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.
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:
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
course, I heard nothing from Professor Van Wormer herself. Perhaps
she is seeking out someone to help her with the big words.
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.
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.”