Sunday, March 29, 2015

Stalinist Academia.

The closing of the academic mind.

"I can’t have you participate in class anymore.”
photo illustration, the weekly standard
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION, THE WEEKLY STANDARD
I was on my way out of class when my social welfare and policy professor casually called me over to tell me this. The friendliness of her tone did not match her words, and I attempted a shocked, confused apology. It was my first semester at the Hunter College School of Social Work, and I was as yet unfamiliar with the consistent, underlying threat that characterized much of the school’s policy and atmosphere. This professor was simply more open and direct than most.
I asked if I had said or done anything inappropriate or disrespectful, and she was quick to assure me that it was not my behavior that was the problem. No: It was my opinions. Or, as she put it, “I have to give over this information as is.”
I spent the rest of that semester mostly quiet, frustrated, and missing my undergraduate days, when my professors encouraged intellectual diversity and give-and-take. I attempted to take my case to a higher-up at school, an extremely nice, fair professor who insisted that it was in my own best interest not to rock the boat. I was doing well in his class, and I believed him when he told me he wanted me to continue doing well. He explained to me that people who were viewed as too conservative had had problems graduating in the past, and he didn’t want that to happen to me. I thought he was joking .  .  . until I realized he wasn’t.

1 comment:

mrez said...

Definitely, I have run into this, but knew ahead of time, never to say certain things, but to keep my mouth shut. I studied classes in diversity and the whole program of kinds of classes like this and all I can say is, I am glad I am not in SW school now when it is a mortal sin to think and verbalize in any way except the Politically Correct way.

The political correctness movement gathered steam in the early 90s while Clinton was in office. How sick.

Consequently, I would never use my real name here or perhaps in any public forum.

 
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