entire Washington University administration.. he’d want public apologies from dozens of people, sensitivity training for the student government… he’d publicly embarrass the students and the school… so my question for Bristol Palin is: What concessions are you seeking?”
It’s a legitimate question. The Student Health Advisory Committee at Wash U had contacted Bristol to join a panel discussion on sexual abstinence in a college setting during the school’s annual “Sex Week.” (Aside to parents: Aren’t you glad you’re paying for all that?) Anyway, Bristol’s point of view isn’t usually well represented during discussions of college sexuality, so this was a refreshing change. But not a popular one, as it turns out. And the organizers, in a particularly juvenile display, fired her. Listen to committee spokesman Ryan McCombe:
“I have been getting emails, text messages and phone calls from people at universities across the country, laughing at me. Everyone is so riled up about this that there’s not even a point of bringing her here, nobody is going to be able to listen”
People are laughing at him! Well, clearly that can’t be tolerated. Dump Bristol now!

So because of a bunch of bigmouth students hate Bristol Palin (and, of course, her mom), her viewpoint IS NOT WELCOME at Washington University. Again, writer Burns sums it up neatly:
“Let’s not kid ourselves, here. What has transpired at Wash U is nothing short of bigotry and hate. These students weren’t protesting Bristol because she’s some evil mass murderer. No, they’re protesting her because they hate her. Yes. Hate. They hate everything Bristol represents, and they hate the fact that proponents of abstinence and others who share Bristol’s family-oriented culture suddenly have a beautiful, popular advocate – who can dance!”
I wonder what makes leftists the angriest – that Bristol kept her baby instead of aborting him, or that she now tries to warn others to avoid behavior that will result in an unwed pregnancy? Or is it that she’s pretty? Or is it that she’s a Palin?

Well, in any event, Bristol is persona non grata, but murderous leftists like Angela Davis are welcomed with open arms. Your tax dollars at work.

Next: Those leftist speakers on campus? Don’t respond to them the wrong way, OR ELSE…


2. Rutgers University student advocates violence against pro-Israel student

Never Again for Anyone is a fairly vile organization currently touring American campuses and lefty churches to compare modern Israel to the Nazi regime. It perpetuates, to students too lazy and intellectually-retarded to research it for themselves, the easily-debunked myth of a shadowy “Israel lobby” that acts a giant world puppetmaster, wreaking havoc and evil everywhere you turn. Amazing, isn’t it, how often today’s Jew-haters use the Nazi analogy? I mean, it really is a case of “up is down” when you accuse a people of being the very monsters who perpetrated unspeakable atrocities on them.

Anyway, the Never Again folks recently visited Rutgers, and a Rutgers student named Aaron Marcus wrote a well-reasoned defense of the pro-Israel viewpoint in the student newspaper, pointing out the hypocrisy of comparing the gassing and butchering of 6 million Jews to the current complex situation in Gaza. He did not call for any violence. He did not personally attack anyone. He presented historical facts and asked his readers to consider the implications.

For this, a fellow Rutgers student went to Facebook and posted this, about Marcus:
“Id (sic) be happy to beat him with a crowbar. Violence doesn’t solve problems but it shuts up people who shouldnt  (sic) speak”
And then – at least seven of his Facebook friends clicked “like” on the message, to indicate their approval. One of them even added his own comment:
“Or makes them martyrs, furthering the strength behind their beliefs. And skinning them alive so they see the afterlife.”
Isn’t that nice? The civility thought police were noticeably absent on this one, but the real police were called, and rightly so, by young Mr. Marcus who had good reason to seek police protection.

Next: In which we leave college and go backward to high school…


1. They may as well get used to it now – high schoolers denied right to tell the truth


Young America’s Foundation is of course active on college campuses, as noted earlier (and thanks again to them for providing some of the stories in this article, including this one).

But kids sometimes get involved in YAF during high school, as well. Some of these young liberty-lovers recently got a rude welcome into the world of conservative activism.

Students at Buena High in the town of Sierra Vista, Arizona, were trying to participate in YAF’s “No More Che Day.” Che Guevara, of course, was a mass murderer and an international terrorist. But lefties love him! You can often see his visage printed on lefty tee-shirts and such. (Click here to buy all your revolutionary gear! Does anyone else see the irony of this money-making for profit website selling… oh, never mind.)

Anyway, sick and tired of the leftist progaganda machine holding this thug up as a hero, the “No More Che Day” event was supposed to involve hanging posters that exposed Che’s murderous Communist past. One of the young conservatives approached her principal about hanging the posters, as per school policy. But the principal was not impressed with this adherence to school poster-hanging regulations.

No, the principal saw this as an opportunity to do a little re-education of her own. She told the student that the kids needed to learn more about Latin American history. That calling Che a murderer was “simply an opinion” that was offensive to those who think of him as a hero.

So, can we hang the posters?

No.

On behalf of conservatives everywhere, I’d like to thank the Buena High principal for making our jobs easier. Because, you see, after experiencing leftist thought suppression and bullying tactics firsthand, these kids, at least, will never be lured to the dark side during college, like so many unsuspecting kids are. They’ve seen the monster up close, and know what is lurking ahead.

So, we’ve criss-crossed the country and seen PC groupthink in action from sea to shining sea. Further examples can be found, unfortunately, on almost every college campus (although there are a few notable exceptions, like Hillsdale, Grove City College and certain Christian schools, where leftism is not institutionalized).

The takeaway? If your child’s headed off to college, make sure he/she has the intellectual ammunition needed to fight the leftist battles. David Horowitz’ book Reforming Our Universities should be required parental reading. And kids – find the campus chapter of College Republicans, or YAF, or someplace where you can find support. I guarantee that these groups will be smaller than their leftist counterparts on almost every campus – but you’re not going to college to become a lemming, so there’s no need to act like one!

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