America’s Academic Tyrants
written by Dr. Walter Williams

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Many of America’s colleges and universities have become the modern leaders of racism and intolerance. Recently we were treated to information about racism at the University of Michigan where its academic elite gave students 20 extra points towards admission based solely on race. The U.S. Supreme Court found this explicit racism unconstitutional but did allow continuance of a more hidden form where universities can consider race as “a plus” in admission decisions. The University of Michigan case is merely the tip of the iceberg. There are loads of racist and intolerant practices thought up by the academic elite that our youngsters will encounter as they take on the new semester.

Jeanne McDonnell, a freshman at the College of William & Mary, tells her story in a Washington Times editorial (8/25/03). She sought to enroll in a five-week seminar called the Summer Transition Program offered to help students develop good study habits and test-taking skills. She found out that the seminar was racially segregated and as a white young lady she was denied admission; only preferred minorities were accepted. Would supporters of this practice be bothered if William & Mary had seminars for whites only where blacks and Hispanics need not apply?

What about segregated graduation ceremonies? Vanderbilt, Stanford University and the University of California, University of Michigan and University of Pennsylvania, are among those that offer separate graduation ceremonies and separate "celebratory events" for black, Hispanic and Asian-American students. University administrators not only condone segregated ceremonies but racially segregated student housing as well. This “enlightened” policy not only occurs at backwater colleges but at our most elite universities such as: Stanford, Cornell, MIT, and Universities Pennsylvania and California at Berkeley. What if white students demanded whites-only graduation ceremonies and whites-only dorms?

In addition to racism, universities have become bastions of intolerance. America’s liberals are known for their strong advocacy of free speech, including vile speech and speech that assaults precious symbols such as the U.S. flag and the Bible. Liberals are free speech advocates because it’s crucial to their propaganda agenda for control. But liberals have contempt for most freedoms and once they’re running the show that contempt will extend to free speech.

Yesteryear’s flower children are today’s academic elite; they control our universities. Through campus speech codes, free speech is under assault on some college campuses. Steve Hinkle, a Cal Poly student, posted a flier announcing a lecture by Mason Weaver, author of “It's OK to Leave the Plantation,” a book that argues that dependence on government programs places many blacks in circumstances analogous to slavery. The flier offended some black students and Hinkle was ordered to write letters of apologies to which he refused and faces disciplinary action.

Harvard Law School faculty adopted "Sexual Harassment Guidelines" targeted at "seriously offensive" speech. Texas Tech bans "communications [that] humiliate any person." The university offers, as examples of punishable expressions, "sexual innuendoes," "referring to an adult as “girl,” “boy,” or “honey,” or "sexual stories." Professor Alan Kors, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, concerned by so many egregious violations of free speech, founded Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). FIRE has successfully brought suit against several universities for their suppression of speech and ideas.

Both as taxpayers and donors, Americans have been exceedingly generous to our universities. The academic elite have contempt for American values and the wealth that make that generosity possible. I think university administrators might get the message if we’d put a halt to our generosity. Maybe a good donation strategy is to search a university’s web site or catalog. See whether it has multiculturalism, diversity, equity offices and programs. If it has, it’s probably practicing some form of racism. The next step is simple: close your pocketbook.

Walter E. Williams
August 31, 2003
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