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Most students no longer are taught their nation’s triumphs that would equip them to be knowledgeable citizens.
Major universities have turned from instruction in the significance of Western Civilization to the “profound” influence of Lady Gaga, (real name: Stephanie Germanotta), the bizarre recording artist whose commercial success has somehow topped charts around the world. In some colleges today even history majors don’t have to delve into our nation’s influences and beginings.
The national Association of Scholars, in a new analysis, “The Vanishing West: 1964-2010,” describes the tragic near disappearance of the study of Western Civilization from the American undergraduate curriculum.
Four top-tier universities now offer Lady Gaga’s influence in music, the arts, fashion and the LGBT lifestyle. At the same time, shockingly, none of the schools—University of Virginia, University of South Carolina, Wake Forest, and Arizona State require their students to study history to get their diploma.
Western civilization courses have been scratched from the general education requirements. They have been replaced in large part by courses that either undermine traditions in the West or “Balkanize” the curriculum. For example, black studies emphasize the plight of blacks. Women’s studies enthuse over the rising role of women. Yet American history, when it is available and required, emphasizes conflict, exploitation and imperial goals. Third World studies typically relate supposed abuse and unfair dominance by the West.
Polls indicate that students are alienated from their own culture. Witness the Occupy Wall Street Movement., so warmly embraced by Obama forces. Young people who will vote this year and some of whom will eventually be the nation’s leaders are no longer learning about their civilization’s triumphs and its role in transforming the human condition.
“[F]or much of the twentieth century the Western history survey course was the standard means by which colleges and universities provided American undergraduates with a coherent nature of their civilization’s rise,” the National Association of Scholars (NAS) said. The studies told of the exceptionalism of the United States, a national characteristic which Barack Obama disparages.
“Western Civilization courses had deep symbolic importance for those who were seeking to refocus the undergraduate curriculum on multiculturalism and diversity,” the NAS declared. “When in 1987 Jesse Jackson led Stanford protestors in a chant of ‘Hey hey, ho ho, Western Culture’s got to go,’ the object was not to displace mathematics or English literature, but eliminate a course that focused on Western Civilization,” the analysis recalled. Getting rid of Western Civilization courses reflected an ideological hostility. “Western Civilization” had come to be seen by radicals as a form of apologetics for racism, imperialism, sexism, and colonialism.
The first, comprehensive, multi-year investigation of subjects being taught in colleges across the country was “One-Party Classroom: How Radical Professors at America’s Top Colleges Indoctrinate Students and Undermine Our Democracy,” by David Horowitz and Jacob Laksin in 2009. They cited more than 150 courses revealing the left-wing politics infused in liberal arts curriculum, including attempts to convince students that America is imperialistic and racist. An earlier book (2006) by Horowitz, “The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America,” exposed those with terrorist or non-democratic goals.
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