September 19th, 2017

College students choose psychological “safety” over liberty

A new survey about college students’ attitudes towards free speech has come out (1500 students were polled):

While “hate speech” is odious, as long as it steers clear of well-established exceptions to the First Amendment…it is constitutionally protected. The survey results, however, indicate that many college students believe that hate speech is unprotected…

…[A]cross all three political affiliations [Democrat, Republican, Independent] listed in the table, fewer than half of the respondents indicated a belief that hate speech is constitutionally protected. The very significant gender variation in the responses is also noteworthy.

Only among college men did more than half of the respondents answer “yes,” and even that group was only a bare majority (51%). The only other group where more people answered “yes” than “no” was Republicans, and only by 44% (versus 39% answering “no”).

The study goes on to note that a significant number of respondents (the percentages were in the high teens and low twenties) supported using violence to prevent a speaker they disagree with from speaking. In this case, the percentages of Democrats and Republicans who felt this way were almost identical. Thirty percent of the male respondents supported violence in a situation like that, whereas only 10% of females did.

In addition, most students seemed to think that the First Amendment requires that the colleges hiring controversial or offensive speakers must present rebuttals, as well.

Perhaps the most depressing response to a question was that, when asked whether they preferred a university that presented all points of view or one that prohibited biased or offensive speech, the results were as follows:

…[A]cross most categories, and in the aggregate, the majority of students appear to prefer an environment in which their institution is expected to create an environment that shelters them from offensive views. The exceptions are among Republicans and Independents, though even in those categories nearly half of the students still expressed a preference for the more sheltered environment.

It is to be expected. After all, this reflects what students have been taught and/or not taught. The “not taught” part refers to the decline of fairly intense and ubiquitous instruction in what was called “civics” when I was young. The subject matter was government, with an emphasis on liberty in particular.

This is from a 2011 article:

“When I went to school, we had all kinds of courses on civics and government,” says retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who is pushing to revive civic education. “Today, at least half of the states don’t even require high school students to take civics; only three states require it in middle school.”

A group known as the NAEP regularly tests students for civics knowledge, among other things, and the most recent survey (2014) found that only 23% of eighth-graders performed at or above a proficiency level (the levels are basic, proficient, and advanced), with black and Hispanic students doing far more poorly than that. It’s a sad thing, and one that probably could be easily improved by curriculum changes—although I imagine many of the teachers, reared under the same civics-ignorant system, would need some heavy-duty brush-up courses in the subject themselves in order to teach it properly.

Some of the decline in civics teaching is a result of funding problems. But faced with funding cuts, school systems make decisions on what is important and what is less important, and somewhere the decision must have been made to jettison civics in many cases. I doubt this was an arbitrary decision, either. I believe it was most likely part of the leftward drift of education in recent decades, and it was purposeful. A public ignorant of its liberties is a public that can better be manipulated by political activists.

But that’s far from all. That was the “not taught” part. Then there’s the “taught” part. A big problem is the philosophy of education—and perhaps even of life—that is rampant these days. I’m not sure what to call it, but it fosters the idea that educational environments should be protective rather than challenging. That idea has many elements to it, including anti-bullying campaigns, trophies and social promotions for all, and an attitude of “you’re perfect just the way you are.”

It’s not that the impulse to protect young children from abuse is wrong. We don’t want schools to resemble Lord of the Flies. But the pendulum has swung way too far in the other direction, IMHO. I conceptualize the dilemma as the exoskeleton approach vs. the endoskeleton approach (I used a similar metaphor in a different although somewhat related context here).

When I was growing up, the world was considered a tough place. Though most parents wanted to protect their children, they thought the best way to do that was to teach their children to develop inner strength in order to protect themselves from the blows and hurts they would inevitably encounter in life. That’s the endoskeleton approach. Today’s parents may pay lip service to that, too, but these days there is far more of a tendency than in the past to use the exoskeleton approach—that is, to demand that the surroundings buffer their children so that the children never have to encounter aggression or nasty words. The idea is a surrounding shell of protection rather than a strong inner spine.

It’s not either/or, of course. Ideally, it would be nice to have both, and I would imagine most parents want some of both to a certain degree. But the balance has shifted markedly. That children’s nursery rhyme of my youth—“sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me”—do we ever hear it anymore?

