Bill Steigerwald Bill Steigerwald, 3/17/2006 [Archive]

David Horowitz profiles Big Lefties on Campus

David Horowitzprofiles the campus Left

David Horowitz's new book, "The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America," will make him no new friends in academia. Not that the conservative commentator and former Marxist has many friends left at American universities.

Horowitz, the author of three New York Times best-sellers including his autobiography'Radical Son,' earns his daily bread blasting the left-liberal radicals he says have corrupted higher education from coast to coast and turned some college departments into "political parties that would give the Communist Party a run for its radical money." I talked to HorowitzMarch 16 (Thursday) by telephone from his offices in Los Angeles, where he is president of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture (www.cspc.org):

Q: We've known for a long time that many campuses are dominated by left-liberals. Is it worse than people think?

A: It's worse than I thought and I thought it was worse than most people think. What's happened is that a generation of radicals got tenure and carried their political agendas into the university. Not only have they introduced a blacklist that has excluded conservatives, libertarians and believing Christians from faculty positions but they have actually transformed whole fields and departments and made them into ideological and indoctrination and recruitment centers for the radical left.

Usually the fields end in 'studies': women's studies, black studies, religious studies -- one of the worst fields in the country -- whiteness studies, queer studies, peace studies, global studies, cultural studies, all different forms of Marxism and various derivative radical doctrines.

They've destroyed the field of cultural anthropology (the study of other cultures). What they've turned it into is, well, Marxism again. You can go to Guatemala and hang out with terrorists and other quote 'progressive' unquote groups, write up your experiences and publish them as a book, throw in a few Frenchified words like 'imbrication' and invent some other nonwords like 'fluidarity' -- which is kind of solidarity but across borders -- refer to yourself as a 'gringa,'and you'll become a tenured professor at Duke, like Diane Nelson, who is a director of undergraduate studies in the cultural anthropology department with a degree from Stanford.

This woman is a blooming idiot. Yet she has a $130,000-a-year job for six hours a week in class, four months paid vacation every year and the ability to run around the Duke campus recruiting children for communist causes. Does anybody out there think this could be possible?

Q: Give us a quick synopsis of your book.

A: It's about Diane Nelson -- and 50,000 professors like her. My book is a collection of profiles to show a pattern that exists in the universities: the pattern of hiring radical extremists to faculties, the pattern in which they are powers in the profession -- department chairs, heads of professional associations, like the American Historical Association and, of course, the American Anthropological Association.

Another pattern I show is professors who are promoted beyond their scholarly output; they don't have the credentials for teaching what they teach -- a professor of saxophone who's the director of peace studies at Ball State; an animal biologist, who has written the most widely used text in peace studies, on war and peace; people who are just completely unqualified. If you have the right politics, you get promoted.

Also there are bigots -- professors who are anti-Semites. I have a professor in there who told an Armenian student the Armenians deserved to be massacred ... professors who hate Christians and who violate all the sensitivity rules of the university but have no repercussions because the groups they are attacking are groups that it's OK to attack.

Q: What's the typical ideological profile of one of your 101 professors?

A: A professor who believes the terrorists are freedom fighters and America is the Great Satan. They all believe in some version of Marxism, though they call it feminism, post-structuralism,post-modernism. They believe private property is evil. War is caused by corporations and American generals. America is an oppressive, racist, homophobic, imperialist society and the reason we are being attacked is because of what we do to other people. Jews are monsters who have turned Palestinians into suicide bombers because Palestinians have no other choice. That's your fundamental creed of the tenured radical.

Q: You say as many as 60,000 of the country's 617,000 professors are radicals. What's the worst damage they are doing?

A: I estimate that maybe 3 million students a year will go through their classes, where they will hear anti-American propaganda, or libels, as I would call them.... It's mainly that they are indoctrinating students and recruiting them to radical causes.

Q: You say you are exposing these professors not because they have biases but because they have decided to preach and not teach.

A: The indictment in the book is of professors who abuse the university system for political agendas. In some of the profiles, the book does take on some of their misrepresentations. Grover Furr, of Montclair State, thinks that Stalin was a democrat and the collapse of the Soviet Union was a moral catastrophe. He's a medievalist, but he's managed to get a course -- and this is part of what I call the consumer fraud that is going on -- in which he can teach his ridiculous opinions. I do think that when you see the 100 professors strung together, it makes a deep impression on you with the problem we have in this country with a Fifth Column.

Q: Are non-liberals being discriminated against?

A: The longest, most extensive blacklist in the history of America, which goes together with the biggest witch-hunt in the history of America, is the blacklisting of conservatives within university environments. By witch-hunt, I mean if you laugh at the wrong joke, or you use the wrong phrase, you are a racist, a homophobe or a sexist -- 'Gotchya!' And if you are tarred enough, and it doesn't take more than a few shots, your career comes to an end. So you have a large group of people on university faculties who are just intimidated.

There are actual liberals -- I don't like to apply the term 'liberal' to people who are intolerant, malicious and who are witch-hunters and blacklisters. There are a lot of people in the university who are not that, but they are pretty much a silent majority out of fear of being censured.

In the public sphere, the dominant ideology of the university is left. Otherwise, a Diane Nelson could not have gotten tenure, could not be the director of undergraduate studies and would have been fired a long time ago by her peers. But they are afraid of her.

Q: What advice do you give to nonliberal parents who are about to send their kids to college?

A: When your student goes to college, get him connected with a sensible group. If you're a sensible liberal, um, jeez, I don't know what the heck --.

Q: The Democrat Party?

A: Well, no. The Democrat Party has suffered tremendously. That's why it's lurching so far to the left.College Democrats are a dangerous political group for a true liberal. You won't find many Joe Lieberman supporters among university faculty, so I don't really know what groups they would join. But conservative students should get connected with college Republicans and read regularly a conservative Web site or journal. That would be helpful. You can tell from my book that you don't want your student going into any cultural anthropology course or department. Stay out of them. Economics departments are the best in the liberal arts schools, without question -- except for the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. It's a Marxist department.

Bill Steigerwald is a columnist at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. E-mail Bill at bsteigerwald@tribweb.com. © Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, All Rights Reserved.

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