Category Archives: Speakers, Panels and Events

Darkness Descends upon Mr. Jefferson’s University

by James A. Bacon

In the previous post I gave a chronological account of how a classroom joke delivered by Associate Professor Jeffrey Leopold in University of Virginia business class exploded into a full-fledged racial controversy. The post was a straightforward, just-the-facts-ma’am narrative of what happened. I made every effort to give all sides of the story and to keep my opinions out of it. With this post, I’ll say what I think.

In the scale of injustice, the Leopold incident is trivial. A professor who knocks down a salary about twice the income of the average American household suffered personal embarrassment and was relieved from solo teaching of his class. He will go back to work. His life will return to normal. He did not die with a policeman’s knee pressing down on his neck.

But the story of how the drama unfolded tells volumes about the nature of race relations at the University of Virginia and, by extension, other elite institutions of higher education. The story illustrates the ever-morphing definition of what constitutes “racism,” the narrowing scope of what is permissible to say out loud, and how those who disagree with the cultural Marxist critique of America as a irredeemably racist nation are condemned and silenced as racists. Continue reading

A Challenge to the University of Virginia Ed School on the Teaching of K-12 Black Children

Dr. Bettina Love

by James C. Sherlock

I provided an extensive review in this space of the latest book by Dr. Bettina Love, an assistant professor in the education school of the University of Georgia. She advocates separate but equally funded schools for black children and a radically revised curriculum unique to black children.

Readers can see in that review the details of her analysis of the problems in the education of black children in American schools and her incomplete but radical prescriptions for fixing the problems she assesses.

The University of Virginia, my alma mater, brought this woman to my attention by paying Ms. Love to keynote a symposium, not for University faculty or students, but sponsored by the Education School for working K-12 teachers in Virginia. Continue reading

Fraternities as Bastions Against the Cultural Totalitarians

The University of Virginia’s fraternity row. Photo credit: Daily Mail

by James A. Bacon

Back when I attended the University of Virginia many moons ago, I was a GDI — an acronym for a God-Damned Independent. During the fall rush my first year I attended two fraternity parties on Rugby Road and found nothing entertaining about hanging out with people whose sole purpose seemed to be getting sloshed. Those two experiences were all I needed to needed to convince me that I would never join a fraternity. 

As much personal disdain as I had for the Greek system, it never occurred to me to want to abolish it. It never occurred to me to insist upon imposing my values upon others. My philosophy has always been to live and let live. If the frat boys wanted to spend their colleges years in a drunken stupor, that was their choice and nobody’s business but their own (and their parents).

But we live in a different time now. We live in an era in which cultural totalitarians presume to tell everyone else how to live. And the cultural totalitarians are taking aim at fraternities and sororities as evil institutions that reinforce class stratification, elitism, discrimination and cultural appropriation, and, thus, must be abolished. I now find myself in the anomalous position of defending them. Continue reading