I don’t know; I don’t exactly have my finger on the pulse of kids these days. So perhaps they’re too busy being on social media to chant any rhymes at all. But I can’t help but think that all of these things feed into poll results such as the ones we have today.

[ADDENDUM: Here’s another survey. This one’s of adults, and it’s just as depressing.]

30 Responses to “College students choose psychological “safety” over liberty”

  1. Ray Says:

    College is just expensive daycare.

  2. AMartel Says:

    Ask them when they’re 2 and later 5 years out of college, out from under the thumbs of their oppressive professors.

  3. Griffin Says:

    ‘Ask them when they’re 2 and later 5 years out of college’

    The problem with this is the society is shifting towards them not the other way around. This is a tectonic shift in our culture that can’t be overstated. The First Amendment is a goner I’m afraid. Just a matter of time.

  4. Frog Says:

    “only 23% of eighth-graders performed at or above a proficiency level (the levels are basic, proficient, and advanced), with black and Hispanic students doing far more poorly than that.”
    That is not by accident, but by Democratic Party and laterly Teachers’ Unions design, with collusion of the major textbook publishers, who I have no doubt are run by Democrats. See Howard Zenn and his publisher.
    From http://www.governing.com-
    School boards govern the overwhelming majority of the more than 15,000 school districts in America; they make up fully one-sixth of all the local governments in the country. Thomas Glass, a professor of educational leadership at the University of Memphis, points out that, with an average of seven or eight members on each, “that makes for an awful lot of elected officials. And how many elected officials have we ever eliminated in this country?”

    From the Brookings Institution:
    ” Paul Peterson, Fredrik Hess and David Leal, Eric Brunner and Tim Squires, Brian Adams, and others have all written on interest group politics in education and/or the potential for school boards to be captured by teachers unions.”

    “to be captured by teachers unions”. Didja see that?

  5. arfldgrs Says:

    in 1968 the number of women and men in college were near 50% each… from there on the game was to make it free, make it to all as if the paper gave you more money, not the rarity of the paper.

    women basically ruined college…
    went from studying latin, and greek, with english and history, and all that (and now have remedial reading and writing in medical school not for 2nd language but first)… then they went to womens studies, kanya west study, black studies and all these special revolutionary courses… the government gave them more money (so they raised prices on them), kicked out the guys, especially white males (which is accelerating)… now the ladies (ha!), are saving and freezing eggs for men that dont exist as there isnt enough educated for the hypergamous super sucessful visonary who hates him to find one.

    just think of what college meant in 1968
    and think of what they did to it to now

    now the problem is that they are more exepensive, do less work and leave the career earlier… ie, you pay more for less.

    “Feminist Blogging.” “Femininity, Beauty, and the Black Female Body.” “Funny, You Don’t Look Jewish: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Judaism.”

    are real courses..

    In recent years, women’s studies classes have stretched far beyond those confines to address women of many different socioeconomic and racial backgrounds, and to explore more contemporary issues, too. Here, 63 of the most compelling offerings for today’s college students to examine the female experience. (Perhaps most encouraging of all: it’s not just a small, private liberal arts college thing—there are tons of options from large, public universities on this list, too.)

    Women and addiction a feminist perspective
    his class provides “an interdisciplinary feminist focus on the consequences of sex-role socialization, substance abuse, addiction in intimate relationships, and eating disorders,” and studies the “consequences of addiction among women.”

    Wesleyan University (Clintons school)
    #sayhername: Intersectionalty and feminist activism
    The classes uses “the hashtag #sayhername” as a jumping off point to analyze “the ways in which African American women and other women of color have been both targeted and silenced by racialized and sexualized violence.”

    Topics in Korean Lit and Culture Sexing korea, Gender and sexuality in Korean pop Culture
    “What can Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style’ and Girls Generation’s ‘The Boys’ teach us about gender roles in contemporary Korea? What roles do writers, musicians, and filmmakers play in shaping our thinking about gender?”

    YALE: Theory and Politics of Sexual Consent
    “Topics such as sex work, nonnormative sex, and sex across age differences” are “explored through film, autobiography, literature, queer commentary, and legal theory,” with a focus on “U.S. and Connecticut legal cases regarding sexual violence and assault.”

    Single Motherhood
    “This course examines the cultural ideologies, institutions, and public policies that affect single women’s experience of motherhood, with particular attention to the challenges faced by teenage and low-income single mothers.”

