Last Tuesday, April 22, the College Republicans and Zionists of America hosted a screening of Evan Coyne Maloney’s “Indoctrinate U,” an uncensored and surprisingly amusing look at the anti-intellectualism that is becoming more prominent in college campuses and university offices nationwide.
The film follows Maloney as he visits college campuses nationwide in order to discover the reason for this lack of intellectual tolerance Michael-Moore style.
The film addressed the issue of affirmative action – the case of universities judging and granting admission to people based on their race – and how many people assumed that if you were black you were automatically in support of it, and its basic absurdity. The filmmakers went to Cal State Bernardino and set up an “affirmative action bake sale” in which people had to pay different prices for cupcakes based on their race, pointing out that students should not receive different levels of treatment in the admissions process just because of their ethnicity.
The University of Tennessee exhibited a fantastic example of ignorance when one of its students, Sukhmani Singh Khalsa, wrote an article about the bias of the Issues Committee, which was in charge of bringing speakers to the campus, because all the speakers they brought in had been liberal. Khalsa received an e-mail suggesting he “be shot in the face,” and the author of the e-mail proposed that everyone do the same the next time they saw “one of those fucking towelheads.”
So the author of the e-mail was called in by the university for questioning and released soon after with a minor warning. Its reason was that he had not violated any laws. “Hate speech is wrong… but only against certain people,” Khalsa said, mocking the school’s decision.
At the same school, five fraternity members dressed up as the Jackson Five for an off-campus Halloween party and ended up getting in trouble with the university when they bumped into a group of black students who took offense to their costumes. The fraternity as a whole was suspended from the school, because the students chose to “dress up as and honor a group of people they honored and respected.”
The film discussed university-enacted “speech codes” which prohibit students from “inappropriately directed laughter,” using words or topics that would cause anyone to experience “a loss of self-esteem,” and from using the words “boyfriend” and “girlfriend.” Many people have condemned the codes as a tool for the university to stamp out any ideas it doesn’t like. One example was when a university shut down a screening of “The Passion of the Christ” because it was “rated R, and students who were underage might wander in” and imagine the chaos that would ensue from that. Meanwhile, it allowed a play by the title of “Fucking for Jesus,” which included a woman masturbating to pictures of Christ, to run unhindered.
Perhaps the biggest university outrage was when a Kuwaiti immigrant student at Foothill College, who experienced the violent assault Iraq launched against Kuwait firsthand, wrote a pro-American essay praising the Constitution and the country as a whole. “It was America that came in and saved us,” he said in regard to the end of the Iraq-Kuwait war. The professor soon called him in to his office and asked him, “What is wrong with you?” and told him the essay’s material was not acceptable.
That’s not the worst part; soon after that discussion, flyers with the school’s stamp of approval began appearing around campus, directly comparing the Kuwaiti student to Hitler, because he chose to write an essay on the country he loved.
Naturally, Maloney ventured to Foothill to find out why the school permitted such slander against one of its own students. The first university official he met wasn’t willing to speak on camera, but the head of the office was.
However, he answered most questions with “no comment” and “I can’t answer that.” When Maloney showed the head of the office the school’s official stamp on the outrageous flyers, his response, with much hesitation and pausing, was, “We didn’t approve that flyer … someone may have taken the stamp … it may not be accurate.” Again, campus police escorted Maloney outside.
As if that incident were not insulting enough, Foothill College also paid Ward Churchill, a man who declares that every single death that resulted from 9/11 is legitimate and says the United States should “be wiped off the map,” to come and speak at the school. When students put up posters titled “The Real Churchill” portraying nothing but quotes made by Churchill himself, the school tore them down.
Maloney made a distinct and quite amusing point when the film showed him traveling to several different colleges and asking for directions to the Men’s Resource Center or the Men’s Studies Program. “So … you have a Women’s Resource Center, but not one for men?” he asked, perplexed.
The film explores many other very interesting aspects of college life that have gone widely unnoticed to the very people that attend it. The segment that criticizes university offices for being almost entirely Democratic and hardly Republican seems at times like propaganda, but beyond that, “Indoctrinate U” provides some valuable insight into a situation that is infecting colleges across the country.