March 04, 2014

Col. Oliver North

Col. Oliver North

When I was 19 I attended college briefly before dropping out and returning to my promising career of shifting aimlessly from job to job. During my initial stint at UMass I had the pleasure of meeting Col. Oliver North.

I shook hands with the man, who had a firm grip and a no-nonsense demeanor. We didn”€™t speak about the Iran-Contra Affair. Instead, we had a short exchange about the mob braying like zoo creatures attempting to block entry to his talk.

Unsurprisingly, North wasn”€™t much intimidated by an undisciplined mass of spoiled upper-middle-class kids from Jersey overpaying for the Commonwealth’s land-grant university. Their cacophony could scarcely be heard in the hall, drowned out every time a delivery truck barreled down the road.

If anything, North seemed bored by the subject.

I dropped out not long after. Getting chased through the Student Union by a mob of leftists for the crime of standing around at the Republican Club’s trolltacular “€œFry Mumia”€ barbecue didn”€™t make my decision for me. It did, however, drive home the point that honky prole kids needed to watch their ass more than most at a place like UMass.

“€œI still believe that the leftist hate machine is about to break down in a glorious circular firing squad, but I readily concede that dark days might well lie between now and then.”€

The upside is that I learned a lesson about the left’s essentially fascistic nature. They might wear Birkenstocks instead of jackboots, but their methods were largely the same: When confronted with an uncomfortable opinion, shoot the messenger. So while it wasn”€™t terribly surprising to me when Sandra Y. L. Korn penned an article in The Harvard Crimson explicitly calling for an end to academic freedom, it did seem like an intensification of the decades-long leftist witch hunt.

Leftist academics have long Marxsplained how, through the magic of critical theory, speech with which they disagree (“hate speech” or whatever they’re calling it these days) doesn’t count as “speech.” Korn is just expressing the same ideas that are bandied about in social-science journals, but this time in a more popular and influential organ.

Her article effectively calls for a metaphorical book burning”€”in the name of “justice,” of course”€”which as far as I can tell means “let’s you and him fight until I come out on top.”

“If our university community opposes racism, sexism, and heterosexism,” ponders Korn, “why should we put up with research that counters our goals simply in the name of ‘academic freedom?’” If research betrays the secular religion of “equality,” then the research must be wrong.

Whom do you believe”€”the Frankfurt School or your own lying eyes?

“The power to enforce academic justice comes from students, faculty, and workers organizing together to make our universities look as we want them to do,” Korn continues. The university”€”Harvard or any other, according to Korn”€”exists not to explore empirical data, but to impose a preconceived vision of what society “should” look like.

If Harvard stands at the intellectual vanguard of crypto-Marxist fascism, Dartmouth College is busy producing Potted Ivy jackboots. A letter with the downright Orwellian name “The Freedom Budget” was drafted by the Afro-American Society and sent to 13 administrators at the New Hampshire college. It threatened “physical action” (italics theirs) if certain demands are not met by March 24. Among them:

“€¢ “€œEnact curricular changes that require all students to interrogate issues of social justice, marginalization and exploitation in depth. Each student should have to take classes that will challenge their understanding of institutionalized injustice around issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, etc.”€

“€¢ “€œBoth gender-specific and gender-neutral bathrooms need to be available in every building on campus.”€

“€¢ “€œAll male-female checkboxes should be replaced with write-in boxes to make forms, surveys and applications more inclusive for trans*, two-spirit, agender, gender-nonconforming and genderqueer folks. This should be a campus-wide policy. “€

“€¢ “€œCreating a budget that subsidizes travel costs for students whose families cannot afford to come visit during graduation.”€

“€¢ “€œProvide pro bono legal assistance and financial assistance…for undocumented students to better understand each of their unique legal statuses….”€

“€¢ “€œOrganize continuous external reviews of the College’s structural racism, classism, ableism, sexism, and heterosexism.”€


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