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Universities need to abandon indoctrination, get back to education

Kevin Klein shares why Universities need to abandon indoctrination, get back to education
Universities need to get back to education (Published in the WInnipeg Sun)

Lately, you can’t watch or search the news without seeing controversies involving extreme left-wing ideologies on major university campuses across North America. Pro-Palestinian demonstrations, rallies and incidents have lifted the veil of clear-cut antisemitism that exists as part of a toxic core culture not only among students but faculty as well. Evidently, the social rot within North American universities is far more pervasive than we could have imagined, and it's threatening the moral fibre of our society.


What’s driving this contrived toxicity and divisiveness?  Look no further than the façade of social justice that has been termed DEI – diversity, equity and inclusion. It’s the most recent manifestation of woke ideology thrust onto our society under the guise of words that sound very warm, fuzzy, and, you guessed it, “equitable”. But it’s all smoke and mirrors - in reality, DEI itself is actually the cause of, or at the very least a vehicle for, the division and toxic culture that we are witnessing on campuses and in corporate and institutional settings. The latest debacle at Johns Hopkins University is a classic case in point. DEI is the trojan horse that left-wing extremists trot out to cloak their contrived and divisive agenda.


It wasn’t long ago that we watched the presidents of three prestigious universities in the U.S. testify in front of a Congressional House Committee. They were each asked if the calling for the genocide of Jews violated their institution’s rules of bullying and harassment.  Their appalling response…“it can be, depending on the context.” Within weeks, two of the three presidents had resigned or stepped down. If the highest leadership of some of the most reputable academic institutions in the world will not take action on blatant antisemitism, we as a society have been cast adrift into uncharted waters. It’s shameful and deeply concerning.


Even our very own University of Manitoba was recently littered with posters that directed hate toward Jews and encouraged them to be targeted. These incidents are not one-off situations – they are indicative of a greater underlying decay of our social values. These radical ideologies have been allowed to be cultivated unchecked in our universities and now have tragically become institutionalized and normalized.


Think about the implications of our institutions of higher learning not only tolerating hate but teaching it, too. Instead of focusing on the basics of learning and even the development of specialized skills, we are instead witnessing public dollars supporting professors who promote their personal agendas and the left-wing ideologies that have become so pervasive in universities in North America. Students attend with the intention of obtaining a functional degree but instead graduate fully indoctrinated with misguided and hateful ideologies.  Not exactly the standards of education that our society expected when it founded and funded these institutions.


The Scarborough Charter, the 22-page document that the University of Manitoba is signatory to, calls for principles of anti-racism and inclusion to be respected and fostered. I think we can all agree that racism should have no part in our society or our academic institutions. But hiring or admitting purely based on race, gender or ethnicity is in and of itself a breach of the “inclusiveness” that DEI professes to uphold because it discards the criteria of merit at the exclusion of others.


DEI outrightly rejects hiring or admitting on merit. Universities are, therefore, deliberately choosing to sacrifice a higher academic standard to meet a contrived human quota.  Sadly, this is a culture endemic to the institutions that will be developing our future leaders. Is this really the academic standard we want to set for our future?


The institutionalization of radical ideology in higher education is wrong. Investing in human capital should be about developing leadership, innovation and skills that make Manitoba more productive and competitive on the global stage.


Let’s get back to those basics.


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