Radical & PC College Students Running Amok
The activities on some of the nation’s campuses and the behavior of some students are causing anger, fear, and concern among citizens. Vitriolic outbursts and violence have reached levels of political unrest reminiscent of the worst days of the 1960s.
Demonstrations and protests are occurring on campuses and on city streets. It is unknown if students arrive at college with radical mindsets or if they acquire a protest mentality after attending classes.
Unwelcome on Campus
Conservatives find it increasingly difficult to teach or speak at colleges. Many believe that political correctness and the shutting down of meaningful discourse damages the potential for student learning and causes some colleges to seem more like indoctrination centers than places of higher education.
For many years, major talent including public servants, authors, and media personalities have been disinvited as commencement speakers, or never invited in the first place. More recently, those who don’t follow leftist ideologies aren’t even allowed on campus to give speeches. University professors with ideologies ranging from Left to Right are finding the speech codes, trigger warnings, and snowflake mentality of many students hard to accept.
Comedians as diverse as Jerry Seinfeld, Larry the Cable Guy, and Chris Rock won’t perform on campus for fear of causing a ruckus if they say something “offensive.”
Years ago, Chris Rock, who is anything but conservative, talked about the difficulties involved in performing for “kids raised on a culture of ‘We’re not going to keep score in the game because we don’t want anybody to lose.’” He said that a performer at a college “can’t even be offensive on your way to being inoffensive.” (New York Magazine, 12-1-14)
Seinfeld said, “I don’t play colleges, but I hear a lot of people tell me don’t go near colleges — they’re so PC (politically correct).” (USA Today, 6-8-15)
Antifa in the Streets
While mature discourse is dismissed as offensive, the anarchistic running amok of some students seems acceptable to many. Radical members of the loosely aligned organization Antifa show up in dark clothing with masks covering their faces, ready for violent confrontations. Some are students and some are teachers; they are sometimes joined by outside agitators with no academic affiliation.
Antifa radicals have disrupted many venues, including Washington, D.C. on Trump’s inauguration day; a parade in Portland, Oregon; the University of California at Berkeley; Middlebury College in Vermont; and near the Charlottesville campus of the University of Virginia.
Antifa is meant to depict “antifascist.” Their violent and unacceptable behaviors are like those of other extremists. Many consider the Ku Klux Klan and Antifa to be on a Right/Left continuum. But they can better be imagined in a circle, with the most extreme joined exactly at the top. Fascists and Marxists are members of the same fraternity — proponents of violence and extreme control over citizenry — just as Hitler and Stalin were two sides of the same coin. Neither group of extremists has any compulsion against hurting innocent victims or acting out in unlawful and anarchistic ways. A close examination of Antifa members might reveal former anti-Wall Street demonstrators that a few years ago were called Occupy.
Communist Student Downs Monument
On August 14, in Durham, North Carolina, a mob tore down a monument that was erected in remembrance of Confederate soldiers. Local college student Takiyah Thompson climbed a ladder and put a rope around the neck of the soldier depicted by the statue, enabling the mob to pull it down. The twenty-two-year-old woman attends nearby North Carolina Central University, a state school. Thompson is also a member of Workers World Party, a Communist organization.
Although police were there, no arrests were made as the statue was toppled or when the mob then marched through Durham streets obstructing traffic. Police officials later said officers were told to stand down to assure that there were no injuries. They did videotape the events. Protesters chanted “Cops and Klan go hand in hand!” Some of the hundred or so rioters wore dark clothing and triangle face scarves associated with Antifa.
The day after the mob action on the Durham courthouse grounds, ladder-climbing student protester Thompson proudly spoke at a news conference on the campus of North Carolina Central University. She said, “I’m tired of white supremacy keeping its foot on my neck and the necks of people who look like me.”
Police were present and arrested her. Thompson is charged with two felonies and two misdemeanors, including disorderly conduct, damage to real property, participation in a riot, and inciting others to riot. She was released on bail but not before more protesters who came to her court appearance to support her disrupted proceedings and were also arrested. Police identified and arrested several other people after viewing video of the riot.
