Adopt a Dissenting Book


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Adopt a Dissenting Book.

That’s the theme and battle cry of the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s fall campaign to prevent the violations of students’ academic freedom rights that have become routine in universities all across the country and to open up radical professors’ classrooms to true intellectual diversity.  David Horowitz describes the objective of the campaign as “making sure that our students are no longer force fed with politically correct conclusions on controversial issues but instead provided with materials that will help them think for themselves.”

Inspiration for the Adopt a Dissenting Book Campaign comes from the classic statement about the principles of a democratic education issued by the American Association of University Professors in 1915: “It is not the function of a faculty member in a democracy to indoctrinate his students with ready-made conclusions on controversial subjects… [but to] train students to think for themselves and to provide them access to those materials which they need if they are to think intelligently.”

These principles are as inarguably valid today as they were nearly a century ago.  Yet they are not only ignored but scored in many American college classrooms.  The prevailing attitude today is summarized by a statement made by Professor Norma Cantu, a former Department of Education official in the Clinton administration, at a recent conference of the Modern Language Association.  When asked if students were being radicalized in her courses and those of her colleagues, Cantu replied, “I hope so.”

Commenting on the campaign and the current tendency on the part of academic radicals to turn their classrooms into indoctrination chambers, Horowitz comments, “Today’s students are being victimized by a form of consumer fraud.  You can’t get a good education if they’re only telling you half of the story.”  He enumerates the kinds of intellectual assault that college students face today:

  • programs whose titles show the overt commitment to propaganda such as “anti-oppressive education,” “teaching for social justice,” and “the pedagogy of the oppressed”;
  • professors who assign hundreds of pages of Karl Marx, Barbara Ehrenreich, or Howard Zinn, but not a page of Friedrich Hayek, Christina Hoff Sommers, or Thomas Sowell;
  • courses that insist that gender is “socially constructed” and ignore the definitive texts that argue that it is biologically determined.

The Adopt a Dissenting Book Campaign, which will be spearheaded by the Freedom Center’s Students for Academic Freedom, is designed to remedy this substitution of indoctrination for education, and to see that professors provide students with texts that reflect, rather than suppressing, the important controversies in our intellectual world.  The goal is to see that students have access in class to both conservative and liberal ideas.  “It is important to note that we are not asking professors or administrators to remove any books for reading lists,” Horowitz points out.  “This is a campaign for more books, not fewer; for more inclusiveness and for increased intellectual diversity.”

At Temple University, for example, a class called “History of the United States since 1877” has only one assigned text—a work titled Created Equal.  The professor said he chose it because of its focus on topics such as “American Imperialism, Reaganomics, The Assault of Welfare, and the Widening Gap Between Rich and Poor.”   Horowitz notes:  “Our campaign would make sure that a dissenting viewpoint to this anti-American hate-fest is presented in a book such as Paul Johnson’s A  History of the American People.”

Or at USC a course is offered on “Middle East Relations: Colonialism, Nationalism, and Identity.”  It is designed as an anti Israel propaganda course and all of the several assigned texts are blatantly anti Israel.  Horowitz says that the new campaign “would make sure that also least one text challenging this extremist view—Alan Dershowitz’s The Case for Israel, for instance—must also be made available to students.”

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  • proxywar

    No Ayn rand?

  • Stephen_Brady

    This reminds me of a text that I was forced to teach from, in the university where I taught. The course was Introduction to Logic, and the text was "A Concise Introduction to Logic", by Hurley.

    It wasn't that the book didn't provide a sound basis for teaching logic. The problem was that one cannot teach logic without examples. I would say that at least 2/3rds of the examples also provided some level of indoctrination in lefitist values. If an example had a conservative belief or value, it was overwhelmingly negative (not to mention violating whatever principle of logic was under consideraton). The leftist examples were positive, and "logical".

    There are other texts that were ideologically neutral, but the department would not consider them.

    Just one small example from the sea of leftist indoctrination …

    • sflbib

      The problem is that logic is used to arrive at truth. How is this possible if truth is defined by ideology? The Left found it necessary to re-define truth because their ideology is full of holes. “What is true for you might not be true for me,” as the claim goes. [Note that even this statement is illogical.]

      A case in point. The dictionary defines “racist” as, “1) a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others; 2) a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination; 3) hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.” When it was shown that some actions and statements by racial minorities fit one or more of those definitions, liberals quickly added the qualifier that only whites could be racists because “only they had the power to enforce their racism.” But look at the KKK. How much power do they have today? Very little, but no one would seriously consider that they shed any of their racism when their power declined. On the flip side, there is Jesse Jackson who has honed extortion [aka, shakedown] of white corporate America to a fine art, and even made it de facto legal. Now THAT is power.