    Women in Hip Hop
    The class asks questions like “What do the sexual politics of rap music reveal about Black women’s conceptualizations of feminism? How can we apply early ‘hip hop feminism’ to understand current debates about Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj? How are hetero-normative gender ideologies reinforced in hip hop culture?”

    THEN when they come out with a degree, they complain that they dont make as much money as the men… right? anyone want to guess why? so now they are fighting for income equality, so that they can study the above, and be paid like a phd surgeon or engineer…

  6. ConceptJunkie Says:

    Well, it seems we’ve come full circle.

    The right of Free Speech isn’t absolute, with the most common exception being speech that incites violence. Now that lefties are incited to violence by anything they disagree with, it’s natural for them to believe that that kind of speech should be censored.

    I don’t understand how outfits like “The Onion” can continue to parody our public life, since I can barely imagine anything more ridiculous than what is actually happening.

  7. skeptic Says:

    “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.” – Vladimir Lenin

    This is just one result of the Left’s takeover of our culture. The college students have been relentlessly brain washed by leftist teachers since pre-school. Even Catholic schools have been taken over by SJWs witness the removal of Christian statues from the school in Marin County in California.

    Given that, it is surprising that 51% percent of the men supported the First Amendment. I find that encouraging in a glass half full kind of way.

    Women have always been more susceptible to Leftist propaganda than men. The four amendments (income tax, Senators popular vote, prohibition and women’s vote) pushed by the Progressives and adopted during or shortly after the Wilson administration have caused perhaps irreparable damage to the USA.

  8. arfldgrs Says:

    it ate up my post
    too sensitive
    if neo wants its there.
    sorry
    wasted too much life on things for the trash

  9. neo-neocon Says:

    artfldgr:

    Read Allan Bloom’s description of what happened at Cornell in 1968 (he described it in The Closing of the American Mind). 1968 is the year you mentioned when men and women were about 50%, but the numbers of women at Cornell were nowhere near that figure.

    The story at Cornell (which resembles things that are happening in colleges today, although there the controversy was over race and race studies) had nothing to do with the number of women at the school, and in fact in 1968 the number of men greatly outnumbered the number of women at Cornell.

    That said, feminism had a role in the decline of the university system (not just Cornell, of course) to the point where it is now. But it was just one of many factors, most of which can be put under the heading “the left.”

  10. arfldgrs Says:

    Women have always been more susceptible to Leftist propaganda than men… which is why marx and others targeted the old feminist movement with entryism.. erin pizzey details it (she had to leave the UK or the communists would kill her for opening up the first sheltes for abused)

    The Revolutionary Catechism
    Sergey Nechayev 1869

    been targeted since at least then..
    why?
    cause they will sell out their own families
    [lots of history on this one and lots of reasons why cultures kept them tight not loose… but you cant talk about those things, the feminists who are opressed wont let the rulers talk]

    21. The sixth category is especially important: women. They can be divided into three main groups. First, those frivolous, thoughtless, and vapid women, whom we shall use as we use the third and fourth category of men. Second, women who are ardent, capable, and devoted, but whom do not belong to us because they have not yet achieved a passionless and austere revolutionary understanding; these must be used like the men of the fifth category. Finally, there are the women who are completely on our side – i.e., those who are wholly dedicated and who have accepted our program in its entirety. We should regard these women as the most valuable or our treasures; without their help, we would never succeed.

    its why the left in germany targeted them
    as my family who were there taught.
    the books (especially the feminist apologists) put it all in percentages, of which you then have to do a lot of research to find the numbers in the towns.. but WWI made the number of opposition votes small

    so if you read you may find things like 40% voted for, and out of the men 75% voted again… but there were 1000 women, and only 200 men… whic made for the outcome.. even if you read the speeches, he was talking to the women and even said that the electoral body was like a woman.

    read: Hitler’s Speech to the National Socialist Women’s League (September 8, 1934)
    If the man’s world is said to be the State, his struggle, his readiness to devote his powers to the service of the community, then it may perhaps be said that the woman’s is a smaller world. For her world is her husband, her family, her children, and her home. But what would become of the greater world if there were no one to tend and care for the smaller one? How could the greater world survive if there were no one to make the cares of the smaller world the content of their lives? No, the greater world is built on the foundation of this smaller world. This great world cannot survive if the smaller world is not stable. Providence has entrusted to the woman the cares of that world which is her very own, and only on the basis of this smaller world can the man’s world be formed and built up. The two worlds are not antagonistic. They complement each other, they belong together just as man and woman belong together.

