Social critic Paul Craig Roberts, among others, has made the well-founded argument that American universities are becoming slavish followers of political correctness (see "Colleges Reeducate Students About `Evil' White Culture" June 5). Quoting a study on college orientation weeks published by University of Pennsylvania professor Alan C. Kors in Reason magazine, Roberts maintains that the hatred of Euro-Americans and their civilization now permeates higher education. Kors' study zeroes in on the "multicultural film" Blue-Eyed, which degrades white people but is featured as a "learning tool" at, among other colleges and universities, Swarthmore, Bryn Mawr, Amherst, Wake Forest and Northwestern. The showing of this film in orientation classes is accompanied by the venting of ridicule on Teutonic-looking freshmen, in which minority-group leaders participate energetically.
Tens of thousands of students and their parents willingly submit to prolonged humiliation at the hands of the self-appointed representatives of "victimized" minorities. The colleges that mandate the viewing of Blue-Eyed during orientation week make sure to include repeated tongue-lashings administered to Caucasian students. This chilling ordeal culminates, Kors explains, in having the abused students express their personal and collective unworthiness in relation to the minorities in attendance. Males, heterosexuals and white Christians are not treated with even-handedness by the academic preachers of multiculturalism. They are depicted as oppressive members of a hegemonic culture.
The blatant insult to white students is shocking enough, but less so than the willingness of those targeted to endure it. Neither the students nor their parents walked away from the institutions that abused them and their ancestors. To my knowledge, the offending schools still have far more applications from Euro-Americans then they presently can accept. Although most university students polled dislike speech codes and admission by quotas, the mortification noted has not occasioned significant protest.
Nor is there evidence that the body politic is much ruffled by the reign of political correctness, or PC, in government and academia. PC does not surface as a major national issue in polls -- unlike the left-liberal battle cry "fighting discrimination in the workplace" which ranks third as a national political concern on one American Enterprise Institute poll taken this year. Two presidential candidates -- Alan Keyes and Pat Buchanan -- have complained loudly about the cult of official victims but, together, they command about 6 percent of the electorate according to a Zogby poll conducted in mid-April 2000. President Clinton, who pushes minority quotas openly and apologizes effusively for white-male historical sins, has job-approval ratings of greater than 60 percent.
Proof of the growing nonresistance to the fate of being misrepresented as oppressors can be found in a recent essay by Christina Hoff Sommers in American Enterprise magazine and in her new book, The War on Boys. In these publications, Sommers documents the extent to which young males have been ill-served by American educators. As a concession to feminist complaints about gender discrimination, public education has abandoned male students to strengthen the skills and self-esteem of girls. An obvious result has been the decline of academic achievement by boys, a trend borne out by their falling test scores and waning interest in higher education.
Why do American men allow their sons to be treated so badly? Why does a white, predominantly Christian Western people, who have achieved great good and a brilliant civilization not resist the loud accusations and intemperate scorn of PC intellectuals?
The answer may be in the widespread acceptance of PC nostrums by white Protestants -- the once majoritarian sector of American society. True, contrition is a Christian virtue, yet seemingly within North American Christianity men have less moral fortitude than women. …