A local TV station reports, “The World Worker’s Party [sic] Durham chapter has set up a legal defense fund to help [Takiyah Thompson] fight her case in court.”
A statement released by Workers World Party that salutes “comrade” Thompson and the others for their actions includes this: “The far-right is emboldened by Trump and an entire administration that supports and protects white supremacy, and is also desperate because of the rotten conditions resulting from capitalism at a dead end.” The group says on its website: “Workers World Party is a revolutionary Marxist-Leninist party dedicated to organizing and fighting for a socialist revolution in the United States and around the world.” (Workers.org, 8-24-17) “The party is active in the Black Lives Matter movement and supports the struggles of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community.” (ABC11.com, 8-15 and 8-16-17)
Political correctness makes local politicians and public officials afraid to halt such demonstrations of radicalism for fear of being accused of bigotry and losing their jobs or being voted out of office.
The Communist student and her organization chose to hold the news conference at the public college she attends, which is supported by taxpayer dollars. In a Facebook post, Thompson said she fears losing her job but didn’t indicate any fear that her college might suspend her or take any other action against her.
International Students Crowd College Hopefuls
Students from around the world are increasingly attending American high schools. Since 2004, the number of international students attending U.S. high schools has doubled. A federally funded study by the Institute of International Education found that in 2016, the number of foreign students swelled to 81,981.
Some students come here using F-1 visas. Others use a J-1 visa, which is intended for cultural exchange programs. “
All 50 states and Washington, D.C., have international students in high schools.” In 2016, 2,800 high schools had foreign students enrolled, according to the study.
The State Department reports that public school “tuition” must be paid by students with visas from other nations. That could be as little as $3,000 or as much as $10,000, depending on the district. The cash is one reason districts try to attract foreign students.
The foreign students usually represent a financial boon to school districts. The superintendent of Newcomb Central School District reports that eleven international students from Russia, Spain, and Vietnam joined a total of 85 local students at his rural schools in New York.
Some international students attend private schools and their tuition is determined by each independent school.
The reason these students and their families choose American high schools is to enhance the likelihood of being accepted to attend a U.S. college. The head of research at the organization that completed the study says a high school diploma is only the initial goal. Rajika Bhandari, head of research says, “They’re really looking at seeing themselves as being more competitive to get into a U.S. university.”
The majority of these students come from China, South Korea, Vietnam, Mexico, Japan, and Canada. Muslim-majority countries are also represented. In 2016, 87 visas for high school students from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen were provided by the State Department. Those nations would be banned from sending students if the Trump administration travel restrictions were fully implemented. (Wall Street Journal, 9-9-17)
The spots taken by foreign students mean fewer American teens are accepted to college. Colleges and universities desire foreign students because they almost always pay full tuition.
Financial Bonanza for Parents of Confused Student
Following a 16-month legal battle pitting parents of a transgender kindergarten student against a Minnesota charter school, the school has agreed to pay the child’s parents $120,000. Nova Classical Academy must also adopt an “inclusionary policy” from which other parents will not be allowed to opt their children out.
David and Hannah Edwards will get the settlement for being parents of a child who was “born male but presents as a girl.” The lawsuit was filed on their behalf by Gender Justice, “a nonprofit legal and advocacy organization for LGBT individuals.” It alleges that the school violated a state law called the Minnesota Human Rights Act and local law set by the city of St. Paul that is called the Human Rights Ordinance.
The local ordinance in St. Paul that resulted in a big payout for the Edwards family is the same sort adopted by Charlotte, North Carolina, which prompted legislators in that state to pass HB-2. That law was called discriminatory to LGBTQ citizens but was actually an attempt to restrain localities from enacting laws that were inimical to state laws. HB-2 in North Carolina was partially repealed after former Republican governor Pat McCrory was narrowly defeated by the current Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, in November of 2016. There is now a temporary ban on local governments passing such ordinances.
In Minnesota, the Edwardses claimed the school “denied their child the ability to undergo a gender transition at Nova [Classical Academy] in a safe and timely way.”
Other parents at the school will not be allowed to opt their children out of mandatory sensitivity training that begins in kindergarten, even if they have “religious or conscience objections.” In fact, the agreement suggests that parents may not even be made aware of the new gender-inclusion policy by stipulating that the school should “not call parents’ or guardians’ attention to the policy.”