    this was later used to basically say that if you want families, your heterosexual, and so on.. your a NAZI…

    cause the feminist leaders said what about marraige and so on?

    but where would that leave our nation in defense? abilit? educatio? etc.

    now you know
    bribed and tricked they betrayed their own WILLINGLY
    but they dont think so…
    becuase they dont think they belong to that
    but belong to those that hate them..
    meaning the ultimate end of this is just deserts i guess

  11. arfldgrs Says:

    1968 is the year you mentioned when men and women were about 50%, but the numbers of women at Cornell were nowhere near that figure.

    cherry pick cornell [a f*cking ivy league? now there are more women and more minorities than anything else in the new class at harvard… over 65% women, is that ok NOW?]

    to say its wrong
    ok, its wrong..
    now wait and see

    if your going to use leftist excuses and games to provide proofs that its not that way, then give up on your search adn the change to the game cause THAT Was the bs that hid all this till now..

    you realize that that book debunked in ROLLING STONE..
    yes THAT mag and why did they do conservative if they are so far left?

    Bloom and Doom: ‘The Closing of the American Mind’
    Professor Allan Bloom has hit it big with his bestseller, an apocalyptic attack on universities, college kids and rock & roll But it is Bloom’s own mind that is closed
    http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/bloom-and-doom-19871008

    he freaking blamed ROCK AND ROLL
    not communists, not infiltration, not entryism, not soviet politics, cold war and all that..

    ‘Rock music,” Bloom writes, ”has one appeal only, a barbaric appeal, to sexual desire — not love, not eros, but sexual desire undeveloped and untutored.”

    Rock & roll, according to Bloom, has only three themes: ”sex, hate and a smarmy, hypocritical version of brotherly love.” Bloom’s antirock diatribe hits full stride when he likens pop music to a ”pubescent child whose body throbs with orgiastic rhythms; whose feelings are made articulate in hymns to the joys of onanism or the killing of parents; whose ambition is to win fame and wealth in imitating the drag-queen who makes the music. In short, life is made into a nonstop, commercial prepackaged masturbational fantasy.”

    but i am talking about reading the damn papers from the communists, the ommiterm, the defectors and so on.

    Blooms whole work is an apologist work that hides any influence of russia
    nothing in blooms book points to any of the things known to day by defectors, not just russian defectors but C ISERBYT

    Blooms other complaints – about television, movies, women and feminism, psychiatry, left-wing professors and Sixties political movements – seem silly and dated. It’s as though someone had dug up an old right-wing screed from the Nixon-Agnew era and published it twenty years late.

    problem is that you wont let me debate this and put all the infor up, so i will lose automatically, so its a waste of time other than to put up a quote that bloom doesnt have or two

    your quoting bloom who wrote a disaster book in the peak of the disaster years and nothing in his books points to the fronts movement, the orders of the commiterm, the cpusa and so on. .

    and it ignores this woman
    Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt is an American freelance writer who served as the Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI), U.S. Department of Education, during the first term of U.S. President Ronald Reagan, and staff employee of the U.S. Department of State (South Africa, Belgium, South Korea).

    better credentials than bloom, she was in the room when the feds made the plans, not in a college.. i work in acollege. you can get a college professor and such to say anything, they stand up for nothign and will write whatever the powers be makes them to… period.. i work with them.

    She is known for writing the book The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America.

  12. arfldgrs Says:

    Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt

    The book reveals that changes gradually brought into the American public education system work to eliminate the influences of a child’s parents (religion, morals, national patriotism), and mold the child into a member of the proletariat in preparation for a socialist-collectivist world of the future

    She says that these changes originated from plans formulated primarily by the Andrew Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Education and Rockefeller General Education Board, and details the psychological methods used to implement and effect the changes

    she disclosed that in the early 1980s she had a chance to meet with Norman Dodd who had been the chief investigator for the United States House Select Committee to Investigate Tax-Exempt Foundations and Comparable Organizations commonly known as the B. Carroll Reece Committee. In the video interview she claims that Dodd discussed a ‘network’ of individuals including Carnegie who planned to bring about world peace by means of rapid changes in society. These changes would be brought about by involving the populace in various wars and military conflicts. She further claimed that Dodd had discussions with Rowan Gaither, the president of the Ford Foundation in which he revealed that directives from the President of the United States compelled foundations related to the Ford Foundation to direct their funding into bringing about the merger of the USA with the Soviet Union

