In a letter to James Madison, dated November 30, 1785, George Washington wrote, “We are either a United people, or we are not. If the former, let us, in all matters of general concern act as a nation, which have national objects to promote, and a national character to support. If we are not, let us no longer act a farce by pretending to it.”
What a difference 230-years make.
Recently, six-members of the Associated Students of University of California Irvine (ASUCI) voted to ban the American flag from the campus. And when other student leaders stood up against the ban, a group of university professors signed a letter showing their solidarity with students.
“U.S. nationalism often contributes to racism and xenophobia, and that the paraphernalia of nationalism is in fact often used to intimidate,” reads the letter.
Following the vote, ASUCI president Reza Zomorrodian said, “It’s an attack on American values. A lot of people want to come to the United States for a reason — it’s because of the freedoms we have.”
Thankfully, wisdom prevailed, and the resolution was overturned.
Now, a black student organization at the University of California at Berkeley is demanding the university rename a building on campus after Assata Shakur, a former Black Panther, convicted cop killer and the first woman named to the FBI’s Most-Wanted Terrorist List. But to members of the Black Student Union at Berkeley, she’s an “icon of resistance within oppressed communities (who) represents black resilience in the face of state-sanctioned violence.”
These demands should come as no surprise to anyone as a 1989 study by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching found 70 percent of the professors in the major liberal arts colleges and research universities considered themselves liberal.
The same study found most professors at major universities do little teaching. Their primary activity is research funded through agencies, like the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the USDA, and others.
Furthermore, many students are supported by government-subsidized loans and grants. The U.S. Department of Education says about a third of all students at public, four-year colleges and universities, and half the students at private colleges and universities, receive financial aid from the federal government.
Perhaps it’s time to federally defund colleges and universities and place the impetus of education at the feet of the local community that the institution serves.