“You are not an automaton.” The glossy Princeton Review ad was right, I am not an automaton. I am, however, a person. I am capable of formulating opinions. However, many professors seem to maintain a system in which some conservative views are less tolerated. To the majority of students, this is not a problem. The majority of students on campus are liberal. This in itself is not a problem. We all have the freedom to choose our own beliefs. However, many professors tend to espouse ideals that, in the end, bash moderates and conservatives. The question then arises: At what point did said professor stop teaching and start preaching?
After driving on the freeway into Riverside to make my 8 a.m. class, I wondered what was I doing taking urban sociology. Not only am I a biology major, but a Republican. However, I wanted to broaden my horizons and see the world as others see it. The first thing the professor said was that he was confused by black Republicans. This statement implied that race and political preference are mutually exclusive. Later, he stated that the ideals that most people hold dear – hard work, frugality and education – were a product of a white system in the United States. Later he claimed that, since my father is white, I was therefore socialized white. The conclusion that was later stated in several lectures was that since I was raised like a white male and a Republican, I am nearly the scum of the earth. If I were fully white then I would be Satan himself, except blonde and blue-eyed.
This is a mild example. Granted, we all are entitled to our opinions, but to make such broad statements is not right. The professors should not be about bashing others beliefs. So why should the professors condemn moderate and conservative views? Discourse is the truest form of learning, not brainwashing.
A 1999 North American Academic Survey Study indicated that 72 percent of all college faculties consider themselves liberal to very liberal. This study included private religious institutions such as Boston College and Pepperdine. Thus what occurs is that in order to even gain employment in a university it almost becomes imperative to be liberal. Of course, this is less important in the more quantitative fields such as business and the sciences. However, groupthink occurs greatly in the humanities. Take, for example, Ward Churchill.
I was literally running from Tropicana Gardens to Campbell Hall at full tilt. I came out to see Churchill. It turns out not only is he not Native American, but he only possesses a master’s degree. For a top-tier university such as University of Colorado at Boulder, this is very uncommon. Thus, he was hired solely on his political beliefs. And, in fact, most of his students claim that he is too biased. I personally witnessed his tenacity and closed-mindedness first hand. How the crowd reacted was scary. It reminded of a Hitler rally. The crowd literally praised his every word and insult. This truly was the most frightening thing I have seen at UCSB, more so than my drunken pictures.
I am happy, though, that many liberals did have a good time at the Ben Stein event, regardless of whether they agreed or not. Civil discourse leads to educated people. Hitler-style rants lead to automatons. Hopefully those same people can make it to David Horowitz on Tuesday at Girvetz 1004 at 7 p.m. And yes, that was a plug for the event, but the point is that those from different political walks of life are encouraged to come out to hear him speak.
If liberals complain that conservatives do not exercise tolerance, I say the same occurs in the opposite direction. Many, not all, liberals are closed-minded. Just because we are in a university environment does not mean that we are in a bastion of open-mindedness. On the contrary, at times we all become arrogant about our beliefs. We all are guilty, not just conservatives. However, remember you are not an automaton. You are a person capable of being opened-minded as well as committed to your beliefs. Many professors should take heed. We are not automatons; rather, we are tomorrow’s professors and professionals.
Joshua Freeman is a third-year biology major.