Friday, November 02, 2007

More proof that America's universities are mini-Soviets -- complete with brainwashing

ALL whites are racist -- and deny it at your peril

A mandatory University of Delaware program requires residence hall students to acknowledge that "all whites are racist" and offers them "treatment" for any incorrect attitudes regarding class, gender, religion, culture or sexuality they might hold upon entering the school, according to a civil rights group.

"Somehow, the University of Delaware seems terrifyingly unaware that a state-sponsored institution of higher education in the United States does not have the legal right to engage in a program of systematic thought reform. The First Amendment protects the right to freedom of conscience - the right to keep our innermost thoughts free from governmental intrusion. It also protects the right to be free from compelled speech," said a letter from Samantha Harris, director of legal and public advocacy for The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education to university President Patrick Harker.

The organization cited excerpts from the university's Office of Residence Life Diversity Education Training documents, including the statement:

"A RACIST: 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. By this definition, people of color cannot be racists, because as peoples within the U.S. system, they do not have the power to back up their prejudices, hostilities, or acts of discrimination..'"

The education program also notes that "reverse racism" is "a term created and used by white people to deny their white privilege." And "a non-racist" is called "a non-term," because, the program explains, "The term was created by whites to deny responsibility for systemic racism, to maintain an aura of innocence in the face of racial oppression, and to shift the responsibility for that oppression from whites to people of color (called 'blaming the victim')."

The "education" regarding racism is just one of the subjects that students are required to adopt as part of their University of Delaware experience, too, FIRE noted. The "shocking program of ideological reeducation," which the school itself defines as a "treatment" for students' incorrect attitudes and beliefs, is nothing less than "Orwellian," FIRE said. The school requires its approximately 7,000 residence hall students "to adopt highly specific university-approved views on issues ranging from politics to race, sexuality, sociology, moral philosophy and environmentalism." "FIRE is calling for the total dismantling of the program, which is a flagrant violation of students' rights to freedom of conscience and freedom from compelled speech," the organization said.

On a foundation blog, a student noted that one residence assistant told students, "Not to scare anyone or anything, but these are MANDATORY!!" And the training program for those who indoctrinate students includes the order: "A researcher must document that the treatment/intervention was faithfully applied (ex: specific lesson plans were delivered to every student, etc.)." Further, the school requires "a systemic change" as a result of the program, FIRE noted. As one RA told students: "Like it or not, you all are the future Leaders, and the world is Diverse, so learning to Embrace and Appreciate that diversity is ESSENTIAL."

"The University of Delaware's residence life education program is a grave intrusion into students' private beliefs," FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. "The university has decided that it is not enough to expose its students to the values it considers important; instead, it must coerce its students into accepting those values as their own. At a public university like Delaware, this is both unconscionable and unconstitutional."

According to university materials, RAs are instructed to ask students during one-on-one sessions questions such as: "When did you discover your sexual identity?" "When were you first made aware of your race?" and "Who taught you a lesson in regard to some sort of diversity awarness? What was the lesson?" "Students who express discomfort with this type of questioning often meet with disapproval from their RAs, who write reports on these one-on-one sessions and deliver these reports to their superiors. One student identified in a write-up as an RA's 'worst' one-on-one session was a young woman who stated that she was tired of having 'diversity shoved down her throat,'" FIRE said. This particular student responded to the question, "When did you discover your sexual identity?" with the terse: "That is none of your damn business," FIRE said.

Requirements for students include: "Students will recognize that systemic oppression exists in our society," "Students will recognize the benefits of dismantling systems of oppression," and "Students will be able to utilize their knowledge of sustainability to change their daily habits and consumer mentality," FIRE said.

The foundation said students even are "pressured or even required" to make social statements that meet with the school's approval. "The fact that the university views its students as patients in need of treatment for some sort of moral sickness betrays a total lack of respect not only for students' basic rights, but for students themselves," Lukianoff said. "The University of Delaware has both a legal and a moral obligation to immediately dismantle this program, and FIRE will not rest until it has."

A spokesman for the school, contacted by WND, said he was not ready to make a statement about the situation right away. But the foundation's letter to Harker noted, "we have never encountered a more systematic assault upon the individual liberty, dignity, privacy, and autonomy of university students than this program," which "requires students to adopt highly specific university-approved views on issues." "Such utter contempt for the autonomy and free agency of others is the hallmark of totalitarianism and has no place in any free society, let alone at a public university in the state of Delaware," the letter said.

Especially alarming, Harris told WND, is that the school defines learning specifically as "attitudinal or behavioral changes," not acquiring any sort of knowledge and ability. Such thinking "represents a distorted idea of 'education' that one would more easily associate with a Soviet prison camp than with an American institution of higher education," FIRE said. "As another example, after an investigation showed that males demonstrated 'a higher degree of resistance to educational efforts,' the Rodney complex chose to hire 'strong male RAs.' Each such RA 'combats male residents' concepts of traditional male identity,' in order to 'ensure the delivery of the curriculum at the same level as in the female floors.' This language is disturbingly reminiscent of a pivotal scene from George Orwell's '1984,' in which the protagonist's captors tell him that 'The Party is not interested in the overt act: the thought is all we care about. We do not merely destroy our enemies, we change them.'"

