Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

16 December 2014

Ideological Reeducation in the Education System

This is the time of year when many high school seniors are applying to colleges for admission.  Many of these seniors have already undergone extensive instruction in the government-run schools they have attended on politically correct thinking.  Teachers recommendations for college admission are often heavily influenced by their assessments of the politically correct thinking of the candidate student.  With massive grade inflation, extra-curricular activities and teacher recommendations become more important than any actual accomplishments of learning and thinking in many cases.  In some states, there are mandatory requirements for public service to graduate.  Even in high school, the coercive forces pushing students into accepting and swearing allegiance with politically correct viewpoints are massive and well beyond the ability of many students to resist with an independent mind.

It only gets worse in colleges today.  The worst and most blatant case to my knowledge was the extremely overt coercive reeducation program in 2007 at the University of Delaware.  The politically correct viewpoints in force there are found on many college campuses today, though the systematic effort to coerce students into accepting those viewpoints is somewhat relaxed.  I would strongly advise students trying to select a college to review the freedom of conscience at a college by reviewing its codes and requirements at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education or FIRE as it is commonly called.

The reeducation program at the University of Delaware required all students not living at home to attend meetings in their university housing.  They were required to attend a meeting about every two weeks, managed by a Residential Associate (RA).  Among the requirements was a "diversity facilitation training" session in which students were to be forced to acknowledge that

[a] racist is one who is both privileged and socialized on the basis of race by a white supremacist (racist) system.  The term applies to all white people ( i.e., people of European descent) living in the United States, regardless of class, gender, religion, culture or sexuality.

This is nonsense.  There certainly are white racists, but so too are their black, Hispanic, and Asian racists.  What is more, if the definition were true, there is little value in attending any sessions managed by any white person.  What is still worse, what is the point of any white student attending such a session if he or she is doomed forever to be a racist anyway?  Are they supposed to become less racist, yet have no chance of being free of racism?

This definition has one purpose only.  It is to subjugate all white people by designating them as inferior racists.  Once a white person acknowledges that he is and will always be a racist, he is supposed to become more compliant to the arbitrary wishes of those who are defined as non-racists.  Non-racist or simply non-white people are not obliged to make any effort at all not to brand all white people as inferior.  Indeed, they are actually required to view all white people as inferior because they are all uniquely guilty of racism and incapable of escaping their racism.

The University of Delaware RAs were required to ask students "When did you discover your sexual identity?"  This is certainly a question many students would not care to answer and a violation of their reasonable privacy.  What is more, at the age of a university student, most still are developing their sexuality, though such a fact was likely unappreciated by many RAs and even by those who were managing them.  Some of the RA-run sessions told students they had to act as though they were gay during the sessions.

Among other purposes of the University of Delaware program were:
  • "Students will recognize that systemic oppression exists in our society."
  • "Students will recognize the benefits of dismantling systems of oppression."
  • "Students will be able to utilize their knowledge of sustainability to change their daily habits and consumer mentality."
Presumably, recognizing the benefits of dismantling systems of oppression would require all political offices to be held by non-whites since any white person is a racist by definition.  Every manager in every company would have to be a non-white person.  All non-commercial organizations would also have to be run by non-white people.  This is immediately the logical conclusion of accepting the combination of all white people are racists and all systems of oppression should be dismantled.  How odd it is that people actually go to a university for an education and to further develop their minds when the institution holds such nonsensical ideas and is clearly in violation of its own moral standards that all faculty and managerial administrative positions must be filled by non-whites!

To see how oppressively the reeducation system at the University of Delaware was operated, see this article.

Let us take a moment and examine Brown University, from which I graduated before politically correct thought was fully cemented in place.  Brown has a very restrictive definition of sexual harassment, as just one of its restrictions on freedom.  Of course Brown is not a public institution, but a private one, so it does have a right to restrict student freedom in a way a public colleges would not have.  This does not mean that freedom-restrictive policies are rational and conducive to the development of inquisitive minds, however.  Brown University says:

Examples of sexual harassment include:
* Uninvited touching or hugging
* Requesting sexual favors for rewards related to school or work
* Suggestive jokes of a sexual nature
* Sexual pictures or displays
* Continuing unwelcome flirtation or propositions
* Obscene gestures or sounds
* Written notes of a sexual nature

So much for Brown students learning to write love sonnets!  As for uninvited hugs, a certain young scientist who sometimes visits my lab, always gives me a hug.  I never invited her to do so, but fortunately for both of us, I enjoy her hugs.  She had best stay away from Brown!

Examples of the kinds of conduct that may constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:
1. Unwelcome sexual propositions, invitations, solicitations, and flirtations. …
3. Unwelcome verbal expressions of a sexual nature, including graphic sexual commentaries about a person’s body, dress, appearance, or sexual activities; the unwelcome use of sexually degrading language, jokes or innuendoes; unwelcome suggestive or insulting sounds or whistles; obscene phone calls.
4. Sexually suggestive objects, pictures, videotapes, audio recordings, computer communications, or literature placed in the work or study area, that may embarrass or offend individuals.
Important: Sexual Harassment need not be intentional. Under Brown’s sexual harassment policies, the intent of the person who is alleged to have behaved improperly is not relevant to determining whether a violation of Brown’s policy has occurred. The relevant determination is whether a reasonable person could have interpreted the alleged behavior to be sexual.

Note that intention is not of significance in Brown's policy.  Neither is an accused offender given the refuge that he is not a sexual offender if a reasonable person might not have interpreted the alleged behavior to be sexual.  This is an important difference which would in most cases of law be recognized.  Of course Brown is a private institution so it has the right to have the policy it has, however irrational it may be.

How can one ever be sure that someone you request sex from will welcome your request?  People have free will and they are complex and often hard to understand.  So anyone going to Brown really ought to be asexual and determined to pass through its ivy-covered halls without experiencing sex.  It is simply a very dangerous proposition at Brown University.  Yet Brown University has something called Sex Week which is by all reports a time of rather free sex and at the least a week of many sexual flirtations.  Is Brown University simply a massive example of Progressive Elitist hypocrisy?

Pennsylvania State University and many other state universities have similar ideas of what constitutes impermissible sexual harassment.  These policies restrict freedom of speech, the exchange of significant ideas, and learning about one of the most complex and beneficial aspects of life on Earth.  Young people in college are still very much of an age in which their sexuality is in need of development and understanding.  In that complex process, errors will be made.  Such errors should not be too easily labeled sexual harassment and should not be facilely made fatal.  Mind you, I say this as the father of three daughters and one who as a young man was gentlemanly to a fault with the young ladies.  In fact, much of the Brown guidelines are based on reasonable ideas of good manners and their violations in some cases are sexual harassment.  The problem is that the package is excessive, it fails to account for numerous reasonable exceptions, and it makes a hanging offense of petty larceny.

Yes, Brown and the University of Delaware are on a mission to populate the world with Progressive Elitists.  And as you know if you have read many of my posts, I see nearly all Progressive Elitists as hypocrites.  It is very difficult to find a university these days which is not dominated by Progressive Elitists and which does not regard its mission as the indoctrination of students so that they will also become Progressive Elitists.  To be sure, those that are highly selective colleges try to eliminate students with very independent minds in their admissions policies.  It is much easier and a more certain outcome is likely when the student is somewhat bright, but highly docile and easily programmable.  To Brown's eternal shame, I was neither docile, nor programmable and at least a little too bright.  With me, Brown failed in its mission.

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