Christina Hoff Sommers calls for action to nurture intellectual diversity on university campuses.

In a recent talk at Haverford College, I questioned the standard women's studies teaching that the United States is a patriarchal society that oppresses women.

For many in the audience, this was their first encounter with a dissident scholar. One student was horrified when I said that the free market had advanced the cause of women by affording them unprecedented economic opportunities. "How can anyone say that capitalism has helped women?" she asked. 

The woman who'd invited Sommers was accused by students of providing "a forum for hate speech."

David Horowitz

 

At Vanderbilt, the university annually provides roughly $130,000 for left-wing agitations, including the visits of left-wing speakers. This is balanced by $0 for conservative groups and speakers. Ironically, the faculties of these schools are strong proponents of campaign finance reform in the political world they don¹t control. 

Brainless Boycott 

Nat Hentoff lambastes five black law professors at the University of North Carolina who boycotted a discussion with Clarence Thomas. Professor Marilyn Yarbrough said:

"We have welcomed justices we disagree with, such as Antonin Scalia and Sandra Day O'Connor." However, joining Thomas, she explained, would have been seen as an endorsement, or at least a tacit approval, of his views. 

In their righteous self-approval, these law professors clearly had no idea they were failing their students. Here they were, in fundamental disagreement with Justice Thomas on a number of crucial constitutional issues and in front of their students, they could have challenged him directly. 

It's OK for white justices to disagree with black academics, but blacks must toe the line. And, since all blacks think alike, the black profs can't be in the same room lest they be seen as thinking like Thomas. 

Rah, Rah, Rah for the Cooperative Ferns 

California's PC enforcers want to ban the Braves, ax the Redskins and — while they're at it — consign to the rubbish heap of history the Fighting Irish, Fighting Scots, Vikings, Spartans, Romans, Normans, Saxons and Gauchos.

A proposed bill would allow two state boards to ban team names that might be offensive to a race, ethnicity, nationality or tribal group. That could doom the Torrance High Tartars, Huntington Park Normans, Alhambra Moors, Beverly Hills Normans and Loara Saxons, reports the Los Angeles Times. The mascot of my daughter's alma mater — Palo Alto Vikings — could be in trouble. It would take only one complaint to refer the name to the state. 

The bill's sponsor, Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg, wants to ban all names based on human groups. "My own personal view is that there are too many animals, symbols and colors that won't offend anybody," she said. "I would always err on the side of caution." Goldberg forgets the animal rightsers are going to complain about demeaning animals by using Lions, Tigers, Bears, etc. as mascots. Gangs have laid claim to the colors red and blue. Someone's always going to be offended. The Los Angeles Times reports:

Coachella Valley High School picked the Arabs because the area is rich with date trees imported from the Middle East. The Hollywood High School Sheiks were named in homage to the 1921 Rudolph Valentino movie ... the World High School in Lake Arrowhead chose the "Fighting Scots" because the school, on the edge of Highway 18, feels as if it's perched in the Scottish Highlands. 

Names chosen because of the warrior-like images they conjure up — the Moors, after all, invaded Spain in the 8th century — are criticized for the warrior-like images they conjure up.

Sonoma State University dumped the name Cossacks earlier this year, after complaints it was too militaristic. Now there are complaints about the new name, Seawolves. Meant to honor a Jack London character, to some it conjures up Nazi U-boat commanders. 

Letters to the Blogger 

Jim Miller responds: 

The Portland Oregonian bans Indian names in its sports pages. This meant that a team from a reservations school could not be referred to by its name, which was "Braves." Poor people just didn't realize it was offensive, but the Oregonian set them straight. By the way, one name which does bother me, "Redskin," is used by a number of teams from Indian schools. I suppose the PC people would claim that is false consciousness. 

Bill Leonard writes:

How about companion bills to outlaw stupidity in legislators and their staffs, and to automatically remove from public office any elected official or government bureaucrat who shows by word or deed that he or she really does not have enough to do? 

Timothy Sheridon finds the bright side: Kvetching requires knowledge.

Specifically: There was a world war in the early 1940s; Germany was one of the nations involved; Germany was one of the bad guys; the bad guys running Germany were called Nazis; the German Navy had U-boats; U-boats have captains (commanders); the U-boats patrolled the North Atlantic in an operating structure known as a wolf pack; Holy (deleted), I didn't realize they even taught these details any more. 

Since the academy discovered that the text of the classic history writings was oppressive, one doubts the need to disclose mere technical details of the actual machinery. I suspect extra credit for watching the History Channel is probably in order. 

According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, two out of 10 students in grades four and eight, and one out of 10 students in grade 12, reached the proficient level on the 2001 history exam. The average student scored at the basic level in grades four and eight, and scored below basic at grade 12.

Joanne Jacobs used to have a paying job as a Knight-Ridder columnist and San Jose Mercury News editorial writer.  Now she blogs for tips at ReadJacobs.com while writing a book, Start-Up High, about a San Jose charter school.  She's never gotten a dime from Enron.