Young America’s Foundation went to The George Washington University campus recently to interview students about the anniversary of Sept. 11. Only six out of 30 students remembered the anniversary, but 29 out of 30 were able to identify one or more celebrities involved in the nude photo hacking scandal, the foundation reports.

 Watch the interviews:

OPINION: How Professors Indoctrinate Students: A Prime Example

How would you define al-Qaeda? Most would use the word “terrorists.”

But here is my professor’s stab at it: “The Al Qaeda movement of Osama bin Laden is one example of an attempt to free a country (in this case, Saudi Arabia) from a corrupt and repressive regime propped up by a neocolonial power (in this case, the United States).”

That’s word-for-word from his own textbook, “The Other World: Issues and Politics of the Developing World, Ninth Edition.” Here is the full quote in context:

“Much of the political instability endemic to Other World political systems stems from the fact that governments operated openly for private gain (or kleptocracies) have little legitimacy among, or acceptance by, a significant proportion of the population, in neo colonial times as in the past. The Al Qaeda movement of Osama bin Laden is one example of an attempt to free a country (in this case, Saudi Arabia) from a corrupt and repressive regime propped up by a neocolonial power (in this case, the United States).” *

There’s a lot of talk among higher education circles about how professors “indoctrinate” students with leftist, socialist viewpoints – how they take students who may not know much about a subject and teach a one-sided, biased course, creating  like-minded minions who may even take action for professors’ pet causes.

Allow me to tell you about a quintessential course I just took which proves out that generally agreed-upon understanding about the modern college experience: World Food Systems at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. It’s the class in which we used “The Other World” textbook, co-authored by the same scholar who taught the course: Emmit B. Evans, Jr.

It fulfills either a political science or elective requirement, and I enrolled during the fall semester.

I can sum it up as follows: Big Oil and greedy capitalists are the reason for the war in the Middle East, the reason Global Warming is (not might be) destroying the planet, and the reason why a new world order based on equality and fairness must emerge.

It’s also the reason we, as students, must rise up and take action against these evils.

Oh yeah, and al-Qaeda is just a bunch of freedom fighters.

Think I’m exaggerating? Read on.

The official description of the course states it’s an “integrated, interdisciplinary study of the technologies of global food production, environmental and social issues related to the application of those technologies, and moral and ethical issues associated with global food production and distribution. Emphasis on the politics of change.”

With that, Cal Poly Professor Evans – a funny professor with a lot of interesting things to say – liked to talk about hot-button issues like climate change, the Iraq War, Iran and oil.

I found the course to be very thought-provoking. These issues should be discussed in a college class. But Evans only showed the liberal side of each issue. While I enjoyed the class, I would have liked to have heard counter arguments.

Climate change was a recurring theme throughout the course, but not once was the notion that climate change isn’t man-made ever raised.

Evans even showed us a lengthy clip from Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” but never mentioned it can’t be shown in the U.K. without acknowledging that 11 different scenes are factually incorrect.

He assigned us readings from the far-left environmental activist Bill McKibben to highlight what he viewed were the dangers of man-made climate change. But nary a word on how there are legitimate arguments that climate change is not man-made, including reports that say that say it is caused by sunspots rather than by CO2.

Oil was another recurring theme, and my professor left me and my peers with the impression that oil production causes nothing but pollution and wars because the planet will soon run out of the commodity.

Nevermind that studies show the U.S. has enough oil and natural gas to last more than 500 years; that wasn’t mentioned. Instead, Evans told us the Iraq war, the one launched after the Sept. 11 terrorists attacks, was started over oil.

C’mon. Even far-left politicians like Barbara Boxer, Barack Obama and Ted Kennedy – who were critical of the war in Iraq – never once referred to it as a war over oil.

But I recall one test question that even asked what the cause of the war was, and the correct answer was “oil.”

Evans also never brought up that Saddam Hussein violated U.N. resolutions and harbored terrorists, both among the arguments for invading Iraq.

There was no love-loss between Professor Evans and President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, two politicians he frequently threw under the bus. 

