Around this time of year, I sometimes hear from parents who have been appalled to learn that the child they sent away to college to become educated has instead been indoctrinated with the creed of the Left. They often ask if I can suggest something to have their offspring read over the summer, in order to counteract this indoctrination.
This year the answer is a no-brainer. It is a book with the unwieldy title: No Matter What . . . They’ll Call This Book Racist by Harry Stein, a writer for what is arguably America’s best magazine, City Journal. In a little over 200 very readable pages, the author deftly devastates with facts the nonsense about race that dominates much of what is said in the media and in academia.
There is no subject on which lies and half-truths have become so much the norm on ivy-covered campuses than is the subject of race. Moreover, anyone who even questions these lies and half-truths is almost certain to be called a “racist,” especially in academic institutions that loudly proclaim a “diversity” that is confined to demographics, and all but forbidden when it comes to a diversity of ideas.
The ultimate irony is that many of those who publicly promote or accept the prevailing party line on race do not themselves accept it privately. A few years ago, when a faculty vote on affirmative action was proposed at the University of California at Berkeley, there was a fierce disagreement as to whether that vote should be taken by secret ballot or at an open faculty meeting.
Both sides understood that many professors would vote one way in secret and the opposite way in public. In short, hypocrisy is the norm in discussions of race — and not just at Berkeley. Moreover, it is the norm among blacks as well as whites.
Black civil-rights attorneys and activists, who denounce whites for objecting to the bussing of kids from the ghetto into their neighborhood schools, have not hesitated to send their own children to private schools instead of subjecting them to this kind of “diversity” in the public schools.
As for whites, author Harry Stein says that many white liberals “give blacks a pass on behaviors and attitudes they would regard as unacceptable and even abhorrent in their own kind.” This, of course, is no favor to those particular blacks — especially young ghetto blacks whose counterproductive behavior puts them on a path that leads nowhere but to welfare, at best, or to ending up behind bars or dead by gangland street warfare, at worst.