Articles

A Telescope for Social Justice: No White Men Need Apply

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by The Pipeline on August 17, 2021 and is crossposted here with permission. A cosmic storm is roiling the Astrophysics community. Focused on the name of a NASA space telescope, the controversy is one more in a decade-long whirlwind of accusation that has made clear to straight white […]

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Will Some Feminists Defend the Taliban?

The Taliban has now captured Kabul, a huge setback for women in Afghanistan. For many reasons, one may criticize the U.S. mission in that country, but some facts are undeniable: during the occupation, life expectancy improved by six years, and women’s time in school increased by at least four years. The Taliban is assuring girls […]

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Oregon’s Racist Attack on the Dignity and Futures of Minority Students

When the Woke Left destroys the dignity and futures of blacks, Latinos, and other marginalized minorities, they call it equity. But racism by any other name just plain stinks. In a year of Woke racist government actions targeting whites and Asians, one of the most unsettling acts of government bigotry instead targets the dignity and […]

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The Curious Ethics of Some Ethics Professors

Like the seasons, friendships come, and friendships go. It is a melancholy fact of life that around the world at any given moment, thousands of new friendships are born, and thousands of old friendships are dying. Bitterness may remain in the carcass of some expired relationships. For most of us, there is little that we […]

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Oregon Abolishes Academic Standards in the Name of “Equity” and Antiracism

The progressive state of Oregon is getting rid of reading, writing, and math requirements for high-school graduation, in the name of helping “Latinx” and minority students. As Jazz Shaw notes, it’s doing this “based on allegations of racism.” The “governor’s deputy communications director said that dropping the requirements ‘will benefit Oregon’s Black, Latino, Latina, Latinx, […]

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How Progressives Rewrote American History

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by RealClearPublicAffairs and is crossposted here with permission. America’s Founders understood that political change is inevitable. They thought it must come about through constitutional mechanisms, with the consent of the governed, and must never infringe on the natural rights of citizens. Progressives – rejecting the idea that any […]

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Ethnic Studies and DEI—A Convenient Marriage Anchored in Critical Race Theory

On July 13, the Governing Board of California Community Colleges (CCC) voted to approve two new requirements—one adding ethnic studies as a graduation requirement for students seeking an associate’s degree and another mandating the incorporation of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and anti-racism in the schools’ employment procedures. Given that all existing collegiate-level ethnic studies […]

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[Le]Manning the Barricades for Affirmative Action

Nicholas Lemann, former dean of the Columbia School of Journalism, currently a professor there, and author of The Big Test: The Secret History of American Meritocracy (2000), has a long new article in the New Yorker, “Can Affirmative Action Survive?,” warning ominously—or hopefully, depending on your point of view—that “The Court may signal that it […]

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Georgetown’s Asian Gambit—Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

Georgetown study shows that racial preferences deny admission to more than one in five qualified Asian American applicants to selective colleges. You didn’t hear that from Georgetown. A substantial number of Asian Americans oppose racial preferences in college admissions (otherwise known by the euphemism “affirmative action”). In a transparent effort to dissuade them and courts […]

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Dan Jansen or Simone Biles: Who Should Our Students Emulate?

In February 1988, as the world watched the Calgary Winter Olympics, the youngest child of a middle-class American family, whose father was a law enforcement officer and whose mother was a nurse, headed north to compete for the United States. Dan Jansen had taken up speed skating as a child, inspired by his older sister, […]

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The Multiversity and its Discontents: The Evolution of a Fatal Flaw

A well-known podcaster has the custom of going “off the grid” for a month each summer, to gain some perspective. I can beat that: I have been retired from academic teaching and research for nearly 14 years and have rarely visited my campus during that time. But last year, I finally encountered the university first-hand, […]

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Transnational Education is a Double-Edged Sword

Editor’s Note: This article was written by a professor who wishes to remain anonymous. I am a Latin American professor teaching at a university in the Gulf region. Many universities in Gulf countries are affiliated with institutions in the United States, and even those of us who teach in non-affiliated institutions strive hard to reproduce […]

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Classical Schools Designed to Produce Well-Rounded Citizens

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by RealClearEducation on July 21, 2021 and is crossposted here with permission. According to entrepreneur and philanthropist Robert L. Luddy, many students today not only lack a basic knowledge of the “American system, including the lives and deeds of the Founders and the brilliance of the Constitution,” but also […]

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Critical Race Theory Teaches that Discrimination Against Whites is Essential

On July 15, a Reuters fact-check claimed that “many Americans embrace falsehoods about critical race theory.” But it is Reuters that embraced a falsehood, not the American people. Reuters denied that critical race theory teaches that “discriminating against white people is the only way to achieve equality,” saying that was a “misconception” promoted by “conservative […]

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The Disingenuous Exhortation to a Contemplative Discourse

“I see no value in participating in a Star Chamber that starts by convicting me and many others for the crime of not being black.” Our academic institutions fail us when their leaders abandon facts, analysis, and discourse in their zeal to replace merit and genuine multicultural respect with so-called diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). […]