    Mr. Dodd, all of us here at the policy making level of the foundation have at one time or another served in the OSS (the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the CIA) or the European Economic Administration, operating under directives from the White House. We operate under those same directives… The substance of the directives under which we operate is that we shall use our grant making power to so alter life in the United States that we can be comfortably merged with the Soviet Union.
    — Rowan Gaither, President Ford Foundation – 1953, Norman Dodd – friend of Iserbyt

    now you know why the state joined in with the people

    top down, bottom up (the hammer on top the anvil on the bottom)

    Parents and the general public must be reached also. Otherwise, children and youth enrolled in globally oriented programs may find themselves in conflict with values assumed in the home. And then the educational institution frequently comes under scrutiny and must pull back.
    — Dr. John I. Goodlad, Schooling for a Global Age-1979

    Enlightened social engineering is required to face situations that demand global action now… Parents and the general public must be reached also, otherwise, children and youth enrolled in globally oriented programs may find themselves in conflict with values assumed in the home. And then the educational institution frequently comes under scrutiny and must pull back.
    — Dr. John I. Goodlad, “Guide to Getting Out Your Message,” National Education Goals Panel Community Action Toolkit: A Do-It-Yourself Kit for Education Renewal (September 1994

    John Taylor Gatto has more
    and there are others

    on one side is a group that refused to believe or refused to acknowlege the games of states, and so writes as if they do nothing and THAT is the narrative we like most, even if we find it was a lie

    on the other side are tons of people who find things out, and get destroyed sharing them.. wikileaks did not exist in reagan era. and it would have been more interesting in the carnegie era

    just remember that the fords lost control of their organizaion (nasty letter to the board about how capitalism made it and communism took over it)

    its all natural
    dont bother to look up the story behind the propganda
    if its natural, there is nothing to oppose
    but if not, then what?

  13. M J R Says:

    Frog, 3:49 pm — “See Howard Zenn and his publisher.”

    Make that “Howard Zinn”.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Zinn

    “Zinn described himself as ‘something of an anarchist, something of a socialist. Maybe a democratic socialist.’ He wrote extensively about the Civil Rights Movement and anti-war movement, and labor history of the United States. His memoir, You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train, was also the title of a 2004 documentary about Zinn’s life and work.”

  14. Richard Aubrey Says:

    When my granddaughter had her fifth birthday party, one of the guests was going nome with one of my grandkid’s presents.
    The mother asked my DiL if it were okay for the kid to take it since she didn’t want to upset her. Mom would bring the present back when the child put it down and could be thought not to want it right that minute.
    Spoiled children think that the universe giving them what they want is the universe’s default position. Not getting what they want is not only disappointing, but also disorientating and a transcendent wrong. It must be fixed and, in their experience, a parent or parent proxy is supposed to do that right the heck now. Or there will be a tantrum.

  15. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    neo’s title: “College students choose psychological “safety” over liberty”

    Brings to mind Ben Franklin’s observation;

    “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

    Frog,

    “only 23% of eighth-graders performed at or above a proficiency level (the levels are basic, proficient, and advanced), with black and Hispanic students doing far more poorly than that.”

    That is indeed not accidental. Rather it is establishing the preconditions for Pres. Woodrow Wilson’s world; “We want one class of persons to have a liberal education, and we want another class of persons, a very much larger class of necessity in every society, to forgo the privilege of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks.”

    “Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties:
    1. Those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes.
    2. Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not the most wise depository of the public interests.
    In every country these two parties exist, and in every one where they are free to think, speak, and write, they will declare themselves.” –Thomas Jefferson to Henry Lee, 1824.

    The college students who choose psychological “safety” over liberty are the natural prey of ‘those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes.”…

  16. parker Says:

    Richard Aubrey,

    Excellent example. Several years ago my youngest son sought my advise on how to handle 3 year old tantrums. I responded just do what I did with you and your older sister and brother. He said what did you do? I responded I ignored tantrums, you all were allowed to whine, cry, drum your heels on the floor, and after 2 or 3 times all of you learned tantrums are a one way dead end street.

