Thursday, May 01, 2014

Academic Cowardice

On the same day that noted social scientist Charles Murray -- author most recently of “Coming Apart” – was advised by administrators of Azua Pacfic University that his scheduled appearance had been cancelled, professor Brent Terry at Eastern Connecticut State University was issuing a fatwa against Republicans in his Creative Writing class.

Republicans, said the professor, were “racist, misogynist, money grubbing people” who want to turn the clock back “not to 1955, but to 1855.” Should their political influence increase, the professor advised, “colleges will start closing.”

If the ECSU professor is ever dismissed on a charge of advanced stupidity – not likely, so long as he is tefloned in tenure – Mr. Terry easily might find a job with the Internal Revenue Service, the once non-partisan and politically disinterested federal agency that had, during the administration of the recently departed Lois Lerner, prosecuted a war on the Tea Party.

At roughly the same time these two colleges were bending the knee to political correctness, Brandeis University was withdrawing an honorary degree it had decided to bestow on “The Bravest Woman In The Western World,” a blog and column that appeared in Connecticut Commentary way back in 2006 -- reprinted in italics below:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s flight from Somalia to the Netherlands, tortuous and full of dangerous twists and turns, was an intellectual pilgrim’s progress from the 10th to the 18th century.

Her family, devout Muslims all, sought political asylum in Kenya after her father, who had studied in Italy and the United States, had openly opposed Siyad Barre, the president of Somalia. Hirsi Ali’s father also opposed the Somalian practice of female circumcision, but her grandmother had the girl circumcised at five years old when her father was abroad. Promised in marriage by her father to a distant Canadian cousin, Hirsi Ali, while traveling from Kenya to visit family in Düsseldorf and Berlin, Germany, fled to the Netherlands instead of Canada.

Filing under a false name, Hirsi Ali (nee Hirsi Magan) was given political asylum and received a resident permit. Owing to a civil war and a serious famine in Somalia at the time, refugees were routinely granted asylum on humanitarian grounds and, on the advise of her aunt, Hirsi Ali told the authorities that she had come directly from Somalia, though she had been a resident of Kenya for eleven years at the time she applied for asylum in the Netherlands.

Once her feet had touched free land, Hirsi Ali took root and began to put forth flowers. She was offered a position in parliament by the conservative VVD party and qualified for a seat in January, 2003. On November 2, 2004, film maker Theo Van Gogh, a relative of the artist Vincent Van Gogh, was found shot to death on a street not far from his office. Dutch Moroccan terrorist Mohammed Bouyeri had murdered Van Gogh and thrust a knife through his chest. Pinned to Van Gogh’s chest by the knife was a rambling, six page religious manifesto.

VanGogh was murdered because he had committed the unpardonable sin of assuming he was a free man in a free country, shaped by the same Enlightenment period that here in the United States had produced a Tom Paine and a Thomas Jefferson. VanGogh had made a film, Submission, that dramatized the plight of women in Islamic culture. The knife in the chest and the rambling manifesto, addressed to Hersi Ali, were radical Islam’s answer to the perceived insult. Following the murder of VanGogh, the notorious Hofstad Network vowed that Hersi Ali, Submision’s author, would meet the same fate.

One day Hersi Ali was eating at a restaurant, surrounded by body guards, when she was approached by young student, a recent convert, who tapped her on the shoulder.

''I turned around,'' she recalled in a New York Times magazine story, ''and saw this sweet, young Dutch guy, about 24 years old. With freckles! And he was like, 'Madam, I hope the mujahedeen get you and kill you.' ''

Hersi Ali handed him her butter knife and said, “Why don’t you do it yourself.”

Naturally, all this attention from murderous thugs had her neighbors understandably nervous, and now the Dutch government gamely has decided that since Hersi Ali entered the country on false premises, herstatus as a Dutch national is questionable.

It must have come as a relief to her adopted land when Hirsi Ali announcedon May 16, that she would leave parliament, move to the United States and accept a position with the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in this the land of the free and the home of the brave.

So, with any luck – Ayann means good luck -- we may be receiving yet another stormed tossed wretch at our golden door sometime in September.

