March 11, 2011
The University of Chicago, The Black Community, and ObamaBy Jonathan David Carson
The University of Chicago has decided to destroy the boyhood home of Ronald Reagan in Hyde Park. That's the University of Chicago I know and do not love.
When I wrote of the violence and corruption my friends and lovers endured in Hyde Park in the late 60s, I was taken to task because the Hyde Park the Obamas inhabited was different from the Hyde Park I described. Fair enough. But some said that it was not only different, but also better, by which they mean, let's tell the truth, richer and whiter.
Several commenters got it right, however, so right that what they said is worth the attention of all readers of The American Thinker. Stuart Williamson, for instance, gives what I believe to be an accurate account of the Hyde Park of the Obamas:
This picture is confirmed by BT:
In other words, Hyde Park is no longer violent and corrupt, just corrupt, and the University of Chicago is thoroughly implicated in that corruption, as indeed every major institution in Chicago is implicated in the corruption of the Daley Machine.
However, that is not what TS thinks:
The question is, then, does the presence of a few handfuls of great lawyers, economists, and scientists make up for the institutional corruption of the University of Chicago, which has, among many other things, for decades driven black people from the only homes they had, enriching in the process the real estate interests it shares with the slumlords of the Obama Administration?
When poor blacks see dilapidated ghetto housing, they see places to live. The University sees a place to park its cars. The real estate magnate sees housing that can be destroyed to drive up the value of his property. The building contractor sees a way to make money tearing down the housing and building the garage. The union boss sees more workers to exploit. The liberal sees an opportunity for civic improvement, meaning in practice the removal of minorities. The Daley Machine sees a cut in everyone's action.
I arrived at the University of Chicago in September 1965 from the middle-class utopia of Anglo Austin, Texas, exceedingly well-prepared for the academic rigors of the University of Chicago, exceedingly unprepared for the Southside of Chicago.
From the first, we were told over and over that a university was a special institution set apart from the rest of society where brilliant scholars could live the life of the mind. Scholarship, as we quickly found out, thus had no connection with reality, and many of us just stopped going to class instead of listening to this pious hypocrisy.
Let no one forget that while we were supposed to be busy being brilliant and set apart from the rest of society living the life of the mind, several hundred American servicemen were dying a week, and during the riots, you could look out from a tall building and see the city burning for miles around you.
Unfortunately, while we were soon quite aware that the University was not in the least set apart from the rest of society, we had a little more trouble seeing through that "brilliant" stuff. If we were so smart, how come nobody listened to us, damn them.
So the University indoctrination produced radicals in two ways: 1) as an obviously corrupt representative of society, the University discredited all of society, and 2) by flattering students, it made it easy for us to believe that we had the answers to the problems of society, and if society didn't listen to us, well, so much the worse for society.
In Spring 1966, the University announced that it was going to compile a male class rank to comply with the dictates of the Selective Service System. The University, it turned out, was not as set apart from the rest of society as it claimed.
We see here, by the way, the demoniac policy of the Johnson Administration to maintain support for the War in Vietnam by confining the draft as much as possible to the politically weak. It got so bad that there were even tests you had to pass to avoid service. And when university students started to be drafted, but only students in the lower half of the class, professors became in effect draft boards.
Yes, there were brave friends of mine, condemn them as leftist radicals if you want, who refused to take these immoral tests and thus risked death in battle or exile in Canada. I cannot say whether I would have passed this moral test if I had had to take it.
Anyway, I took part in the first major sit-in outside of California and spent the entire six days inside the Administration Building. It is important to realize that the demand of the sit-in was not an end to the War in Vietnam, but an end to the male class rank, and the reason the sit-in attracted so much support was that the University authorities acted in contempt of University preaching, as of course they had to do. If they hadn't fed us this brilliant scholars living the life of the mind crap, maybe we would have stayed in the dorm and studied.
The bottom line is that the University is a cog in the Daley Machine and at the time was a cog in the Johnson Machine. It was beholden to the powers that be, whether Daley, Johnson, or Nixon, and didn't mind being beholden. It bragged about its influence until someone complained, and then it started talking about academic freedom, by which it meant freedom to do anything dishonest and corrupt it pleased in the rest of society set apart from the life of the mind.
So has anything changed since I left? I doubt it. Stuart Williamson and BT don't seem to think so. What I know for certain is that the University waged successful war on the black people around it, and it hired Barack and Michelle Obama, who were no more qualified then than now, a clueless man who really does seem to think that a deficit of less than $1.6 trillion would increase unemployment, and a stuck-up woman with a big butt who tells everyone else to go on a diet.
I've changed my mind about just about everything since my days as a leftist radical, everything but the University of Chicago, which utterly failed in its duty to educate us about the realities of life and our responsibilities in it, all the while treating its neighbors like French peasants or Southern share-croppers.
Most of what a modern university teaches is untrue, but not every university is so cruel to its fellow citizens.