Also included are changes to the dress code that eliminate any variations between what boys, girls, or others are allowed to wear. All staff must attend professional development or retraining so that they know how to handle transgender students in a manner deemed appropriate by those who make up these sorts of politically correct guidelines.
While draconian changes attempt to turn the school into a social science petri dish, it is hoped that Nova Classical Academy can maintain its top academic ranking among Minnesota K-12 schools, for the sake of the 920 students in attendance. The transgender child on whose behalf the lawsuit was filed now attends first grade at a different school. (DailySignal.com, 8-8-17)
Choosing American Heritage Girls
American Heritage Girls provides an alternative to Girl Scouts for parents who want their daughters to experience the fun and learning that the Girl Scouts organization formerly represented. Character development is central to Heritage Girls’ vision.
Girl Scout troops vary according to region and some may not reflect the troubling changes that headquarters promotes. But some families don’t choose to support an organization that no longer supports their worldview.
The Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas, has chosen to drop Girl Scouts and align with American Heritage Girls instead. In May of 2017, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann issued a statement that says in part, “Our greatest responsibility as a church is to the children and young people in our care. We have a limited time and number of opportunities to impact the formation of our young people.” The decision to break ties was made after years of intense investigation and conversations with local and other representatives of the Girl Scouts organization.
Archbishop Naumann’s statement says, “With the promotion by Girl Scouts USA of programs and materials reflective of many of the troubling trends in our secular culture, they are no longer a compatible partner in helping us form young women with the virtues and values of the Gospel.”
American Heritage Girls was founded in 1995 and provides opportunities for girls ages five through eighteen.
From Pathfinder through Tenderheart, Explorer, Pioneer, and Patriot age groups, girls earn badges for mastering skills and completing activities. Community service is a component of the program. Girls can also earn badges for participating in sports. Camping and field trips are an integral part of the American Heritage Girl experience.
For those who don’t want their daughters exposed to manuals and website materials that hold up people like Margaret Sanger (the founder of Planned Parenthood), Betty Friedan, and Gloria Steinem as role models, American Heritage Girls offers an attractive and viable alternative.
Trail Life USA is a similar program designed for boys.
Administrators at the Great Valley Charter School in Modesto suspended a five-year-old California boy who said he had a bomb in his backpack, accusing him of making “terrorist threats.” They called the kindergartner’s father at work and told him to pick him up. School officials later seemed confused about what accusations to heap on the child. Their indecision was due to the boy’s age and statutes that might only be applicable to students in 4th through 12th grade. The child’s permanent record might include the word terrorism or the district could state that he “intentionally engaged in harassment, threats, or intimidation.” His mother says the boy has an imagination and that he now “understands you can’t say ‘bomb’ at school,” but he still doesn’t know what threat means. (Fox6Now.com, 9-20-17)
When two students wore clothing bearing the Trump campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” to a math class at a Georgia high school, they were asked by their teacher to either turn their shirts inside out or leave. Teacher Lyn Orletsky was caught on tape claiming that the slogan was akin to a Nazi swastika. Orletsky was employed at River Edge High School in Woodstock for five years and previously worked in Florida. Following public outrage, the principal sent a letter to parents that was approved by the superintendent of schools, which stated: “Ms. Orletsky no longer is your child’s math teacher, effective immediately.” It remains unclear whether the teacher was fired or is on administrative leave. (Washington Times, 9-12-17)
A paper published in Review of Educational Research found that students who read from paper books have better retention than those who read using an electronic device. This finding held true for students at elementary, secondary, and college levels in “numerous studies” and for any amount of reading over 500 words or one page of a book. (HechingerReport.org, 8-23-17)
Book of the Month
The Tuttle Twins and the Road to Surfdom, Connor Boyack, Libertas Press, 2016, $9.99
This book’s title is a take-off on Nobel prize-winning economist F.A. Hayek’s work, The Road to Serfdom. Children who read about the Tuttle Twins’ own Road to Surfdom will become familiar with some basic economic principles Hayek espoused.
