Compare and contrast, as examination questions used to
say, these two passages:
training] is the education which gives a man a
clear conscious view of his own opinions and judgments,
a truth in developing them, an eloquence in expressing
them, and a force in urging them. It teaches him to see
things as they are, to go right to the point, to
disentangle a skein of thought, to detect what is
sophistical, and to discard what is irrelevant.”
The Idea of a University, 1852
“Citizens capable of contributing to the development of
a sustainable society must first develop empathy. This
empathy will be developed through an advanced awareness
of oppression and inequity that exists at a local and
national level. Students will become aware of
inequities, examine why these inequities exist,
understand the concept of institutionalized privilege,
and recognize systematized oppression (e.g. individual,
institutional, and societal). Students will also examine
forms of oppression related to specific social
identities (e.g. race, ethnicity, gender, sexual
identity, SES, religion, and age) and will recognize the
benefits of dismantling systems that support this
oppression. By having this knowledge, students can then
learn how to change these systems and other systems
which impact equity of resources.”
—University of Delaware, Residence Life:
Things have changed, eh?
A friend of mine who went through
U.S. Marine Corps boot camp in the mid-1960s has
some gruesome stories about the
methods his Drill Instructors used to assault and
break down the individuality of their recruits. My
friend recalls, for example, having had a letter from
his girlfriend intercepted and read out to his whole
platoon, all standing at rigid attention, by the D.I.,
who embellished the reading with many
sarcastic asides, affected renderings of the young
lady`s tenderest phrases, and ribald speculation on her
intimate physical charms.
Forty years on, these techniques have been taken up by
our universities as instruments of "diversity
awareness" training. Freshmen—at least, those
unfortunate enough to be resident on campus—are put
personality-destruction programs every bit as
intensive as those pioneered by the Marine Corps,
though somewhat differently oriented.
goal of Marine Corps training is to produce
soldiers robust enough in their
group loyalty and instinctive physical responses to
act effectively under
the severe stresses of battle. The goal of
"diversity awareness" training is to instill
uniformity of opinion in matters
The functions of Marine D.I.s are carried out in our
Resident Assistants. The disciplinary techniques
available to an R.A. do not quite match a D.I.`s in
severity, but they are
sufficiently intimidating to young people living
away from home,
usually for the first time in their lives. Those
techniques often include the power to issue an
Intervention Report—a black mark carrying the full
authority of the college administration. At some
institutions, three I.R.s are grounds for suspension.
In any case, the college R.A. and the Marine Corps D.I.
have a common goal: to
break down the individual personality and build a
new one on the ruins—one that would look on the
previous, discarded self with distaste and contempt.
Here is recruit Rico of Robert Heinlein`s Starship Troopers
on his first weekend pass:
“There were some young fellows there, too, about our
age—the right age to
serve a term, only they weren`t—long-haired and
sloppy and kind of dirty-looking. Well, say about the
way I looked, I suppose, before I joined up.”
We got a glimpse into diversity boot camp the other day,
from the University of Delaware flap.
First the good news: The incident came to a happy
conclusion November 1, when university president
Patrick T. Harker [Email
him] terminated the freshmen`s "Residence Life"
a message posted to the university`s website. The
timeline was as follows:
- July 1: Harker becomes 26th President of the University
of Delaware, taking over from über-fundraiser
David P. Roselle, who retired after 17 years in the job
with the distinction of being
the highest-paid president of any public university,
ever. Harker was previously dean of the
Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
- August 25: Residence Hall check-in for new students.
- August 28: Undergraduate classes begin.
- September: The 7,000 students in the university`s eight
halls of residence now begin participation in the
four-year-old (which is to say, initiated and nursed
to maturity under superstar Roselle) "Residence Life"
program in which R.A.s., trained by the university,
conduct one-on-one interviews and group-participation
sessions aimed at correcting incoming students` "bad
thinking" about race, feminism, politics, homosexuality,
- September-October: F.I.R.E., the
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education,
receives complaints from students at the University of
Delaware about the "Residence Life" programs.
- October 29: F.I.R.E. fires off
a letter to U. Del. President Harker, protesting the
- October 31: The university`s Vice President for Student
Life, one Michael Gilbert,
replies to the letter from F.I.R.E., pooh-poohing
the complaints, and arguing, inter alia, that U.
Del. students are much too smart to be receptive to
- October 30-31: Commentators—Bob
Mike Adams and National Review Online`s
Phi Beta Cons pick up the story.
