What Academic Tolerance?

That our Western universities are almost completely dominated by the secular left is something many of us have been claiming, and documenting for quite some time now. I have often written about how academic freedom, diversity of opinion, and genuine debate have all but vanished from so much of contemporary academia.

And all this happened in a relatively short period of time. As I so often mention, the cultural Marxists have been extremely successful in their “long march through the institutions”. They have diligently targeted our schools, along with our judiciary, our media, politics, and even our churches.

And this has paid off handsomely for them. As David Aikman put it in his 2012 volume, One Nation Without God?, “It is a remarkable historical fact that America’s major universities went from being repositories of knowledge and teaching deeply imbued with the Christian worldview in the middle of the nineteenth century, with few exceptions, to uniformly anti-religious and specifically anti-Christian institutions by the end of the twentieth century.”

Educational excellence is supposed to be about openness to ideas, plurality of opinions, vigorous discussion and debate, and a willingness to follow the evidence wherever it may lead. But today in so many schools we instead have a mindless conformity, an enforced political correctness, and tolerance only for those toeing the party line.

All dissenters need not apply. Indeed, we have had plenty of cases of both faculty and students being penalised and punished for daring to think differently from the reigning secular left ideology that we find there. These dozen volumes for example all document and chronicle this takeover, and dumbing down, of our universities:

Image of Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America's Youth
Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America's Youth by Shapiro, Ben (Author) Amazon logo

Black, Jim Nelson, Freefall of the American University: How Our Colleges Are Corrupting the Minds and Morals of the Next Generation. Thomas Nelson, 2004.
D’Sousa, Dinesh, Illiberal Education: The Politics of Race and Sex on Campus. Free Press, 1991.
Horowitz, David, Indoctrination U: The Left’s War Against Academic Freedom. Encounter Books, 2009.
Horowitz, David, One-Party Classroom: How Radical Professors at America’s Top Colleges Indoctrinate Students and Undermine Our Democracy. Crown Forum, 2009.
Horowitz, David, The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America. Regnery 2007.
Horowitz, David, Reforming Our Universities: The Campaign For An Academic Bill Of Rights. Regnery 2010.
Kimball, Roger, Tenured Radicals: How Politics Has Corrupted Higher Education. HarperCollins, 1990.
Kors, Alan Charles, The Shadow University: The Betrayal Of Liberty On America’s Campuses. Harper Paperbacks, 1999.
Laverdiere, C, ed., Indoctrination: Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity. Master Books, 2012.
Shapiro, Ben, Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America’s Youth. Thomas Nelson, 2004.
Sowell, Thomas, Education: Assumptions Versus History. Hoover Press, 1986.
Sowell, Thomas, Inside American Education. Free Press, 1992, 2003.

As Sowell summarises the situation: “Education is not merely neglected in many of our schools today, but is replaced to a great extent by ideological indoctrination.” Or as he put it even more bluntly: “Too much of what is called ‘education’ is little more than an expensive isolation from reality.”

Of course it is one thing for Christians and/or conservatives to make these claims. The other side will simply dismiss such criticisms. But what happens when one of their own comes out and spills the beans? What if a self-professed progressive makes a blistering attack on modern education and its decided intolerance for Christian and conservative views?

Well, that is exactly what American columnist Nicholas Kristof has just done. His brand new article, “A confession of liberal intolerance,” posted in the leftist New York Times no less, makes a very strong case for what we have been saying all along: academia is about as closed as you can get to real diversity of opinion, especially when it comes to political and religious views.

I encourage you to read the entire piece, but to whet your appetite, let me quote heavily from it. He begins:

We progressives believe in diversity, and we want women, blacks, Latinos, gays and Muslims at the table — er, so long as they aren’t conservatives. Universities are the bedrock of progressive values, but the one kind of diversity that universities disregard is ideological and religious. We’re fine with people who don’t look like us, as long as they think like us. O.K., that’s a little harsh. But consider George Yancey, a sociologist who is black and evangelical.
“Outside of academia I faced more problems as a black,” he told me. “But inside academia I face more problems as a Christian, and it is not even close.” I’ve been thinking about this because on Facebook recently I wondered aloud whether universities stigmatize conservatives and undermine intellectual diversity. The scornful reaction from my fellow liberals proved the point.

