Progressives are Running the Universities

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The universities of Canada have worked like a gold mine for progressives. Many of the professors cited in the article have multiple research grants, contracts with government departments, awards for research and teaching, are fellows of the Royal Academy and, in at least one case, is a member of the Order of Canada. I could go on for pages citing their academic honours. University Affairs might have done its readers a greater service publishing an article entitled “The Racism Industry in Academia.”

One would think that after decades of widespread employment equity and the creation of entire departments and programs dedicated to the grievances and resentments of minorities and women, these academics would have some achievements to call for. Then again, why give up on what has been a most remunerative profession? Can these specialists do anything else? They don’t care much for Western high culture. Their research and teaching interests stand in direct opposition to the Greek discovery of rational argumentation, the Roman legacy in jurisprudence, the invention of polyphonic music in medieval France, the invention of linear perspective painting in Renaissance Italy, the invention of the novel in modern Europe, the calibration of uncertainty in Europe (1565-1657), the rise of Galilean and Newtonian science, and indeed the invention of Liberalism and Democracy.

What really matters for progressives is not equality of opportunity as a right but equality as a fact and equality as a result. This is why they have started advocating a way of thinking about merit consistent with “equity and diversity.” Grace-Edward Galabuzi, associate professor in politics at Ryerson, thinks that “When you have a critical mass of PhDs in a whole range of disciplines, the issue of whether you have to choose between [race] representation or quality [is] moot.” Tom Patch says “excellence in the academy requires equity and diversity.” The goal, it seems to me, is to enforce some racial or sexual balance rather than to encourage intellectual openness and variety. Professor Backhouse even says that those administrators who fail to make progress on diversity should be condemned as “not meritorious.” Excellence requires agreement with her agenda.

Anthony Lising, a professor of education at Stanford University, says that non-whites are better at integrating knowledge and political activism than whites — from which observation he suggests that they are rather excellent scholars. Others advise that the curriculum should place less emphasis on European culture, find new ways to adjudicate qualifications by advertising jobs in “community” papers and relying on “personal contacts” for hiring purposes. Dr Kobayashi wants nothing less than a campus-wide strategy commanding every faculty to offer an anti-racism course or a full program so that all students can learn about white racial attitudes.

Looking at the courses offered in Canadian universities, one wonders if the attempt to teach Western high culture is itself now seen as offensive. It is difficult to think of ethnic and gender courses as requiring any mental discipline internal to themselves apart from the foregone ideological conclusions for which they were created in the first place.

White academics welcome this blanket indictment against the “unearned privileges of white faculty” – to use the heading of a letter published in the subsequent issue of UA (December 2010), by Susan Gingell, professor of English at Saskatchewan. There were two letters published in this issue in response to Eisenkraft’s article; by Gingell, in which she suggests that whites are failing to recognize their “racialized privileges,” and by Baljit Singh (quoted in the article) in which he compliments Eisenkraft’s “balanced story.” Never mind that not a single contrarian view was mentioned in this article. In the “comments to this article” in the UA website, there are four comments currently listed (Dec. 5, 2010), each of which agrees with the accusations.

White progressives firmly believe that these impressionistic and anecdotal allegations are legitimate. Peggy Berkowitz, the editor of UA, calls them “serious” and praises Eisenkraft’s attentive journalistic habits. Not a few academic minorities – all too human as they are – have welcomed this state of affairs.

Indeed, racism has become a catch-all explanation for many of their everyday difficulties: the struggle to achieve good grades, publish articles, handle students who are skeptical of leftist policies, or just plain coping with bad affairs and unfriendly people. Whites and progressives don’t mind castigating the “structural racism” of the institutions they inhabit and operate daily. The culprit is not any one of them in particular, but the “structures” of Western culture, the family, capitalism, white masculinity, and the classics. The generations paying the price for an education based heavily on a “Studies” curriculum – Mothering Studies, Environment Studies, Peace Studies, Asian Studies – are the students coming out with a BA believing that truth is only a reflection of one’s own ethnicity and sexual orientation.

Dr. Duchesne is a professor of sociology at the University of New Brunswick, Saint John campus.

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  • Eli Levanoni

    The article in the University Affairs treats :whites: as though they are one group rather than being consisted of various ethnic backgrounds. Further, it shows the political biases of the respected magazine. As such it reflects contemporary way of presentation in the mass media. From a magazine devoted to university affairs one should expect reference to the scientific objectivity and a serious analasis of the data. It seems that the authore of the article did not even try to follow a serious intellectual research of the problem but rather had a solition and then looked for a problem.

    Unfortunately, this seems to be the state of affairs in the social science faculties at our universities.

    • grog

      Typical Liberal behaviour- .."got the solution before looking at the problem"

  • USMCSniper

    British Columbia introduced its grade 12 "Social Justice" elective course that will see homosexuality promoted in BC schools as an "alternate lifestyle" equivalent to natural marriage. The course is only the first part of a larger K-12 curriculum resulting from a Human Rights complaint settlement by the government with a pair of homosexual activists. The British Columbia Human Rights Commission ordered that Murray Corren and his homosexual partner Peter Corren be allowed to force the BC Education Ministry to accept their curriculum and that parents will not be allowed to remove their children. Murray Corren wanted the K-12 curriculum to include, "Queer history and historical figures, the presence of positive queer role models — past and present — the contributions made by queers to various epochs, societies and civilizations and legal issues relating to (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered) people, same-sex marriage and adoption. As well, provincial government had signed the settlement contract with the two men giving them unprecedented control over the content of the curriculum

    • grog

      ….As well, provincial government had signed the settlement contract with the two men giving them unprecedented control over the content of the curriculum ….
      The clowns are in control. !

  • ALFRED E. NEUMAN

    Any rationally thinking person does not have to be a college graduate to know the so called educational process is nothing more than LEFT WING, SOCIALIST COMMUNIST, Indoctrination! That accounts for the hordes of so called college graduates who of voting age vote for the likes of who is presently in the Whitehouse, and Congress! They have not been exposed to a fair and balanced education. Most of the people graduating have virtually no true understanding of the founders of this once great country, nor the real meaning of LIBERTY, FREEDOM, and SELF RELIANCE! They have bought hook line and sinker the lies of SOCIALISM, COMMUNISM, and the how evil this country is and why it must be changed into a SOCIALIST UTOPIA, which in truth can and never will exist. No where on the face of this earth where ever this evil system has been in tried has there been INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY, FREEDOM, or RESPONSIBILITY!
    It is a system where the controllers reduce populations to SLAVERY! If you doubt that look around the world and see for yourselves what DESPOTISM really is! We have a DESPOT already in the Whitehouse, and fellow travelers in Congress.

  • Fed_Republic

    Communist collectivism @ it's finest!

  • Chezwick_Mac

    The irony is that the one place where "institutionalized racism" is TRULY alive and well in America is the university itself, where student admissions preferences deliberately favor some races over others. While a case could be made for admittance policies to favor those from lower socio-economic backgrounds, there are times when a middle-class black student is admitted over a poor white student simply by virtue of race.

    We live in interesting times.

  • Fed_Republic

    When you let a bunch of social rejects take over your country this what you get!

    Everyone thought the wacko's of the Sixties had died out, but as we can see they just changed their tactics and became unseen parasites (most of them living off the taxpayers in one form or another) that grew and grew until they became entrenched in the body and taken control!

    That is what in our country, I call the Obomination Formulation!