It seems the movement started in the "free-thought" days of the late 60's and early 70's. The awakening of the "me" generation where everything was OK and nothing in the past was good. Many of the young people who were educated during that period have become professors in the colleges of today.
As a student in those times, I found it very interesting that the free thinkers were anything but that. They were so sure of their philosophy that any discussion was unnecessary. They were right and you were wrong and they were not interested in discussing it. In essence their "free thinking" was an oxymoron. Those for the Vietnam War were baby killers and those against were heroes. Servicemen were spit upon when they returned and Jane Fonda was idolized. The Bernadine Doren's of that generation were heroes when they shot people and blew up things like ROTC detachments on the college campuses. There was no middle ground, it was us against them and if you were not with us, you were the enemy.
So with this type of attitude, it is no wonder that when they got the reins of power in the universities, that they would install the same type of doctrinaire thinking. This is where we are today. Discussion is limited to the professor's view of the topic. Disagreement is thought to be not educational but disrespectful. The professor knows all and the students are to hang on his/her every word. This is not education, it is the way of the Soviet gulag.
So when CUNY only brings in anti-Israeli speakers or flies the Palestinian flag, should we be surprised? This is the college of today. For example, when CUNY is challenged regarding the flag, their first response is that they were flying all the flags of the United Nations (UN). However, then it was pointed out that the Palestinians are not members of the UN, they said in essence, they did not care. Arrogance and intentional deceit by an educational organization does not bode well for education in America.
In the following article by Alana Goodman in Commentary Magazine dated May 11th, 2011 we read about this deceit. What is your opinion and do you have any suggestions to improve education in America? Or do you think it is too late to make the necessary changes? I would like to hear your opinions.
Palestinian Flag to Fly at CUNY Commencement
Alana Goodman - Commentary Magazine, May 11th, 2011
The City University of New York, which has already outraged Israel supporters with its decision to honor anti-Israel playwright Tony Kushner, will also be taking the unusual step of flying a Palestinian flag at the upcoming commencement for City College, a spokesperson for the university told me today.
“The City College flies all of the flags that are flown at the United Nations,” the Vice President for Communications Mary Lou Edmondson told me. “It has nothing to do with foreign policy.”
But there’s one problem—the United Nations doesn’t fly the Palestinian flag. It only flies the flags of its 192 member states.
Then what prompted the college’s decision? I’ve asked Edmonson to clarify her statement, and haven’t heard back yet. But it seems pretty obvious that politics did play a role. CUNY’s City College hasn’t flown the flag in previous years, and so this decision had to have been made recently. And with the Kushner debate still raging, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a no doubt the most volatile subject on campus.
Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, who’s been at the center of the Kushner controversy, said that the flag issue seemed to point to a double-standard at the university.
“I would think if we were going to fly the flags of aspiring nations, then we should certainly those of aspiring nations that have been in the mix even longer, like Tibet, like Kurdistan,” Wiesenfeld said. “In other words, whatever the policy is, it should be based on a consistency, but not a fashion of the moment.”
One City College faculty member said it reflected a deeper problem in academia. “It seems completely inappropriate, considering that there are no other flags of non-nations,” she said. “I just personally feel very upset by it because I feel that there’s so much anti-Israel sentiment in general, and specifically on college campuses.”
Flying the Palestinian flag is not a problem in itself. But flying it alongside the flags of UN member countries, at a public university, makes a particular statement. It says that CUNY’s City College is recognizing the state of Palestine, and its quest for UN member status, regardless of the outcome of the peace process. The college is free to argue that this has “nothing to do with foreign policy,” but the reality speaks for itself.
Update: CUNY’s City College VP of communications Mary Lou Edmondson emails this response: “I regret that I misspoke about the flags flown at the United Nations. At this time, in this 10th anniversary year of 9/11, we are focused on prominently displaying ten American flags in silent commemoration of the thousands of men and women who lost their lives.”