Another doozy from his textbook? Conservatives view the poor as “poor because of shortcomings within themselves, often considered to stem from race, gender, or class.”

So, no surprise: One day last fall Professor Evans let a Covered California representative talk in class for 20 minutes about the Affordable Care Act, a speaker who tried to convince us Obamacare is a great thing and we should all sign up.

(This had absolutely nothing to do with the syllabus, nor was it on the final exam, thankfully.)

At this point, are you thinking what I am thinking? The class is called “World Food Systems.” When do we talk about food? It came up here and there. We learned corn ethanol damages the environment, genetically modified food is an abomination, chemicals in food hurt humans, topics such as that.

Our professor also liked to disparage big corporations for taking government subsidies, and for poisoning the population with chemicals like BPA.

At the end of the course, we were taught how to affect change for all these alleged ills: he touted microlending and socialistic policies. He praised the occupy Wall Street movement, the Arab Spring, and protests to raise the minimum wage as examples of positive change movements.

If I were to have come into that course without any political leanings or knowledge on these issues, I would have likely walked away believing businesses are greedy and evil and people just pollute the Earth.

After my grade was recorded in my transcripts, I emailed Professor Evans to ask him about the slant in his class. He did not deny it.

“This focus drives the content of the course: from an examination of how systems work and what makes them stable, to how current food systems work, to what more sustainable systems might look like, and to how current systems might be changed to be more sustainable,” he stated. “It would seem difficult to justify teaching the other side of this focus – exploring how we might build more unsustainable food systems.”

“Course evaluations sometimes include comments similar to yours, which encourage us to make the goals and focus of the course as explicit as possible. I’m sorry if I didn’t accomplish that as well as I could have in your case, but am pleased you didn’t un-enjoy the class!”

Fair enough, but his slant does a disservice to Cal Poly students, and in my mind it rises to the level of academic malfeasance.

College Fix contributor Aaron Bandler is a student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

*‘The Other World’ textbook was co-authored, but the citation comes from a section Evans penned and assigned as reading.

Meet the model/actress/student who brought patriotism to USC, and don’t miss the plot twist toward the end of the story.


Jennifer Ann Massey was supposed to swing through the World Trade Center subway stop en route to a modeling gig in Brooklyn right around 8:45 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001.

Instead, the Southern Texas native overslept, and watched in horror with the rest of America as two commercial jetliners flew into the twin towers.

“I could have been underneath when they came down,” the spunky, bright and beautiful University of Southern California student and actress told The College Fix in a recent interview.

In the wake of the attacks, the patriotism and camaraderie was palpable, she said.

“That week, everyone was an American,” Massey said. “In that tragedy, people came together.”

However more recently, as a college student at the University of Southern California, the lack of campus memorials or observances on the anniversary of 9/11 has bothered Massey, she said, adding it’s not just the school, sometimes it seems the entire greater Los Angeles area could care less about the day.

So Massey did something about it, what she calls her “crazy journey.” She made calls. She set up meetings. She sent flurries of emails. She gave presentations. She bugged people, then bugged them some more. She didn’t take no for an answer.

And when it was all said and done – what she called months of “sweat, tears, but no blood” – the history major secured a chunk of steel from one of the Twin Towers that will photo 3serve as the cornerstone of a future 9/11 memorial at the private university.

“It’s the top of an I-beam,” Massey said excitedly. “It weighs about 100 pounds.”

The memorial was secured thanks to the backing of University of Southern California administrators – and in particular Dr. Varun Soni, dean of religious life – who allowed Massey to lobby for the steel on the school’s behalf.

Campus officials say they are designing the memorial now, and hope to install it sometime soon near the school’s Department of Public Safety building.

“Jennifer Massey really took the lead on this project, and reached out to the 9/11 Families Association and the Fire Department of New York,” Soni said in an email to The Fix. “This would not have happened without her perseverance and hard work.”

“9/11 was not just an American tragedy, but a global one,” he added. “Indeed, more than 90 countries were represented in the deaths at the World Trade Center. Given that our campus is truly a global location, with 8,000 international students from all over the world, we feel that USC is an appropriate place for the memorial. We hope that it will be visited not just by our students, but also by our neighborhood communities and university visitors.”

