Posted: Jun 06, 2004 12:00 AM
 Ben Shapiro is my friend and fellow nationally syndicated columnist with Creators Syndicate. Ben is only twenty years old and has not only established himself as a brilliant political commentator and columnist, but has now written a book, "Brainwashed" that I hope will become a bestseller. Ben has just completed his undergraduate degree and has witnessed firsthand the type of liberal bias that permeates academia today. I think you will find the book very illuminating, witty and insightful -- not to mention quite disturbing, because it will confirm your worst fears about the ongoing indoctrination of the future stewards of our liberties. I will now share with you a conversation I had with Ben about "Brainwashed." Enjoy.

What made you write the book?

Once you step on campus, you quickly realize that you have to take a stand. The first thing you notice is the campus newspaper ? in my case, the UCLA Daily Bruin ? comparing Ariel Sharon to Adolf Eichmann and Christian bookshops to pornography stores. The second thing you notice is that your class syllabus has ?Roger and Me,? and your professor feels that socialism should take precedence over capitalism. The third thing you notice is the student groups passing out materials promoting promiscuous homosexuality, terrorism, and anti-Americanism.

I figured quickly that I needed to get involved somehow, and at least attempt to provide the other political perspective to the student body. I began writing a twice-monthly column for the Daily Bruin. Meanwhile, I was taking notes in all my classes, transcribing direct quotes from professors and writing down the date. Virtually all the anecdotes in my book are endnoted. After I applied for syndication with Creators Syndicate, and they hired me, I decided that it was time to write this book.

Why is the liberal bias in the classroom important? Why isn?t it just a case of open-minded education?

Both sides of the story aren?t being told. From Christianity to sex to George W. Bush to the environment, universities push the leftist agenda. Conservative students have the choice to go into liberal universities, true ? and I went to UCLA because a UCLA degree means something in terms of job hiring and grad school applications. But it?s generally not the strong conservative students who are at a disadvantage. In fact, conservatives have a good chance at getting an excellent education, because we have to teach ourselves in order to combat arguments from leftist professors. It?s really the apathetic students who feel the effects of the leftist bias. They don?t have the information or the drive to research the side they?re not getting in class. It?s much more fun to get a beer with friends than to read about the Cold War in your dorm room. And it?s the apathetic students who compose the majority of students on campus.

On another note, professors think they?re providing open-minded education. They justify ignoring conservatism by slighting conservatism as stupid. They truly believe that you have to be an ignoramus to believe in the right-wing viewpoint. If that?s true, why give conservatism class time?

You speak about moral relativism quite a bit in your book. How does that play a role in campus indoctrination?

Moral relativism is the root of the problem on campus. A National Association of Scholars/Zogby Poll in April 2002 showed that 73 percent of college seniors had been taught moral relativism in the classroom, as opposed to only 25 percent who had been taught that moral absolutes exist. I?ve had professors state openly that there is no such thing as a neutral or objective claim. It?s an incredibly dangerous idea. Once you get rid of right and wrong, it?s a short step to justifying terrorism based on US foreign policy, excusing murder depending on who commits it, espousing complete sexual libertinism, allowing any and all activity under the guise of amorality. In practice, amorality and immorality are two names for the same phenomenon.

In order to promote moral relativism, professors often insult Judeo-Christian ethics. Christianity in particular comes under heavy fire. Ron Brown, a receivers coach for the University of Nebraska football team, was interviewed in 2002 for the head coaching position at Stanford University. He was told that he would not be hired because of his Christian beliefs, specifically his belief in the Biblical ban on homosexuality. That?s not unusual. Most speech codes at universities ban discrimination based on sexual orientation ? sooner or later a student will find himself in the dean?s office for citing Leviticus 18:22.

Are campuses really becoming bastions of anti-American sentiment?

Absolutely. Patriotism is so unchic. September 11 was really a reaction by the Arab/Muslim world to American imperialism and American foreign policy toward Israel. America is a terrorist state. We?ve committed crimes too, they say. Noam Chomsky of MIT likens the War on Terror to the Holocaust; Nicholas De Genova of Columbia University wishes for the deaths of 18 million American soldiers. At UCLA, one of my professors suggested that 9/11 could be justified according to John Locke. The antipathy for the military on campus extends to banning the Reserve Officers Training Corps on many campuses, including most of the Ivy Leagues. At UC Berkeley, a September 11 memorial was originally slated to ban American colors, the singing of ?God Bless America,? and the playing of the national anthem. And let?s not forget the anti-war movement. There were some decent arguments against the war in Iraq, but hatred of George W. Bush isn?t one of them.

