Heather Mc Donald is a fellow of
the Manhattan Institute; she holds a B.A. from Yale, M.A. from Cambridge
and a Law degree from Stanford University. She is also an editor of "City
Journal" Her extensive teaching experience has led her to writing a number
of books in which she questions the main tenets of current American progressive
education. Her most recent book is entitled The Diversity Delusion.
In her fascinating, lively and witty conversation with Peter Robinson from
the Hoover Institute she explains how the "identity" policy has disabled
the free speech and resulted in virtual destruction of what was traditionally
known as humanities, now belonging to so called "soft" disciplines.
Asked by Peter Robinson about the
roots of the malaise that numerous North American universities suffer from,
Heather Mac Donald reaches back for a while to the late sixties and the
times of Vietnam War. She understands the reasons why the rejection of
all the Western civilization could have been considered, at the time, a
liberating impulse among the crowds in Woodstock in 1969. Yet, on a bumpy
road to acquiring a new American awareness, something must have gone awry.
The author of "The Diversity Delusion" admits to having been temporarily
seduced by the attempts at language deconstruction. She recalls the student
mystique from those years; many young people truly believed that the Age
of Aquarius was a round the corner. Recalling the revolutionary fervor,
she appreciates the fact that her teachers then had not shunned the old
classics. She and her peers (in her words) "were fortunate" to read Chaucer,
Milton, Spencer and Wordsworth. In her opinion, it is deplorable that now
younger generations of students read only what conforms to their identity.
The ever present danger of ghettoization of culture discourages many ambitious
students who drop out from seemingly easy "soft" courses and take up business,
law or technical degree disciplines. Conversely, the students who can hardly
cope with math or IT find some sort of solace in compiling identity themes
under the guidance of the all too complacent faculty.
Having described a few potentially
violent incidents on the campus in which she was virtually silenced by
students calling her a "white supremacist", "fascist", "war-hawk" and "racist",
prof. Mac Donald tried to be fair and not to blame only the undergraduates.
She said: "It is the cultural revolution. This is the nadir of
American education. This sort of insanity. The narcissistic victimology
of those students thinking of themselves as oppressed at ... Yale. It’s
the height of delusion. And yet, they are product of the Yale bureaucracy.
They are being encouraged in this sort of hysteria. After the huge
row, the organizers of the event were awarded the Racial Justice
price by the Chancellor of Yale who said he had never been so proud before.
He also promised to spend extra 15 million dollars for the racial equality
programs. That way he proved that Yale was doing its utmost to erase discrimination."
The author of "The Diversity Delusion"
recalls a Columbia University student who voiced her unabashed opinion
sharing her impressions from a concert: "Why did I have to listen to
this Mozart? Who is this Mozart or Haydn? Those superior looking white men.
No women, nor people of color."
In her decisive and virulent rejection
of bureaucratically imposed "progress" Heather Mac Donald finds allies
on both sides of the racial division. Looking up with reverence to such
great Americans as W.E.B. du Bois (the first black Ph.D. in 1903) she tolerates
no hypocrisy, and fights bigotry no matter which color it may be. She willingly
admits that embracing only "gender identity" as the supreme goal of education
is harmful both to America as well to the Western culture as we know it.
In her opinion, a few years of such conditioning, produces graduates who
might have some education but, as a by-product, also carry a heavy burden
of hate. Just like that bitter-sounding female from Columbia University.
If ever a day comes in which adult students will be treated as fully mature
adults - not as a bunch of preschoolers - guided by the supposedly
"progressive" elites - then a huge part of the merit will go to Heather
Michal Stefanski - radio and
press media journalist, American Studies graduate. For over 25 years he
has been a columnist in the Polish-language programs on CFMB - 1280AM broadcast
from Montreal. He has also been an occasional contributor to "Gazeta Wyborcza"
in Warsaw, as well as the to Toronto-based Polish weekly "Gazeta". He had
also his column in the Montreal "Biuletyn Polski". He has a cat named Zuzia.