For Massey, however, it’s all about America.

“It might sound cheesy, but I’m really a patriotic American,” she said. “This memorial will mean we stand in solidarity with New York, with what happened that day. We are not going to forget, either. It didn’t just happen to New York, it happened to all Americans.”

In fact, Massey is so dedicated to America, she sort of gave up her impressive acting career to pursue a larger priority – her passion to promote conservative ideals on campus. Massey – insert dramatic pause – is president of the USC College Republicans.

“I took that knowing I’d probably never get an acting job again,” she said of coming out as a Republican.

She is quick to emphasize being a Republican has nothing to do with her patriotism, or her effort to bring the World Trade Center steel to campus. In fact, she didn’t tout that connection during any of her interactions bringing the I-beam to the West Coast.

“This is not about politics, I just wanted to get this done,” she said.

Nevertheless, the journey from working in the modeling world and notoriously left-leaning Hollywood circles to touting conservative ideals to peers is a rare path, indeed. But to Massey, it’s simple.

“It’s common sense,” she said.

Jennifer Kabbany is associate editor of The College Fix.

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Students at the private University of Southern California spent the evening of 9/11 at an action-packed workshop held at the “Ground Zero” theater during which they talked about how oppressive and unsafe they think their campus is, called campus police officers racist and white males “privileged,” and celebrated transgenderism.

Busy night at the “Plug-In” workshop.

Accusations that the Los Angeles Police Department is filled racists who target black USC students surfaced in May, when apparently some students didn’t like that the department sent 80 cops to break up a rowdy house party. On Wednesday night, students turned their attention on USC’s campus police, the Department of Public Safety.

“I feel more safe off of campus than on campus,” said De’Ron Marques, a senior majoring in public relations, according to an article in The Daily Trojan. “Being a black student at USC, I fear DPS, I fear not being able to get onto campus at night. We are few and far between. I feel like I’m not welcome here.”

“The events were mostly white, and I didn’t see many DPS officers,” freshman Katrina Miller was quoted as saying about Welcome Week in August. “But when I went to my first black event, and I saw like five USC officers, I questioned, ‘Are you serious?’ I couldn’t believe DPS always came to black events.”

The white man, legal American residents, and people who like to work out at the gym didn’t fare so well at the workshop either.

“Leaders began by asking what traits belong to the term ‘privilege,'” the Daily Trojan reports. “Student responses included terms such as males, whites, able-bodied, educated, fit, conventionally attractive and citizens. Leaders then asked what terms were associated with the word ‘oppressed.’ Students responded with queer, black, lesbian, Muslim, incarcerated and veterans, among others.”

The campus newspaper added: “The objective of this exercise was to inform people that everyone has multiple identities and that a person can’t feel safe unless every element of one’s identity is respected.”

Right on cue, talk of transgenderism entered the mix.

“The gender workshop also focused on issues relating to gender identity, and discussed the terms of gender, cisgender, transgender and preferred gender pronoun, as well as questions of sex and sexuality,” the Daily Trojan reported. “ ‘I am cisgender and privileged: I have the ability to walk through the world and blend in without being pointed at, laughed at and stared at,’ moderator Melissa Villafranco said.”

So the average woman is also privileged. Sheesh, no one gets a break.

For those of you who have not kept up with the latest politically correct terminology, “cisgender” means “someone who identifies as they gender/sex they were assigned at birth,” according to the Queer dictionary.

The event was co-sponsored by the Political Student Assembly, the Black Student Assembly, the Latino/a Student Assembly, the Queer People of Color Club and Lambda Upsilon Lambda, Fraternity Inc., according to The Daily Trojan.

“Plug-in is meant to give USC students the tools to be activists in their everyday lives in small ways, especially in language and in conversations with other USC students, to give them the ability to stand up for themselves and for other marginalized groups effectively, and not feel silenced by comments that they hear,” co-organizer Taylor Markey told the Daily Trojan.

Just another day in the life on campus, folks.

