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ANTI-AMERICANISM IN ACADEMIA

Higher education is an ongoing theater of domestic denunciations of American culture. In addition to the social sciences and humanities in general, the field of American studies in particular has become a source and repository of extremely negative sentiments toward the society. As political scientist Alan Wolfe observed, after surveying major texts used in this specialty: “[S]cholars in the field ... have developed a hatred for America so visceral that it makes one wonder why they bother studying America at all.” The discipline, Wolfe said, has come to represent a “chorus of denunciation” increasingly shaped by a combination of identity politics and postmodernism.

Another field of study that is replete with anti-American trends is the recently created "Whiteness Studies," whose objective is to immerse white students in feelings of collective guilt about their conscious or unconscious racism and their “white privilege,” and to persuade them that the historically pervasive and profound racism of American society is virtually ineradicable. As David Horowitz has noted, “Black Studies celebrates blackness. Chicano Studies celebrates Chicanos, Women's Studies celebrates women, and White[ness] Studies attacks white people as evil.”

Among academia's more candid and well-known mouthpieces of anti-American doctrine is Colorado University professor Ward Churchill, who has asserted that terrorist violence directed against the United States is a morally justifiable response to what he characterizes as the U.S. government’s “rape” and “murder” of other populations all over the globe.

Another prominent voice of anti-Americanism is longtime M.I.T. professor Noam Chomsky, who is regarded abroad as the most eminent American intellectual. Chomsky’s many books and pamphlets have a single overriding theme: America is the cause of most of humanity’s suffering. In Chomsky’s view, the United States is responsible not only for its own transgressions, but for the bad deeds of others as well, including those of the 9/11 terrorists who struck the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Chomsky casts those attacks as the desperate, retaliatory, and entirely understandable measures of long-suffering victims of American injustice.

Ever the advocate of America’s enemies, Chomsky has written that in the first battle of the post-World War II struggle with the Soviet Empire, “the United States was picking up where the Nazis had left off”; that in Latin America during the Cold War, U.S. support for legitimate governments against Communist subversion led to American complicity in “the methods of Heinrich Himmler’s extermination squads”; that there is “a close correlation worldwide between torture and U.S. aid”; that America “invaded” Vietnam for the purpose of slaughtering its people, and that even after withdrawing its forces from Vietnam in 1975, “the major policy goal of the U.S. has been to maximize repression and suffering in the countries that were devastated by our violence”; that “the pretext for Washington’s terrorist wars [i.e., in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chile, Guatemala, Iraq, etc.] was self-defense, the standard official justification for just about any monstrous act, even the Nazi Holocaust”; and that “legally speaking, there’s a very solid case for impeaching every American president since the Second World War [because of their involvement in] serious war crimes.”

Yet another noteworthy example of anti-Americanism in academia is provided by Columbia University assistant professor of anthropology Nicholas De Genova, who in 2003 received national publicity for comments he made during an anti-Iraq War teach-in attended by some 3,000 students at Columbia. Sparking the controversy was De Genova's declaration: "I personally would like to see a million Mogadishus" – a reference to the 1993 military debacle in Somalia that resulted in the death and ceremonial mutilation of eighteen American soldiers. De Genova further asserted that “U.S. patriotism is inseparable from imperial warfare and white supremacy”; that “U.S. flags are the emblem of the invading war machine in Iraq today”; and that “[t]he only true heroes are those who find ways that help defeat the U.S. Military.”

With their deep-seated contempt for the United States, professors like Chomsky, Churchill, and De Genova echo the sentiments of many anti-Americans on college campuses across the United States. This section of DiscoverTheNetworks examines the prevalence of their views among university faculty and, by logical extension, in their curricula.

RESOURCES:

Why Do They Hate Us?
By Robert Tracinski
October 1, 2001

Anti-Americanism in the Classroom
By Stanley Kurtz
July 15, 2002

Truth on Trial
By Phyllis Chesler
October 31, 2005
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