In this era when capitalism is under assault, including by many on college campuses, students must be armed with the truth because knowledge is power. College students away from home for the first time who are familiar with free-market economics and who have learned about the basic fundamentals of freedom from a young age are less likely to fall prey to indoctrination.
The Tuttle Twins series of books grabs the attention of a variety of age groups by presenting an engaging tale with an understory that older readers can study and discuss.
In this book, the Tuttle family arrives at their traditional beach vacation spot, La Playa. But the area has undergone some changes. A new highway and a building project created unintended consequences. Citizens believed improvements would alleviate traffic woes and provide other positive outcomes. The reality is that some business are already closed and others are in jeopardy, including a nearby dairy farm that employs locals. Families are being forced to sell their homes and move away.
At one point in the story, the children’s father says:
“The government tries to plan how people should act—whether it’s what beach they go to, or what their schools should teach, or what they can do with their property. But when people are free to make their own plans for themselves, everybody is happier and more prosperous.”
While very young listeners will enjoy the colorful illustrations and situations portrayed in these 60 pages as entertainment, older children will be aware that a tragedy is taking place in La Playa. They will learn the meaning of principles like Central Planning, Collectivism, Eminent Domain, Individualism, Omniscience, and Unintended Consequences.
Discussion questions include: “Why shouldn’t a few people make decisions for the many?” and “What are some current hot topics that demonstrate collectivism over individualism?”
If parents and educators want children to understand the basics of freedom and capitalism, they must help them to understand the principles on which our nation was founded at an early age. Failure to teach these lessons leaves high school and college students unprepared and more susceptible to indoctrination by those who spout socialist and anti-American rhetoric.
FOCUS: Why Common Core’s Lack of Literature Is Setting Kids Up for Failure
by Lisa Hudson
First appeared at TheNationalPulse.com on August 22, 2017. Reprinted with permission.
Recent research shows the average 12th grader reads at a 7th grade level. This finding isn’t terribly surprising. According to Renaissance Learning, developer of the popular Accelerated Reader, in 2015-16, the most frequently tested fiction book for grades three through seven was Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
Categorizing the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series as fiction requires a certain elasticity in the definition — along the lines of categorizing the Sunday comics as literature. [The front cover of the book describes it as “a novel in cartoons.”]
Nonetheless, this is problematic considering first-year college textbooks have complexity levels of 13.8 (one year and eight months post-secondary), and the same research found that less than 20% of high school seniors read texts at a 9th grade level or higher.
To set the stage, in 2009 the authors of the Common Core made what could be called radical changes to English Language Arts (ELA) requirements at all grade levels by increasing the required reading of informational text at the expense of fiction.
Common Core ELA standards mandate equal parts fiction to non-fiction in grades K-5, increasing to 55% informational text in grades 6-8, and 70% informational text in grades 9-12. According to ivory tower elitists, the changes were geared toward improving student reading levels and, with any luck, would turn Diary of a Wimpy Kid readers into college-and-career-ready scholars.
Whatever college-and-career-ready means, it’s safe to say 12th graders reading at a 7th grade level isn’t it. Arguably, anything is better than the pablum served up by Diary of a Wimpy Kid, but increased reading of informational text has proven to be just another education reform gimmick.
Renaissance Learning research aside, recent ACT/SAT results indicate the experiment is failing. Furthermore, there is no empirical research to indicate the experiment would do anything other than fail. When words like “peevish,” “penetralium,” “soliloquized,” and “actuate” turn up on the SAT, it’s no small wonder that kids who have been reading dialogue in the thought bubbles of a cartoon character need remedial courses in college.
Fiction, especially literature, is simply better for students in a multitude of ways — ways in which informational text cannot compare. Informational text being foisted on students under the guise of education has no literary value and is strongly biased toward progressivism and social justice: workers’ rights, LGBT rights, Muslim persecution, man-made climate change, and anti-capitalism, among others. One resource used by schools has a selection of articles solely dedicated to “far right extremism.”
Not only does reading of fiction make students better readers and writers, it makes them better humans.
