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Public Opinions of Academics

Reader comment on item: Redeeming the Wayward University [through Engagement by Outsiders]

Submitted by S Ralston (United States), Nov 28, 2006 at 15:52

It is ironic that many academics assert they & they alone should be above reproach or comment by the general public. With lifetime job security that they take with them as they move from position to position, and as those who seriously influence the opinions, attitudes, and knowledge gained by those they "teach," these academics have created so special a place & situation, that any in the world would give a body part to have.

As a former small college trustee, I have seen, heard, and read the words academics & the education establishment spew forth that influence those they teach. Many are ordinary people who lead everyday lives. However, there is a very large faction that are anything but ordinary or everyday.

The education establishment is currently constructed to protect academics, "at any and all costs, under any and all conditions, no matter what." When academia stands up lockstep to protect & defend one in their ranks, they do so based on orders from this establishment. That may be the union or an education department, or organizations which the academic belongs to. Defenses of actions, spoken words, or written material, refuses to acknowledge there may be a problem. Immediately, the response is that any who object, are attempting to "stiffle academic freedom."

Would it be that these groups & people would so steadfastly stand up & defend those who actually do challenge the status quo or who defend viewpoints that do not fall lockstep into the socialist mentality. Most are perplexed when academics defend incompetence. Others question the value of teachings that allow only opinions that match only one viewpoint or political philosophy.

Within academia, educators are insulated from their critics. Yet they criticize and disparage with impunity. Many academics refer to that as "academic freedom." Unless and until the public demands that academia provide education that allows perspective from BOTH viewpoints, or that those who attempt to indoctrinate rather than educate be removed, will change take place.

The position that the public has no say, or no right to speak out, is patently bogus. If academia can take any & all to task under the umbrella of intellectual pursuit, they too must accept that academia can be taken to task. If educators can criticize public officials or the electorate for their choices, then all can be critical of educators. To infer otherwise is disingenuous & condescending.

The point of this ramble is, academia has created many of the problems we currently face. If they think once they impose their ideal of a socialist world order that other despots will disappear or let them alone to rule & rake in the profits, they are even bigger fools than I thought. And, radical Islamists will kill them all off so they have the final say in power. To believe otherwise is a fools errand. If they do, I have a bridge in New York I want to sell them.

I say, the public not only has a right to challenge & criticize academics, they have an obligation to do so. The public has the right to say who may and who may not affect the minds of their children & others they teach. Additionally, all should always challenge what is supposed to be accepted as fact. The more we are told we do not have these rights, the more we should suspect the motives of those looking to deny us those rights!

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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