Maloney is the un-Michael Moore. Unlike the notorious left-wing filmmaker, Maloney is thin, groomed, handsome, and conservative. Maloney does employ Moore-like tactics to confront school officials and others who practically sprint from his camera rather than answer his simple questions such as, “Where is the campus men’s center?” Rather than explain the outrages Maloney uncovers, administrators repeatedly ask security to escort him from the premises.
Maloney reports that 91 percent of campuses restrict student speech. Brown University banned words that cause “feelings of impotence, anger, or disenfranchisement.” West Virginia University instructed students that “instead of referring to…‘girlfriend’ or ‘boyfriend,’” they should “use positive generic terms such as ‘lover’ or ‘partner.’” One can get into trouble without saying a word. The University of Connecticut prohibited “inappropriately directed laughter.”
Even more chilling, Maloney introduces us to numerous victims of the p.c. disease.
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo College Republican Steve Hinkle’s 18-month nightmare began when he scheduled a speech by black-conservative author Mason Weaver. Hinkle promoted the event with a poster that showed Weaver beneath the headline, “It’s OK to Leave the Plantation”—his book’s title. When Hinkle posted these flyers, students called the cops. When the police arrived, they complained further that the authorities’ appearance itself was disruptive.
Administrators called the handbills “literature of offensive racial nature.” Hinkle’s white skin, blond hair, and blue eyes made him, they said, “a flashpoint” for racial tension. They urged him to see the campus psychologist. Hinkle later endured a seven-hour disciplinary hearing and months of expulsion threats.
After he sued in federal court, the school offered a $40,000 settlement.
At the University of Tennessee, meanwhile, five white students from Jackson, Tennessee, nicknamed “The Jackson Five,” attended an off-campus Halloween party as the Motown quintet—complete with costumes and dark makeup. After several black students bristled, UT de-certified the fraternity that hosted the “offensive” masquerade party.
“If three black guys had chosen to paint their faces white and dress up as the Bee Gees, would everyone have gotten offended?” UT student Erich Mecherle wondered. “I doubt it.”
While UT seems safe from Caucasian Michael Jackson impersonators, it remains potentially lethal for turban-wearing conservative scholars. Sukhmani Singh Khalsa wrote a student newspaper column criticizing the school’s uniformly liberal guest speakers. One Left-wing student-government member reacted by e-mail: “If you see one of those ragheads, shoot him right in the f***ing face.” School administrators took no action against the student behind this ethnically charged death threat.
Conservative university journalists cope with the campus Left’s neo-Stalinism. The Yale Free Press has seen entire print runs thrown into the garbage, prompting yawns among university executives. After editions were dumped en masse, staffers handed out the conservative UC Berkeley Patriot to individual students. Leftists taunted Patriot writers as “racists,” “Nazis,” and “Hitler Youth.” One co-ed recalls when “a guy came up to us with a bull horn and said, ‘The only good Republican is a dead Republican.’” As the Patriot’s Vanessa Wiseman distributed one issue, another student spat on her.
Maloney shows that on today’s campuses, everything local is politics.
“I’ve been learning in geography class that gender is socially constructed,” says Tennessee’s Sukhmani Singh Khalsa. Adds Oliver Wolf of Bates College: “I really don’t know why issues such as global warming, globalization, and militarism are brought up in a class on German literature.”
As Duke’s Madison Kitchens puts it: “That’s what passes for education.”
Just after the September 11 attacks, Central Michigan University told students to take American flags off their dormitory doors. Arizona State pulled a U.S. flag from its cafeteria, lest it rankle foreign students. At Holy Cross, the school’s sociology chairman told a friend of Todd Beamer—who led the passenger revolt against al Qaeda’s hijackers on United Flight 93—that she must remove the flag from her desk in the department’s office.
The Left reserves its most toxic poison for the military. North Carolina State’s and UNC Chapel Hill’s ROTC buildings have been vandalized. One group of Pentagon recruiters arrived to a greeting that read: “U.S. out of Berkeley.” A San Francisco State mob disrupted an employment event featuring the Army Corps of Engineers. The chaos shuttered the entire jobs fair—for everyone.
Is there an antidote to this venom?
Supporting freedom-oriented scholastic organizations—such as the Institute for Humane Studies, the Leadership Institute, and the Young America’s Foundation—bolsters students who resist such evil. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education also backs students targeted by the p.c. commissars. Alumni also should shut their checkbooks to such schools.
Political correctness has sickened many American universities. The good news is that filmmakers like Evan Coyne Maloney and brave, conservative and libertarian campus activists are dragging this ailment into the open where it should dissipate beneath the Sun’s disinfecting rays.