People sometimes ask me why I don’t have much school spirit for my alma mater, USC. I often tell them that it’s because I went to college after I had been in the military, and that because I was older I didn’t quite relate to some of the kids who were excited to be away from home for the first time. However, when I’m comfortable with a person I also make sure they know my lack of nostalgia is also due in part because of the intellectual bullies I encountered — professors who sought to inculcate their statist worldview through any means necessary.
Some were nice about it; they respected my views, but saw nothing wrong with giving extra credit for attending anti-war rallies or screenings of Michael Moore’s ‘Bowling for Columbine.’ Others, not so much.
Not sure what I’m talking about? See Exhibit A: Professor Darry Sragow. From Campus Reform:
A professor at the University of Southern California (USC) appears to have used a fall semester 2012 political science class to deliver sustained and angered attacks on Republicans, who he characterized as old, white, racist, and “losers.”
In a 15 min. video secretly captured by USC student Tyler Talgo, political science Professor Darry Sragow also appears to endorse the illegal suppression of Republican votes.
“You lose their information on the election in the mail,” he suggested when a student asked him how to keep Republicans from voting. “I mean there is lots of ways to do it [SIC].”
A teaching assistant (TA), who also appeared to work for the university, then seemed to suggest Black Panthers could be placed at polling stations to intimidate Republican voters.
Rather than rebuking the TA, Sragow appeared to confirm the suggestion.
These are the types of “educators” USC employs. Tuition? Over $40,000 a year. Even worse, when my then-girlfriend (now my wife) was taking a class by Fadwa El Guindi (who I believe is now working in Qatar), she was informed that Osama bin Laden was “misunderstood in our time … just like Jesus was misunderstood in his time.” I asked my wife if she recorded the lecture, and because she has always been rather apolitical, she did not.
The point is this: How would the white conservative student feel in Sragow’s class? How confident would he feel in speaking his mind to a guy who thinks conservatives are “losers” for … being white? What if that student was like me, who had to work overnight shifts, take out loans, and save money wherever he could to make it at the “University of Spoiled Children”? For someone whose loans or GI Bill is dependent on a strong grade point average, would that student speak up? I know that in more than a few classes I bit my lip, and in others I chose my words very carefully.
Since when is a classroom supposed to create a stifling atmosphere?
Fresh out of the Army, I began attending classes. It wasn’t soon after 9/11 that my college professors would start lecturing me about the “real” military, which was so far removed from what I had experienced that I had no choice but to deem them all idiots…or liars. One professor was even bold enough to joke, “Only redneck Republican hicks who are happy to get a free pair of boots join the Army.” It was at this point that I decided to investigate all the colors of the political spectrum. After realizing that there were bright, vivid shades that were being blatantly ignored, I made it my personal quest to research them on my own. And so began the transformation of someone who would have considered himself a default Democrat into a card-carrying member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. …
Had I not been in the military, there’s a good chance I would have believed what my professors had said (like many of the other young, impressionable kids).
I bought the lies — at first. I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt until they do something to make me question their trust. And it was only when my professors blatantly began lying about the U.S. military that I said to myself: “If they’re lying to me about this, then what else are the lying to me about?” It turned out they were lying about everything.
I shudder to think where I would be right now had I never signed up for the Army. It was an experience that not only helped me focus on what I needed to do to be the person I wanted to be, but it gave me the life experience to see through the lies of men like Darry Sragow.
The student who exposed this hack has done his fellow Trojans a great service. If USC President Max Nikias is smart, he will take corrective action immediately. But I doubt he will move; his instinct will probably be to dig in and hope that this all blows over. And in a world with 24-hour cable news, that’s a good bet. But like I said: I will never donate to USC. Ever. And if USC thinks my wife, the soon-to-be Dr. Ernst, is going to open our bank account? Don’t bet on it.
I can think of many places where my money would be better spent. USC is filled with a bunch of academic bullies who call themselves “Trojans.” No thanks. I’ll be doing my best to support real war fighters. The Wounded Warrior Project is a great start, but there are many military organizations that are just as deserving.
I guess these days you’re a “loser” if you’re white and grow up to be a productive member of society … who doesn’t break the law … pays his taxes … starts a career … puts in an honest day’s work … takes responsibility for his life and expects others to do the same. If that’s the definition of ‘loser’ according to USC, then I embrace it.
Now if you’ll excuse me, this “loser” needs to exercise, shower and go to bed. I have a job I need to get up for tomorrow morning.