But why haven’t US liberals – women’s liberationists, morally charged atheists, Democrats who regularly sup at Jackson Jefferson dinners, editorial writers sucking at the teats of the Enlightenment – raised their boisterous voices in her defense? Why is her name not on every liberal lip in the land of the First Amendment?

The unnatural reserve of liberals towards Hirsi Ali may have something to do with the following lines from her recent book The Caged Virgin, which unashamedly celebrates the liberators of caged virgins everywhere, George Bush and Tony Blair: “The adherents to the gospel of multiculturalism refuse to criticize people whom they see as victims. Some Western critics disapprove of United States policies and attitudes but do not criticize the Islamic world, just as, in the first part of the twentieth century, Western socialist apologists did not dare criticize the Soviet labor camps.”

Emma Lazarus’ “Golden Door” obviously did swing wide for Hersi Ali. It was left to Brandeis to close the door. Just for the record, Brandeis University is no stranger to discrimination, religious intolerance and anti-Jewish sentiment, all assiduously practiced by the enemies of Israel.

The University, named after the first Jewish Justice of the Supreme Court, Louis Brandeis, was founded in 1948 as a Jewish community-sponsored coeducational institution. In the same year, the state of Israel was established and immediately recognized by both President Harry Truman and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin. The state of Israel is yet to be recognized by the sort of militant Islamists who plunged a knife into the breast of VanGogh.

Oppression wise, both Hersi Ali and Brandeis sit in the same secular pew, and one cannot shake off the suspicion that by denying to Hersi Ali the honor it was prepared to confer on her, the university has denied the angels of its better nature.

But, sadly, such is the condition of much of academia – bigoted, open mouthed and closed minded.  


peter brush said...

Just an aside: aren't things like multiculturalism, diversitism, homosexualism, feminism what should be classified as "social issues?"

The left has attached itself to libertarian notions like "free speech" on occasion. But, in general its objective is not consistent with liberty; egalitarian social engineering requires coercion. "Academic freedom" is fine if it means protecting counter-cultural activists from the administration, but not relevant when Western Civilization is to be promoted. Hey ho, western civ has got to go.

The bursting of the college education racket's bubble has the potential to be an enjoyable spectacle for those of us who've watched the politicization of the university since about the time of the Berkeley Free Speech incident.
Leonard Jeffries Jr. (born 1937) is an American professor of black studies at the City College of New York, part of the City University of New York...
Jeffries had also advanced a theory that whites are "ice people" who are violent and cruel, while blacks are "sun people" who are compassionate and peaceful.[7] He is a proponent of melanin theory and claims that melanin levels affect the psyche of people, and that melanin allows black people to "…negotiate the vibrations of the universe and to deal with the ultraviolet rays of the sun."[8]

His lectures and talks have been characterized by ideological opponents as "racist rants".[9][10][11][12]

In an interview in Rutherford Magazine May 1995 Jeffries, asked what kind of world he would want to leave to his children, he answered: "A world in which there aren’t any white people".[13]

Jeffries has said that the 1986 Challenger Space Shuttle disaster was "the best thing to happen to America in a long time," as it would stop white people from "spreading their filth through the universe."[7]

Don Pesci said...

Progressive social reforms are not so much libertarian as they are libertine. There is a slight difference.

peter brush said...

not so much libertarian as they are libertine
But, they're even more perverted than that.

On the one hand, they do demand an ever cruder culture, do demand a reconsideration of any inherited standards of behavior, especially with respect to sexual relations, but on the other hand they have over decades maintained their appreciation of leftist police states of romantic flavor, e.g. Maoist China and Castro's Cuba.

I think what explains the left's current propensity to defend explicitly intolerant Muslim orthodoxy as opposed to Catholic, for example, has to do with its categorization of Islam as a victim of white European arrogance and hegemony. The petition to get rid of Hirsi Ali signed by some 350 members of the Brandeis faculty includes the following:
“We cannot accept Ms. Hirsi Ali’s triumphalist narrative of western civilization, rooted in a core belief of the cultural backwardness of non-western peoples.”

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