Skip to comments.Professors as Petty Tyrants: Education today doesn’t inspire confidence in the modern university.
Posted on 04/01/2014 7:31:17 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
The mother of the 16-year-old pro-life demonstrator who suffered a rough confrontation with a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has shown a rare civility the spirit liberals are forever bemoaning the lack of but rarely exhibit themselves.
The event: A small group of pro-life activists visited UCSB to demonstrate against abortion. They bore posters and leaflets and set up their display on the campuss free speech zone. Professor Mireille Miller-Young was offended, no, triggered, by the photo of an aborted baby on Thrin Shorts poster. Together with two or three students, the professor grabbed a large sign, and then pushed and scratched the girl who attempted to take it back. This was captured on video by the pro-lifers. I was stronger, so I took the sign, Miller-Young explained later.
Miller-Young has since been charged with misdemeanor theft, battery (Shorts arms bore scratches, also photographed), and vandalism (Miller-Young and her students cut the sign to pieces).
Throughout the unpleasant encounter, the professor and her students let fly with profanity and insults.
The civility: Catherine Short, mother of Thrin, issued a statement reading in part: Unfortunately, along with the expressions of support we have received, we have become aware of individuals engaging in ad hominem attacks against Miller-Young. We do not condone this, and we ask that such attacks stop.
The university administration issued a statement on the episode dripping with contempt and disgust for the demonstrators. Vice-Chancellor Michael Young described the pro-lifers as outsiders and Evangelical types whose words can be disruptive. Not surprisingly, pro-lifers were offended.
Still, perhaps because ones expectations of academia have sunk so low, the rest of his statement merits at least tepid applause. The price of freedom for all to speak is that, at times, everyone will be subjected to speech and expression that we, ourselves, find offensive, hateful, vile, hurtful, provocative, and perhaps even evil, Young wrote. So be it! . . . Our Founding Fathers all white men of privilege, some even slave owners got it right when designing the First Amendment of the Constitution.
The surprising section of that paragraph is not the description of the Founders as white men of privilege and so forth thats boilerplate these days its the endorsement of free speech, which cannot be taken for granted on college campuses. (See, e.g. Unlearning Liberty, by Greg Lukianoff.)
Nor can academic seriousness. While its nice to see that UCSB endorses free expression, however reluctantly, theres another story contained in this kerfuffle that ought to make sensible peoples heads swim. Want to know what this taxpayer-funded professor teaches? Glance at the course catalog and youll find three courses that seem to amount to the same thing. Sexual Cultures, Genders and Sexualities, and Women of Color: Race, Sex, and Ethnicity. The first course is described thus:
Seminars focus on the political, social, and cultural dynamics of sexuality in modern society. Offerings may explore sexual representations, economies, laws, identities, performances, literatures, technologies, relationships, communities, and customs in the United States or abroad. Topics may vary.
That not a course description; its word salad. The other classes are indistinguishable. Miller-Young, a tenured professor, is also a self-described expert on pornography. Actually, reading excerpts from her forthcoming book and an opinion piece she wrote for the New York Times last year, its not too much to say that shes an enthusiast for porn, which she describes as empowering for women. Her book will be titled A Taste for Brown Sugar, and contains constructions like this that apparently pass for English at UCSB:
They use the seductive power of brown sugar to intervene in representation, to recuperate their subjectivities, and to make a living . . . in the porn industrys complex sexual economy . . . black women grapple with a hierarchal system shaped by racial and gender difference and discrimination. . . . Like countless enslaved women who fought in ways big and small against slaverys tyranny, black sex workers in porn enact forms of antiracist and antisexist counterinsurgency.
I dont know what it means to recuperate my subjectivities, but I do submit that this kind of intellectual degradation is deeply destructive of the high ideals a university should uphold. This professor is a petty tyrant capable of assaulting a 16-year-old. Far worse, she is representative of an entire class of witless ideologues who tenaciously indoctrinate their students and have put down deep roots in our universities.
Mona Charen is a nationally syndicated columnist. © 2014 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
"Intellectual degradation" and "witless ideologues" seem to be apt descriptions of such "professors," themselves the products of many decades of "Progressive" indoctrination in America's schools and universities.
The following is excerpted from a 1990's series entitled, "Lessons on Liberty," by a Co-Editor of "Our Ageless Constitution" & "Rediscovering the Ideas of Liberty." The "Lesson" contrasted the Ideas of Liberty which America's Founders believed should be taught to rising generations in order to maintain their freedom, with the Counterfeit Ideas being promoted in the so-called "public schools" of America for decades.
