John Leo
Last week's column on the moral stupor of our universities in the face of terrorism generated a lot of interesting mail.

A Boston College graduate wrote: "College professors today, for the most part, are hippies with Ph.Ds. During the past 40 years, conservatives have entered the private sectors while the lazy anti-war, anti-America intellectuals have flocked to college campuses. As a result, it is nearly impossible to break the grip that the left has on the college system. Professors discover your views through papers and classroom comments, and they do not forget. They indirectly pressure young students to adopt leftist ideals by refusing to present the competing philosophy."

A professor at a Catholic university in the West said she has been "banging my head against the wall" after reading her university's resolution that stressed the need to guard against "religious or national stereotyping," but had nothing much to say about the attacks of Sept. 11. "Why is my employer having such a difficult time issuing a condemnation of one of the most despicable acts in our history?" she wrote. "Cautioning American citizens about tolerance in a time of crisis is important. But there are other moral dangers, too. Evil must be confronted and defeated, and Americans must be cautioned to be brave and steadfast in doing so.

"I don't think it's anti-Americanism here. That's a more common sin at elite universities. But the notion that appropriate moral conduct might include being tough-minded and resolute in the face of attack rather than simply tolerant is completely foreign here. We are moral one-trick ponies."

A professor who has taught for 25 years at the City University of New York couldn't believe the Marxist claptrap in a statement put out in the name of the full-time instructional staff of his university: "I'm appalled to have the leadership of the union that represents me pass a resolution that basically tells students and teachers not to study or teach, or even to stand up for America, but to fight their corporate or government employers instead. I am no hawk, but ..."

(The resolution is even more astonishingly stupid than described. It condemns American militarism and says that workers of the world, including students and teachers, "do not need to be fighting against fellow-workers under other flags and gods but rather against their own corporate or government employers, as we are at CUNY.")

John Leo

John Leo is editor of and a former contributing editor at U.S. News and World Report.

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