First, the most obvious benefit: Research shows reading fiction is as important as reading in general with respect to vocabulary acquisition. In the study, people who described themselves as avid readers and specifically avid readers of fiction outscore those who read “a lot” but fiction only “somewhat” or “not much” by about 8,000 words. This is because the breadth of vocabulary typically used in fiction is far more expansive than in non-fiction writing.
Less obvious is that fiction, and in particular classic literature, has been shown on MRI to engage not only different parts of the brain, but portions of the brain that improve empathy and are used to process other people’s intentions. E.M. Forster, author of A Passage to India, described it when he said:
“If I say to you the king died and then the queen died, that’s a sequence of events. If I say the king died and the queen died of grief, that’s a story. That’s human. That calls for empathy on the part of the teller of the story and of the reader or listener to the story.”
In The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human, Jonathan Gottschall said, “When we read nonfiction, we read with our shields up. We are critical and skeptical. But when we are absorbed in a story, we drop our intellectual guard. We are moved emotionally, and this seems to leave us defenseless.”
A study performed at Stanford University explored the relationship between reading, attention, and distraction of subjects while reading Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park. Researchers found critical reading of humanities-oriented texts fostered analytical thought. As one of the researchers noted, “…literary study provides a truly valuable exercise of people’s brains.”
Scientists have also found that reading passages of literary fiction, in comparison to non-fiction or popular fiction, does indeed enhance the reader’s performance on “Theory of Mind” tasks, which are defined as the capacity to comprehend that other people hold beliefs and desires and that they may differ from one’s own. Study participants who read literary fiction scored higher on affective and cognitive tasks than subjects who read nonfiction, popular fiction, or nothing at all. Unlike popular fiction, in which characters and their experiences are consistent and predictable, literary fiction portrays characters more vaguely, requiring the reader to be more introspective when making inferences about a character’s motivations and intentions.
Research substantiates that literary fiction shapes us and has the ability to knit us together as a community. Gottschall wrote, “By enhancing empathy, fiction reduces social friction. At the same time, story exerts a kind of magnetic force, drawing us together around common values.”
In the simplest of terms, classic literature is the common experience. It promotes a conversation that interests history, cultures, religion, and politics.
As Dr. David Whalen, Provost and Professor of English at Hillsdale College, said in a speech given at the college, “(Literature) equips the imagination to recognize the moral, or consequential, or human, or perhaps divine significance of our lives and the events therein.” Classic literature is, by its nature, not a set of ideas or instructions, but an experience — even when vicariously lived.
Education reformers lament 12th graders reading at a 7th grade level and that an extraordinarily high number of students entering post-secondary schooling require remediation in English. Their response to fallen and stagnant SAT and ACT scores is more intrusive, agenda-driven education policy. However, education reform that facilitates the reading of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and social justice propaganda has done more to cultivate illiterate protesters who have been taught what to think than well-read students who have been taught how to think.
So here we are treading water, if not losing ground. The reduction of fiction that was demanded by Common Core ELA standards, which diminished classic literature, and its intrinsic value — vocabulary growth, increased empathy, the shared human experience, a reduction in social friction, and improved analytical thinking — has done nothing to improve student literacy. As a fellow lawyer recently commented about young law school grads, “They know the law, but they can’t write a sentence or tell a story.”
Unless, by chance, it fits perfectly into a thought bubble.
Lisa Hudson is a founding member of Arizonans Against Common Core and an advocate of classical Christian education and the protection of student privacy. She graduated from Michigan State University School of Law in 1996 and is an active member of the State Bar of Michigan.
The National Pulse is a Washington-based political news and new media publication that offers conservative political analysis and investigative reporting. It was formed to promote honesty in politics, aiming to offer facts in an effort to prevent misinformation from spreading across traditional and social media channels.
The ‘Most Fulfilling Thing’ Phyllis Schlafly Ever Did
By Jordan T. Henry
The following was published at Phyllis Schlafly.com on September 21, 2017 as part of a series titled “Fifty Years of the Phyllis Schlafly Report.” Her column as referenced by Mr. Henry is available at PhyllisSchlafly.com. Reprinted with permission.
