By Mencken’s Ghost
May 6, 2011
The University of Arizona recently announced in a campus communication that the construction of two new residence halls was nearing completion. An excerpt:
Embodied in the very structure of two new University of Arizona residence halls is an important concept – that today's students should live in Earth-conscious, community-oriented environments encouraging them to be critically conscious and both socially and academically engaged.
Translation: As is done in the other residence halls at
the University of
Arizona, and at most other universities across the country, captive students will be indoctrinated by dormitory cadres in leftist thinking about oppression, social justice and diversity.
This is not hyperbole. Nor is the ranting of a conservative, since I’m not a conservative. It is a shameful fact about life on the campus of a state university.
Unbeknownst to parents and taxpayers, a sub-rosa group exists within the Residence Life department of the University of Arizona. It has the Orwellian name of Residence Education and is headed by a Coordinator of Social Justice. In the group’s own words, its mission is to “teach students living in campus housing about diversity and social justice issues.”
What gives these arrogant jerks the right and authority to teach students anything?
Judging by what the covert group actually does, its mission is to immerse impressionable young adults in half-baked, leftist notions. Equally alarming, their teaching is devoid of scholarly substance. Pedestrian and sophomoric, it doesn’t even meet the academic standards of high school, let alone a supposed institution of higher learning. Whether they are liberal, conservative, or somewhere in between, parents and taxpayers should not tolerate such assaults on young minds,
The university keeps this anti-intellectual tripe from public view, as if it is ashamed of what it is doing. The covert operation is not mentioned in the contract that students sign when registering to live on campus, it is not listed in course catalogs, it is not explained to parents during parent-student orientations, and it is not published in newsletters that are sent to parents.
Under the guise of “building community,” the covert operation works as follows: First, hundreds of resident assistants are trained to carry out the social and political goals of the Residence Education group. (Resident assistants are students who receive free room and board in exchange for enforcing regulations and maintaining order in residence halls, or dormitories.) Unfortunately, the training goes beyond matters of safety, health, security, good order, and recreation. It veers into matters of social, political and moral philosophy, but without any attempt at balance, scholarship, or academic freedom. Intelligent, independent-thinking resident assistants fear retribution if they dare to speak out against the group-think.
The hundreds of trained cadres are then expected to propagate the half-baked notions in residence halls by making and hanging propaganda posters, by conducting group exercises with residents, and by arranging readings of leftist literature.
This year, one exercise consisted of an oppression tunnel (don’t ask). Another was a role-playing exercise about Arizona’s controversial immigration law. Students playing sheriff deputies asked other students for identification. When they couldn’t produce the identification, they were arrested. Admittedly, the law gives heartburn to this writer, but the role play misrepresented how the law works and was clearly a political statement instead of an exercise in understanding both sides of the issue.
Unsurprisingly, students are led to believe that whites have been the only oppressors in human history. But for some inexplicable reason, white Hispanics are exempted from this gross stereotype. It’s as if the Conquistadors weren’t Hispanic, as if Spaniards hadn’t conquered most of what is now the western United States, and as if white (and brown) Mexicans have never engaged in brutality and oppression.
To accept such brainwashing as truth requires an appalling ignorance of history and lack of critical thinking.
Even more ignorantly, the indoctrination portrays statism and collectivism as the solutions to oppression and social injustice. Actually, the opposite is true: The cause of oppression and social injustice is the subjugation of the individual to the state, whether the state is socialistic or nationalistic. As history shows, especially by the more than 100 million people killed by states in the twentieth century, oppression is the triumph of the state over the individual.
But this view of the supremacy of the individual runs counter to the Hegelian philosophy that prevails in universities. As such, the view is verboten.
The views of Cornell West are not verboten, however. A black Princeton professor and member of the Democratic Socialists of America, he engages in hate speech and race mongering, blaming whites and capitalism for the world’s problems. When he spoke at the University of Arizona on April 1, white students cheered enthusiastically upon hearing his ugly stereotypes of whites, thus showing that the campus indoctrination is indeed effective with unlearned students. Ironically, the new Institute for Civil Discourse is located at the University of Arizona, but the university used student activity fees to sponsor hate speech.
In closing, here is a question for Arizona taxpayers and parents of college students: For heaven’s sake, why are you tolerating such brainwashing at a state university?
“Mencken’s Ghost” is the nom de plume of an Arizona writer who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.