    If it is not nipped in the bud early it will set the child on a sad path of whining and demanding. This is how we get “special snowflakes”.

  17. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Democracy is going to elect us out of the problems and corruptions in the US… hah as if.

  18. skeptic Says:

    Neo writes:
    The story …had nothing to do with the number of women at the school”

    You do not deny that women tend much more Left than men do you?

    See
    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/07/28/a-closer-look-at-the-gender-gap-in-presidential-voting/

    “on average, women have been 8 percentage points more likely than men to back the Democratic candidate in elections since 1980.”

    1980 is of course the year of Reagan’s conservative revolution.

  19. TommyJay Says:

    Neo suggests that this change or downward progression in education has been most noticeable in “recent decades.” I suppose that is true.

    But I see it as the successful progression of John Dewey’s transformative concept of education in America, that he pushed from about 1900 to 1938. The following snippet is from Wikipedia.

    Dewey continually argues that education and learning are social and interactive processes, and thus the school itself is a social institution through which social reform can and should take place.

    Wikipedia also claims Dewey was a strong supporter of democracy, although they also hint that this was perhaps the Leon Trotsky style of democracy. (sarc)

    My take is that Dewey had the brilliant idea that it was a mistake to go through the tremendous hassle of re-educating an entire population when you can just educate them “properly” when they are tots.

  20. Dave Says:

    I am going to tell one of the biggest shortcomings of diversity,we are forced to live with racists. Nationalism is good bc it isolates all racists out and let them live among themseleves while liberals can all live with people with similar beliefs while not having to deal with the racists they hate,i dont understand why dont liberals like that. Nationalism means people who dont each other dont have to be forced to live togethet which means liberals cant live in a place with no conservatives, it is the best system

  21. Manju Says:

    “…decline in civics teaching…”

    Neo,

    The very NAEP data you cite shows an increase in civics knowledge.

    See here:

    74% of students today (2014) have “Above Basic” knowledge of civics…compared to 70% in 1998. If you go by the metric you cite (Above Proficient) today’s students still have a 23% to 22% advantage, though that 1% may be statistical noise.

    As far as I can tell there is no decline. Our elders sucked even more than we do now.

  22. artemptydgr Says:

    Last month, two law professors published an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer calling for a revival of the “cultural script” that prevailed in the 1950s and still does among affluent Americans: “Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness. . . . Eschew substance abuse and crime.” The weakening of these traditional norms has contributed to today’s low rates of workforce participation, lagging educational levels and widespread opioid abuse, the professors argued.

    _-_-_+-_-+_-_-+
    The op-ed triggered an immediate uproar at the University of Pennsylvania, where one of its authors, Amy Wax, teaches. The dean of the Penn law school, Ted Ruger, published an op-ed in the student newspaper noting the “contemporaneous occurrence” of the op-ed and a white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., and suggesting that Ms. Wax’s views were “divisive, even noxious.” Half of Ms. Wax’s law-faculty colleagues signed an open letter denouncing her piece and calling on students to report any “bias or stereotype” they encounter “at Penn Law ” (e.g., in Ms. Wax’s classroom). Student and alumni petitions poured forth accusing Ms. Wax of white supremacy, misogyny and homophobia and demanding that she be banned from teaching first-year law classes.

    Wax was subjected to the Two Minutes Hate. Her thought crime was to advocate hard work, self-discipline, and responsible behavior, which are now to be regarded as equivalent to the ultimate in wrongthink, white supremacism.

    Her coauthor Larry Alexander teaches at University of San Diego…

    The dean of USD’s law school, Stephen Ferruolo, issued a schoolwide memo repudiating Mr. Alexander’s article and pledging new measures to compensate “vulnerable, marginalized” students for the “racial discrimination and cultural subordination” they experience.

  23. Ray Says:

    The FBI had a big file on Howard Zinn and FBI informants said he was a member of the communist party.

  24. neo-neocon Says:

    Manju:

    What about the phrase “when I was young” do you not understand, as it relates to me?

    1998 is not what I’m talking about, believe me. By then the rot had completely set in (not in me; in the teaching of civics or lack thereof). And in 1998 no one would have described me as “young.”

    Of course there have slight up and down variations in knowledge during the past couple of decades. But levels have been uniformly abominable and they remain so.

    I quoted Sandra Day O’Conner on when SHE went to school and how things had declined. O’Connor went to school during the 1940s.