For someone as accomplished as Phyllis Schlafly, the question “What’s the most fulfilling thing you’ve ever done?” carries a lot of weight. The answer, which was given in the March 1994 Phyllis Schlafly Report aptly titled “The Most Fulfilling Thing I’ve Ever Done,” will certainly shock you. To Phyllis, her most fulfilling victory was not starting the conservative movement, working with President Ronald Reagan, or even defeating the Equal Rights Amendment. The answer is not just one that will amaze, but one that will inform you of the best way to ensure a prosperous future for our children and our nation.
What was this most fulfilling accomplishment of Phyllis Schlafly?
In Phyllis’s own words, the most fulfilling thing she ever did was to teach her children how to read. Phyllis understood that the ability to read opens doors that allow children to become productive and prosperous citizens. As she put it:
“Most parents work hard to provide their children with the material things of life. Many parents work hard to provide their children with the spiritual things in life — faith in God, moral training, and good and healthy habits. There is something else you can do for your child that is important to both goals —because it’s the key to what your child will be able to do on his own. You can teach your child to read.”
Clearly, reading was something Phyllis placed in very high regard.
This made it all the more shocking that many schools are not teaching students to the point of proficiency in reading from the time-tested phonics method. Instead, they rely on bad systems like the “Whole Language Method,” which is basically a literary guessing game where kids pretend to be reading something by guessing at pictures. This shocking problem combined with the great import of literacy led to the publication of one of the most popular books Phyllis Schlafly ever published. First Reader and its cousin for older children and adults called Turbo Reader are still in print today and available for purchase because parents still want to teach their children how to read the right way.
However, Phyllis Schlafly knew that literacy was the cure not only for individual underachievement but for social maladies as well. She called it “an urgent necessity for our whole nation.”
Reading has the power to lift up entire communities that have been impoverished for generations. Reading can open doors for careers and opportunities that were never thought possible. What’s more, anyone in any income bracket can teach their child how to read. The internet and public libraries make almost any information freely available to all who know how to read. Yet, if someone fails to learn to read well enough to understand information and to communicate effectively, they will never be able to advance themselves or their children and live out the American Dream.
We must recognize that any politician who claims to care about the next generation, and particularly those who are a minority or impoverished, must care about reading being taught the right way.
Parents cannot rely on Washington, their states, or even their local school boards for this fundamental prerequisite to success in life. We, too, can share in the fulfillment Phyllis felt in what she called “the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done.” Just as the March 1994 Phyllis Schlafly Report called for action by individuals as well as communities, we must take on an individual responsibility for the promulgation of literacy to those that need it most.
Jordan T. Henry is Director of Research for the Eagle Forum Education and Legal Defense Fund. Prior to taking his current position, Jordan spent two summers interning at the Phyllis Schlafly Center with Phyllis’s direct editorial oversight of his writing. He attended the 2016 Republican National Convention as an aide to Phyllis and her staff. Jordan is a graduate of Pensacola Christian College.
The ‘New Wave of Intolerance’ Among Liberal Academia
By Jordan T. Henry
This retrospective analysis of what Phyllis Schlafly warned us about in 1992 was published at PhyllisSchlafly.com on September 1, 2017. The complete Phyllis Schlafly Report referenced is available at that website. Reprinted with permission.
Long before President Trump could come in and tear down the walls of political correctness, someone had to build those walls. The May 1992 Phyllis Schlafly Report chronicles the rise of political correctness in American society. It clearly lays out who the original political correctness (PC) culprits were and how they began their campaign to silence the truth across our nation. As we continue to wage the fight against the PC forces of the Left, let’s arm ourselves with the on-the-ground insight of Phyllis Schlafly.
The influx of political correctness, like so many liberal trends, began on the campuses of universities and colleges around America. The influence of the Left on college campuses has always been rampant and well-chronicled by the Phyllis Schlafly Report. From the affirmative action codes that keep students from getting admitted to the course requirements in diversity studies that impede students from getting out, no student can escape the liberal ideology that permeates every level of the academic world. From the ivory tower separating them from reality, the ideologues of the Left created a model of controlled speech that eventually bled out into the political sphere and every aspect of American life.
With their largely taxpayer-funded campuses as their sandbox, the academics of the Left began the assault on liberty when the campus rioters of the 1960s joined their ranks. They began to emphasize multiculturalism over education and reject traditional values purely because historic proponents of them like the Founding Fathers are predominantly “dead white European males.”
