Political Correctness, Still in Control With a Vengence

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As

a sometimes-academic who has lost jobs because of his lack of political

correctness, it is disturbing to encounter continual reminders of

the mindset that now gets hired and tenured at today’s colleges

and universities. Some of us were sounding warnings ten years ago

that this was coming. The warnings went largely unheeded, and now,

just as we predicted, political correctness is as all-pervasive

on campuses as oxygen is in air.

Let

us take for example a minor controversy that recently erupted at

the University of Northern Iowa. This controversy came to my attention

when I was emailed a copy of a letter to the editor which appeared

in the October 4 U. S. News & World Report. The author

is a professor of social work. Here is her letter, quoted in full:

“On

Military Social Service: How disturbed I was to see your article

in the September 6 issue about ROTC as a means of providing funds

for a college education. The education associated with ROTC is a

contradiction to the academic freedom enjoyed at university campuses;

military training on college campuses, in fact, makes a mockery

of education. For from taking a global view of learning, ROTC encourages

narrow patriotism and a philosophy of any means (killing people

and polluting environments) to the end. The institutionalized mistreatment

of gays and lesbians in the military and sexual harassment of women

are par for the course.” (signed) Katherine Van Wormer, Professor

of Social Work, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Picking

this letter apart is easy for anyone with a logical mind who is

an experienced observer of campus life today. The first point is

that the “academic freedom” she appeals to in the second

sentence simply doesn’t exist. Any faculty member who criticizes

“diversity” programs, or “multicultural education,”

or affirmative action, or radical feminism, or special programs

for gays and lesbians on campus, quickly learns this. Her “academic

freedom” is freedom to agree with those who hold de facto

power through now-familiar methods of intimidation.

Proceed

to the third sentence. What is this “global view of learning”?

Whatever it is, it differs from “narrow patriotism.” I

presume, therefore, that it means learning in the context of today’s

increasing stealth moves toward global governance and dissolution

of U.S. sovereignty under the Constitution. Proponents of the latter

are demonized as “narrow patriots” and “isolationists.”

I am not sure what to make of the rest of this sentence in its utter

lapses of even rudimentary logic. Neither ROTC units nor the military

at large “kill people” unless ordered to do so by governments,

as they recently were in the former Yugoslavia. In fact, the leftist

governments Professor Van Wormer probably favors hold the all-time

body count.

Nor

does the military “pollute the environment.” Perhaps Professor

Van Wormer does not realize that when the Baltic states were freed

from Communist domination it was discovered that their rivers and

streams were many, many times more polluted than any bodies of water

to be found in relatively free societies. In fact, a market-based

order places many more checks on environmental pollution than all-powerful

governments which have no incentives because they do not answer

to their people.

The

final sentence, though, is the real kicker. Recall Bill Clinton’s

“gays in the military” campaign, which began before he

was even in office and basically told us that we had our first politically

correct White House. AIDS had become a dominant issue, of course.

Now, seven years later, hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars

have been spent trying to find a cure for the disease spread mainly

by homosexuals. AIDS however, isn’t the chief problem. Political

correctness is the problem. AIDS has become the first politically

correct disease in human historyu2014the first disease, that is,

to afflict primarily members of a group rapidly achieving politically

protected status. According to political correctness, homosexuality

is merely “an alternative lifestyle choice,” even though

homosexual men have been known to have as many as 400 partners in

a year, and sometimes several in a single night.

Finally,

could it be that women are “harassed” in the military

because the plain truth is, they shouldn’t be there? This particular

social experiment was actually tried in Israel in the 1950s, with

almost identical results: the presence of women in combat units

was a distraction and a disruption. In those days, one could discontinue

social experiments when they don’t work. Today, their failure is

simply blacked out.

I

emailed a very abbreviated version of these remarks both to Professor

Van Wormer and to the President of the University of Northern Iowa.

I received the following reply from the President’s office: “As

an institution of higher education, the University of Northern Iowa

wholeheartedly stands behind the right of U.S. citizens to freely

voice their views…” Uh-huh. I wonder if the institution

would have come to her defense so rapidly if she was criticizing,

instead of defending, the views she expresses.

Of

course, I heard nothing from Professor Van Wormer herself. Perhaps

she is seeking out someone to help her with the big words.

Steven

Yates has a Ph.D in philosophy and is the author of Civil

Wrongs: What Went Wrong With Affirmative Action (San Francisco:

ICS Press, 1994). He lives in Columbia, South Carolina, where he

teaches a contemporary moral issues course at Midlands Technical

College and works as a free-lance writer and consultant.

Original

email of Katherine Van Wormer’s letter courtesy of Sterling H. Saunders

of IMADWIPAP (www.imamwipap.com).

According to Mr. Saunders, IMADWIPAP is an acronym for, “I’M

Absolutely Disgusted With Politics And Politicians.”

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