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My Mind Is Made Up—Don’t Confuse Me with Facts

Editor’s Note: This article was written by a Canadian university professor who wishes to remain anonymous. The decision of the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) executive on April 22, 2021, to censure the University of Toronto (U of T) for its infringement on “academic freedom” should be of concern for all universities. CAUT represents professors, […]

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Little Buttercup and Critical Race Theory

Anytime someone praises Critical Race Theory (CRT) as a valuable interpretation of racism in America, it reminds me of a scene from the comic opera H.M.S. Pinafore. It’s when Little Buttercup sings, “things are seldom what they seem; skim milk masquerades as cream.” Buttercup would urge us to think critically about the masquerade of insinuations […]

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Taxpayers on the Hook for Overpriced Master’s Degrees

“Columbia and other wealthy universities steer master’s students to federal loans that can exceed $250,000. After graduation, many learn the debt is well beyond their means,” notes the Wall Street Journal. The Journal reports on Columbia University’s Master of Fine Arts Film program, one of the worst examples, in an article titled “Financially Hobbled for […]

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The Ideology of White Fragility

Editor’s Note: This essay was written by an emeritus professor who wishes to remain anonymous. Many in America are focused on the threat posed by small numbers of performative violent extremists (e.g., Antifa and the Proud Boys) and from far-out conspiracy theorists with little real influence (e.g., QAnon). However, a truly existential threat to our liberal […]

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Whose Hand Will Be On the Global Climate Crisis Thermostat?

By What Authority and With What Oversight Will They Exercise Their Control? “The Invisible Hand” is a notion coined by Adam Smith in the context of economics, and in particular, the free-market capitalist system. It’s a well-chosen image of how such markets work in a free society. If you’re not familiar with it, this Investopedia […]

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Rawls: Modern Conservative

Fifty years ago, a little-known political philosopher at Harvard named John Rawls published a lengthy book titled A Theory of Justice at the well-cured age of 50. It was a bold offering because most people assumed that the major issues in political philosophy had been thrashed out by the greats. The only work remaining was […]

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What Is A University Student?

As a result of government and university policies in both the U.S. and Canada, university students are not seen as individuals with records of educational achievement and the potential for both success in higher education and for contributions beyond in the wider society. Instead, they are reduced to no more than members of census categories […]

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Social Equity and the Re-Segregation of Higher Education

A Dubious Expediency: How Race Preferences Damage Higher Education (Encounter, May 2021) is a remarkable collection of seven essays about the pernicious spread of “social equity,” “diversity” and critical race theory in academia. This book is a must-read for those who would never read it: woke academicians, journalists, and policymakers who have no idea how […]

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On the Death Penalty, Race, Elite Opinion, and the New Social Desirability Bias

In a university course on the sociology of death and dying that I teach, we spend a few weeks discussing the death penalty. Students in my class are uniformly surprised to find on the syllabus sources that argue for it as well as authors taking up the other side of the issue. As is the […]

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Brief on Academic Freedom

Editor’s Note: The following is a brief submitted by Philip Carl Salzman, emeritus professor of anthropology at McGill University, to the Commission scientifique et technique indépendante sur la reconnaissance de la liberté académique dans le milieu universitaire, Organismes liés, Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur, Gouvernement du Québec. Salzman addresses various issues related to academic freedom both in […]

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Dear Climate Alarmists: Your fearmongering isn’t cool anymore

An assistant professor of “environmental economics” recently published an article in the journal Climate Change. The article’s central question was: “How much evidence would it take to convince ‘skeptics’ they are wrong?” The study concluded that “Those who are strongly skeptical about climate change are unlikely to change their minds for many years to come.” […]

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Profiles In Cowardice

In 1956, then-Senator John F. Kennedy was presumed to have written a short book of biographical essays which chronicled the stories of eight U.S. senators who at times of potential crisis in American government defied conventional wisdom and made unpopular but right decisions. In some cases, these decisions cost them their political careers. He won […]

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The Catechism of the Woke: A Cautionary Tale

Thomas Ricks’ First Principles: What America’s Founders Learned from the Greeks and Romans and How That Shaped Our Country (2020) uses brief biographies of our first four presidents to explain how their studies of the classics shaped the system of checks and balances central to American democracy. One could create a similar narrative for American […]

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Anthropology: From Pursuing Science to Endorsing Genocidal Terrorists

Editor’s Note: This article originally stated that the Six-Day War occurred in 1968, and that the Yom Kippur war occurred in 1972. These dates have been corrected to 1967 and 1973, respectively. When I began studying cultural anthropology in 1960, anthropologists still aspired to be scientific. Leaders in the discipline wrote books with titles like […]

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Neither Top-Down nor Bottom-Up

You want your classroom and your campus each to be a place of open and free inquiry and, thereby, a place of open and free critical discussion. You also want each to be a place of civility and a place welcoming to all inquirers and to all their various points of view. There’s a lot […]

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