Thursday, December 01, 2016

College Instructors Tell Students: America’s Founding Fathers Ran ‘A Terrorist Organization’

Instructors at the taxpayer-funded University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS) reportedly told students enrolled in their team-taught humanities class that America’s founding fathers ran “a terrorist organization” and used “violence and terror to influence opinions” in their fight for independence from Great Britain.

The course, titled “Resistance and Revolution”, was co-taught by Jared Benson, a history lecturer, and Nicholas Lee, an instructor in UCCS' sociology department.

According to The College Fix, a student who wished to remain anonymous recorded lectures given by Benson and Lee in October and November, telling the website that “what they have been teaching us goes beyond any liberal interpretation of history that I have ever heard.”

The Declaration of Independence lists 27 grievances the colonies had against King George III, including cutting off their trade with other parts of the world, imposing taxes and quartering soldiers in their homes without their consent, and depriving them of a trial by jury.

The document refers to the king’s rule as “a history of repeated injuries and usurpations” of their rights as British citizens.

The Declaration also states that it is the duty of a people oppressed and abused by a government to establish a new form of government for themselves, one that acknowledges their “certain and unalienable rights,” including “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

But Benson and Lee compared the colonists’ revolt to modern-day terrorists.

“As Jared [Benson] pointed out, by any modern definition, this was a terrorist organization. And I don’t say that to be hyperbolic,” Lee reportedly told the class. “Like literally an organization that uses terror to accomplish what they want. That’s exactly what they were doing, right?” he asked students.

“So all these people that we were like, 'Oh they’re our founding fathers.' It’s all relative. At the time, they were using violence and terror to influence opinions,” Lee was heard saying.

According to the audio recording, Benson also told students that because there was no nation at the time, and the founding fathers’ identities were linked to the particular colonies they resided in before the Revolutionary War, they used indoctrination to convince their fellow colonists to revolt against English rule.

“So I think that the wealthy created this idea of suffering and led the colonists to believe that they were suffering as a result of British repression,” Lee added.

Benson also suggested that it was hypocritical of the founding fathers to refer to themselves as being enslaved by the British government when many of them owned actual slaves.

“They argued that forcing them to buy British tea over Dutch tea was again enslaving them and compromising their freedoms. What do you think of that? It was a bold claim to make,” Benson told students.

“For a culture that literally enslaved people, to kind of throw that word around – because they have to buy tea from a certain company – feels… maybe a little bit propagandist. But that’s a key piece to successful social movements,” he said.

Benson also criticized the colonists for dressing as Native Americans during the Boston Tea Party, calling their stated grievances against the British monarchy “child-like gripes.”

“Why’d they dress up like Native Americans? That’s offensive on so many fronts. Maybe keeping their identities secret – except they all wrote about it later. So perhaps as unjustified as the colonists were in their child-like gripes against the Crown, the Crown in and of itself is making it worse.” emailed both instructors, asking them to confirm that they compared the founding fathers to terrorists, and asking them to explain the differences, if any, between the Sons of Liberty and jihadist groups such as ISIS.

After receiving no response, CNSNews was contacted by Tom Hutton of the University Communications Office on behalf of Benson.

“The University of Colorado [at] Colorado Springs supports the constitutional principles of free expression and its protection for both faculty and students,” Hutton told CNSNews, adding that “the course was not an American history course or a course on the American Revolution”.

He also stated that The College Fix website distorted the instructors’ comments and “removed the context of the course and its focus on social movements in the United States and across the globe.”

CNSNews also contacted The College Fix and asked if the website had received any pushback from the university.

“The university requested all four lectures be transcribed in full for their review and we agreed to that. That process is underway. That is the extent of our discussions with administration at this time,” The College Fix editor Jennifer Kabbany told CNSNews.


Trumping the ivy walls

After parallel careers in the military and higher education, I believe our recent campus unrest reflects a lethal combination of bad parenting and leftist indoctrination thinly disguised as teaching. Raised on participation trophies rather than real responsibilities, the me-first generation infests campuses miraculously transformed from preserves of higher learning into leftist cactus gardens where every succulent bites, stings or scratches. Our students learn less and less while being programmed more and more, their skyrocketing tuition coaxed from obliging parents or the bottomless coffers of taxpayers.

Recently, some professors canceled exams to assuage the post-election angst of their students. Others discovered the new obligation of the university (Harvard, Yale, Brown, et. al) to serve as a sanctuary. After decades of disinformation, it was a comparatively simple matter to turn campuses that once taught the canons of Western civilization and other conceits of dead white males into sanctuary cities for the indigent or the undocumented. One hand-painted sign at Columbia recently asserted, "No one is illegal!" Wanna bet?

But even faculty club Jacobins may be sensing that the tectonic shifts of recent politics could soon spawn other tsunamis. In their cover story, "A Humbling of Higher Ed" the Nov. 11 Chronicle of Higher Education begins, "The president-elect's resonant skewering of elites, political correctness, and immigration policy resonates with the country's longstanding skepticism of academe." But the recent humiliation of campus pundits, pollsters and prognosticators was so intensely painful that their institutional house organ could barely bring itself to whisper the dread word, "Trump."

