Archive for the ‘Fox News’ Category


A School of Distinction

September 11, 2007

David Horowitz was on Hannity & Colmes to plug the paperback release of his book about those evil liberal professors who can’t get to sleep at night without saying a prayer to Marx, and while there he took the opportunity to call my school the very worst university in the United States. Well, not the science parts, just the icky, completely voluntary politically aware parts that teach students how to apply their knowledge to their communities in hope of improving society. Amazingly, Colmes remembered to put on his fightin’ underpants and got in Horowitz’s face about the whole thing. He didn’t make much of a substantive argument past pointing out that the classes are voluntary but the fact that he actually stuck to it was surprising. Maybe someday, if he works real hard and eats all his vegetables, he can manage to ask two pointed questions during an interview.

Until that happy day, it’s up to the rest of us to take up the slack. Did Horowitz actually speak to any UC Santa Cruz professors? Did he sit in on any of these classes as they were being taught? Does he think that it is wrong for Universities to teach their students how to apply their knowledge to the world around them? Does he understand the difference between learning about liberal philosophy and being indoctrinated? Does he have any evidence that students who write essays critical of their reading material are marked down for doing so? Does he think that there is anything wrong with students who are studying community activism to get hands on experience with the subject? If not, would he also agree that physics majors should stay out of the lab? Is there something particularly radical about being concerned that large and powerful economic interests may use their influence in a manner that is not healthy for the community? Is there anything wrong with students being exposed to ideas that are outside the American political mainstream?

Now I will be the first to repeat just how much I hated my Commie Lit class. It was at 8 AM, we had a pair of fucking phone books we had to read, my TA was an asshole who didn’t understand the material, and the essay topics were boring. But it wasn’t indoctrination. The prof said up front he didn’t expect to convert us, and that he wasn’t trying. He was just going to explain Communist doctrine to us and do some deep reading. We didn’t have to believe the stuff, we just had to understand it. That class was about the most radical thing I’ve taken so far at UCSC, and I haven’t heard any other students speak of anything worse.

But that doesn’t matter; the witch hunt has been started. If we’re lucky it will peter out before anyone gets burned at the stake.