Magazine article Phi Kappa Phi Forum

Forum on Education & Academics

Magazine article Phi Kappa Phi Forum

Forum on Education & Academics

Article excerpt

Demonizing the United States

Some intellectuals and academics have urged Americans to think hard about why so many in the world hate us. So I have been thinking, and I have come with a reason that they are not going to like.

Could it be that some people hate us because academics and intellectuals have encouraged them to do so?

For forty years, many "progressive" academics have vilified and defamed the United States (as well as Western civilization). I am not talking about reasoned criticism of America's policies, practices, and institutions, but about wholesale condemnation of the United States as a source of evil throughout the world.

The bill of indictment should be familiar by now: America is imperialistic, racist, sexist, homophobic, oppressive, materialistic, and vulgar -- a global scourge. Some American academics have even suggested that the world would have been better off if the United States had never been founded.

The demonization of this country has been an enterprise of the academic Left for decades. Stalin popularized the notion that the United States is "fascist," and this slander was repeated so often that it became creedal in academic circles. In 1971 the president of Howard University publicly declared that the United States "conquered Hitler, but we have come to embrace Hitlerism." In 1984 a professor found five parallels between popular support for Reagan and that for Hitler. In 1989, Canadian academics listed Reagan (29 percent) as more reprehensible than Hitler (10 percent), Stalin (8.5 percent), Idi Amin (3 percent), or Pol Pot (2 percent), the most blood-soaked butchers of the twentieth century! The "fascist" slander lives on. Protesting the "War against Terrorism," a student at Berkeley posed proudly with her drawing of the President as "Adolf Bush."

A writer for the Left-wing magazine The Nation had to admit recently that many Leftists "really do hate their country. These Leftists find nothing to admire in its magnificent Constitution; its fitful history of struggle toward greater freedom for women, minorities, and other historically oppressed groups; and its values, however imperfectly or hypocritically manifested in everyday life." For a wealth of examples of anti-American slander, consult Arnold Beichman's Anti-American Myths: Their Causes and Consequences (1972) or Paul Hollander's Anti-Americanism: Critiques at Home and Abroad 1965-1990 (1992).

Decades of hate-speech have taken their toll. For a country to survive, its citizens must believe that the country deserves to survive, that it is, overall, a decent country whose existence benefits even those who live outside its borders. This conviction is at risk on our campuses, where self-declared "subversive" professors and increasingly their students not only deplore the very existence of their country but also applaud the evils that befall it.

A professor at the University of New Mexico boasted that "anybody who would blow up the Pentagon would get my vote." A Wake Forest student wrote that "we are kidding ourselves in thinking we have been 'wronged.'" A student at the University of Colorado argued that "we had it coming." Another at the University of Chicago hoped that the American people would not support their country but instead think about "why the world hates us, what we are truly guilty of, and how we need to change. …

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