How Identity Politics Is Changing Universities, by William L. Anderson

The weird political belief system that sees the world entirely in terms of gender, race, and ethnicity have virtually taken over the academy. From William L. Anderson at mises.org:

Ours is a politicized age from the college campus to the corporate boardroom, a situation in which things that once were personal now are utterly political. The hard left now controls not only higher education, but also much of scientific research upon which the future of humanity as we know it depends. What began in 1969 as the establishment of a single course in Women’s Studies at Cornell University and similar courses elsewhere in what then were called Black Studies has metastasized into a monster that almost completely dominates higher education in the United States and Canada. Today, it is rare to find a college or university that does not have majors and programs in Identity Studies.

This long march of feminists and racialists from near-obscurity to absolute-dominance is compared to the rise of Snopes family created by author William Faulkner in his 1940 novel, The Hamlet. In Faulkner’s book, the Snopeses move into the Mississippi community of Frenchman’s Bend and slowly take over nearly all aspects of life. Even though the locals seem to understand what is taking place, they are seemingly helpless because they heard the rumor that people that made a Snopes unhappy would have their barns burned to the ground.

In campus politics, the activists did not threaten to burn only the barns but rather the entire college campus. Anyone in higher education that might allegedly say or write something that offends someone in a politically-protected group is likely to be the focus of the infamous Twitter Mob, and even a distinguished career and something as prestigious as a Nobel Prize offers no cover, as Tim Hunt found out. For that matter, truth itself is no defense, as we found out in the infamous Duke Lacrosse Case. All that matters is identity politics, and the Duke case demonstrates just how powerful – and destructive – such politics have become.

In March 2006 at Duke University, a black stripper falsely claimed that three members of the Duke men’s lacrosse team beat and raped her at a team party where she performed, and the Duke campus exploded in anger as the story spread throughout the country, dominating newscasts and the Internet. Shortly after the accusations surfaced, 88 Duke faculty members signed an advertisement in the Duke Chronicle, a student newspaper, condemning the lacrosse players and thanking demonstrators for not waiting to see if the charges were credible.

To continue reading: How Identity Politics Is Changing Universities

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