Last week, a student at the University of Southern California released 15 minutes of excerpts from videos he had made of his political-science professor, Darry Sragow.
Here is some of what the USC professor said to his students:
“California Republicans [are] really stupid and racist.”
“Republicans are 82 percent white. Losers.”
“The Republican party in California . . . is the last vestige of angry old white people.”
“The Republicans are trying to prevent people of color and people of lower income from voting by requiring voter ID.”
“We discovered, and this is generally true, the least flexible voter in America, the person who’s less likely to change their mind about anything, is an old white guy. Old white guys are stubborn sons of bitches.”
“There are tens of thousands of people who are now dead because George Bush, even though he got fewer votes, became the president of the United States. That’s a fact. . . . I think the election got stolen. That’s what I think. . . . [The Republicans] stole the election. And this happens all the time.”
“Probably the biggest vulnerability that Romney has . . . [is] that the guy doesn’t understand normal human beings.”
“All campaigns have a message it communicates to the voters: [The Democratic message is] ‘Vote for Obama because he’s gonna create jobs and keep the peace and protect Social Security.’ [The Republican message is] ‘Vote for Romney because Obama is all f***ed up . . . ’”
“The Republican party is increasingly the last refuge of old, angry white people who don’t like what’s going on in this country.”
Some points regarding Sragow’s statements:
1. None had anything to do with teaching.
2. They are all left-wing propaganda, examples of the widespread attempts at our universities to indoctrinate rather than educate.
3. Some are not merely indoctrination, they are also false. For example, blacks are considerably less likely than whites “to change their mind about anything” political. Since 1964, the black Democratic vote has been consistently over 80 percent.
4. Sragow has no compunction about cursing while “teaching.” Cursing in public is characteristic of leftism. I provide many examples and explain why in my book Still the Best Hope.
5. If he had substituted “old black” for “old white,” Sragow would have been suspended, if not fired. If he had substituted “old white gal” for “old white guy,” Sragow would have been suspended, if not fired.
6. According to his fellow liberal Tom Brokaw, “old white guys” are “the Greatest Generation.” Which is it?
What was USC’s official response?
As reported in the campus newspaper, the Daily Trojan: “The university responded Friday with a statement affirming faculty members’ right to express their views.”
And in the words of Provost Elizabeth Garrett: “The freedom to take unpopular positions and the freedom to express those positions publicly are at the foundation of what it means to be a faculty member of a university.”
For the record, in 2009 Vice President for Student Affairs Michael Jackson published “an open letter to the USC community” in the Daily Trojan, attacking the College Republicans for inviting conservative activist David Horowitz to campus. But USC in no way condemned Sragow.
Furthermore, Garrett was wrong about universities and dishonest about USC. She was wrong about “what it means to be a faculty member of a university.” It is not about taking “unpopular positions”; it is about teaching truth to the best of one’s ability. And attacks on Republicans are hardly “unpopular positions” at USC, or at virtually any other American university. On the contrary, they are the dominant positions there.
For Provost Garrett’s sake, therefore, here are some positions that are surely unpopular at USC:
• Marriage should remain defined as the union of a man and a woman.
• A human fetus should have at least as much right to life as, let us say, a dog.
• America is the greatest force for good in the world.
• Fighting Communism in Vietnam was a morally noble venture.
• The greatest problem in black American life is not racism or poverty but the absence of fathers.
• The most effective — often the only — way to stop great evil is through war.
• More men than women are willing to work long hours at a job.
• Women are more likely to find happiness in a successful marriage and family than in a successful career.
• At this moment in history, the world has more to fear from fundamentalist Muslims than from fundamentalist Christians, Jews, Hindus, or Buddhists.
Provost Garrett might want to inquire as to how many USC professors subscribe to, let alone advocate in class, any of those positions.
At the Daily Trojan website, one commenter after another articulated what may be the only solution to USC’s and other universities’ having become left-wing seminaries:
Scott: “I am paying $65,000 per year for my son to be fed this hateful nonsense? The fact that the administration is not mortified by these statements is telling. Shame on USC.”
Mike: “Lost a lot of respect for my alma mater today. They won’t get another $ from me.”
KJM: “I am alum and hereby withholding any further support of my alma mater.”
Non-leftists who give money to an American university are usually funding the erosion of that university as well as the erosion of their own values.
— Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His most recent book is Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.