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Thursday, October 29, 2015

University of Toronto conditions students to think "right" means being racist and anti-women's rights

Among the many concerns about the deterioration of western post-secondary education is that these places, which used to be hubs of critical, logical examination, have become indoctrination centers.

In the last few years, we've heard plenty of students being coddled with infantalizing "safe spaces" where they can retreat to the comfort of play-dough and plush toys if they encounter an idea that upsets them. Once universities provided a foundation upon which students learned to understand the way their society was constructed. Now they force students into "critical studies" which conditions them to reject the progression of rational discourse from Aristotle to Wittgenstein, and ignores the philosophical bases of western civilization by framing it as the bigotry of dead white European males.

This description of the state of academia may sound alarmist, but there's an overwhelming amount of evidence to support it.

One of the goals of the new academia is to get students to adhere to particular political ideologies, while at the same time convincing them that by conforming, they are "critical thinkers." We saw that in Canada's most recent federal election where the Conservative Party which, by international standards supported large social spending, supported the largest influx of immigrants of any Canadian government, and domestically supported legal abortion and gay rights both at home and abroad was somehow successfully characterized as being "far right" in local academic circles.

The unsubtle politicizing of students' minds occurs every day on university campuses. Students are taught that good people are "left" and bad people are "right."  If you doubt that, then consider this question from a student survey currently being distributed by two professors at the University of Toronto's Department of Sociology. The study about student life and student protest,  of which the survey is a key component, has, it should be noted, been approved by U of T’s Office of Research Ethics and Office of the Vice-Provost, Students:

In politics, people sometimes talk about “left” and “right” in social terms. From this 
point of view, the left supports equal rights for women and racial and sexual minorities 
and environmental protection by government regulation,while the right supports 
traditional social and moral values and a free-market approach to the environment. 
Where would you place yourself on the following left-right scale?

Students are then directed to identify themselves as being either "left" or "right." However, the clear implication in the language of that question is that the "left" supports women's rights and racial equality and the "right" does not. By that measure, who but a hateful bigot would not consider him or herself to be on the left?

From the letter accompanying the U of Toronto survey
Except that the implication is patently false. The contemporary right's most prominent thinkers, like Thomas Sowell and Niall Ferguson and a list that could go on for pages, explicitly support equality and equal rights. Not only would you not know that from the premise of the University of Toronto's survey, but you would get the impression of the exact opposite.

Coming with the imprimatur of two professors at a major university, the survey is peppered with questions that are slanted in such a way as to not determine students attitudes, but to shape them.

A critical thinker would not accept something simply because it was presented to them by one of their university professors. But unfortunately, it appears that genuinely critical thinkers at our universities are in short supply.


3 comments:

Lorensacho said...

It is the left that has turned its back on woman's rights. The left's embrace of Hamas and other Arab anti-Israel movements who try to rule by Sharia law which treats women as chattel, and which turns a blind eye to honor killings, makes the left enablers of inequality for women

George said...

The Left is very confused. In their rush to be anti-this, and pro-that, they have entagled themselves in numerous contradictory position.
These are numerous, but a few examples include:
- Claiming to be pro-equality but demanding that jobs and appointments be made on basis of skin colour, gender, sexual orientation rather than competence.
- Claiming to be pro-women, but supporting Hamas, Hezbollah (because they are against Israel and Jews) and generally bembracing Islam as a soft, cuddly teddy bear.
- Claiming to be for the working class, but demanding an ever-increasing influx of low-skilled immigrants, who will inevitably compete for low-paying jobs, thus either driving wages down, or driving unemplyment up (due to the minimum wage restriction).

Anonymous said...

our future is in grave peril, these brain washed fools will be running our country soon. We currently have a sample of whats to come with this new PM.