Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Friday, January 20, 2006

UCLA's dirty thirty

The Press has been breathless about the fact that UCLA Profs. com has recently offered to pay students $100 for producing tangible evidence that, during class, these professors stifle all dissent and indoctrinate students. (An example of such a story is here.) What's fascinating with the reports I've read is that the MSM is utterly uninterested in who the dirty thirty actually are. If you check out the list, you'll discover that lecture reports would just be icing on the cake. These lecturers, who are paid by California and federal taxpayers, make no bones about their interests and their goals vis-a-vis our children in their comfy taxpayer funded forums. Take, for example, Peter McLaren, who is introduced in an NPR story on the subject as one of the most highly regarded social scientists, and who gets to opine about how dreadful it is that people would actually monitor his taxpayer funded class to see what he's saying. The story completely ignores who he is. Frankly, read this (with myriad hyperlinks omitted)and you won't care about lecture notes -- they'd just be icing on the cake:

Entering the domain of Peter McLaren (or at least his webpage) is a full sensory experience. The eye is dazzled by a revolving red Communist star and noble Che Guevara iconography. The ears are delighted by the solemn strains of The Internationale, the anthem of Marxist socialism, while the brain is left to struggle with one question: who is this guy? Peter McLaren is many things, but he is first and foremost the most highly regarded social science scholar in all of UCLA. That is neither an exaggeration, nor damning with faint praise, not given McLaren’s competition. But there is simply no question about his status. In fact, other than a handful of south-campus Nobel Laureates, no UCLA academic at all is more preeminent in his field. So great is the regard for McLaren that a group of his admirers at the University of Tijuana in Mexico opened a Fundacion Peter McLaren de Pedagogia Critica (The Peter McLaren Institute for Critical Pedagogy). *** But McLaren speaks virtually around the globe, venturing to places as varied as Brazil, South Africa, Argentina, and Costa Rica. In fact, any country visited by economic misery or political turmoil is almost certain to be visited, sooner or later, by McLaren himself. And, like any demagogue worth his salt, McLaren can pick from his voluminous bag of rhetoric and deliver a stemwinder on any number of different radical topics. In the end, though, the story is always the same: capitalism bad, America worse, and, in a clear nod to his Third World hosts, the host country is invariably portrayed as a puppet on America’s capitalist strings. Scapegoating sells, and McLaren is dealing some of the best. A prime example of McLaren’s anti-American blamestorming are his comments from an interview published in St. John’s University Humanities Review. McLaren claims:
“that over the last five decades the US national security state funded and advised right-wing forces in the overthrow of reformist governments in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Brazil, Indonesia, Uruguay, Haiti, the Congo, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, Syria, Greece, etc.; that the US has participated in proxy mercenary wars against Nicaragua, Angola, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Portugal, Cambodia, East Timor, Peru, Iran, Syria, Jamaica, South Yemen, the Fiji Islands, Afghanistan, Lebanon, etc.; that they have supported ruthless rightwing governments who have tortured and murdered opposition movements such as in the case of Turkey, Zaire, Chad, Pakistan, Morocco, Indonesia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Peru, etc., or that, since World War II, the US military has invaded or bombed Vietnam, North Korea, Cambodia, Grenada, Panama, Somalia, Yugoslavia, Libya, Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Laos, etc. My emphasis is on linking these acts of barbarism to the political history of capitalism. This will involve examining critically the recent invasion and occupation of Iraq, the counter-insurgency war the US has launched against Colombian guerrilla movements, the attempt to overthrow Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, as well as the continuing U.S. support for death squads linked to reactionary ruling oligarchies throughout the world that are served by neo-liberal globalized capitalism and imperialism. What Parenti, Chomsky, and others have made clear is that the US will oppose any country unwilling to become integrated into the capitalist marketplace. Those that refuse to open themselves up to transnational investors will be in serious trouble. The U.S. will oppose – ruthlessly, and militarily if need be – countries where economic reformist movements and labor unions, peasant insurgencies, etc., threaten to destabilize unequal distributive policies that favor the ruling class. Democracies must be market-based, or they are not considered democracies at all. If they are not market-based, they must be reoriented into the world market—by force, if necessary.”
Does anyone seriously believe that he wouldn't use his classroom to stifle conservative thought? Or how about Sonda Hale, who hales (not surprisingly) from Women's Studies (again, hyperlinks are omitted):
She has remained utterly unrepentant [after getting into trouble with her prior employer) and to this day, shows no recognition of natural boundaries between personal and professional activities. The only thing that has changed, it seems, is that UCLA accepts, if not encourages, this disregard. A prime example of such blended personal/professional activism is Hale’s hard-core Palestianian sympathies, and devotion to the late terrorist-loving academic Edward Said. Following his 2003 death, Hale single-handedly convened a symposium to celebrate the man and his dubious achievements. In a short oral presentation during the conference, Hale even advanced the idea that Said was an “Accidental Feminist.” It’s not necessary, just because you’re a feminist who likes Edward Said, to somehow make the square peg of misogynistic Arab nationalism fit in the round hole of Vagina Monologues feminism. Sometimes things should just stay separate. Not according to Professor Hale, though. Her love for all things Palestinian has driven her to the presidency of the Association for Middle East Women’s Studies, and even, at one point, to a nomination for the presidency of the entire radical Middle Eastern Studies Association (MESA). Hale has founded the group “Feminists in Support of Palestinian Women,” and serves as coordinator of the U.S. branch of the group “Birzeit Right to Education Campaign.” Hale has publicly committed herself to an anti-Israel, pro-terror stance by signing the following petitions and statements:
-New York University’s Israeli divestment petition -University of California Israeli divestment petition -Support for the third annual Israeli divestment conference, held that year in New Jersey -Not In Our Name’s (NION’s) 2002 “Statement of Conscience Against War and Repression” -“Professors of Conscience” statement joining Israeli academics in common anti-Israeli rhetoric -Rejection of the 2003 Geneva peace accord signed by Israel with Palestinian leaders -“NGO Statement” from the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights -“Urgent Palestinian Appeal to the World” from the Grassroots International Protection for the Palestinian People -“End the Occupation Now!” from the Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding -“International Response to the Bush Declaration on the Palestinian Right to Return” from Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
Hale is, of course, entitled to her views (views with which I strongly disagree), but does anyone seriously think that she's not pushing these views in her classroom, especially given her involvement in the Middle Eastern Studies Association? Talking to Technorati: , , , , , ,