“Safe Room for Conservatives?”

, Mary Kapp, Leave a comment

Perhaps it is author and activist David Horowitz’s declaration that no faculty member should be classified according to religious or political beliefs that has the sweeping majority of higher education leadership up in arms. Or maybe because he insists on neutrality and professionalism in the classroom, with curricula spanning a range of significant scholars, free from political propaganda. Horowitz’s journal from a rigorous lecturing tour reflects the way that today’s campus administration reacts to its roots in true scholarship and impartiality.

In some sense, David Horowtiz’s Indoctrination U can be seen as a postscript to his earlier work, The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America, released in 2006. His “Academic Bill of Rights” is outlined in the appendix, and is the cumulation of his thoughts on the restoration of America’s collegiate “Ivory Tower” status, free from outside influence, once the envy of the world.

Horowitz chronicles his lectures, but more importantly the colorful detail of radical faculty and student feedback.

“When I addressed three hundred students at the University of Chicago in 2006, for example, the school’s student activities coordinator, who was present, never introduced herself to me,” writes Horowitz. “Instead, she stepped to the microphone before I spoke to inform students that a ‘safe room’ was available for anyone who might need it—in other words, relief was at hand for anyone traumatized by what I might have to say.”

“It was also not unusual for the university welcome mat to be laid out for speakers who were far more radical on the left side of the spectrum than I was as a conservative,” Horowitz pointed out.

Ward Churchill
was among these, “who notoriously claimed that the 9/11 attacks were justified, and whom professors lined up to honor.” “Communists like Angela Davis and former terrorist leader Bernadine Dohrn, who are also icons in the academic community” also paid homage to WC, Horowitz notes.

Terms like ‘Political correctness’ describe an “orthodoxy or party line, in this case reflecting the agendas of the left,” not the noble humanitarian conscientiousness that one would have you believe, Horowitz argues.

Any ideas that challenge liberal orthodoxy, such as “opposition to racial preferences, belief in innate differences between men and women, or, more recently, support for America’s war in Iraq—are regarded as morally unacceptable or simply indecent,” the author stated. He goes on to explain that, on these campuses, the proponents of anything that does not measure up to the PC standard are “to be marginalized and shunned.”

Some of the compartmentalization that Horowitz laments is seen in the language surrounding the Feminist Studies department at the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Employment Opportunities for Feminist Studies Majors:

“With a background in women’s and minorities’ histories and an understanding of racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, and other forms of oppression, graduates have a good background for work with policy-making and lobbying organizations…”

David Barash and Charles Webel
write a preface to Peace and Conflict, a segment that Horowitz decries as a “left-wing manual whose purpose is to indoctrinate students… making no pretension to being an academic exploration of the complex issues of war and peace.”

This widely used piece of curriculum in campuses nationwide begins:

“The field [of peace studies] differs from most other human sciences in that it is value-oriented, and unabashedly so. Accordingly, we wish to be up front about our own values, which are frankly anti-war, anti-violence, anti-nuclear, anti-authoritarian, anti-establishment, pro-environment, pro-human rights, pro-social justice, pro-peace and politically progressive,” write Barash and Webel.

As regards terrorism:

“Terrorism is a vexing term… Any actual or threatened attack against civilian noncombatants may be considered an act of ‘terrorism.’ In this sense, terrorism is as old as human history,” argue the authors.

Horowitz comments on the solemn implications this indoctrination has on Americans in this portion of national history: “According to the authors, far from being an aggressive tactic—let alone criminal or evil—terrorism is a last resort of the weak, providing them with a means of ‘self-defense.’”

Mary Kapp is an intern at the American Journalism Center, a training program run jointly by Accuracy in Media and Accuracy in Academia.