As college costs soar through the roof—averaging above $31,000 a year for tuition, room & board—today’s college students study adultery, the male genital, and Native American feminism. The Dirty Dozen highlights the most bizarre and troubling instances of leftist activism supplanting traditional scholarship in our nation’s colleges and universities.
The growth of these courses gobbles up tons of money and resources and ignores scholarship from conservatives. For instance, books and speeches from the late Milton Friedman and Ambassador Jean Kirkpatrick are rarely studied in the classroom, yet leftist works are prevalent in college classrooms nationwide. Scores of courses were researched from hundreds of the nation’s leading schools. The Dirty Dozen is the worst of the worst. This year, we have also included a dishonorable mentions category—courses that could’ve easily made the list.
While most of the named courses deal with race, sex, or Marxist ideology, Number 11 on the list disturbed me the most:
11. Duke University’s American Dreams/American Realities course seeks to unearth “such myths as ‘rags to riches,’ ‘beacon to the world,’ and the ‘frontier,’ in defining the American character.”
And exactly what does Duke University say is the true defining factor of American character? I can only surmise that there will be some smarmy references to the greedy capitalists who rejected the altruistic value of socialism.
The opportunity and availability of education in America is incredible. I have written before about my own family experiences. Two generations ago my grandparents were not even high school graduates. By the next generation every child had completed at least high school. By the next generation every child was a college graduate and some had completed graduate degrees as well. This was not achieved because of a government social agenda. This happened because of a uniquely American ideal that every citizen has the potential for success if he is willing to work hard and take advantage of opportunities.
As I said, my third child is beginning the college search process and the choices are overwhelming. The sheer number and variety of colleges is staggering. The “rags to riches” story and the “conquering the frontier” mentality are not American myths. When these aspects of American character are suppressed and replaced with low expectations and a dependent mentality social progress stops.