Just when the unprejudiced observer thought that it was impossible, the world of “Higher Education,” or what I not so affectionately refer to as “the Academic-Industrial-Complex,” continues to move ever-further leftward.
At George Mason University, the institution at which Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh holds a post as a Visiting Law Professor, students are up in arms.
The newly confirmed Justice had just signed a three-year contract with GMU’s Antonin Scalia Law School. Kavanaugh is scheduled to co-teach this summer with Jennifer Mascot, his former clerk, a class in England. Yet some students—approximately 2,000 who signed a petition that they have labeled, “Mason 4 Survivors”—are having none of it, demanding that GMU administrators promptly terminate Kavanaugh’s employment and “void ALL contracts and affiliation” with him.
Unsurprisingly, this recently formed student group has made other demands, including demands for the creation of the position of a round-the-clock, on-campus “Sexual Assault Coordinator” and a formal apology issued by GMU administrators for hiring Kavanaugh in the first place.
And, as The College Fix, a campus watchdog publication, informs us, the “Mason 4 Survivors” is as well demanding that “any and all documents” preceding the hiring of Brett Kavanaugh by GMU be made public.
It is no wonder, however, that GMU students are as brash and emboldened as they are. After all, they have professors, like Ahsan Butt, who teaches in the Schar School of Policy and Government, who tweeted such pearls of wisdom as the following:
“Let’s hire a rapist who repeatedly lied to Congress to teach law.”
At Princeton Theological Seminary, “the Association of Black Seminarians” is calling for their institution to reserve “no less than 15%” (but quite possibly significantly more) of the endowment it receives for operating expenses for the purpose of subsidizing tuition grants for black students.
But this is just one piece of the reparations package that the ABS is now proposing upon the Seminary’s recent acknowledgment of its historical involvement with slavery. According to the ABS’s petition, Princeton Theological Seminary must do much more than this. Repentance, these self-confessed Christians tell us, requires such things as “full tuition, fees, room and board grants for all admitted African-American students,” yes, but as well ten “full tuition, fees, room and board grants for admitted Liberian students” (emphasis added).
Now, the merits or demerits of the founding of Liberia as a concept aside, the fact remains that it was founded in response to the abolition of slavery. The ABS, though, has a response ready at hand. Princeton Theological Seminary, the ABS tells us, has a history of “documented complicity in the creation of that nation and its ongoing exploitation by American interests.”
Ah. So now, you see, the Seminary is being held to account not just for slavery, but efforts that were made to address the post-slavery situation in America.
Liberia isn’t the only African country that the ABS insists is due reparations. “Ten full tuition, fees, room and board grants” must be reserved as well for students from every other “West African country” ranging from “to the Senegal to the Congo [.]” The reason? These nations are “the original lands of those enslaved.”
(Interestingly, but predictably, the ABS is not demanding that students from these West African countries pay reparations, for it was their ancestors, black Africans, who sold their fellow black Africans into slavery.)
It isn’t just Protestant (Presbyterian) schools like Princeton that have degenerated into bastions of leftist activism. Roman Catholic colleges and universities are culprits on this score too. At John Carroll University, David Buhrow, an adjunct instructor of theology, is reported to have penalized students for referring to God with masculine pronouns.
In referring to God as “He” or “Him,” students were declared by their professor to be guilty of using “exclusive language.” Since God, Buhrow is alleged to have said, is “genderless,” God should be referred to as either “God” or “Godself.”
Students were also penalized for including in their essay assignment the terms “man” and “mankind” while referencing the human race.
In using masculine pronouns, Buhrow reportedly remarked that students are guilty of using “wording [that] excludes a group that makes up half the population.”
Baylor University—traditionally a Southern Baptist institution, and the school from which I received my master’s degree in philosophy 20 years ago—is evidently trying to outdo its Christian peers in the push to ingratiate itself to the self-appointed guardians of PC orthodoxy. Students there are pressuring administrators to cancel Matt Walsh’s impending speaking engagement.
Walsh is a Christian and a conservative-leaning writer for The Daily Wire who is scheduled to deliver a speech with the title: “The War on Reality: Why the Left has set out to redefine life, gender, and marriage.”
From the vantage point of his student-detractors, however, Walsh is guilty of promulgating “anti-LGBTQ speech,” which is “harmful hate speech.”
At Sara Lawrence College in Rhode Island, Professor Samuel Abrams continues to suffer persecution for an op-ed that he had published in that reactionary right-wing outlet, The New York Times. (To repeat: The. New. York. Times.)
Here, Abrams noted that at colleges and universities around the country, leftist ideological conformity is a more salient feature among college administrators than it is among faculty, which is really saying something given how notoriously left-wing the professoriate tends to be.
This, Abrams convincingly argued, is a danger to intellectual diversity in academia.
Little did he know that this rather banal editorial would ignite a firestorm on the little campus of Sarah Lawrence College. Students not only have been demanding that his tenure be revoked, but they have vandalized his office door and harassed him to the point that Abrams has felt the need to request campus security escorts.
His requests, though, have been declined.
So, too, has his request that the college’s president, Cristle Judd, come out strongly in favor of academic freedom gone unanswered. Reportedly, when she eventually got around to meeting with Abrams, Judd castigated him for having written his op-ed without first seeking her permission.
For those who may not be in the know, the principle of academic freedom exists precisely in order so that those who enjoy it do not have to seek anyone’s permission to express themselves, particularly when they are expressing themselves outside of the classroom.
That the foregoing is but an (admittedly) arbitrarily edited list of an exponentially larger number of scandals and outrages occurring daily in our institutions of higher learning should be cause for all of us who are concerned with the future of our country to tremble.