Despite the rhetoric of the academic Left, they do not fight for inclusion, butfor exclusion of ideas with which they disagree. Phyllis wrote:
“The tenured radicals no longer have to take to the streets; they control the university administration, policies, and curriculum, and they are trying to coerce others to conform. These new intolerant PC censors attack not only the opinions of those who disagree with them, but the right to disagree.”
On the campuses where Leftists rule the roost, opposing views are not only unfashionable, they are intolerable.
Of course, not all college educators fall into the liberal mold. In fact, there are many independent-thinking conservative professors who are suppressed by a system stacked against them just as much as their students are. Both are subjected to restrictions on every area of life.
Phyllis wrote that “Under a Political Correctness regime … everything must be seen as political.” Through the Phyllis Schlafly Report, she exposed colleges like the University of Wisconsin and their broad categorization of jokes as “discriminatory comments.” She also reported on the University of Connecticut’s ban on “inappropriately directed laughter.” Any regime that would go so far as to restrict speech, beliefs, and even laughter are doubtlessly Orwellian to the extreme.
A generation later, we can all see the effects of experimentation with political correctness on college campuses. The PC thought police have invaded almost every area of American life.
The military implements sensitivity training for troops while employers punish employees with sensitivity training if they do not toe the PC line.
College campuses have devolved into chaos as Antifa rioters block conservative speech and even physically assault fellow students for the crime of agreeing with our nation’s own president.
The state of our nation today proves that the logical conclusion of political correctness is the forceful suppression of free speech and public discourse.
Thankfully, Phyllis Schlafly did much more than write about the problem. She became a part of the solution. While the PC Left enforces their speech codes in the political sphere through fear, Phyllis was not afraid to proclaim the truth from a position of confidence and reason. She also recognized fellow patriots like Donald Trump who could cut through the political correctness to stand for our values and principles.
Knowing that our PC culture comes from the bastions of liberal academia which are entirely disconnected from reality, we must coalesce around the banners of free speech and public discourse on college campuses and everywhere. That is the only way to train up the next generation of innovative and independently thinking Americans.
University of Missouri in Crisis
One school that buckled under to radical student demands is paying the price in public shunning. The University of Missouri in Columbia allowed that campus to be taken over by some angry students and complicit professors in November of 2015. The impetus for the protests was allegedly racism. Failure to stop the chaos, a faux hunger strike by a privileged African-American student, and the videotaped antics of a professor calling for “muscle” to keep a student journalist from filming the protests have all contributed to a decline in enrollment.
Irony ran high during the days of strife at the college fondly called Mizzou. An illegal tent city was constructed and allowed to remain for days on the campus mall. The hunger striker trying to represent victims of injustice, who was actually eating, comes from a wealthy, successful family. The professor who tried to put the kibosh on the First Amendment was an advisor to the journalism department. Most alleged incidents of racism or discrimination on campus and in the nearby community were eventually proven to be either hoaxes or simply false.
Radical student protesters who said the university didn’t react harshly enough against racially motivated incidents (that didn’t actually happen) demanded the resignations of the university system president and the campus chancellor.
So they resigned.
It is unclear exactly how many current and potential students became worried about their personal safety after days of violence, disorder, and administrative cowering at Mizzou. What is clear is that freshman class enrollment is down 35% in the two years since the protests. The 2017 class is the smallest since 2008. The university has a $32 million budget shortfall. Seven residence halls have been closed and 474 jobs cut.
The New York Times says that “Missouri also has appointed a chief diversity officer; promised to double the percentage of minority faculty members by 2020 and recruit more minority postdoctoral fellows; and is requiring diversity training for faculty and staff members and incoming students.” (7-10-17)
It is unclear whether those actions, which fulfill some of the mob demands, will help or hurt the university. The school could have avoided all this if those in charge had told the perpetually offended to either get back to class or go home to their parents. On a campus of 33,000 other students, a few protesters were allowed to create havoc that will have severe and lasting consequences for those who teach there, for alumni, the community, and students who simply want to get an education.