Academic cesspools II

November 14, 2007

In my Oct. 20 column in these pages on “Academic cesspools,” I wrote about “Indoctrinate U,” a recently released documentary exposing egregious university indoctrination of young people at prestigious and not-so-prestigious universities (www.onthefencefilms.com/movies.html). I said the documentary only captured the tip of a disgusting iceberg.



The Philadelphia-based Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a frontline organization in the battle against academic suppression of free speech and thought, released information about what’s going on at the University of Delaware, and probably at other universities as well, that should send chills up the spines of parents of college-age students. The following excerpts are taken from the University of Delaware’s Office of Residence Life Diversity Facilitation Training document. The full document is available at www.thefire.org.



Students living in the university’s housing — roughly 7,000 — are taught: “A racist: A racist is one who is both privileged and socialized on the basis of race by a white supremacist (racist) system. The term applies to all white people (i.e., people of European descent) living in the United States, regardless of class, gender, religion, culture or sexuality. By this definition, people of color cannot be racists, because as peoples within the U.S. system, they do not have the power to back up their prejudices, hostilities or acts of discrimination. (This does not deny the existence of such prejudices, hostilities, acts of rage or discrimination.)” This gem of wisdom suggests that by virtue of birth alone, not conduct, if you’re white, you’re a racist.



If you’re white and disagree with racial quotas, preferences and racist statements by blacks to whites, and you call it reverse racism or reverse discrimination, here’s the document’s message for you: “Reverse racism: A term created and used by white people to deny their white privilege. Those in denial use the term reverse racism to refer to hostile behavior by people of color toward whites, and to affirmative action policies, which allegedly give ‘preferential treatment’ to people of color over whites. In the U.S., there is no such thing as ‘reverse racism.’ “ I agree with the last sentence. Racism is racism irrespective of color.



A white Delaware student might not have an ounce of ill will toward any race. The university’s document says he’s still a racist. “A non-racist: A non-term. The term was created by whites to deny responsibility for systemic racism, to maintain an aura of innocence in the face of racial oppression, and to shift responsibility for that oppression from whites to people of color (called ‘blaming the victim’). Responsibility for perpetuating and legitimizing a racist system rests both on those who actively maintain it, and on those who refuse to challenge it. Silence is consent.”



Then the document asks, “Have you ever heard a well-meaning white person say, ‘I’m not a member of any race except the human race?’ What she usually means by this statement is that she doesn’t want to perpetuate racial categories by acknowledging that she is white. This is an evasion of responsibility for her participation in a system based on supremacy for white people.”



I doubt this racist nonsense is restricted to the university’s housing program. Students are probably taught similar nonsense in their sociology, psychology and political science classes. FIRE’s outing of the University of Delaware’s racist program elicited this official response from Vice President Michael Gilbert, “The central mission of the University, and of the program, is to cultivate both learning and the free exchange of ideas.” (According to thefire.org, as a result of public exposure, and without condemning this racist program, on Nov. 2 President Patrick Harker ordered the mandatory re-education halted pending a review.)



It’s a safe bet the university did not highlight this kind of learning experience to parents and students in its recruitment efforts. Nor were generous donors and alumni informed they are racists by birth. I would also guess this kind of “education” was kept from the state legislators who use taxpayer money to fund the university.



Walter E. Williams is a nationally syndicated columnist and professor of economics at George Mason University.
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Schools: University of Delaware