- - Sunday, July 12, 2020

In the July 2nd issue of National Review, Victor Davis Hanson, in bemoaning our present state of cultural chaos, asks, “How can so many so sheltered and prolonged adolescents claim to be all-knowing?” In other words, how could so many of our nation’s 18-year-olds become so clueless? 

The answer: Your colleges and universities have taught them to be.

The proof of the ivory tower’s culpability in creating this marauding monster is seen in the endless list of apologies now pouring forth from our academic “leaders.” Here are a couple of examples.

Threatened by Black Lives Matter discontent, a university president in Oklahoma informs his community, “[Beginning immediately], our employees will reengage in training and development to build cultural competency and understand the role and impact of unconscious bias.”

Another college president from California adds his lament: “I want to offer a sincere, heartfelt, and anguished apology … I want to ask for forgiveness … for my lack of sensitivity, lack of nuance, and lack of perspective concerning Black Lives Matter.”



And yet another president from an institution in Kansas writes, “It is time to repent … [for the] prejudice embedded deeply into the very construction of a society that benefits some at the expense of others …”

“Anguished apologies.” “Heartfelt tears.” “Repentance for the very construction of society.” Mandatory training in “unconscious bias.” One has to wonder if a Google search of “capitulation” would immediately bring these three men to the forefront as its poster-children.   

But amid such fecklessness, one college stands alone, resolute, bold, distinct and different.  

Consider Hillsdale College

When pressured by the same juvenile hoards to issue similar “statements” as cited above, this college’s leadership responded as follows: 

“Amidst the events of recent weeks, a number of alumni and others have taken up formal and public means to insist that Hillsdale College issue statements concerning Black Lives Matter.

“[We are] told that failure to issue [such] statements is … an abandonment of principle. 

“Well, Hillsdale College’s founding is a statement … 

“[Our] curriculum is a statement, especially in its faithful presentation of the College’s founding mission. 

“[Our] teaching is a statement, especially as it takes up — with vigor — the evils we are alleged to ignore, evils like murder, brutality, injustice, destruction of person or property, and passionate irrationality … 

“Organizing our practical affairs so that we can maintain principles of equity and justice … is a statement. 

“Dispensing unparalleled financial help to students who cannot afford even a moderate tuition is a statement. 

“Helping private and public schools across the country lift their primary and secondary students out of a sea of disadvantages with excellent instruction, curricula, and the civic principles of freedom and equality — without any recompense to the College — is a statement.

“Postgraduate programs with the express aim of advancing the ideas of human dignity, justice, equality, and the citizen as the source of the government’s power, these are all statements. 

“And all of these statements are acts, deeds that speak, undertaken and perpetuated now, every day, all the time. Everything this College does … is for the moral and intellectual uplift of all. 

“There may be something deafening in the culture — certainly there are those who cannot hear — but it is not from the silence of Hillsdale College.

“There is a kind of virtue that is cheap. It consists of jumping on cost-free bandwagons of public feeling and winning approval by espousing the right opinion … 

“The fact that very real racial problems are now being cynically exploited for profit, gain, and public favor by some organizations and people is impossible to overlook. 

“It is a scandal and a shame that compounds our ills and impedes their correction. Hillsdale College, though far from perfect, will continue to do the work of education in the great principles that are, second only to divine grace, the solution to the grave ills that beset our times.”

This is so good it bears repeating: 

“There is a kind of virtue that is cheap. It consists of jumping on cost-free bandwagons of public feeling … [T]he fact that very real racial problems are now being cynically exploited for profit, gain, and public favor by some organizations and people is impossible to overlook. It is a scandal and a shame that compounds our ills and impedes their correction. Hillsdale College … will continue to do the work of education in the great principles that are, second only to divine grace, the solution to the grave ills that beset our times.”

Thank you, Hillsdale College. As nearly every other university president in the nation cowers in feckless fear before the tantrums of the spoiled children they have created, you lead.

Thank God for your clarity. Though you stand alone, you stand. Would that other colleges show half your courage. For, if they did, we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in.  

• Everett Piper (dreverettpiper.com, @dreverettpiper), a columnist for The Washington Times, is a former university president and radio host. He is the author of “Not a Daycare: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth” (Regnery).

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