By the way, at last year’s Plug-In, also held on 9/11, they held a moment of silence – but not to honor the fallen, or even America.

“It’s kind of about working past isolationist fears as a community and as a nation,” student organizers of last year’s event told The Daily Trojan about the moment of silence.

Wednesday’s article did not mention if another 9/11 moment of silence took place at this year’s event.

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IMAGE: Unfair Campaign

The Cornell Review published moving photos of Wednesday’s flag memorial on campus.

Click here to view.

(Image source: The Cornell Review)

Delbert Belton. Chris Lane. An unnamed 13-year-old boy riding a school bus in Florida.

What do these people have in common? They are all whites who have been violently assaulted by blacks recently. And on Mother’s Day of this year, 20 people were gunned down in New Orleans by Akein Scott, also black. All of his victims were black. Not white-blacks or white-Hispanic-blacks, but blacks.

Alas for these departed souls, unless you attract the narcissistic attention of Barack Obama, you’re unlikely to get the maudlin media mourning mash-up that Trayvon Martin received as a reward for beating George Zimmerman’s face into the concrete. Without a cue from the Telepromtered One, the television shows do not reveal the racial motivations behind crimes committed by non-whites. The talk show hosts do not fight back stage tears when the music turns somber and reflective. When the snake charmer’s flute is silent, the cobras don’t rise out of the basket to strike. Everything is copacetic, and it’s almost as though the slaughter and thuggery in black America don’t even exist at all.

Instead of a simple reporting of facts, what we get from the panjandrums at the New York Times and CNN are lectures on our desire to know the facts–scoldings for drawing natural conclusions from a preponderance of the evidence. This is not only one of many common themes of the media narrative–it is the defining characteristic of nearly the entire industry.

After 9/11, for example, we were admonished *not* to be wary of Muslims. And it wasn’t just the news anchors who adopted a no-nonsense approach to eradicating the last vestiges of common sense. The morality parrots who write the prime-time police dramas also played along and invented a new genre: the Muslim seems guilty at first, but, plot twist!, it was actually the white guy. It’s *always* the white guy. Try changing the channel–you’re unlikely to find a different storyline unfolding anywhere.

Except in the real world. All nineteen hijackers who flew our airplanes into our buildings that crisp fall morning 12 years ago today were Muslims, for instance. As were the men who blew up our embassy in Kenya; blew up our barracks in Beirut; blew up the Taj Mahal hotel, Cama hospital, Chabad House, and other soft civilian targets in Mumbai; blew up the Marriott in Islamabad; blew up trains and buses in London; blew up trains and buses in Madrid; blew up the USS Cole; gunned down American servicemen in Germany; decapitated a British soldier in broad daylight outside the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich; decapitated Daniel Pearl in craven darkness; fired rockets at kindergartens, hospitals, and nursing homes in Haifa, Israel; attempted to blow up one of our airplanes with shoe bombs; attempted to blow up one of our airplanes with underwear bombs; blew up the finish line crowd at the Boston Marathon; killed thirteen people at Ft. Hood while shouting “Allahu Akbar”; and killed 186 children and more than one hundred other civilians at a school in Beslan, Russia. The perpetrators, and their enthusiastic supporters, were Muslims. All of them.

This is not what you’ll hear on the evening news, though. The media likes to pretend that it doesn’t deal in stereotypes, but willful misdirection–its stock in trade–actually contains all the pernicious elements of stereotypes, with none of the useful ones. For example, when James Holmes walked into a movie theater and started gunning down innocent people, or when Adam Lanza brutally murdered 26 people–including 20 children–at Sandy Hook, or when Jared Loughner committed similarly depraved acts of utterly meaningless violence against a defenseless congresswoman, it would have been refreshing to hear someone amongst the chattering class remark that these were all crimes committed by lonely, mentally disturbed young men. Of course, this is not what happened. We were told that guns were the problem. Inanimate objects were scapegoated, a poor substitute for facing the issue head-on. Amidst the cynical policy discussions piggybacking on personal tragedies, we were told that guns, and not disturbed young men, were to blame. Stereotyping is alive and well, but it has been adjusted to fit your TV screen.

