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Why colleges are out of control

The following is a speech given on Nov. 17, 2015, by Jennifer Kabbany, editor of The College Fix, to the Temecula Valley Republican Women Federated:

The current campus unrest didn’t just spring up randomly. What you are witnessing has festered and grown like a bacteria in a petri dish until this highly visibly public outbreak of campus lunacy showed itself in full force.

What are these students so upset about? Are their lives in danger? Is their country being invaded by armed radical religious extremists? Are they made to denounce their God or be beheaded? Or are they forced by their communist government to hide their religious beliefs or be jailed? Are the female college students being raped and abused, forced into marriages and required to undergo genital mutilation? Are their children being kidnapped and sold into sex trafficking operations? Are they forced to abort their second or third child? Do they toil every day under a hopeless economic system that offers them no hope whatsoever to advance on their creativity, hard work and chutzpah? Are they starving – living on rice and beans and a portion of water and nothing more? Do they lack basic medicines needed to avoid an early death?

The answer to these questions is NO.

Here’s what these crybabies are upset about: purportedly, that their universities are steeped in institutional racism, that they are oppressed by white privilege. Yes, this is the claim that has college students from California to New York decrying their lives as intolerable, unacceptable, suffocating. There’s accusations of frat parties that have allegedly racist themes, allegations of name calling, complaints that there are not enough African-American professors. These are the types of grievances that have college students so distraught they are holding die-ins, committing to hunger strikes, and disrupting the entire campus community with their misery.

Recently at Dartmouth College – an Ivy League institution where students pay an annual tuition of nearly $50,000 – a profanity-laced mob of Black Lives Matter student protesters stormed the library where students were studying for midterms. These protestors dropped F-bombs left and right, and reportedly even pushed and shoved some students, saying “F*** you, you filthy white f***s!”

Or take the Yale University – again an Ivy League school that costs $50,000 annually – the students there are demanding – among other things – that officials: build a monument acknowledging Yale University was founded on stolen indigenous land. They want a bias reporting system created. They’ve demanded that low-income students and students in the country illegally be given free food and dental and optometry services. They want financial aid consultants trained to deal specifically with applications of undocumented students. They’re clamoring for $2 million dollars to be added to the budget of each cultural center on campus, and a new ethnic studies requirement for all Yale undergrads. These are just a handful of their numerous demands.

And what started this protest, pray tell? Brace yourselves: a dorm adviser emailed students and told them not to be so upset over offensive Halloween costumes. The students lost it. Two weeks ago a mob of Yale student confronted the email writer’s spouse on the quad, demanding an apology. One student in particular had something of a conniption fit, screaming in his face about her right to have a safe space on campus.

At the University of Missouri, the president and chancellor resigned recently in the wake of protests and hunger strikes there. Again the students claimed systemic racism and name calling. The leader of that hunger strike, grad student Jonathan Butler, comes from a family worth millions. His father, a railroad executive, earned $8.4 million last year. They own a home in Omaha worth $1.1 million, while the average home value in that area is $137,000. And this is the kid leading the fight against oppression and racism.

Here’s an interesting aside. The real impetus for their anger dates back to August, when the University of Missouri abruptly canceled their health insurance. Why did the university do that? I’ll give you one guess: Obamacare.

MU said the IRS considers graduate students employees of the university rather than students because they provide research and teaching assistance. The Affordable Care Act prohibits employers from giving employees money specifically to buy insurance under the individual market. If the university did not comply with Obamacare, it could have been fined $100 per day per student. Long story short, Mizzou found a way to temporarily offer the health insurance this year, but the misdirected anger had already been embedded. The students blamed campus administrators.

Meanwhile, what is happening at Dartmouth, Yale and Missouri is occurring across the nation.

Last week, the dean of students at Claremont McKenna College resigned after she was accused of racism over a poorly worded email to a student she was trying to console. At UCLA last week, students walked out of class to complain about their school, which they also contend is steeped in racism. Chants of “Bring down Babylon. Black students are the bomb” echoed through the crowd. One of the speakers, a professor, said UCLA needs a “dean of white supremacy and black hate.”

This scene is repeated across the county. Unrest is spreading like wildfire. What’s going on here?

Number One: Students have been taught to hate America. They have been taught we are a racist, oppressive country. That we stole America from the Native Americans. That we built this country on the backs of slaves. That our Founding Fathers were racist slaveholders. White privilege wrote the Bill of Rights, and therefore is illegitimate. Never is the conquest paradigm of that time used to put our country’s past in historical context. The brilliance of the Founding Fathers, what they risked to form this country, what they embedded in the Constitution to pave a pathway toward freedom and equality for all, is ignored or maligned.

Students are taught that the American dream can only be applied to those with white skin, and that the only hope for students of color is government handouts, government interventions, and government reparations.