He continues, and offers plenty of documentation on all this:

The stakes involve not just fairness to conservatives or evangelical Christians, not just whether progressives will be true to their own values, not just the benefits that come from diversity (and diversity of thought is arguably among the most important kinds), but also the quality of education itself. When perspectives are unrepresented in discussions, when some kinds of thinkers aren’t at the table, classrooms become echo chambers rather than sounding boards — and we all lose.
Four studies found that the proportion of professors in the humanities who are Republicans ranges between 6 and 11 percent, and in the social sciences between 7 and 9 percent. Conservatives can be spotted in the sciences and in economics, but they are virtually an endangered species in fields like anthropology, sociology, history and literature. One study found that only 2 percent of English professors are Republicans (although a large share are independents).
In contrast, some 18 percent of social scientists say they are Marxist. So it’s easier to find a Marxist in some disciplines than a Republican.
The scarcity of conservatives seems driven in part by discrimination. One peer-reviewed study found that one-third of social psychologists admitted that if choosing between two equally qualified job candidates, they would be inclined to discriminate against the more conservative candidate.
Yancey, the black sociologist, who now teaches at the University of North Texas, conducted a survey in which up to 30 percent of academics said that they would be less likely to support a job seeker if they knew that the person was a Republican.
The discrimination becomes worse if the applicant is an evangelical Christian. According to Yancey’s study, 59 percent of anthropologists and 53 percent of English professors would be less likely to hire someone they found out was an evangelical.

He goes on to cite more studies confirming this point, and notes that there are plenty of conservative and Christian scholars and academics around, so it is not as if they do not exist. He then closes with these words:

Jonathan Haidt, a centrist social psychologist at New York University, cites data suggesting that the share of conservatives in academia has plunged, and he has started a website, Heterodox Academy, to champion ideological diversity on campuses.
“Universities are unlike other institutions in that they absolutely require that people challenge each other so that the truth can emerge from limited, biased, flawed individuals,” he says. “If they lose intellectual diversity, or if they develop norms of ‘safety’ that trump challenge, they die. And this is what has been happening since the 1990s.”
Should universities offer affirmative action for conservatives and evangelicals? I don’t think so, partly because surveys find that conservative scholars themselves oppose the idea. But it’s important to have a frank discussion on campuses about ideological diversity. To me, this seems a liberal blind spot.
Universities should be a hubbub of the full range of political perspectives from A to Z, not just from V to Z. So maybe we progressives could take a brief break from attacking the other side and more broadly incorporate values that we supposedly cherish — like diversity — in our own dominions.

Well, that was refreshing: a decidedly non-conservative making the very case we have been making for decades now. Whether fellow progressives take any note of his piece, or simply attack him for it, remains to be seen. And if he is roundly assailed by his leftist colleagues, that will simply further strengthen the case he – and us – have been making.


[1366 words]

11 Replies to “What Academic Tolerance?”

  1. Good article.
    Missing 3 important warners …

    1. http://www.amazon.com/Education-Christianity-State-Gresham-Machen/dp/0940931729/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1432165843&sr=1-7

    2. http://chalcedon.edu/research/books/revolution-via-education-2/

    3. http://chalcedon.edu/research/books/the-messianic-character-of-american-education-2/ – this last heavily influenced Thatcher’s Min of Ed … he made several foundational changes when forearmed with the information contained within.

  2. And of course, there is Horowitz’s own “documentary” on these issues, and their current influence …

  3. Thank you, Bill, for this excellent commentary on the decline of academic freedom and the imposition of political correctness in universities across the Western world.

    Very seldom is a left-winger, such as Nicholas Kristof (whom you quote in your piece), prepared to acknowledge this state of affairs publicly. Kristof deserves congratulations for his honesty. I hope he hasn’t thereby jeopardised his career.

    An American conservative writer, William S. Lind, in his 2000 essay “The origins of political correctness”, observed:

    “The totalitarian nature of Political Correctness is revealed nowhere more clearly than on college campuses, many of which at this point are small ivy-covered North Koreas…”

    I couldn’t have put it better myself.

  4. As soon as I read the title of the article, my mind shot to the very article you quoted in your article here Bill.

    As I said to someone else, we have just witnessed his academic “suicide note”.

    His career is for want of a better word, dead now.

  5. Winchester University, UK, is creating an apartheid, or enclave, segregating those who are “out for gays” and by default those who are not. Winchester has signed up to Stonewall, the most powerful gay group in Europe [1]. It has a so- called OUTlist of the names of students, and academics who have “outed” themselves as gay, or allies of gays (including the chancellors). Homosexual Dr Eric Anderson, Professor of Sexualities and Masculinities’, name heads the list [2].