- November 1: F.I.R.E.
replies to Gilbert`s letter, rebutting his points in
Harker`s termination of the program followed that same
Not the least of the services performed by F.I.R.E. in
this matter was the bringing to light of some of the
actual materials used, both in the training R.A.s were
giving to freshman students, and in the training given
university authorities to the R.A.s themselves.
Among the latter was
this gem, put together by Dr. Shakti Butler, [Email]described
website as “an African-American woman of
biracial West Indian and Russian-Jewish heritage”,
who is a major celebrity in the "diversity"
world. No, you don`t have to read the whole 15-page
thing. I have abstracted it for you, listing just the
section headings below.
(Definitions and Descriptions)
Oppressor, Oppressed, Oppression
What is Racism?—A Group Brainstorm
A Campaign of Confusion on Racism
Word Power: A Small Group Exercise
1. Reverse racism is a form of racism.
2. Racism is personified by the TV character
3. Racism is the same as prejudice or discrimination.
4. Racism is the same as race relations.
5. Anti-racism is the same as diversity or
6. Racism is an oppression like other isms: sexism,
classism, or heterosexism.
A Working Definition of Racism
Europeans: Seeing the Human Race through "Race-Colored"
European Race-Colored Glasses
Biology—the blood lens
"Infidels and Savages—the Christianity lens
U.S. Race-Colored Glasses
A human being is renamed a "slave": the economic lens of
Race: the lens of subhumanity
Race through the legal lens
The invention of the "White Race"
The creation of a "white" nation
Sexual violence through the lens of "race"
"Race" is just like ethnicity: the sociologist`s lens
Talking about "race" perpetuates racism: the liberal
Anti-Racist Concepts of Race
Racism and White Supremacy
For More Reading…
Do you get the idea that Dr. Butler has some one
particular thing on her mind? Hmm?
If you actually do read the training materials, here`s
the main thing you will learn:
utterly meaningless concept, which…
…you must think and talk
You will learn much else, too, of course: for example,
“A racist is one who is both privileged and socialized
on the basis of race by a white supremacist (racist)
system. The term applies to
all white people (i.e. people of European descent)
living in the United States, regardless of class,
gender, religion, culture, or
“Africa is the
motherland of human civilization: religion,
philosophy, art, language, architecture, science,
medicine, agriculture, and urban planning. People
indigenous to Africa and the Americas have
always celebrated the diversity of the human
species. You can see that celebration in paintings of
peoples on the tomb of Ramses III (1200 BC) of Kemet
(Egypt) and the four directions of the world celebrated
by Native Americans. What makes these representations so
different from those introduced by Europeans is that the
former bear no witness to any hierarchy of value of
humans based on
ethnicity or skin color.“
“Mongolia was presumably the historical home of
`mongoloids` or people of Asian descent. If you check
the dictionary you`ll find that an "obsolete" meaning of
"mongoloid" is an idiot. (A far cry from today`s
stereotype of `the model minority.`)”
and so on… and on… and on…
Having absorbed this "diversity facilitation
training", the R.A.s then headed off to the
university`s halls of residence to pass on Dr. Butler`s
pearls of wisdom to the newly-arrived freshmen. They
were also trained to probe into the minds and
personalities of those freshmen, submitting them to
quizzes and interrogations:
When were you
first made aware of your race?
When did you discover your
Who taught you a lesson in
regard to some sort of diversity awareness? What was
When was a time when
you confronted someone regarding an issue of
diversity? What was the confrontation about? If you
haven`t, why not?
When was a time you felt
oppressed? Who was oppressing you? How
did you feel?
Can you think of a time when
someone was offended by what you said? How did that
make you feel? How do you think it made them feel?
How did his/her behavior change toward you?
Participation in these
Khmer Rouge-style "thought reform" sessions
was compulsory. The university has tried to
deny this, but records unearthed by F.I.R.E. make the
compulsion clear. (See point (2)
here, for instance.)
That the University of Delaware has now, though very
grudgingly—We can`t really see that we were doing
anything wrong, but the fuss is kind of embarrassing, so
we`ll back off a little, for a while, under protest—pulled
back the program, is a victory for F.I.R.E., whose
work in this field I can`t praise enough.
But now the bad news: this was victory in a battle, not
victory in a war. The forces of "diversity" are
now mighty, and waxing stronger by the day. Untold
thousands of people have their careers invested in this
gibberish: not only outright babbling lunatics like Dr.
Shakti Butler, but bland, cheerful middle-class
people, whose nervous systems have been taken over
by alien intelligences.