Students constantly report how their professors bash conservative, Republican, Judeo-Christian principles. Survey after survey shows that Democrat professors outpace Republican ones by a margin of 25 to 1, on average. They have shut Christian and conservative voices out of academia.

Universities have created students who view the world behind a lens of race, gender and sexual orientation. We’re not Americans. We’re hyphenated Americans. College students have labels that trump their nationality. They’re homosexual first, American second. They’re a student of color first, American second. They’re a feminist first, American second.

Number Two: Most millennials were raised by helicopter parents, not free-range parents. They were raised by parents who liked to protect them and defend them, not let them sink and learn to swim. How does that manifest itself?

Psychologist Peter Gray of Boston College recently wrote in Psychology Today about his experience advising a “major university” whose students are overwhelming its counseling services:

“At the first meeting, we learned that emergency calls to counseling had more than doubled over the past five years. Students are increasingly seeking help for, and apparently having emotional crises over, problems of everyday life. Recent examples mentioned included a student who felt traumatized because her roommate had called her a ‘bitch’ and two students who had sought counseling because they had seen a mouse in their off-campus apartment. The latter two also called the police, who kindly arrived and set a mousetrap for them.”

Making matters worse, administrators coddled students, tell them campuses are supposed to be “safe spaces,” encourage them to report any and all hurt feelings to campus officials. A majority of colleges maintain speech codes in violation of the First Amendment. Students actually believe their hurt feelings trump the First Amendment. Let me say that again because it’s worth repeating. Many students actually believe their hurt feelings trump First Amendment rights. And administrators back that up.

An undercover reporter posing as a student recently got administrators at five elite colleges to shred pocket-sized copies of the Constitution because she claimed their mere presence traumatized her.

Recently, students at the University of Michigan and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo protested mock ups of the Berlin Wall, displays meant to promote free speech and remind students what it’s like to live under a repressive government that stifles and controls what you say. Do you think students celebrated these stark reminders of communist oppression? NO! They complained about them, called them harassment and bias infractions, said they were offensive.

Over at the University of Missouri, its student government vice president told a national news outlet she is “tired of hearing” about First Amendment protections. A protest overtaking Amherst College right now has protesters demanding that administrators “apologize for signs that lament the death of free speech.” Seriously. They want the college president to issue a statement saying Amherst does “not tolerate the actions of students who posted the ‘All Lives Matter’ posters and the ‘Free Speech’ posters.”

To quote pundit Noah Rothman:

“While the dangerous impulse to silence critics is merely sad in fully-formed adults, it is terrifying to witness in the generation just coming of age. When asked if he had built for ensuing generations of Americans a republic or a monarchy, Dr. Benjamin Franklin was said to quip ‘A Republic, if you can keep it.’ That is a proposition set to be tested like never before.”

Meanwhile, many have said college campuses are now getting what they deserve, that they are reaping what they’ve sown. Consider that these protesting students have been told by administrators and professors that anything that offends them, even if it is slight or unintentional, is inherently racist. Yes, you have heard of the term “microaggressions,” right? According to the University of California, the following are microaggressions:

“America is the land of opportunity”
“There is only one race, the human race”
“I believe the most qualified person should get the job”
“Everyone can succeed in this society, if they work hard enough.”
“Where are you from or where were you born?”
“Affirmative action is racist.”
“When I look at you, I don’t see color.”

With these being labeled offensive microaggressions, it’s no wonder today’s college students think they’re living in a racist world, they’ve been told nearly everything and everyone is racist, even expressions that aim to promote colorblindness. In fact, students today are taught that colorblindness of race is offensive, because it allegedly discounts people’s cultures and experiences rather than treat people as equals.

That is partly why students of color are so upset, even if they don’t realize it. They have been taught that they cannot succeed without handouts and by being given an unfair advantage above others – that must infuriate them on a subconscious level. It stands against their God-given potentials.

And it’s not just racism and microaggressions that leftists controlling campuses have twisted and distorted to their own ends. Take gender. This year, college students across the country will be taught that being male and female is a choice, not a biological trait. Whether it’s from the podium, inserted into the curriculum, integrated into orientation training, the message is clear: gender is fluid and a matter of preference. Oberlin College’s definition of gender: “A spectrum or constellation of different behaviors, attributes and identifications.” Or a recent announcement from UCLA stated gender is a “spectrum.”

Even before students get to campus they’re told gender is a choice. The University of California system’s new application now features six gender choices. It asks prospective students to pick from: “male; female; trans male; trans female; gender queer/gender non-conforming; and different identity.”

And many universities encourage and embrace students who seek to be called by a preferred pronoun, such as ze or perself. Recall when the University of Tennessee Knoxville made national headlines in August for asking students to use “gender-neutral pronouns” such as “ze, xe, xem, xyr, zirs and hirs.”

The curriculum is just as bad. It’s not education, it’s indoctrination.

