Academic liberalism replaced with leftism
The Twitter exchange between my son and me captures the frustration of college students (and parents) all across America:
Jimmy: “Teacher just suggested that we read The People’s History of America. Who doesn’t love biased liberal opinions to start the mornin #shootme”
Me: “Howard Zinn!? Awesome! Your indoctrination has begun. #soproud #occupyyourliberalcollegeeducation”
From the elite, Northeastern liberal arts college our eldest daughter attended, to the sprawling Southern state university where our son recently began his studies, academic “liberalism,” the quest for an expansive and enlightening education, has been soundly replaced with raw, unvarnished leftism.
The school year has just begun, but already the subtle and not-so-subtle leftism of American colleges and universities is making itself apparent. To wit:
At American University, Adrienne Pine, a professor of “Sex, Gender and Culture” who also is a single mother, brought her sick baby to the first day of class. She viewed this as the best option, rather than ask her teaching assistant or another professor to cover for her so she could stay home with her child.
During her lecture, Ms. Pine’s daughter crawled around the room, put a paper clip in her mouth (a student brought this to her attention), and was shooed away from an electrical outlet. The teaching assistant rocked the child for a bit until she became fussy. That’s when the professor nursed her hungry baby, a perfectly natural and lovely thing to do.
But not in class. In fact, as a parent paying thousands of dollars per instructional hour, none of this mother and baby time is appropriate for a college classroom. Some students complained. The college newspaper wrote a story about it. So of course, Ms. Pine lashed out at being criticized.
Rather than be held accountable for the unprofessional and disruptive decision to bring her child to class, this self-described “militant medical anthropologist” is donning the cloak of victimhood, for surely her behavior choices are only being questioned because our culture is anti-woman.
Meanwhile, at the University of Minnesota Duluth, administrators are spending $4,000 for speaking fees and expenses to bring to campus an exhibit by a transgender photographer, Loren Cameron, that graphically depicts his sex reassignment process from woman to man.
If gender confusion is, in fact, a medical condition that must be treated by sex reassignment, then hosting an art show to depict the process would be akin to hanging pictures of cancer patients in treatment, or amputees rehabbing from surgery.
On the other hand, if the purpose is to normalize transgenderism and debunk the “myth” of heteronormativity (the odd notion that what’s normal is to be heterosexual), then an exhibit makes a lot of sense.
Yay for college, where kids can learn so many cool things.
It seems radical leftism is a priority for Minnesota Duluth’s administration. Earlier this year, it came under fire for hosting controversial speaker Tim Wise to discuss with the students America’s “white privilege” problem.
Of course, with the presidential election just around the corner, leftists are using the authority of the classroom to advance the political ball. Too bad for Professor Sharon Sweet of Brevard Community College in Cocoa, Fla., who didn’t realize that requiring her math students to identify their political party and sign a pledge to “Vote for Barack Obama and Democrats up and down the ticket” was a no-no.
She apparently is now on leave. But that’s good for her, as she’ll have more time to work for GottaVote.org, the Obama-Biden website from whence she printed out the voter pledge card.
The school year is young. Still so much time for campus leftists, otherwise known as “the faculty,” to impose their one-sided world view on a new generation of knowledge seekers, while administrators, also called “the PC police,” curb freedom of speech and seek uniformity of values and opinions.
Who knows? Maybe one day conservatives will be part of the minority studies curriculum.