When college administrators and professors warn of the dangers of censorship by the political right in higher education, they have half the story right. There is indeed widespread censorship on college campuses today but the thought police are not right-wing political activists but rather the liberals who rule the Ivory Tower.
Sometimes the thought police are aided by the campus security police. Recently, security police ejected a ticket-holding attendee handing out leaflets opposing the event speaker—Dr. John Esposito—at Agnes Scott College (ASC). More vocal protestors who actually disrupted a talk by Bush Administration official Karen Hughes went unmolested by rent-a-cops at another, earlier, lecture at the Georgia school.
The double standard at ASC mirrors the policies of schools nationwide which are hell-bent on letting only one side of a debate on the campus stage. At Western Michigan University (WMU), where conservative commentator Pat Buchanan was doused with salad dressing, students attempting to promote the event beforehand had their leaflets and posters confiscated and destroyed. Near as anyone can figure, Women’s Studies professor Edith Fisher was the feminist storm trooper working behind the scenes to censor the event.
Not content with heavy-handed intimidation of college students, avatars of academic freedom are also promoting the banning of books. “A North Carolina law professor is trying to get the National Park Service to pull Michelle Malkin’s [pictured] book, In Defense of Internment, from the bookshop at the site of a relocation center for Japanese-Americans and Japanese during World War II,” former AIA executive director Dan Flynn reports on his blog. Dan, currently with the Leadership Institute, is all over this one, as well as the WMU saga, on his site at www.flynnfiles.com.
In tandem with the latest dropping of the Ivory Curtain, we have yet another survey showing liberal dominance of higher education, this one by Lichter-Rothman. Of course, the American Association of University Professors dismisses the study.
Meanwhile, I learned last weekend that former Clinton advisor Benjamin Barber regularly lambastes both tax cuts and the war in Iraq for the captive audiences in his classes at the University of Maryland. And, defeated U. S. Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) has found a soft landing at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute (GPPI).
“Tom Daschle’s presence at GPPI will strengthen our community’s ability to engage in and contribute to the policymaking process,” G’Town prez John J. DeGoia said. “The university will benefit enormously from the opportunity to learn firsthand from so able and experienced a leader.”
With all due respect, there might be another “able and experienced leader” who “the university will benefit enormously from.” Currently a fellow at the Heritage Foundation, former Rep. Phil Crane (R-Ill.) can boast of four decades in Congress, books written and experience as a college professor.
The politically conservative devout Catholic would also be less likely to walk off the stage of the Jesuit school the next time a visiting Cardinal comes to Georgetown to reaffirm Church doctrine on life and family issues. Or didn’t you plan to invite any more pro-life prelates at your Catholic university?
Malcolm Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.