    The Outlist are on Youtube, which is a must watch, where a lesbian student expressed a concern about staff who were not on it. She says,

    “if you have a lecturer and he or she is not on the list then you automatically maybe think they have an issue with queer people, or maybe it might make you a bit it nervous about going to lesson. You might be a bit less willing to share work if your work has gay themes running through it – like of lot of mine does; .but not seeing them on the list might then make me worry and make me not submit that kind of work” .

    On the video, Dr Eric Anderson also declares emphatically that keeping one’s sexual identity private is an issue. Instead it should be made public. ‘Things that we consider private, are things which we stigmatize – things that we are ashamed of. And as we have a greater awareness of sexual diversity, people coming out the closet, and we are moving to say, “Hey, this is no different to heterosexuals and that we should have the same rights and the same benefits”, we are increasingly saying that sexuality is not an private issue. But the university is also in a position where it desires to be sure that its sexual minority staff and students have a positive experience. How can you measure that if don’t know who your sexual minority staff are?’ [3]

    Dr Anderson is also a signatory to a letter written by the paedophile group, B4U- Act, calling for the de stigmatization of paedophilia and their integration into society:

    “If stigma is primarily psychological, then eradicating it may involve psychotherapy to help patients boost self-esteem……If it is more of a social construct, the way to fight it is through awareness campaigns to change public opinion and policies……And if stigma is a moral issue, then it may be necessary to advocate for basic human rights…..” [4]

    Joy Carter the Vice Chancellor, who along with the other chancellors who are on the list, said of Anderson that he is “an internationally renowned gay scholar who publishes widely on sexualities, masculinities, sport and relationships….The University will not tolerate any targeting of its members of staff on the grounds of sexual orientation.”

    Alan Titchmarsh the Chancellor also said that in spite of the fact that “he was a committed Christian and deplored the professor’s comments, (he) felt it was ‘not justifiable’ to sack someone ‘because their sexual mores differ from one’s own’ [5]

    An ex- senior lecturer, at Winchester University, a Dr Sarah Goode, was responsible for a Channel 4 TV programme, called the “The Paedophile Next Door.” In this she was genuinely wanting paedophiles to “come out” but in order to seek help in changing their orientation. The university summarily sacked her in 2013 at the same time Anderson came into the University. Clearly the purposes of Anderson and Winchester are totally antithetical to the purposes of Dr Sarah Goode. Sarah Goode was pushed out was because she was straight and had the wrong sexual mores [6]

    Essentially Anderson and the LGBTs are demanding that everyone sign up to the Outlist and that if they don’t they should not be at the university, or be discplined, as happened with school children, in California [7].

    But the more ominous sign is that Stonewall are getting more and more public institutions and utilities, such as the Home Office, the Secret Service, the Armed forced, police authorities, universities, banks, multi – national corporations to join up to the Stonewall, Work Placed Equality Index which names the top 100 employers in the UK who will leverage homosexuality in the work place.
    The day is not far when those who are not members of Stonewall’s gaystapo will be expunged from the public space.[8] .

    We are in a zero sum war, where the winner takes and the losers leave with nothing. The gays and Muslims are not into live and let live, tolerance, inclusion and non- descrimination. It really is either them or us and we had better destroy their ideoligies before they destroy us.

    [1] Stonewall and Winchester University
    [2] The OUTlist
    [3] Must watch Outlist Youtube
    [4] B4U-Act’ letter to Harvard University
    Judith Reisman writes extensively about B4U-Act
    [5] “Titchmarsh, a gay lecturer and a row over teenage sex: TV host slams professor who ‘beds youths’” – The Mail,
    [6] Dr Sarah Goode
    [7] Apartheid
    [8] Stonewall Work place Equality Index

    David Skinner UK

  6. Hi Bill,
    I’m new to your site and was attracted by your recent article on “Londonistan”, having read the book myself. I’ve since gone on to read a number of conservative books and articles, since it’s clear that the mainstream media actively silences this viewpoint.
    On this topic of academic intolerance, you may be aware of the excellent Bruce Bawer and his previous books on Islam in Europe. His latest book is The Victims’ Revolution” which is on the topic of the decline of the humanities in universities. I provide a weblink below:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: