Campus Free Speech

'Oppression Studies,' Actual Oppression Coming to American University

Don't make students live and breathe social justice.

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Oppression
Dreamstime

As I reported previously, American University's plot to reorient its core curriculum around social justice education and activism seems like it could be a nightmare for students—particularly if it extends to life in the dormitories.

In a recent column for The Daily Beast, I argue that such a plan resembles the University of Delaware's reign of terror in the residence halls:

This plan, if approved, would add AU to the list of campuses attempting to turn its residence halls into re-education camps. The most famous example was the University of Delaware, which previously required students to submit to a rigorous and intrusive ideological training program with the explicit goal of changing their "incorrect" beliefs and transforming them into eager leftist activists. The almost unbelievably Orwellian program was centered on dorm life, where residential advisers routinely interrogated students (on the orders of the campus housing department) about everything from their sex lives to their political beliefs. 

The RAs kept files on individual students; those who didn't show enough progress toward reforming their problematic views were publicly shamed at mandatory meetings, and even disciplined. Only the eventual involvement of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education—which launched an advocacy campaign that persuaded Delaware to abolish the indoctrination program—liberated the students from enforced conformity.

AU would be wise to eschew the path of Delaware.

Read the full thing here.

NEXT: Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association: How right to work came to the Supreme Court

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  1. The victim vs Oppressor Narrative, why ?

    This is why, because Political Correctness, in all it’s manifestations and ” isms ” is a brainwashing technique based on Marxist Critical Theory

    It is a system of cyclical logic that once adopted by the user never allows for another approach, and the end-game is that the assigned antagonist always embodies hatred, racism, or oppression.

    They become intellectually trapped, because in order to see and realize when they err, they would have to empathize and entertain their assigned antagonists point of view…this causes great cognitive dissonance due to contradicting their previously assigned value of the antagonist and so is rejected or avoided.

    The remaining cognitive dissonance is alleviated by the religious cult-like belief that they are on the ” right ” or ” good ” side of every issue, always battling racists, bigots, and oppressors. Like religious zealots they assume moral authority and claim to have ” more knowledge ” than the average folk.

    Cults have made up transgressions against their gods, and PC has made up transgressions against their ideal society.

    It is the same type of system used by cults, utilizing the cyclical intellectual trap described by Kafka in ” The Trial “.

    1. Thank you for giving me something else to use in a curriculum of counter-programming. *takes notes*

    2. That brings up this question – do they still assign Kafka at university? And if they do, do the kids identify with the protagonist or with his persecutors? I have to think that anyone who went to college has read most of the famous dystopian novels and it makes me wonder if, say, the neo-cons (among others) read those books and viewed them as how-to guides rather than cautionary tales. Did Cheney, for example, identify with Big Brother rather than Winston? And the same would apply to the PC crowd.

      1. I have to think that anyone who went to college has read most of the famous dystopian novels

        Not by a long shot. Probably only AP English get assigned those in high school, usually prefaced by the public school teacher/propagandist as “what will happen when Republicans are in charge.”

  2. Eddie alert:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Act_of_Supremacy_1558

    The Oath of Supremacy, imposed by the Act of Supremacy 1558, provided for any person taking public or church office in England to swear allegiance to the monarch as Supreme Governor of the Church of England. Failure to so swear was a crime, although it did not become treason until 1562, when the Supremacy of the Crown Act 1562[5] made a second offence of refusing to take the oath treason. The Oath was later extended to include Members of Parliament and people studying at universities. All but one of the bishops lost their posts, a hundred fellows of Oxford colleges were deprived

  3. Universities seem to be doing everything in their power to make themselves irrelevant.

    1. Yes, and I believe we are seeing the last throes of the university model. I don’t know what will replace it, but it will likely look more like a community college than a university. And it will, of course, be online. Any business model that takes the customer’s money in the tens of thousands of dollars but fails to deliver a usable product will eventually fail. These indoctrinating social grievance programs will only hasten the decline of liberal arts in universities. But not before they do great damage to many lives.

      1. Maybe the model will just revert to what it was pre-WWII. It will continue to service the elite, who do seem to love this nonsense anyway.

    2. “Universities seem to be doing everything in their power to make themselves irrelevant.’

      And there students. Who, except another college, would hire someone from AU?

  4. OT: This is from the Wikipedia talk page on the 1948 Czechoslovakian coup that gave the Commies full control.


    The fact that some people who call themselves Communist are evil signifies nothing, Ngo Dinh Diem called himself Democratic and look at his offences against humanity. Are you going to reject your own political beliefs because a foreign dictator bastardized your values for his own political advancement? No, of course not. And neither will they. ?Preceding unsigned comment added by 216.221.73.9 (talk) 00:57, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

    This article confirms the fact that the people who write and control these pages have one agenda only – demonize anything to do with communists by spreading fascist and neo-conservative tripe about “Stalinism”, and apologize for any people or organizations who led former socialist countries into barbarous capitalism from 1989 onwards. There is absolutely no attempt to be balanced, neutral or objective, which is what one would hope for from an encyclopaedia-type source. The revolution in 1948 was not a “coup” – it had mass support. ? Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.144.111.179 (talk) 18:49, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

    1. The title and the content of this article are rather partisan misrepresentations of history. There is considerable scholarship from Czechoslovakia showing that the events of February 1948 constituted a popular revolution. It is quite bizarre to call the palace coup against Milos Jakes in November 1989 a revolution while misrepresenting the February Revolution of 1948 in which millions of workers went out on strike as a putsch. RZimmerwald (talk) 04:53, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

      1. Apologists for Communism are just as bad as people who downplay the badness of any Fascist regime. It’s not just Nazism; try making any defense of Franco’s Spain. Hell; the communist apologists will stick their fingers in their ears and scream Pinochet Pinochet Pinochet if you criticize communist dictatorships.

    2. NetRange: 184.144.0.0 – 184.151.255.255
      CIDR: 184.144.0.0/13
      NetName: BELLCANADA-20
      NetHandle: NET-184-144-0-0-1
      Parent: NET184 (NET-184-0-0-0-0)
      NetType: Direct Allocation
      OriginAS:
      Organization: Bell Canada (LINX)
      RegDate: 2010-04-12
      Updated: 2010-04-12
      Comment: For abuse cases please use
      Ref: http://whois.arin.net/rest/net/NET-184-144-0-0-1

      1. Organization: Bell Canada (LINX)

        Too easy, but fuck it.

      2. I don’t get it?

        1. Oh I see that you are looking for the “barbarous capitalism” guy.

          1. Or just not surprised he’s Canadian.

            1. Seriously Communism is attractive to many Canadians because Americans oppose it. And it’s anticapitalism is easy to use to attack foreign (read: American) businesses. See the Turdeaus fondness for Castro and China…

              1. Turdeaus

                Pulled a John or purposeful?

                1. Purposeful.

              2. This is why War Plan Crimson should have never been shelved.

                1. I like how the Brits didn’t think Canada could be defended or that it’s conquest would harm Britain in any real way. Or that the lack of war planning against the US was because the Brits didn’t want to build extra battleships.

                    1. I believe Red was the color that most maps used to show the British Empire.

                  1. I know, it’s pretty hilarious. I mean, would YOU want to fight a war for Canada? The Canadians don’t even want to.

              3. “Seriously Communism is attractive to many Canadians because Americans oppose it. And it’s anticapitalism is easy to use to attack foreign (read: American) businesses. See the Turdeaus fondness for Castro and China…”

                It was like that for Athens during the Delian League.

                The closer you got to Athens, the more people resented their power. The further away you got from Athens (and hence closer to the Greeks’ enemies) the more enthusiastic they were about supporting Athens.

                Athens’ neighbors were always complaining about imperialism. Out on Lesbos, just off the coast of their Persian enemies, the people of Lesbos were begging for the Athenians to send their navy and troops.

                It’s like that today, too. Mexico and Canada constantly complain about America’s influence. Meanwhile in Poland, they’d eminent domain half of Warsaw if we’d just promise to station our troops there permanently.

                1. Except where would Canada and Mexico actually be without American influence? And I don’t state that to insult either. They’re fine countries. But, it’s absurd to pretend they don’t benefit tremendously from having a really rich, really powerful neighbor that has generally good, if sometimes stupid, intentions.

                  1. Canada is basically a branch plant of the United States. If the U.S. goes under, we follow. Only moronic nationalists contest this.

    3. barbarous capitalism

      KILL THE WRECKERS! KILL THE KULAKS!

    4. This:

      [D]emonize anything to do with communists by spreading fascist and neo-conservative tripe about “Stalinism”, and apologize for any people or organizations who led former socialist countries into barbarous capitalism from 1989 onwards.

      Followed by this:

      There is absolutely no attempt to be balanced, neutral or objective, which is what one would hope for from an encyclopaedia-type source.

