The latest survey on academic bias has sent academics into their usual state of denial despite evidence of same that frequently stares them right in the face. “Taken together, 40 percent of the Americans in the survey said professors often use their classrooms as political platforms,” Robin Wilson of the Chronicle of Higher Education reported on April 4th of a Gallup poll.
“When that many Americans think this happens often, higher ed has a problem,” says S. Robert Lichter, director of its Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University. Higher ed doesn’t feel that way:
• “The more you have less real experience on a campus, the more likely you might be to buy this ambient background belief,” Jeremy D. Mayer, director of the master’s program in public policy at George Mason says.
• “The farther away you are from academe, the more worried you are about what goes on,” Harvard sociologist Neil R. Gross says.
Actually, proximity may prove correct a maxim of author M. Stanton Evans. He outlines what he calls “Evans’ law of inadequate paranoia”: “No matter how bad you think things are, they’re worse.”
“In America, particularly on college campuses, memorials to Communists have appeared with alarming frequency every few years,” my predecessor, Dan Flynn wrote in The American Spectator on April 4. “San Francisco is not alone in its veneration of people who deserve scorn and not applause.”
“The University of Washington, which also memorializes American veterans of the Spanish Civil War, boasts a Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies and accompanying Harry Bridges Chair of Labor Studies.” As it happens, I bonded with a couple of Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade (VALB) in the early 1980s.
The urban legend on the VALB is that they gallantly fought a proxy war against one of Hitler’s protégés in Spain when it wasn’t cool to do so. The actual government files on the VALB—American and Russian—show that they didn’t make a move that wasn’t directed by communist dictator Josef Stalin’s Soviet government.
I met one of the veterans—Steve Nelson—when the VALB was raising money to provide ambulances to the Marxist Sandinista government in Nicaragua which was then fending off a challenge from the anti-communist Contra rebels there. Incidentally, the FBI kept tabs on Nelson during World War II.
“The tradecraft of Soviet intelligence personnel, the well-honed Communist Party tradition of conspiracy, and a lack of concern in the [Frankllin D.] Roosevelt administration towards Soviet spying meant that little of this growing Soviet intelligence web was found except by accident in the opening years of the war,” FBI historian John F. Fox, Jr. , said in a speech in 2005. “But by 1943 the FBI was beginning to sense the outlines of the Soviet effort.”
“Surveillance of Communist functionary Steve Nelson revealed the infiltration of the Manhattan project and alerted the FBI to the role that Soviet diplomats played in gathering intelligence information sparking the COMRAP or Comintern Apparatus Case.” At around the same time that I met Nelson, doing his errand for the Sandinistas (1984), I talked to Moe Fishman, then at the VALB headquarters in New York.
Fishman gave me a Marxist tour of then-recent American history. “Ho Chi Minh was the George Washington of his country,” he told me of the communist dictator U. S. forces opposed in Vietnam.
By the way, Herb Romerstein, a former investigator for the U. S. House Committee on UnAmerican Activities, learned on a visit to the archives of the Communist International in Moscow what really happened to the Americans in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade who did not come back. They were not killed in combat, as the veterans and their defenders allege, but shot as deserters, Romerstein showed in his monograph Heroic Victims, which was published by Accuracy in Media.
As for Bridges, as Flynn notes, “During the Nazi-Soviet Pact, he followed Stalin’s line and belittled Franklin Roosevelt.”
“When Hitler turned on his erstwhile ally, Bridges’ support for Roosevelt (now an ally of the Soviet Union’s fight against Nazi Germany) became so complete that he urged unions to forbid strikes during the war. Bridges didn’t serve labor. Labor served him, and his cause.”
Malcolm A. Kline is the executive director of Accuracy in Academia.