• 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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