Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Death of Higher Education

This is from my buddy Del, a Marine vet who sends me interesting and provocative commentary. I recommend his book Blackwash/Whatewash about Vietnam. He also manages a small charity helping the ARVIN soldiers America abandoned in Vietnam.~Bob


I just saw a video made by some blogger on the campus up at Berkeley, in which a walk around campus shows a wide selection of radical signs on display. Then the guy started "surveying" passing students, with questions like "who is your favorite US President and why?", and got reactions from blank stares, to "Franklin, because he wrote that book".
However, several students did respond quickly with "Lincoln, because he freed the slaves". He asked other questions, such as when speaking to a Law School student, he asked if the assault weapons ban was a good thing, and the student replied that it was, since people should not have machineguns. (Which of course, have nothing to do with the assault weapons ban.)

He even got his camera into one classroom lecture on slavery, where the teacher was explaining that people in West Africa liked to live on the coast, which made it easy for the slaving ships to come there and abduct them. Given that the coastal tribes were the ones who made expeditions into the interior (usually under leadership of professional Arab slavers) to take slaves to sell to the slaving ships, the professor clearly knew very little actual history.

In another classroom he taped students asking the teacher why they really needed to read the statistics on the particular subject of study, since that's boring and they didn't think it was necessary. When the teacher tried to tell them that they needed to examine all the information so they'd have a good basis for their conclusions, one of the kids said that making them read that stuff was like brainwashing.

I am sure there are good teachers and well educated students at Berkeley, and this blogger had his agenda in making the video. Still, just to find those examples of what goes on even in parts of the school really makes me worry more about the generation coming out of such an atmosphere, thinking they are educated when they really are not at all. And such things don't go on only at Berkeley.



  1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6S0W3pVn_MY

    Communists Protest Marines at Berkeley, 2008

  2. http://thefire.org/

    FIRE - Foundation for Individual Rights in Education