The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time; the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them. (Jefferson - 1774)
Statesmen may plan and speculate for Liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone which can establish the principles upon which Freedom can securely stand. (John Adams - 1775)
The Sacred Rights of Mankind are not to be rummaged for among old parchments or musty records. They are written, as with a sunbeam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the Hand of the Divinity itself, and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power. (Alexander Hamilton)
Without God, there could be no American form of government, nor an American way of life. Recognition of the Supreme Being is the first and the most basic expression of Americanism. Thus the founding fathers saw it, and thus, with Gods help, it will continue to be. (Dwight Eisenhower)
The same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe, the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God. (John F. Kennedy - 1961 Inaugural)
it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly implore His protection and favor .(George Washington)
Now the virtue which had been infused into the Constitution and was to give it the stability and duration to which it was destined, was no other than those abstract principles proclaimed in the Declaration of Independencenamely, the self-evident truths of the unalienable rights of man the sovereignty of the people, always subordinate to a rule of right and wrong, and always responsible to the Supreme Ruler of the universe for the rightful exercise of that sovereign power. (John Quincy Adams, on the occasion of The Jubilee of the Constitution - 1839)
"Today, across our nation, we see consequences of decades of gross neglect and outright censorship of the Founders ideas from textbooks and from our public discourse. We have allowed counterfeit ideas to dominate the public square, and the Founders principles have been crowded out. Unwittingly, many teachers and other unknowing officials have participated in the agenda of an unelected mind-controlling elite whose tyrannical actions have robbed generations of Americans from reading or studying the ideas that made America free. Like termites, they have eroded our foundations as effectively as if they had burned the books. Yet, not once have they been willing to call it by its rightful namecensorship. Once, in America, stifling ideas about the Creator and Creator-endowed liberty was considered unthinkable. . . .
"The ideas of liberty must be passed on from generation to generation if liberty is to survive. These ideas, when they are allowed to be examined freely, will prevail, because their appeal is to reason and to the love for liberty that is deep in the human heart. John Adams warned: The people of America now have the best opportunity and the greatest trust in their hands, that Providence ever committed to so small a number if they betray their trust, their guilt will merit even greater punishment than other nations have suffered, and the indignation of Heaven.
The idea of God is the keystone of a perverted society. The true root of liberty, equality and culture is atheism. (Karl Marx)
Our thinking is enlightened in the degree in which we cease to depend upon belief in the supernatural. (John Dewey, father of progressive education and 1st President of American Humanist Society)
democracy is a human faith and movement, unencumbered by supernatural preconceptions. (John Childs, a protégé of John Dewey at Columbia)
the majority of our youth still hold the values of their parents, and if we do not alter this pattern, if we do not resocialize ourselves to accept change, our society may decay. (John Goodlad, 1971 Report to President, Schooling for the Future)
As in 1933, humanists still believe that traditional theism, especially a faith in the prayer-hearing God, who is assumed to love and care for persons, to hear and understand their prayers, and be able to do something about them, is an unproved and outmoded faith. (Humanist Manifesto II, 1973)
the most important factor moving us toward a secular society has been the educational factor. Our schools may not teach Johnny to read properly, but the fact that Johnny is in school until he is sixteen tends to lead toward elimination of religious superstition. (Paul Blanshard, The Humanist, March-April, 1976)
It [the Natl. Education Associations publication list] includes the delegitimizing of all authority save that of the state, the degradation of traditional morality and the encouragement of citizens in general and children in particular to despise the rules and customs that make their society a functional democracy. The NEA is drifting into exceedingly dangerous waters, and probably carrying more than a few teachers and pupils with it. (Chester E. Finn, Jr., Asst. Sec. Of Education & Prof. Of Education & Public Policy, Vanderbilt Univ., 1982)
Now, my countrymen, if you have been taught doctrines which conflict with the great landmarks of the Declaration of Independence
let me entreat you to come back. Return to the fountains whose waters spring close to the blood of the Revolution. (Abraham Lincoln)
How times have changed! At the onset of the last Ice Age, when I was in college, I never was aware of the political beliefs of the professors, with one exception, a Keynesian economics professor, but he was quite subtle about the matter. They obviously felt that teaching the subject was more important than giving you their views on it, or anything else, for that matter.
If I were a parent today I would be very careful about what college I would send my children to. Very careful.
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