I was going through the various blogs I read, when I found this one on Little Green Footballs: http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=27754_Ideological_Reeducation_Camps_at_University_of_Delaware&only Follow the various links in the article and comments for some more reading.
This one scares the crap out of me. Forget the Orwellian references, this one is straight out of the playbooks of Stalin and Mao. Check out the excerpts from FIRE’s web site here: http://www.thefire.org/index.php/article/8552.html These are very very scary, and can only lead to ideological, theological, and social hegemony of thought. This is nothing more than a blatant attempt to establish an orthodoxy of thought that should be rejected, and actively opposed by every one, regardless of any walk of life.
Now, UD has responded in its way. Those responses can be found here: http://www.udel.edu/PR/UDaily/2008/oct/reslife103107.html and here: http://www.udel.edu/PR/response/ I smell a retcon here, and one that only a left leaning bureaucracy is capable of. It would seem that those in charge of this reprehensible program either didn’t know that the “mandatory” aspect was being miscommunicated (unlikely), or that they knew and encouraged it, but are now back tracking once it was shown the light of day. They state specifically that “The residential life educational program, which has been developed with the express intent of helping students think critically and analytically, has had the input of student leaders, faculty and administrators and is continually assessed through feedback from individuals and through focus groups.” How can it possibly promote “critical and analytical thinking” when the conclusions are already determined? And I’d love to see who these “student leaders, faculty, and administration” people are. I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that they are all big supporters of certain special interest groups, and got a lot of support for this in return.
What’s even more odd, is much of the tone and lack of specifics in the response letter from Michael Gilbert. It wanders around a bit, and contains no specifics. It talks only in vague generalities, and while it appears to address the concerns from FIRE’s letter, says absolutely nothing. I suspect a smoke screen here, to offer up a tepid mea culpa, and in the end changing nothing. Here’s to hoping that people will follow up on this, and hold UD accountable, and in a very public manner.
This sort of thing is dangerous not only as an outright attack on free speech and free thought, but can lead to other, less esoteric trends. This program, as has been shown, encourages and enables those who seek to destroy this country, and all nations who hold the same values. It makes a weak justification for suicide bombers, for hijackers, for terrorists of a more generic sort, for those who want to establish a Stalinist or Maoist state, or for those who find positives in Pol Pot. And yet somehow this has become an acceptable form of “education,” and is not being recognized as the propaganda and indoctrination that it is.