Students are taught that to curb global warming we must cripple the economies of First World countries. Bowdoin College, for example, recently canceled classes to host a campuswide teach-in focused on the intersection between climate change, racism and social justice. Students at the private liberal arts campus in Maine, which charges $47,744 annually in tuition, could attend panels focused on “environmental inequalities,” “a heritage of greed: colonial enterprises,” “#BlackLivesMatter vs. climate change” and “eating for a healthier planet.”

At Notre Dame this year, the school replaced its longtime mandatory physical education course for freshmen with an elective that teaches students “cultural competence,” “inclusiveness” and “human sexuality.”

A book assigned by many college freshman summer reading programs is called “Fun Home.” The comic book depicts author Alison Bechdel’s life growing up, discovering she is a lesbian, and learning her obsessive-compulsive father, who commits suicide, was gay. The 2006 memoir includes an image of “Alison” with her head between another woman’s legs performing oral sex, one of a handful of images of sexual acts illustrated in the book.

An English class at UNC Chapel Hill this fall called “Literature of 9/11” explores the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks from the perspective of radical Islamists and those who view America as an imperialist nation.

After all this, I ask you – why are we still sending our kids to these meat grinders?

Writing in National Review, David French offers a warning. “Make no mistake,” he said, “conservatives and allegedly conservative politicians share much of the blame for this national disaster. A combination of ignorance, apathy, and a pathetic but vain quest for “elite” approval has caused even red states to hand the keys to the cultural kingdom to academics who hate this country, exploit its wealth, and then gleefully seek to turn children against their parents.”

French tells a powerful anecdote worth repeating, that when he left his law practice to fight leftist bias in higher education, a friend asked why. He was incredulous. His friend’s daughter had just been accepted to an elite college, and he found the school to be everything they’d imagined — expensive, yes, but beautiful, prestigious, and fun.

“In less than a year, he apologized,” French recalls. “He understood my career choice. His daughter had come home for the holidays, transformed. The vibrant, joyful Christian girl who’d left for school had returned sullen and depressed. She hated her family’s values, she resented her parents, and she was obviously drinking too much. The school had stripped down her value system — all in the name of ‘critical thinking’ — and replaced it with angry groupthink. Life and hope were replaced with fear and loathing. A social-justice warrior was born.”

What are we to do?

My number one advice to you is to get proactive. Prepare your children and grandchildren to wisely discern the onslaught they should expect in college. Watch documentaries with your children and grandchildren such as “America – Imagine A World Without Her” by Dinesh D’Souza. Watch online classes from Hillsdale College on the Constitution, the American Revolution, the Civil War, and other important topics taught from an academic approach without bias.

Watch Prager University videos – 5 minutes videos that teach students the truth behind controversial and complex subjects in very quick, easy bites. Look up books from Wallbuilders, which teach about America’s founding using actual primary documents and not slanted secondary sources. If you have young children, buy them Rush Limbaugh’s “Rush Revere” series and read it to them.

Teach them about the foundations of your religious beliefs. Don’t just drag them to church every Sunday and hope things are sinking in. There are apologetic ministries out there that teach students the science behind creation and intelligent design, so when the professor declares “there is no God” – your child is prepared with an answer grounded in scientific evidence. Regardless of whether you believe in intelligent design or creationism, the science behind the notion that a creator formed this universe is so strong and compelling, it can be a lamp to your children as they wade through universities religiously devoted to atheism.

There are so many wonderful conservative campus organizations your child and grandchild can hook up with to connect with like-minded peers. Young America’s Foundation, Turning Point USA, the Leadership Institute, College Republicans, Young Americans for Liberty, Students for Life, and many more.

Consider sending your child to a conservative college, such as Hillsdale College, Grove City College, Patrick Henry College, Liberty University or Baylor University – just to name a few.

And don’t be fooled into thinking a 4-year college is the only way to be successful in life. In the tech arena, equivalent work experience tends to be just as good as a four-year degree to many employers. In fact, real world experience is often seen as a plus to those looking to hire someone in the rapidly evolving tech field. Technology training and vocational schools are viable options.

Consider starting at a community college. Give young people a chance to mature, see where their passions lie. You can save tens of thousands of dollars and a lot of heartache by having your children begin at a community college close to home.

Finally, they say sunshine is the best disinfectant, and so I ask that you like The College Fix on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, sign up for our newsletter, and share our stories with your community. We have to let the nation know what is going on on these college campuses. Knowledge and awareness is the first step in this battle. And make no mistake, it’s a battle for the hearts and minds of young people, and the very future of our nation is at stake.

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About the Author
Fix Editor
Jennifer Kabbany is editor of The College Fix. She previously worked as a daily newspaper reporter and columnist for a decade in Southern California, and prior to that held editorial positions at The Weekly Standard, Washington Times and FrontPageMagazine. She is also a Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship recipient and has contributed to National Review.

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