In the Name of Education

FrontPage Mag | Jamie Glazov | Jan. 21, 2008

We are being bombarded by so many ideologies that it is almost impossible to keep up with them. Some of the underlying and unspoken goals of those ideologies are to attack the pillars of Western culture, namely Christianity. My task in those books is to expose them for what they are. I also want to give reasoned responses to them because they are irrational, unnecessary, and ultimately detrimental to Western societies.

FP: What do you think are the impulses of those leading the agendas against the pillars of Western culture? What utopian world do they envision?

Alexis: The impulses of those leading the agendas against the pillars of Western culture are many, too much to detail here. First of all, there are those in the academia and the media who simply hate what they themselves call a “white” civilization. In the 1980s, Jesse Jackson for example chanted, “Western culture has got to go.” Jackson, Al Sharpton, and a host of others simply hate “white curriculum.” They are very quick to blame racism for anything. John Michael of the University of Rochester complains: “Certainly the alienation of middle-class blacks and their intellectuals is intensified by the racism—some of it internalized—of the dominant white society…” As the black syndicated columnist Larry Elder has pointed out in his excellent book The Ten Things you Can’t Say in America: “Many American blacks falsely and unfairly accuse whites for black America’s “plight.” Bad schools? White racism. Crime? White racism.

Underperformance on standardized tests? Racist or “culturally biased” tests. Can’t get a loan for a home or a new business? Racist lending officers, who would rather reject profit than give a black man a loan. Disproportionately high arrest rates? Racial profiling by racist cops. To put it more bluntly, many blacks simply despise whites. They assume white bigotry and hostility toward blacks, and feel—against all evidence—that “white racism” remains an intense and formidable obstacle. So convinced that white racism stops black progress, many blacks not only ignore obvious signs of progress, but viciously attack anyone—especially someone black—who dares challenge the “they’re out-to-get-us” point of view.”

And because of that, many colleges and universities have become culturally sensitive. Other individuals in the academia simply want to indoctrinate young people. Perhaps the American philosopher Richard Rorty (who just recently passed away) was the best example. Rorty was professor of comparative literature and philosophy at Stanford University for years. Having followed the writings of atheist philosophers like Martin Heidegger, Michel Foucault, John Dewey and so forth, Rorty, speaking for most of his intellectual entourages, unequivocally declared:

“It seems to me that the regulative idea that we heirs of the Enlightenment, we Socratists, most frequently use to criticize the conduct of various conversational partners is that of ‘needing education in order to outgrow their primitive fear, hatreds, and superstitions’ . . . It is a concept which I, like most Americans who teach humanities or social science in colleges and universities, invoke when we try to arrange things so that students who enter as bigoted, homophobic, religious fundamentalists will leave college with views more like our own . . . The fundamentalist parents of our fundamentalist students think that the entire ‘American liberal establishment’ is engaged in a conspiracy. The parents have a point. Their point is that we liberal teachers no more feel in a symmetrical communication situation when we talk with bigots than do kindergarten teachers talking with their students . . . When we American college teachers encounter religious fundamentalists, we do not consider the possibility of reformulating our own practices of justification so as to give more weight to the authority of the Christian scriptures. Instead, we do our best to convince these students of the benefits of secularization. We assign first-person accounts of growing up homosexual to our homophobic students for the same reasons that German schoolteachers in the postwar period assigned The Diary of Anne Frank. . . You have to be educated in order to be . . . a participant in our conversation . . . So we are going to go right on trying to discredit you in the eyes of your children, trying to strip your fundamentalist religious community of dignity, trying to make your views seem silly rather than discussable. We are not so inclusivist as to tolerate intolerance such as yours . . . I don’t see anything herrschaftsfrei [domination free] about my handling of my fundamentalist students.”

Rorty is far from alone. David Horowitz has written an excellent book (The Professors) listing many leftist professors in our colleges and universities. I also have documented this in my book In the Name of Education

FP: Tell us some of your own experiences and what you have personally witnessed.

Alexis: One individual with whom I strongly disagree on other issues put it this way: “Most teachers are afraid of their principals, principals are afraid of their superintendents, superintendents are afraid of parents, parents are afraid of their children, and children aren’t afraid of anyone.” This has been some of my experiences when it comes to public schools. It appears that children are running the show.

Asian schools have made remarkable success because parents, teachers, and school administrations work hand and hand. Many parents nowadays are much more concerned about their kids getting an “A” in a class than real education. As long as their kids are doing “well,” then they don’t have to worry about anything else. Well, some liberal teachers will probably get into the game. I know that many of them do not want to deal with pressure, therefore they pass every student, even though some of those students want nothing to do with education.

This point has been clearly documented by reputable scholars. Thomas Sowell, for example, writes on this topic quite often in his columns. That is killing our schools. But there are also ideologies, and I clearly discuss many of them in my book.

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