And don`t think this is just once incident at one
university. There are entire professional organizations
with thousands of members building careers on this
N.A.S.P.A., for example, and
A.C.P.A. They see themselves at the real
educators of our young people.
They`re not going away; they`re not going to disappear;
they`re certainly not going to abandon the careers in
"diversity" they have staked so much on and switch
to more honest and socially-healthful lines of
work—devising computer viruses, say, or running
confidence scams on elderly widows, or selling crack
cocaine to minors.
It may even be the case that the University of Delaware
is unusual in showing even the grudging, qualified
degree of embarrassment implicit in their climbdown.
Here is a mid-November—that is, after the
Delaware incident—news item about a hunger strike by
some students at
Columbia University. Among the hunger strikers`
brainwashing of freshmen.
And, guess what?—Columbia has caved!
“Administrators at Columbia University threw a bone to
the four famished students on a hunger strike yesterday,
giving in to some of their lofty demands.
“Columbia agreed to raise $50 million to beef up ethnic
studies and expand programs for multicultural students,
strike organizers said, but refused to budge on the
protesters` biggest demand—killing the school`s proposed
expansion into Harlem. … Columbia`s concession will
expand the school`s multicultural student center and
expand the required
[my emphasis] freshman ethnic-studies class from a
several hundred-student lecture to
small seminar groups.
“Administrators have also agreed to add diversity
training to orientation programs for new faculty and
hire five new ethnic-studies professors.”
Of Victory At Columbia, By Julia Dahl And Samuel
Goldsmith, New York Post, November 16, 2007]
Note that word "required". Columbia`s
hate-whitey indoctrination sessions look to be every bit
as mandatory as were U. Delaware`s—and Columbia doesn`t
care who knows it!
A peculiarity of our higher education system is that
these "diversity training" and "ethnic
studies" impositions seem to swell and multiply as
the colleges get richer.
Richer they are certainly getting. Any time I visit a
college campus nowadays, my first impression is: OK,
here`s the construction site—where`s the college? New
buildings are going up right, left, and center.
Endowments are expanding faster than the primeval
universe: Columbia`s was $5.9 billion in June,
up 18.4 percent on the year.
I asked an academic acquaintance, professor at a large
private university, to explain this to me. He said:
"The country has a lot of seriously rich people, a
lot. Joe Blow starts a hedge fund, makes a billion,
looks for something to spend it on. Having a building
put up at his alma mater, with his name on it, is very
attractive to him. Plus, he wants his
regressed-to-the-mean kids to have assured college
What about the other side of the equation—the relentless
pressure for more PC indoctrination? The professor`s
"Americans don`t want to study hard things. That`s for
foreigners. Fluff courses like these ethnic-studies
timewasters—that`s what people want. Unless a university
is `anchored` by a big department teaching real
subjects—a medical or engineering school—the drift is
all that way."
Higher education sets the pace here, but the
has metastasized, infecting every part of
our educational system. While I was typing out this
column, I took in my lunchtime mail, which included the
daily sheaf of letters from my daughter`s high school.
(If they were half as good at filling my girl`s head
with knowledge as they are at filling my mailbox with
paper, the folk at
Huntington High School would be world-class
Here is one of the four letters in today`s batch:
“Dear Parent or Guardian,
“I am writing to advise you of an upcoming assembly
program scheduled for Friday, November 30, 2007 to
World Aids [sic] Day. … We have invited a speaker
who will talk about the disease and its effects on
So as part of my 14-year-old daughter`s public
education, she is to be exposed to the details of a
venereal disease propagated
mainly by promiscuous homosexuals and
revolting Third World customs, and she will be
encouraged to believe that this is a matter of general
public concern, relevant to her life and personal
(To be fair, one of the other letters is a release form
I have to sign and return to excuse my girl from this
vital addition to her understanding of the world.)
I sink fondly into reminiscences of my own arrival at
University College, London, forty-four years ago. A
group of upper-classmen volunteers took us aside for a
half-day orientation session. "What do you mainly
hope to get out of your university experience?" my
own proto-R.A. inquired of me earnestly, pencil poised
over clipboard. "Why," I said brightly, "I
hope to get a degree!"
His frown told me this was not the right answer. I
didn`t get the whole life-enhancement business then, and
I guess I still don`t get it now.
Still, at least back in those days they didn`t ask us
our "sexual identity."
incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all
kinds of outlets. His most recent book, Unknown Quantity: A Real And Imaginary History of Algebra, was
reviewed here in July, 2006.