Various student groups around the country are receiving money from tax or tuition dollars. Tell us a little bit about those groups as well.

Student groups have become nothing more than tuition-sponsored segregationist cliques. The Muslim Student Association at UCLA supports terrorist groups like Hamas and Hizbullah. Al-Talib, the Muslim newsmagazine at UCLA, has joked about making Osama Bin Laden its editor-in-chief and about changing the name of the magazine to Al-Taliban. The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual group at UCLA promotes a virulently promiscuous brand of homosexuality. MEChA, the Latino/Chicano group at UCLA, is founded on a document claiming the entire American Southwest for a reconstituted Mexican state, and encourages violence against the American government and against ?white interlopers? in general. The African-American magazine at UCLA refers to America as ?Amerikkka? and consistently slurs the Bush Administration (e.g. Attorney General ?Asscroft?). Many universities now sponsor separate graduation ceremonies for different student groups. That?s state-sponsored segregation, but liberals on campus see it as open-mindedness.

How about sexual indoctrination on campus?

There?s a reason that more and more college-age people are having numerous sexual relationships. Certain classes promote it; dorm life encourages it. Many student newspapers print explicit sex columns. At UC Berkeley, one course involved students photographing their own genitalia, then exchanging the photos and attempting to match the pictures to their owners. That course also involved forays to strip clubs. And all this got the students two credits. Most major universities now have Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Departments, with their own courses. Many of those courses are cross-listed with other courses, so you can get valuable credits for hearing gay propaganda. Art and sex on campus are inextricably linked. Porn classes have become common. Some of the most extreme professors even justify pedophilia (Professor John Money of Johns Hopkins University and Professor Bruce Rind at Temple University) and bestiality (Professor Peter Singer of Princeton University).

Why is there a liberal bias in the classroom? Why are most professors liberal?

Professors as a group tend to move against the grain, no matter where they are. In the USSR, professors were anti-communists. In America, they resist conservatism. Professors also tend to feel that they are the intellectual elites, and as such, they should control economic policy and foreign policy. In terms of economic policy, that leads to the kind of economic centralization typical of socialism. In terms of foreign policy, moral relativism of the professors means that every country has an equally valid view ? so why should the US attempt to promote its own self-interest?

Why does the faculty stay that way? Let?s put it this way ? if you?re a conservative, would you want to work with a group that consists almost entirely of radical leftists? It?s like asking a leftist to work at the NRA. And the administration is not kind to conservative faculty ? just ask Mike Adams of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, who has had his private emails opened by the administration. Ask Ron Brown. Ask Professor Janis Price of Depauw University, who was put on probation and her pay cut 25 percent after she merely placed some copies of Teachers in Focus at the back of her classroom.

Frankly, major universities have no incentive to change. Harvard has thousands of students banging down its doors, drooling to pay $30,000 for tuition. Why bother to change?

So what solutions do you propose for the problem of liberal bias?

Students need to be well-informed before they enter college. That means reading about economics, politics, and religion. Students almost certainly will not get both sides of the story on campus, so they should familiarize themselves with liberal arguments and how to counter them before they step on campus.

Long term, we need a new university system. That?s going to entail a lot of work, and a lot of cash. Conservative alumni need to take a look at where their money is going, and if they don?t like what they see, they need to pull their money. We need a Fox News university system to provide an incentive for change at the current CNN universities. I?m speaking about creating a fair and balanced university system, teaching both left and right.

We?ll need a new college ranking system. US News and World Report is easy to use, but deceptive. It?s not objective at all ? professor opinions about universities play a central role in the ranking system. If the professors are liberal, you can bet that the rankings will skew liberal.

We?ll also need conservative employers to stop buying the hype about major university graduates ? that they?ll make great employees simply because their diploma says ?UCLA? ? and look at the whole picture. Someone from Hillsdale College can be much more qualified than someone from Harvard.