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Responding To D Souza Essay, Research Paper
In D Souza s book Illiberal Education, he points out several specific
groups of students who received preferential treatment from educational
institutions. Homosexuals, African-Americans, and women are three such
groups who have advantages in today s educational system. In this
argumentative essay I will point out the advantageous treatment these groups
are given and give reasons why this behavior should be curbed.
First I would like to talk about how D Souza explains how women
were given preferential treatment in a specific class at the University of
Washington in Seattle. This is the story of Peter Schaub, who enrolled in a
Women s Studies class in the late 1980 s. As a male in the class, he was
clearly a minority student and was given a hard time by most of the students
and faculty, who were female. Unfortunately for Peter, he had certain
misconceptions on the curriculum of the course. Peter thought that Women s
Studies would have something to do with women in history and their
influence on society. In fact the course was based around the idea that men
have been oppressing women and that they should strike back at them in
anger. Since Peter had no interest in learning how to masturbate with a
feather-duster, he strongly protested against the misconceptions the teachers
and tutors were trying to teach. He was met with an uproar of disapproval
from the majority of the class, mostly female. His teachers had him banned
from the class the next day and had campus police officers waiting at the
door to escort him away
After several weeks of protesting to the campus administration, Peter
was allowed to return to class. Although he had the right to attend class, he
was asked by the Associate Dean James Nelson to drop out of the class and
be given full credit for the course.
This is one situation where the benefit of the doubt was given to
women because of the pc movement, pc being short for politically
correct . D Souza also mentions similar cases where this pc movement
has affected education for the worst. This is the case of the controversial
change in administration Duke University made in the mid-1980.
Duke saw an unusually high percentage of white professors teaching
their classes. What the university did was establish a quota for all of the
departments. This was to incorporate at least twenty percent of black
professors into the department or suffer one of many consequences. One of
them was grant reduction, so the various departments had no choice but to
hire more black professors, regardless of their teaching skills. Obviously the
most hurt by this new policy were the white professors who were looking for
jobs. Even if they were more qualified for the position, they re chances were
hampered by this new reverse-discrimination. So it seems blacks and
minorities have been struggling throughout the centuries to establish equality
with the Anglo-Saxon majority. Why would they want to regress after the
success they have enjoyed over the past decade? This preferential treatment
is only hurting the aspiring black professors by giving them the impression
that they do not have to work as hard as their white counterpart.
The last of the three groups that D Souza talks about is the homosexual
individuals that make up a small percentage of students on today s college
campuses. Sometimes these small percentages can have a strangle-hold on
the staff and curriculum as D Souza points out in his next segment.
In the late 1980 s, Yale University took on an image of being a gay
university because of the unusually high percentage of homosexual students
enrolled. So much so, that an article was published in the Wall Street
Journal to bring this controversial issue into the spotlight of the county s
media. President Benno Schmidt addressed the problem and responded by
saying, If I thought there were any truth to the article, I would be concerned
too. Immediately the gay and lesbian communities were outraged by the
president s comments and demanded to know what would be so bad about
being a gay university. Knowing the predicament he was now caught up
in, Schmidt swallowed his words and went back on his initial reaction by
saying that nothing would be wrong with a homosexual college except for the
fact that a proportionate number of heterosexuals would be required in order
to maintain cultural diversity. Basically the homosexuals pressured President
Schmidt into complying with their ideals by approaching him with the
potential threat of a discriminatory lawsuit, in which he was sure to be
crucified like most other conservative office-holding individuals in his
position. What they did was take advantage of the pc hype and turn it into
a weapon to be used against anyone that opposes them. This is not morally
right, but then again, most people would agree that neither is their type of
As D Souza has shown the readers, the political correctness that is
sweeping through our nations college s and universities can be very harmful
to individuals, as well as entire ethnic groups. I think that what we as a
society have to work on is total equality between races, sexes, and sexual
preferences. There should be no favoritism as is found in today s system for
they are based on unjust rules. And I truly believe that it is the responsibility
of every good citizen to disobey unjust rules.
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