In this way, the news-and-entertainment industry reverses the obvious and presents us with the surreal, the world in which Muslims are *never* guilty of blowing things up, blacks are *never* guilty of murdering white people just for the sake of their being white, and deranged loners are not the problem, but rather the cold, unfeeling steel equipment that they use in carrying out their horrendous crimes. We thus see the truth half-formed, as through a glass darkly. The greatest transgression, we seem to hear, is not actually maiming and murdering people, but believing that someone could be capable of such an act. It is suspicion and judgment, not Muslims with pipe bombs, outcasts with crazed grins, and blacks with violently racist Twitter accounts, that we are to condemn.

What our common sense tells us, though, is that patterns emerge out of repeated behavior. Nancy Grace-ish grandstanding and moral posturing notwithstanding, we know instinctively that a woman in a burqa at an airport could be trouble. Maybe she is just somebody’s mom. Maybe she’s at the airport because she’s bringing apple pie recipes to her family in Yemen. But, if a terrorist is going to be anyone, he is probably going to be a Muslim. And a Muslim may try and wear a burqa in order to conceal his murderous designs. Even actual women in burqas have committed heinous acts of mass murder.

It is not offensive to say that, based on prior events, there is a higher likelihood of a terrorist being a Muslim than not. Indeed, it is the plain truth. When I am on an airplane and I see someone who appears Middle Eastern–a broad brush with which to paint people, I know, and yet I would rather be proven wrong than wish I had not been right–I take note. I look around the cabin to see whether he might be traveling with other people. I look for strong men with whom I might team up in case something untoward were to transpire. I look for children who might be in harm’s way. And then, I sit back and enjoy the flight. If something were to happen, God willing I would be ready. It would be a dereliction of my moral duty to see a plane full of innocent people, notice a potential threat, and yet pretend that nothing was amiss. I stereotype. And I do it constantly. Until I know a person as an individual, I see him as part of a group. It is the responsible thing to do.

While stereotyping is patently anathema in our current Edvard Munch dispensation of farcically exaggerated expressions of shock at the depravities of the human heart, I submit here that “stereotyping”–among the most infrequently examined words in our language–is undeserving of its classification between “snobbishness” and “bigotry.” Most often overlooked are two key nuances embedded in the term. First, stereotyping is an extraordinarily useful practice. It allows us to peruse our world in shorthand without getting overwhelmed by details. By bundling fleeting impressions and mapping them onto previously understood facts, we move with greater efficiency through a myriad of sensual stimuli and brief social interactions.

Second, stereotypes aren’t–or shouldn’t be–final judgments about individual people. I am delighted when my stereotypes are proven wrong by those with whom I am able to interact in greater intimacy. Stereotypes, in a very real way, are made to be broken. They are merely placeholders, ways of indexing strangers, but they are not fixed, and actually do not work at all when they are. Just as the original meaning of “stereotype” was a dual picture viewed through a special spacing device that produced a three-dimensional image of a scene, stereotypes are merely abstractions of the infinitely complex world. Stereotypes do not replace detailed judgment, they merely help suspend it until it is necessary to engage with someone on a deeper level than a chance passing calls for.

Many will likely wonder what a white man knows about stereotyping and prejudice. Perhaps more than one might think. For about eight years I lived in East Asia, by my own choice and because I am fascinated by the region as a whole. There were many moments of cultural vertigo, and more than a few times when I was disappointed in my expectations. Above all, there was a pervasive prejudice that was simply an ineluctable part of nearly every daily interaction: people tended to assume that I could not use chopsticks, for example, or that I could not communicate in anything but a European language, or that my manners would be an embarrassment in more delicate social settings. Strangely enough, even though I had been a particularly obnoxious leftist as an undergraduate, with all the accoutrements of self-righteous racism-denouncing that you might expect, in East Asia I began to see how useful, and often accurate, stereotypes really were. For example, I could not help but notice that many of the other foreigners I knew in Japan or China or South Korea were busy making the rest of us look bad. I could understand why local people would be wary about befriending someone who was associated, whether willingly or not, with a group that was sometimes so deserving of its reputation for boorishness.