      The addition of the qualifier is a ruse because minorities, being human, are just as capable of being racists as whites, but the concept of minority racism just doesn’t fit liberal ideology. Hence, a minority statement or policy might not be correct logically or in reality [e.g., minorities can’t be racists], it is correct politically. "Political correctness" therefore is the intersection [Venn Diagramatically speaking] of illogic and ideology.

  • BillKerney

    Jeffrey:

    I recommend adding two more steps to your procedure:

    1. have David contact Glenn Beck and see if Glenn will allow you to appear on his show after you have given universities a chance to correct the propaganda process taking place in their classrooms.

    2. work with Tea Parties to place initiatives on ballots that mandate books from an alternative point of view when only leftist values are found. Removal of funding for the class and the professor if there is no change.

    There is no reason why taxes from everyone support a sole (leftist) POV.

    • ENOUGH

      We need to take this problem into legislation. All learning institutions that accept public money MUST provide an unbiased environment in the classrooms. All student must be allowed to identify their own constructs of political basis derived from a system design to teach, not to lead. Parents and fellow classmates can try to influence all they want, however as an instructor it is morally and philosophically wrong to push any bias agenda in a classroom or learning environment. Where is freedom of choice if only one side of an issue is presented, or worse, opposing viewpoints are denounced as wrong. This sounds more like what we’d find in a communist society or tyrannical dictatorship than a free and open society.

      • BillKerney

        My reply is posted at <a href="http://frontpagemag.com/2010/09/14/adopt-a-dissenting-book-2/#IDComment99657384:http://frontpagemag.com/2010/09/14/adopt-a-dissen… />Rather than talk let's DO! David has access to Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck. – Top down marketing. As for bottom up marketings -> Let's make David's cause a cause for the entire Tea Party movement – about 35% of America. I can supply the funds to contact each Tea Party in America to get them to back David's vision and I will also put up the $s to create the legal to write the initiative. So we have all the tools we need. Let's act. The ball is in NOW David's court.We can make all the connections and create the foundation to make David's vision roll through our culture. Are we going to sit on a good idea or act on it? The mistake David made in the past was not seeing that some people/groups don't move for whatever reason – inertia or their assumption of their position in the ruling class –> like the supposed conservatives (such as Rove and Krauthammer) who opposed Christine O'Donnell in Delaware. David is committed to change so let's make it happen. I am ready to do my part. Who is with me?

      • BillKerney

        My reply is posted at <a href="http://frontpagemag.com/2010/09/14/adopt-a-dissenting-book-2/#IDComment99657384:http://frontpagemag.com/2010/09/14/adopt-a-dissen… />Rather than talk let's DO! David has access to Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck. – Top down marketing. As for bottom up marketings -> Let's make David's cause a cause for the entire Tea Party movement – about 35% of America. I can supply the funds to contact each Tea Party in America to get them to back David's vision and I will also put up the $s to create the legal to write the initiative. So we have all the tools we need. Let's act. The ball is in NOW David's court.We can make all the connections and create the foundation to make David's vision roll through our culture. Are we going to sit on a good idea or act on it? The mistake David made in the past was not seeing that some people/groups don't move for whatever reason – inertia or their assumption of their position in the ruling class –> like the supposed conservatives (such as Rove and Krauthammer) who opposed Christine O'Donnell in Delaware. David is committed to change so let's make it happen. I am ready to do my part. Who is with me?

  • Guest

    The Liberal Arts Dept. at American universities are little more than safe havens for the effete Lefty's who thrive in these ideological cocoons. They are now infested with radical wing nuts from the 60's and protected by more of the same in their Administrations. This is an insulated and self-propagating infestation that will need fumigation before any curriculum balance is remotely possible. BillKerney's post (above) is a good way to start the process. Publicity should target alumni and urge witholding of alumni donations until reforms are made. Money talks but lack of money screams.

  • Jim Johnson

    Relax. the cost of education is so high that most recognize costs must be cut. The consideration of eliminating tenure is now on the table. The pressure is also to bump courses that are part of the "College of Useless Arts".
    The more students complain about these dogmatic professors the easier it will be to get rid of them., Who would want to sit in a class and three times each week be preached to by Dan Rather. Reality check any one?

  • BillKerney

    Rather than talk let's DO! David has access to Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck. – Top down marketing. As for bottom up marketings -> Let's make David's cause a cause for the entire Tea Party movement – about 35% of America. I can supply the funds to contact each Tea Party in America to get them to back David's vision and I will also put up the $s to create the legal to write the initiative. So we have all the tools we need. Let's act. The ball is in NOW David's court.

    We can make all the connections and create the foundation to make David's vision roll through our culture. Are we going to sit on a good idea or act on it? The mistake David made in the past was not seeing that some people/groups don't move for whatever reason – inertia or their assumption of their position in the ruling class –> like the supposed conservatives (such as Rove and Krauthammer) who opposed Christine O'Donnell in Delaware. David is committed to change so let's make it happen. I am ready to do my part. Who is with me?