Just what are our nation’s youth learning in universities today? History? Doubtful. The liberals and Black Lives Matter groups have been trying to destroy and systematically erase anything from our past that they find offensive. Politics? Of a certainty – only, it’s not bipartisan; it’s not even just a little left-leaning. Higher education today is more about suppressing conservatives and instilling a firm grounding in progressive ideology. All that may change, however, if President Donald Trump follows through on his threat to defund radical leftist colleges who enthusiastically promote one school of thought over another.
On Friday, July 10, the commander in chief took to the Twitter board with the following tweet:
“Too many Universities and School Systems are about Radical Left Indoctrination, not Education. Therefore, I am telling the Treasury Department to re-examine their Tax-Exempt Status … and/or Funding, which will be taken away if this Propaganda or Act Against Public Policy continues. Our children must be Educated, not Indoctrinated!”
As is typical with anything the president suggests, commenters from the left were gasping for air in outrage while supporters were nodding their heads in agreement and approval. It’s no secret that the progressive Democrats have been fiercely campaigning to dominate the information system, making sure they can get as many future voters as possible. We’ve seen it in the media, which is pretty much controlled by the left, and we see it in higher education, also. Universities have, for some time, been restricting speakers with views that go against their narratives.
Data from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) shows this disturbing trend. While protests and shutting down speeches have been going on for a long time, 2017 seemed to be when it all began to escalate after Milo Yiannopoulos’ attempts and rejections. That year, according to the FIRE data, there were about 40 scheduled speaking events. Of those, nearly half (19) of the speakers were disinvited due to protests by the left. The right disinvited only about five. Chelsea Manning was denied by both groups. Here are just a few that were either rejected or had to end their presentations during 2017.
Milo Yiannopoulos was disinvited from San Diego State University. “University canceled campus speech by right-wing activist Milo Yiannopoulos after student groups expressed opposition to his presence on campus,” according to FIRE. He was also prevented from visiting the University of California, Berkley: “Yiannopoulos’ invitation was opposed by students who felt that he is a ‘bigot’ and ‘misogynist.'”
Charles Murray, a political scientist, had to relocate his lecture from Middlebury College in Vermont because of pressure, and when protesters found out the new, private location, they attacked him and Professor Allison Stanger, surrounding their car, and injuring Stanger badly enough for him to require emergency room treatment.
Gavin McInnes: DePaul University in Chicago refused the Proud Boys speaker because administrators said his statements “encouraged a violent response to the physical attacks during protests, and his announcement of a ‘military division’ of his Proud Boys’ alt-right’ group.” At New York University, McInnes had to stop speaking and was asked to leave “after repeated disruptions and fights, leading to multiple arrests.”
Chelsea Manning: Harvard “rescinded Manning’s invitation to be a visiting fellow after the intelligence community objected.”
Heather Mac Donald, an author, was forced to end her speech after Black Lives Matter protested because they did not like her pro-police policies.
Ben Shapiro: The Concordia College student government “rescinded funding for the event after it had been granted, citing Shapiro’s alleged ‘hate speech’ towards marginalized communities.”
The Coronavirus pandemic has shut down schools, so there haven’t been nearly as many presentations in 2020 to compare. Out of the eight events so far, according to FIRE’s data, two speakers were canceled by the left, and zero were disinvited by the right.
Sid Rosenberg: “Sports radio personality Sid Rosenberg disinvited from (Seton Hall University) campus event over student petition citing racist statements made over ten years ago.”
Ivanka Trump: “University president (of Wichita State University) Jay Golden canceled commencement speech by Ivanka Trump in response to calls criticizing her selection as speaker in the wake of President Trump’s comments on protests over the homicide of George Floyd.”
Last year, the president signed an executive order that required colleges to defend free speech after Hayden Williams, an activist with the conservative group The Leadership Institute, was assaulted at University of California, Berkeley. “These universities,” he said, “have tried to restrict free thought, impose total conformity and shut down the voices of great young Americans.”
During one of his 2016 campaign speeches, Trump accused universities of wasting endowments on “things that don’t matter.” He cited kickbacks to donors and investment funds as examples and said more money should be going towards living expenses for students and finding ways to lower tuition. Even though many students are forced to attend classes online due to the lockdown and school closures, Harvard University will be charging its attendees nearly $50,000 for the online-only studies, even though it receives more than $40 billion in endowments.
During his Independence Day speech at Mount Rushmore this year, the president said, “our children are taught in school to hate their own country, and to believe that the men and women who built it were not heroes, but that they were villains.”
The 2018 study, Homogenous: The Political Affiliations of Elite Liberal Arts College Faculty, found that Democrat professors outnumber Republican instructors by ten to one. The left-leaning teachings can be seen by today’s graduates, such as Black Lives Matter protesters or the two lawyers who were arrested in June for throwing Molotov cocktails into police vehicles.
Defunding certain colleges will not be easy, as the Treasury would have to prove the schools are indoctrinating instead of educating. But, at least it is a step in the right direction to try to curb the radical grooming of our nation’s youth.
Read more from Kelli Ballard.