Must Your Children Run the Collegiate Gauntlet?

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Let me begin with
a few horror stories. As you read, ask yourself: “Is
this what I want for my children? Or my grandchildren?” The following
report was written three years ago
by Prof. Charles Kors of the University of Pennsylvania.

At Wake
Forest University last fall, one of the few events designated
as “mandatory” for freshman orientation was attendance
at Blue Eyed, a filmed racism awareness workshop in which whites
are abused, ridiculed, made to fail, and taught helpless passivity
so that they can identify with “a person of color for a day.” In
Swarthmore College’s dormitories, in the fall of 1998,
first-year students were asked to line up by skin color,
from lightest to
darkest, and to step forward and talk about how they felt
concerning their place in that line. Indeed, at almost
all of our campuses,
some form of moral and political re-education has been
built into freshman orientation and residential programming.
exercises have become so commonplace that most students
do not even think of the issues of privacy, rights, and
dignity involved.

A central
goal of these programs is to uproot “internalized
oppression,” a crucial concept in the diversity education planning
documents of most universities. Like the Leninists’ notion of “false
consciousness,” from which it ultimately is derived, it
identifies as a major barrier to progressive change the
fact that the victims
of oppression have internalized the very values and ways
of thinking by which society oppresses them. What could
workers possibly
know, compared to intellectuals, about what workers truly
should want? What could students possibly know, compared
to those creating
programs for offices of student life and residence, about
what students truly should feel? Any desire for assimilation
or for
individualism reflects the imprint of white America’s strategy
for racial hegemony.

You would be wise to read his report in its entirety if you
plan to send a child to college. If you want to know what American
higher education is all about these days, read it.

Lest you
imagine that things have gotten better since he wrote his article,
consider this recent report in World magazine.

Ashooh, 18, a freshman at Brown University in Providence,
R.I., last
month attended her new school’s freshman orientation.
But not a lot of orienting went on. Instead the program
focused on becoming “part of the Brown community.”

for example, billed one mandatory session on diversity as
a meeting
that would encourage freshmen “to think
about how your experiences at Brown will be shaped by your membership
in a pluralistic community.” But what it really was, said Ms.
Ashooh, was “your basic guilty-racist speech,” delivered by Evelyn
Hu-DeHart, director of Brown’s center for race and ethnicity. “She
was almost militant. At some points she was yelling at us.” .
. .

Freshman orientation
used to be about teaching new students how to find their classes,
the cafeteria, and the campus bookstore.
But today, left-liberal “diversity” trainers have found in orientation
programs a ready-made crop of captive and impressionable audiences
ripe for reeducation on issues of sex, race, and gender. The
basic messages: People of color are victims; whites are their
tormentors. Homosexuality is normal; abhorring the behavior is

Brown University is one of the most expensive schools in America.
Parents spend up to $140,000 to fund one child in the quest for
a diploma. The school is academically rigorous. It trains the
students who were not quite competitive enough to get into Harvard,
Princeton, Stanford, Chicago, or Yale. The elite attend Brown
and schools like it (e.g., Swarthmore).

Some freshmen-orientation
directors say they are only trying to prevent future student
clashes over racism and “homophobia.” Others
say outright that such presentations are designed to shake the
soil from new students’ small-town roots, dismantle traditional
values they might have brought from home, and — in presentations
by hard-left facilitators — help white freshmen own and overcome
their inborn racism. “I really want [freshmen] to understand
that they are no longer at home, they’re not in high school anymore,
and a lot of the values and morals they may have had from those
experiences may change here over the next four years,” said diversity
issues coordinator Marcus Newsom of Wartburg College in Waverly,

You might think that these are isolated events. You would be
wrong. An academic-supply industry is growing rapidly to meet
the demand by colleges for these courses.

A small
army of diversity “experts” stands ready to help. Blue
Eyed facilitator Jane Elliot is one star in a
constellation of highly paid, ultra-leftist facilitators
who travel from campus
to campus to proclaim diversity dogma.

J. Nichols, a Washington, D.C.-based diversity guru (who
counts as clients
the U.S. Department of Labor and the Environmental
Protection Agency) charges schools about $5,000
plus expenses for a workshop in which he teaches students
to recognize and
combat “white privilege.”

Hugh Vasquez of
the Todos Institute in Oakland, Calif., is the brain behind
Skin Deep, another racial-awareness film popular
with college diversity programmers. Freshmen at Virginia’s Washington
and Lee University this month watched the film, in which minority
workshop participants lambaste “whiteness,” while white students
repent of generational racism.

This is the tip of the iceberg. Yet parents shell out anywhere
from $20,000 to $140,000 to send a child into what is best described
as the academic gauntlet.


In a great movie, “The
Black Robe
,” there
is an unforgettable scene of a gauntlet. Forcing an enemy to
run the gauntlet was
a widely practiced ritual among Indian tribes. A hapless captive
was beaten by clubs as he ran in between a twin line of hostile
braves. Different tribes had different rules. In the Shawnee
tribe, those who survived the run were adopted into the tribe.
Those who didn’t make it down the lines were burned at the stake.
The gauntlet was a rite of passage.

College is the final rite of passage for Americans who plan
to enter the professions or business. It is imposed by college
faculties on teenagers and young adults. Those who survive the
ordeal — half
of them don’t
— are then invited to enter the
world of diploma-certified income. Those who don’t graduate are
relegated to the world of careers without high school diplomas
— the outer darkness.

Parents regard themselves as trapped in this alien system.
They want the best for their children, which in the post-World
War II has attending college and earning at least a bachelor’s
degree. Parents have been led to believe that this is the safest
pathway to a child’s success in life.

So, they send their
children into alien territory, at great expense, only to see
their children indoctrinated with ideas
that the parents had warned against. Yet the parents regard themselves
as helpless. “What else can we do? We never graduated from college.” Or
this: “We can’t hang onto our children forever.”

Their ideological enemies long ago spotted this weakness, and
for over a hundred years,

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