For decades, there has been a growing conviction that American academics, like their counterparts in Hollywood and the American media, have abandoned any pretext of objectivity or fair-mindedness. While U.S. education levels were dropping to 17th - well behind Finland, South Korea and Hong Kong - University of Virginia social psychologist Jonathan Haidt surveyed his colleagues at a 2011 professional gathering.

He found that in an audience of over a thousand, more than 80 percent were liberals while only three people haltingly identified themselves as conservatives. According to The New York Times, "Dr. Haidt argued that social psychologists are a "tribal-moral community" united by "sacred values" that hinder research and damage their credibility - and blind them to the hostile climate they've created for non-liberals."

No one seems to have worried that some of those non-liberals might actually be students, still less that they might have naively hoped that their tuition dollars would prepare them for productive careers. Instead, student potential was less important than the one-sided ideologies of their professors. Maybe there should be an academic version of the Hippocratic Oath: "First do no harm."

Even if there were, some would still oppose it. One of them would presumably be professor Donald Lazere, author of, "Why Higher Education Should Have a Leftist Bias." As he explained to the American Association of University Professors, "For many years I have been making the case that the ceaseless conservative attack against bias and political correctness among leftists in both education and media disingenuously stands the truth on its head: the far greater bias pervading American society is conservative, but it is not widely perceived as a bias - just as the normative, natural order of things."

Got that? When the professor at your son's university disses or ignores conservative viewpoints, he does so only because he is a caped crusader, relentlessly exposing the inherent biases of Western society. When the lecturer at your daughter's liberal arts college insists that any religion except Islam is sexist crowd control, then she is merely pointing the next generation toward the sunny uplands of new truths. Ironically, such indoctrination takes place while the professoriat enjoys a cushy lifestyle and protectionist job security. Anywhere else, such "feather-bedding" is either condemned or outlawed. But in academe, those same practices are collectively known as tenure, meaning you can't be fired. Nice work if you can get it.

What is most astounding is that this PC-crazy, Alice-in-Wonderland world of safe spaces, white privilege and micro-aggressions is actually built upon the shifting sands of benign toleration. American colleges and universities are financially supported by an interlocking directorate of parents, alumni groups, generous donors, gullible state legislatures and an eager-to-please federal bureaucracy. Yet the sea change will shortly arrive as an impressive number of these institutions reconvene in January under the adult leadership of Donald Trump, Republican governors or conservative-minded state legislatures.

Among the most urgent questions facing them: Why should we continue to overlook the ongoing scandal of American academe, paid for by private and public dollars? Above all: Why should we continue to finance the subversion of our youth, much less the institutional obliteration of our most cherished Western values?


Australian students are worse at maths and science than children in KAZAKHSTAN

Thanks to "modern" (Leftist) ideas in the classroom

Australian students are worse at maths and science than students in countries such as Kazakhstan, Bulgaria and Serbia.

The latest results from the four-yearly Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), shows Australian students have gone backwards as other countries have improved.

The study looked at how well Year 4 and Year 8 students have mastered maths and science lessons, asking questions like how many legs an insect has, which animals lay eggs and what the angles in a triangle add up to.

The Australian Council for Educational Research, which reports on the study, said it should be a wake-up call.

The council's Sue Thomson said the long tail on results was of particular concern.

Between a quarter and a third of Australian students are still not meeting the proficient standard.

'In terms of children in classrooms, that's probably seven or eight students in your average 25-student classroom,' Dr Thomson told AAP.

'That is a big worry and it's not something that's changed over the last 20 years.'

But Dr Thomson says the results only reveal the problem, not solutions.

It could be that Australia has not set its sights high enough, with the 'proficient' standards here set just above the TIMSS intermediate level.

'Since TIMSS 2011 we haven't really put in much that would lift performance at those lower benchmarks so nothing really has happened,' Dr Thomson said.

She highlighted the huge role socio-economic background - measured by the number of books at home - played in a student's success.

If just the results from the richest students were used, they would be among the top eight countries in the world, whereas those from poorer families are within the bottom quarter.

'I'm not necessarily going to relate it to funding, however we're back at the table insofar as school funding goes and we're still finding that disadvantaged students from disadvantaged schools are those who are not achieving well in these sort of tests,' Dr Thomson said.

'They're the ones we need to be targeting to try and improve their achievement.'

Education Minister Simon Birmingham said the fascination of some with how much money was being spent in schools came at the detriment of examining its distribution and what would actually boost results.

He will use the maths and science results as a key part of his mid-December discussions with state counterparts about a new funding agreement.

But Labor said it was disingenuous to use the TIMSS results to say Gonski funding hadn't made any difference because students were tested in 2014, when less than 10 per cent of the total money had gone to schools.

'(The results) show governments must act immediately to break the link between poor performance and disadvantage,' Labor's education spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek said.

'Both Liberal and Labor state governments know the positive difference extra needs based funding is making in their schools - that's why they have put politics aside to campaign together against Malcolm Turnbull's cuts.'


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