Is this what conservative / Republican / non-progressive college parents want to pay for?
The indoctrination is probably unnecessary. After all, studies show that today’s high school graduates – especially those who listened well, earned the best grades and gained admissions to top schools – are more likely to identify themselves as “liberal” or “far-left” than at any time since the early 1970s. They are more committed to “social justice” and increasingly support efforts to shut down speakers whose views they disagree with (no wonder the left fights so hard to preserve the public education status quo).
And during four, five or six years on campus – sorry mom and dad – students will be instructed by professors who support Democrats. In their book, “Passing on the Right,” Jon A. Shields and Joshua M. Dunn Sr. noted five major studies that “all placed the percentage of Republican professors between 7 percent and 9 percent in the social sciences and somewhere between 6 percent and 11 percent in the humanities.”
Nevertheless, North Carolina’s top schools make sure to signal the rules of the game from the get-go through the books they ask every incoming freshman to read…
As a classical liberal, I find the left-wing tilt of these books disturbing. Their underlying message is that American culture is cruel and close-minded, a problem to be overcome. Training our future leaders to see we the people as members of separate identity groups engaged in a Darwinian struggle is a form of national suicide.
I also see the sad logic of it. The elite culture these schools are training students to join is defined by a bundle of progressive attitudes. These include the idea that there are single right, unquestionable answers on a range of complex issues, from race, gender and identity to climate change and health care.
I do not deny that African-Americans, Muslims, LGBTQ Americans and others face special challenges.
My concern is that the books assigned do not leave room for the larger purpose of education: to question and challenge ideas, to truly engage in what the left calls “courageous conversations.” The three books selected by the North Carolina schools are, at bottom, personal stories. They are not collections of facts – which can be debated objectively – but of opinions, which, by their nature, are unassailable.
They are words to be heard, not scrutinized or challenged.
By Peter Zane