Unfailingly, once I got to know local people on a personal level, those prejudices gradually disappeared, and we were freer to like or dislike one another based upon our individual traits. (Strangely enough, it is almost impossible to stereotype people once you have lived among them as an outsider. Stereotyping is a privilege of majorities.) Likewise, I, too, had to learn to suspend my snap judgments of other white people in Asia–not *everyone* was a potential Judy Tenuta or Andrew Dice Clay. But, as a faute de mieux index of probable behavior, I saw with rather discomfiting clarity that stereotypes were extraordinarily useful things. They were often more or less correct. And, contrary to what we have heard ad nauseam in the media and in the academy, stereotypes are rarely forever. They accommodate, they dilate to admit new information, but they also snap back to conform to the shape of the general reality in which we all must live. They are working models in malleable clay, not bronzed statues or works etched in stone.

After the jury in Florida rightfully found George Zimmerman not guilty of the trumped-up first-degree murder charges brought against him by a fame-hungry prosecutor, the former student at a madrassa in Indonesia and former member (for twenty years) of race-whisperer Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s “church” waxed rhapsodic on the nature of racial disharmony in the United States. Beyond being patently insulting to the parents of a dead teenager (‘the Trayvon Martin case reminds me… of me’), Obama’s Lewis Carroll version of race relations perfectly expressed the view that has so come to dominate the academy and the dog-whistle media: If white people feel a bit anxious around blacks, it’s because white people are just mean. Either that, or, as the great sage Joseph Robinette Biden hath proclaimed, it’s because whites are afraid that blacks will run away before they can “put them back in chains.”

But could this uneasiness around blacks not also be due to a perfectly healthy and normal stereotyping, a product of statistics like the following?

a/ Blacks outnumber whites in prison, despite accounting for only about thirteen percent of the general population.

b/ Blacks are almost eight times more likely than whites to commit murder. (Of those murders, ninety-three percent target another black person.)

c/ Although black-on-black violent crime is vastly more prevalent than black-on-white violent crime, black-instigated “hate crimes” still accounted for eighteen percent of the total number of hate crimes in 2010, while white-instigated hate crimes were 58% of the total. This means that, compared with the total population, blacks are actually *more* likely to commit hate crimes than are whites.

It would seem, in light of these and similar figures, that stereotyping, while perhaps not a pleasant practice to admit to, is at least grounded in reality. Or would it be better if we pretended that such statistics didn’t exist?

To put it another way, how many black men must commit violent, even racially motivated, crimes before we finally turn to black men and say, “Please stop doing this?” Lacking this honesty, which would be the first step toward solving the problem, people follow the next-best rational course, which is to hold their purses and lock their car doors whenever blacks are passing by. And, no, not blacks in business suits or blacks taking their families out for ice cream. Let us be frank with one another and say that we mean a certain kind of black person: young, male, like the ones we see in mug shots on local (but almost never on national) news: blacks with a murderous emptiness behind their eyes, blacks with a smoldering hatred in their hearts, blacks with a score to settle with the world, and especially with the white people in it. Stereotyping does not necessarily draw all people together into a racial category–it is limber, dissecting and grouping according to prominent characteristics.

It is not up to me to solve the problems in black communities. It is up to blacks in those communities. Pretending like nothing is wrong will only delay the reckoning with reality that must surely come. It is incumbent upon us to interact with one another in charity. This means giving people the benefit of the doubt, and insisting on the irreplaceable dignity of each human being. But until the time for that more intimate personal interaction comes, I will make up my mind about strangers based upon the only information available to me: how they look, and how they act. I will make my own tentative judgments, and I will be more wary of some than of others. With malice towards none, but with a full realization of the existence of evil in the world, I will stereotype, until I have reason not to.

Fix contributor Jason Morgan earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, his master’s degree at the University of Hawai’i, and is currently earning his doctorate at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

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IMAGE: 9/11 photos – Flickr