Here is a great news item with which to start the new academic year. The Right-wing in America is anti-intellectual. We know this. The populist Tea Party GOP brigands even more so.
Yet, we must not sleep on them: Conservatives have a long plan to reshape the academy by destroying tenure (and by implication academic freedom), making sure to fund think tanks and named chairs which push their economic and political agenda despite any empirical evidence in support of its validity, and to push an agenda of "balance" where (white) conservatives are a new class of "minorities" in need of "affirmative action" on college campuses.
Professional bomb thrower and bully David Horowitz has been building an enemies list for years and the Right-wing thought police have long been policing the discourse on both Palestine as well as other subjects.
That is the genius in the reframing of reality offered by the populist Right--just as they created the myth of the liberal media--the Right-wing's spin doctors and Orwellian propagandists have generated the lie that "higher education" is a space run amok with liberals. The truth is much, much, more complicated than the tired, thin and flat version of events commonly offered by Conservatives. Academia is very conservative and traditional in many ways. It is also moving more rightward as corporate models of "profit and loss" are applied to the liberal arts model of learning in colleges and universities.
Now, I admit it. I have repeatedly called the Tea Party GOP "tea baggers." I have had evaluations where sensitive conservatives have complained that I am "mean" to them and do not validate their views; one student even mentioned my "disrespect" towards the Tea Party as "unacceptable."
Confessing further, I also have described Sarah Palin as a person with a head full of nothing, as well as called out the Right-wing populists as "mouth breathers" and neo-John Birchers during my seminars. The truth hurts I guess.
Maybe, they will come after little old Chauncey DeVega next...not holding my breath.
Pay careful attention to how Mike Adams suggests that right-leaning students should use the very mechanisms which Conservatives once condemned as "identity politics" to further break the system. The New Right and the Tea Party GOP are dangerous and dishonest folks who are capable of anything as long as it serves their ideological ends. Until reasonable centrists, progressives, liberals, and old school principled conservatives understand that reality, they will keep on losing, and losing badly.
How to Harass a Tea Partier
Hello Curtis (Curtis Wright is a conservative talk show host in Wilmington, North Carolina):
I want to thank you personally for forwarding a letter from a student complaining about the extent of political indoctrination that is present in the classroom in the so-called social sciences at UNC-Wilmington. While I found many of her complaints to be minor, I was troubled by one obscene reference to members of the Tea Party, which was allegedly made in class by her political science professor. That, of course, was the reference to members of the Tea Party as “tea baggers.”
There is no need to go into great detail regarding the sexual nature of the term “tea bagger.” It is a term that is simply not used in polite company. It certainly has no place in academic discussions held in political sciences classes in front of a captive audience of college students.
College professors who choose to incorporate terms like "tea bagging" into their lectures have long enjoyed the protection of the First Amendment. In recent years, however, universities have decided that their own harassment codes trump the First Amendment. And that provides us with a unique opportunity to teach the teacher a thing or two about the tension between civil discourse and the First Amendment.
UNC-Wilmington defines sexual harassment as follows:"unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when such conduct constitutes an express or implied condition to another person's academic pursuits, university employment, or participation in activities sponsored by the university or organizations or groups related to the university, or is engaged in for the purpose of interfering with such pursuits, employment, or participation, or creates a hostile, intimidating, or offensive environment for such pursuits, employment, or participation."
Obviously, when a male political science professor dismisses a female supporter of the Tea Party as one who enjoys oral sex, he has offended her. And that falls squarely within the university definition of sexual harassment.
The university website further states that: “Harassment at UNCW is taken seriously. Faculty and staff are required to report sexual harassment when it is alleged. Harassment by an employee must be reported to UNCW Human Resources and harassment by a student should be reported to the Office of the Dean of Students.”
The Associate Provost for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, Dr. Jose Hernandez, has been forwarded an email, from a female student, expressing her concerns about the use of the term “tea baggers” in the classroom. Therefore, it is now his responsibility to move forward with an investigation against the professor who has allegedly been using this term in the classroom. I’m sure that the female student feels excluded by hearing obscene sexualized references to her and those who share her political beliefs.
There could be more bad news for professors who like to insult students in the classroom by using obscene references. Recently, the Obama administration issued an order to all universities who receive financial aid from the federal government. Under the order, they are mandated (a patriarchal term if I have ever heard one) to employ a “preponderance of evidence” standard in all campus sexual harassment and sexual assault cases. This means that professors referring to female students as “tea baggers” can be found liable even if the accuser demonstrates that the accusations are only “probably” true.
Using the “probably” standard rather than “proof beyond a reasonable doubt” makes it easier to convict the guilty. But it also makes it easier to convict the innocent. The Obama administration seems to be equally comfortable with both prospects. Furthermore, if universities refuse to employ the lower standard they will lose all federal funding, including all student financial assistance.
The time has come for conservative students to take the gloves off and start fighting campus indoctrination by turning the weapons of the left against the leftists themselves. By taking my advice and using the “harassment” mechanism, one of two things is guaranteed to happen:
1. We can get rid of scores of leftist professors who create a climate of “intimidation” and “offense” in the classroom.
2. We can enlist the help of campus leftists in restoring the standard of “proof beyond a reasonable doubt” in campus sexual assault and sexual harassment cases.
Either way, this should prove to be a win-win situation. Our Founding Fathers would be proud. Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention, Curtis. It will soon be brought to the attention of the general administration as well as the general public.