Back to Index

The US: Trouble in Academia?

The public, indeed international concern over the "Axis of Evil" policy threatens to bring back the academic tensions of the Vietnam War. C-Span devoted a program to an editorial in the Washington Times accusing university professors of teaching anti-Americanism. The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) made the accusation. Some callers supported the charge, while others denounced the Washington Times as a pseudo-newspaper supported by the criminal Rev. Moon. ACTA was said to be the creation of the same group of reactionaries, headed by Lynn Cheney, who headed the National Endowment for the Humanities in an earlier Republican government. The campaign against professors was allegedly linked to the promotion of public propaganda by the Bush administration. One telephone line was reserved for professors and administrators. They angrily rejected the charges made against them. The most sensible remarks were made by a professor of Dutch origin who had been in business for thirty years. He said he taught his American students to listen to all sides. He encouraged them to listen to the BBC and to Deutsche Welle. He would make a good WAISer,. In any case, there is a danger that civilized and informed dialog among people of different ideas, which should be the hallmark of our universities, will again suffer at our universities, including Stanford.

Ronald Hilton - 3/10/02