No small danger, FIRE noted, is being presented to the university through such apparent constitutional violations. "Simply put, the residence life education program is a legal minefield," the group said.

One student reacted to the indoctrination with rebellion. On the FIRE blog, he wrote: "Take the issue of homosexuality, and the rights that should or should not be associated with it. As a Christian, I believe that the Bible says homosexuality is wrong, and is a sin against God. As such, I cannot accept it as a legitimate lifestyle. While I accept homosexuals as people, I do not accept their choice as right, and subsequently I do not think that homosexual couples should be given marital rights. I accept that others do not hold the same views as me. But it is wrong that under the Residence Life curriculum and school mandated curriculum that I should made to feel guilty for my views. . It is not the school's right to try to convince me to embrace the values that Residence Life has chosen. Essentially, if I do not change my views, I will be labeled by my RA as not embracing diversity, and not accepting of certain groups, and thus my RA will try all the harder to change me. This is not the school's job, or right."


The Nanny State (the Ninny State?)

Post below lifted from Russ Wilcox. See the original for links

Almost every week I see an article about a school being sued by stupid parents because a teacher or a coach has done something to upset a child's self-esteem. Today in my local Florida newspaper is another story - this one about a volleyball coach who has been fired for "grabbing a student's shirt". In Rhode Island, where I live in the summer, there is an ongoing case about a parent suing (of course, with the help of the ACLU) the principal of a high school for his objecting to the female student wearing a tee shirt that contained an obscenity relating to the President. My goodness, who are these babies that need such protection from slights in life, and how are they going to handle some real problems they will face as adults?

Not only are these parents creating adults who will be perpetual children who fly into tantrums when everything doesn't go just right (and we all suffer the consequences of these adult brats - especially road rage), but they are robbing their children as well. I had a high school track and football coach who threw a baton at me when he thought I was slacking in a race, and who picked me up and hurled me into my practice opponent to show me what the result of a proper block should be. When I got over it, I was proud to receive these harassments; most of my team members had similar experiences, and I was now one of them. Even now, more than 50 years later, my friends and I still remember these incidents involving me and them and that coach with great amusement and affection. (I'm sure that this causes feelings of horror among liberal do-gooders.)

In graduate school and in the Army, group solidarity was built by subjecting the group to some wearisome and, sometimes, humiliating experience. It worked, we became a team, and we got over it, but I shudder to think of what would happen to such a coach, a teacher or a platoon sergeant in today's silly, liberal, mush environment.

There is an excellent book about this phenomenon and its consequences called "The Nanny State" by David Harsanyi , and many others have also noticed this state of affairs; here is an interesting 2002 article on the subject:

Homeschooling growing in Australia

As government schools deteriorate both behaviourally and educationally

THOUSANDS of students are being pulled out of Queensland state and private schools to be educated at home by their parents. The home schooling revolution is being driven by parents looking to shield their children from bullying and undesirable teenage peers. Home education is a "lawful alternative" for students of a compulsory school age, but Education Queensland sets out strict guidelines. Those wishing to go to university have to sit a special tertiary admissions test.

Homeschooling Association of Queensland president Robert Osmak estimates more than 22,000 children are now being home schooled in the state. This is double the figures obtained through a government working reference group in 2002. "I'd say the majority of parents are moving to home schooling out of despair," Mr Osmak said. "Their children have been terribly brutalised. They've been beaten up in the school yard on a regular basis."

Mr Osmak said the mother of a teenage Brisbane student had contacted him this week after her son was hit from behind, pushed to the ground and had his head smashed against the concrete at a state school. "The thug was only suspended for three days. Nothing is being done to protect the children who are being hurt," he said. Mr Osmak said he had written to Education Minister Rod Welford seeking a meeting to discuss some of the complaints by parents to him and streamline access to home schooling.

Mr Welford declined to meet with Mr Osmak, but indicated Education Queensland was providing information to the families and recognised home schooling was a "legitimate option" which parents could apply for on behalf of their children. In a lengthy letter to Mr Osmak, Mr Welford wrote: "Please be assured that my department takes issues of bullying, harassment, violence and discrimination seriously. Schools have codes of student behaviour and behaviour management programs for developing respect and safety towards others."

Mr Osmak, a former teacher with 23 years' experience in the state and private system in Queensland and overseas, has home schooled his nine children. "Two of them are in business, one of boys is employed and three of the girls are at TAFE. The two youngest are still being schooled," he said.

Valma Cronau, who heads a Gold Coast support group, said hundreds of home schooling families met regularly for social functions. She said one of the reasons for home schooling her children was to teach them Christian values. Other factors included removing them from peer pressure, and contact with drugs and "political correctness". To ensure students are being taught properly, EQ requires parents to apply for home schooling on behalf of their children and be granted registration. For continued registration, a parent is required to provide an annual report.


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