      Somehow I don’t think that commenter could determine whether an article is balanced, neutral, and objective even if it bit him in his red diaper baby ass.

      1. “balanced, neutral, and objective” just means stop being mean to Commies. When Commies do seize power they of course do not believe in being “balanced, neutral, and objective” since opposing Communism is bad.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y…..tion,_1950
        However, no opposition candidates were allowed to stand, with only a single People’s Front candidate standing in each constituency.[4] Prime Minister Josip Broz Tito claimed that any alternative programme would be hostile to socialism, and “this, naturally, we cannot allow”.[4]

        1. The fact that some people who call themselves Communist are evil signifies nothing, Ngo Dinh Diem called himself Democratic and look at his offences against humanity. Are you going to reject your own political beliefs because a foreign dictator bastardized your values for his own political advancement? No, of course not. And neither will they. ?Preceding unsigned comment added by 216.221.73.9 (talk) 00:57, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

          They can’t seem to make the connection that their philosophy, which is based on using violence to force its utopian goals on the population, attracts murderous sociopaths.

          1. as much as people like to talk shit about libertarianism maybe being okay in a fantasy world, it’s really communism and it’s offspring that are totally at odds with reality. can you get so wrapped up in your own good intentions you don’t see the damage you’re causing?

  5. Barbarous capitalism? Is this fool serious??? Oh, so extortion, theft, and violence through the state is ok, because your slavers shield you from having to go out and commit those acts by yourself. This way, you get to bullshit everyone by saying you’re compassionate.

    1. No, comrade, only capitalists and their kulaks and wreckers use extortion, theft, and violence through the state.

    1. Youtube at its finest.

  6. Did this really happen at the University of delaware? And we’re the administrators involved that self-unaware?

    1. I think this is what Rico had in mind.

    2. A friend of mine was an RA at the University of Delaware back in the early ’80s. There wasn’t anything this full-bore Orwellian going on back then, but they’ve apparently long relied on RAs to be sort of social guidance counselors for students living on campus. I remember him showing me a quiz they had students take to evaluate whether they felt their “needs” were being met in various categories — physical recreation, social life, intellectual challenges, etc. I recall asking him whether not knowing what a “spiritual need” would be meant that need was being met, or was not. He wasn’t quite sure how they’d address that.

  7. “The almost unbelievably Orwellian program was centered on dorm life, where residential advisers routinely interrogated students (on the orders of the campus housing department) about everything from their sex lives to their political beliefs.

    The RAs kept files on individual students; those who didn’t show enough progress toward reforming their problematic views were publicly shamed at mandatory meetings, and even disciplined.”

    That’s the Cultural Revolution in a nutshell.

  8. This is not to say these aren’t important and fascinating topics?they are, and students should study them, if they want to.

    Good God, Robby are you contractually obligated to make some sort of appeasement statement in every article?

    1. What you write on the internet is forever.

      Who would hire Robby after Reason if he didn’t?

      What do you mean, Mr. Soave, that children shouldn’t be force fed progressive politics? What, are you some kind of misogynist?!

      1. If the idea is to pursue a career in journalism, and political-viewpoint-journalism at that…

        (i.e. one where you’re working for a publication with a specific point of view, as opposed to more-generic newpaper commentary)…

        …a person’s relative value is probably not measured by their wishy-washiness. Why hire someone that fails to promote the viewpoint of their employing organization with vigor, certitude, and relish?

        Even-handedness isn’t necessarily a literary virtue in that sense. Particularly when even your most-generous treatment of your opposition is unlikely to ever gain you any credit whatsoever.

        e.g. No amount of insistence that “Campus Rape Culture” was (probably?) a real thing…. or that he was predisposed to believe “jackie”…. was ever going to prevent the Anna Merlans of the world from declaring him an agent of the patriarchy, and an idiot to boot.

        But i don’t think any of that matters. Its just Robby’s steez. Everyone has their way of making arguments. He uses lots of butter.

        1. You should probably blame his editor, who seems to have a terminal case of “To be sure-itis”.

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  10. I’m rather disappointed that the zampolits in the dorms weren’t met with kids saying “that’s none of your fucking business, you commie rat bastard” when subjected to intrusive questioning. It’s what I would have said when I was 18.

    -jcr

    1. Except kids today are comingout of 12 years of K-12 indoctrination in the public schools as well, so they don’t generally have the same attitude as previous generations.

  11. Anyone who want to LIVE at a government school already has a few screws loose. Anyone who wants to be an RA at such a place is already too far gone and should probably be euthanized.

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