  25. J.J. Says:

    G.B. “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

    Old Ben knew of what he spoke. I was going to quote him, but you beat me to it. 🙂

  26. Manju Says:

    Neo:

    What about the phrase “when I was young” do you not understand, as it relates to me?

    OK. Your evidence of a decline is merely anecdotal.

  27. neo-neocon Says:

    Manju:

    No, my evidence is not just anecdotal. I brought that up, however, because you were giving figures from 1998, which has little or nothing to do with the years affected by the changes I’m talking about. 1998 is not my reference year, nor is it the reference year for Sandra Day O’Connor, who grew up a decade or two earlier than I.

    You have no evidence to counter what I’m actually saying, so you cite slight changes that have occurred since 1998, which are irrelevant to my point.

    The teaching of civics used to be required in many more states than it is now (see this for a discussion with some figures). In that article I just linked, it is more about changes in the last 20 years, but if you went back to my youth compared to today you would find that civics education was considered basic at the time. Unfortunately, there are no such hard-figure comparisons between my youth and now in terms of civics education that are easily obtainable online (I assume they might exist somewhere), but I don’t think you could find many people who were alive back then who would fail to have the same “anecdotal” impression that I have and that O’Connor has.

    Here’s a discussion of the fact that, even in those states that still manage to require a course in civics, it falls by the wayside. And this article discusses how the teaching of what is now referred to as “civics” is often not the traditional instruction in how government works under the Constitution, but is increasingly subject to leftist influence.

    Here are more statistics about recent education in civics:

    A series of surveys of adult Americans from 2008 to 2011 found that college graduates tended to know less than the average American about basic government functions, although the average American failed the test with or without a college degree. “[W]hile college adds little to civic knowledge, it does seem to encourage graduates to identify more strongly with the Democrat and Liberal ends of the political spectrum,” one of these reports found.

    Younger students are no better. Although the Obama administration replaced national civics and U.S. history exams with technology assessments in 2013, their results were consistently poor: “In 2010, the last time the history test was administered, students performed worse on it than on any other NAEP test. Less than half the eighth-graders knew the purpose of the Bill of Rights, and only 1 in 10 could pick a definition of the system of checks and balance.”

    This is a major problem for a country like America, the NAS report notes, because America is a country founded not on blood or soil but on common consent to a particular structure of self-government articulated in the Declaration of Independence.

    “Civics education gives us the capacity to be Americans,” the report says. “…Above all, civics education is supposed to teach students how to be citizens rather than subjects, how to be self-governing rather than governed, and how to be free without usurping the freedom of others. These lessons collectively have been taken to be necessary to equip students to embrace their civic rights and responsibilities, and assume their birthright as American citizens.”…

    The NAS report says a key factor in this civic disintegration is something called the New Civics, which replaces traditional civics with community organizing. That means teaching students that citizenship means looking for grievances, then agitating for bigger government to address them. It also means giving students college credit for “service learning”—which means paying tuition to perform unpaid work for leftist organizations such as Planned Parenthood.

    Before I had read that article, I had visited a site promoting civics education, thinking it would be about government and the Constitution and the like, but discovered it was promoting this “new civics” exclusively.

    All of this is totally different than when I was in school, and that’s not just anecdotal.

  28. ErisGuy Says:

    How’d that master politician who overthrew a democracy put it? Oh, yeah: if you repeat the big lie often enough, it becomes true.

    Each and every day the difference between the Left & Democrats (on one hand) and the Nazis (on the other) grows smaller and smaller. Already all the Democrats lack is a fuhrer.

  29. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

    I recall in 1970 a survey taken outside supermarkets and in public parks that could not get people to sign agreement to the Bill of Rights unlabeled, and another, from about that time, of most people unable to name more than one amendment. They had the First amendment as Freedom of Religion, – true enough but limited, and the Fifth Amendment that you didn’t have to testify against yourself – sort of true, but also limited. Those were the only ones that got above 20% spontaneously remembered.

    We’ve never been that good at this. It is better to have civics classes, because at least some kids pay attention. But the numbers have always been low.

  30. theduchessofkitty Says:

    “Women have always been more susceptible to Leftist propaganda than men.”

    Just a quirk left on our DNA, thanks to Eve’s willingness to listen to her pretend bestie, the snake.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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