Universities Have Become Totalitarian Gulags

The modern American university has become a taxpayer-subsidized left-wing gulag.  In it, dissenters such as myself can be subjected to Stalinist show trials, spied on, and threatened with loss of livelihood for espousing dangerous ideas or associating with political pariahs.  If Republicans continue to moan about "liberal bias" and "losing the culture wars" without mustering the courage to do something about it – à la Ben Carson's stoppage of funding or Glenn Reynolds's abolition of aristocratic loopholes for Ivy League tithing – then the whole notion of higher education is going to be lost.

I have glimpsed the future that awaits the whole country if the Equality Act is passed.  My university – which I have nicknamed Gaslight University – has charged me with "discrimination" against gays and women.  I suggest that you check out the article by Peter Fricke (or this one or this one or this one or this one or this one).  If moved, you are always free to sign the online petition posted by a British academic or the online petition posted by Ruth Institute president Jennifer Roback Morse.

Everything you've heard recently about universities shredding the Constitution is unfortunately true.

The Gulag and the University – Is There a Difference?

What is a gulag?  I suppose that's a big question that historians and philosophers ought to debate.  I can't debate it right now.  I'm still grappling with gulag realities: factoids, dissimulations, and phony legal terms ("interviews" that are really interrogations, "dispositions" that are really judgments, and procedures that define "mutual agreement" as agreement between the investigator and the accuser rather than between the accused and the accuser).

For nearly 400 days I was under investigation for thought-crimes.  As of today, I know I'm guilty, but I have heard no word as to my punishment.  I keep reporting to work on a campus populated by 40,000 people who know me as a right-wing intellectual terrorist.  I can neither clean out my office nor put the whole farce behind me.

When I say "thought-crimes," I am not being facetious or melodramatic.  The ultimate finding accused me of a "lack of transparency," citing the fact that throughout the entire 378-day investigation, I had the gall to deny that I was anti-gay when the university's investigators were convinced that I was.

When pressed, I insisted that a conference that the institute to which I belong organized, "Bonds that Matter," was exactly as advertised: a conference about the rights of children to be treated as humans rather than as products for sale, their rights to a mother and father, and their rights to their origins.

"But it was an anti-gay conference," insisted a gaggle of students.  They knew I was labeled anti-gay in the world at large, because the Human Rights Campaign and GLAAD have declared me anti-gay.

I have concluded that the Salem witch trials were not a fluke; humanity returns to the same hysteria with each generation, simply redefining the evil magic they fear and must stamp out.  The main evidence against me came in the form of eyewitness accounts: three women and a gay man went into a campus office "in tears, crying," amid nervous breakdowns incited by hearing scholars talk about the role of fathers and mothers, and by being seated at round tables with living, breathing Republicans, forced to eat "lemon-rosemary chicken breast" and "roasted garlic mashed potatoes."

Against these recollections and hearsay, I turned in a mountain of documentation, confident that the "preponderance of evidence" standard would vindicate me.  The observable evidence of what transpired on October 3, 2014 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library points to a glaring absence of any anti-gay content.  All the presenters were women (including several feminists).  I had four hours of video from the conference, showing all the lectures and question-and-answer sessions, which prove that the complainants grossly exaggerated and even lied about "anti-gay" remarks.

But evidence?  That's so passé.  The video vanished from the list of documents that counted toward the final disposition of October 16, 2015.

The diversity fascists are coming to get you.  They've criminalized dissent by formulating rules that are inherently stacked against Christians and conservatives (and especially Christian conservatives).  Then, to add insult to injury, they ignore all their own rules and simply govern by whim.  In my case, the university violated four deadlines, their own confidentiality guidelines, and rules of evidence and impartiality, and the code of student conduct.  The final decision from the provost included charges I had never heard prior to being judged, witnesses never mentioned to me, and details I never had the opportunity to dispute.

The diversity police change the regulations or contravene them whenever they face the possibility that you might win.

Just to give you one small taste of what I've been through, consider this.  The "guilty" verdict hinged on the claim that I told a student I would not nominate her for an award because of "bad blood" between us.  I never said such a thing.  But let us ask ourselves: what if I had?

On December 8, 2014, when this comment was ostensibly made, Complainant A wasn't eligible for any of the following prizes, which make up the entire list of awards I could have opted to nominate students for as of that date: The Academy of American Poets Prize (she didn't write a poem in my class), The Harry Finestone Memorial Award (she was not enrolled with me in English 698D), The Harry Van Slooten Scholarship in English (I was not her teacher for any of the four relevant courses), the Lesley Johnstone Memorial Award (her paper in my class was not about nature or environmentalism), the Mahlon Gaumer Award (she was not a graduate student), the Professor Marcus Mitchell Award (she was not a graduate student), or the Roberts English Honors Essay Prize (I was not her instructor for English 497A).

The student in question received an A in my class.  I never stopped her from commandeering my classroom for 75 minutes on October 6, 2014, and hurling false accusations at me in front of 35 of her classmates.  These accusations are precisely the same distortions that reappeared in the complaint she filed a few days before graduating:

  • She accused me of "coercing" her to attend a conference at the Reagan Library – by giving her an alternative option she thought was too much work (and yet much of her final complaint was that the option she chose required too much advanced research into the speakers, which is why she claimed she didn't know anything about them before attending).
  • She accused me of "tricking" her – because I gave her the topics, names, and websites of all the presenters during the first week of class.  Based on some brand of telepathy, she knew in her heart of hearts that I was really just trying to insult gay people, and the fact that I didn't book any speakers, schedule any talks, or approve any exhibits that targeted gays meant I had a "lack of transparency."
  • She cried.

Universities like Gaslight have created a shadow legal system under the guise of fostering campus "inclusivity" and "tolerance."  There are so many crises in higher education that it is hard to remember that they all flow from the same corruptive tendency.  The modern university gathers too many people who think alike.  With incestuous cronyism comes inefficiency, leading to the high costs and waste of public funds.  With it also comes exclusion of outsiders and ultimately an inability to self-critique.  Under such conditions, interactions are poisoned by power games, and learning itself degenerates.  What were once halls of learning become corridors of institutional control.  Welcome to the gulag.

Robert Oscar Lopez is author of The Colorful Conservative and Jephthah's Daughters: Innocent Casualties in the War for Family "Equality" and editor of English Manif and Gaslight University.

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