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‘Decolonization’ efforts promote ideological conformity, not ethnic diversity

Universities’ efforts to “decolonize” their curricula aren’t about increasing the representation of minorities, but rather enforcing a radical leftist “party line.”

So says University of Nottingham doctoral researcher Sumantra Maitra in an April 9 National Review piece which delves into the efforts of Marxist “post-colonial” professor Priyamvada Gopal, the Cambridge University Students’ Union, and others to decolonize some 30 departments at the UK institution.

After all, they’re “too dominated by white, male, Euro-centric perspectives.”

The genesis of these campaigns, Maitra says, is the Oxford University “Rhodes Must Fall” enterprise led, ironically, by a Rhodes scholar. Aside from infesting Cambridge in the UK, the movement has spread to the US, particularly at elite schools.

At Yale for instance, the English department created a new course in response to a “decolonize” petition” which “increase[s] the breadth of the curriculum and combat claims of departmental racism.” Across the country, the goal of Stanford’s Student Alliance for Justice in Education is “disrupting the dominance of Western schools of knowledge.”

Even courses about sustenance aren’t immune; Cal State Fullerton’s “The Social Life of Food” requires enrollees to “write a recipe that is decolonized.”

From Maitra’s article:

It is easy to ignore these slow and persistent attempts to change the education system from within, but it’s also a mistake. As Michael Shermer noted in the Scientific Americanthere’s a broader subversive aim being served here. Most of these incidents are essentially a type of power grab by one set of ideological, left-wing academics who use gullible students as pawns in their broader war against the Western canon and rational inquiry. The protest against Charles Murray in the United States was led by such academics, as were a host of other similar disgraces, very much including the the decolonize movement at Cambridge. Consider Dr. Gopal’s suggestions of black and minority writers to counter the “whitewashing” of English literature in the university’s curriculum, which include five authors, all of them radical leftists and feminists.

Surely, if Gopal and her student charges just wanted more minority representation in the curriculum, they’d include some conservative authors as well? Why not the philosophy of Thomas Sowell, who has questioned the madness of cultural relativism? Why not Zambian economist Dambisa Moyo’s phenomenal work on how foreign monetary aid is destroying Africa? Why not Churchill’s favorite Indian conservative “man of letters,” Nirad C. Chaudhuri, who dedicated a now-legendary book that was banned in early 1950s socialist India “to the memory of the British Empire in India, which conferred subjecthood upon us, but withheld citizenship. . . . all that was good and living within us was made, shaped and quickened by the same British rule”?

Read the full piece.

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