Any political bias revealed in the selection of commencement speakers is overshadowed, however, by the political bias evident in university hiring practices during the school year itself. A Wall Street Journal article by Vincent Carroll recently described the situation at the University of Colorado, where the number of registered Democrats on the faculty exceeded the registered Republicans by thirty-one to one. There was not a single Republican or conservative in the English, psychology, journalism, philosophy, women’s studies, ethnic studies and lesbian and gay studies departments. This is in a state where Republicans outnumber Democrats by more than 100,000 voters, and have elected six of eight members of the Colorado congressional delegation.
On the basis of personal experience I can attest that this situation is fairly typical of colleges across the United States. In the last few years, I have spoken on over 100 college campuses in every corner of the country — north, south, east and west. I have spoken before audiences at state schools and private schools, religious schools and state institutions, technical schools and liberal arts colleges — rural and urban, small and large. At every single one of them, without exception, I have found that professors who are conservative in their outlook constitute a mere handful on any given liberal arts campus. They are more isolated, more politically excluded and more intimidated in expressing their views, and more restricted in their opportunities for scholarly advancement and political expression than Communist and pro-Soviet professors were in the McCarthy period, during the height of the Cold War.
Of the more than 100 colleges where I appeared, only four invited me officially. By contrast, Communists like Angela Davis, and racial extremists like Khalid Muhammad and Kwame Ture, are regularly asked to speak by university administrators and student governments, and are paid handsome sums to do so. In 1998, Ms. Davis, whose speaking fee is $20,000, was the featured official speaker at the University of Chicago’s Martin Luther King Day commemorations. Davis is fawned on by administrators and faculty alike at her appearances, which are more like regal visits. In 1998, she was also a featured speaker at Brandeis, a campus to which the conservative former UN Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick had been officially invited but then dis-invited after leftists protested her scheduled appearance. Conservative figures like myself, by contrast, have to rely on small conservative student groups for invitations and off-campus conservative organizations for expenses. Wherever I go, I make it a point to ask the students who invite me how many conservative professors are available to be their official campus advisors and sponsors. Their answers invariably are: two or three. That is, two or three out of the entire faculty who are willing to identify themselves openly as conservatives.
This deplorable situation did not happen by accident. It is the result of a McCarthyism operating inside these academic institutions, fueled by the atmosphere of “political correctness” that has enveloped the academy since the ascension of the tenured left. The hegemony of this left has resulted in politicized hiring practices, systematic exclusion of dissenting voices and an atmosphere of political intimidation to a degree seen only in countries ruled by Communist or fascist or theocratic dictatorships. In America, however, the state is not the enforcer of political orthodoxy. It is leftist faculty members and pliant administrators who are responsible for the state of affairs.
– Hating Whitey
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