TJC Mention: Welcome To The Silencing Of Dissenters

The Jefferson Council champions free speech and intellectual diversity at the University of Virginia. Below, find an excerpt of a timely piece by Brooklyn College’s Mitchell Langbert, originally published in Front Page Magazine. Langbert shares his findings on intellectual diversity (or the lack thereof) at universities across the US. At the request of TJC and our partners, he zoomed in on UVA.



I have done a series of research studies on the political imbalance in America’s universities. The higher-education institutions that most Americans believe have been established to encourage learning, curiosity, and thought now encourage the reverse. Ideological litmus tests via formalized DEI statements are the rule. Conservatives, libertarians, Christians, Republicans, and retired military personnel are not tolerated in many academic departments. If sunlight is the best disinfectant, the shade in the groves of academe is dense.

A few months ago, the National Association of Scholars on behalf of the Jefferson Council asked me to review the political affiliations of the faculty and staff at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville. Research assistants at the NAS identified 2,384 usable federal-candidate-donation records from faculty and staff. The records covered six years or three Federal Elections Commission cycles, from 2017 to 2022.

We found that federal political donations from the faculty and staff at UVA go almost exclusively to one political party.

[. . .]

Grotesque imbalances have resulted not only in intolerance but also in complacency about the intolerance. University presidents congratulate themselves about the academic freedom they encourage while dissident professors and students are afraid to speak. The silencing of dissenters through ad hominem attacks has become normalized. Virtually every conservative and libertarian professor has by now either hidden their views, suffered an attack on his career, or been fired for ideological reasons.

To change an organizational culture is difficult if not impossible. Americans need to begin to consider whether reorganization and reform of established academic institutions, including one founded by Thomas Jefferson, may be necessary. As Jefferson wrote to William Stephens Smith, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.”

Mitchell Langbert is associate professor of business at Brooklyn College.

Read the full article in Front Page Magazine.

1 3 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
walter smith
walter smith
24 days ago

Here are the “4 Pillars” of TJC

  1. Promote a culture of civil dialogue, the free exchange of competing ideas and intellectual diversity throughout the University.
  2. Preserve the Jefferson Legacy.
  3. Preserve the appearance of the Lawn as a UNESCO World Heritage site, and
  4. Support and reinvigorate the Honor System.

Does that sound like an “enemy” of UVA?
Why would UVA not welcome TJC’s efforts?
The above article answers the question, and justifies why TJC spontaneously erupted over the F UVA sign and the feckless, duplicitous response.

UVA is not currently an educational institution. It has become a political institution. The chilling of speech not agreeing with the people who make 95% of political contributions to an extremely Left Democrat party is reality. The very few professors not on the Left, and to the extent they exist they are more likely at the “RINO” part of the Rightist spectrum, know if they say anything, their academic careers will end with the “tolerant” Left.

I don’t care how much anyone may hate Donald Trump, the legal actions against him, and the 2 impeachments, are and were shams. Not one law professor spoke up?

UVA’s Covid response was a disaster – just do what the CDC said. No one objected? Natural immunity? Need for the shots for students when it was no risk to them? The economic disaster of the lockdowns? Mandates against Nuremberg Code? HIPAA violations? Testing? Expulsion? Virtual classes? Does anyone recall any professor anywhere in the vast UVA empire raising a hand? Neither do I. Nor was there any substantive engagement with hundreds of parents who objected on behalf of their kids who were too afraid to stand up for themselves.

How about the mandated DEI statements? I guess academic freedom only matters when there is resistance to Leftist orthodoxy.

UVA needs – must – get back to being an educational institution for all Virginians. Lower the costs. Quit the virtue-signaling. How to think, not what to think.

Wahoo 76
Wahoo 76
23 days ago
Reply to  walter smith

“How to think, not what to think.” In a nutshell, this is what UVA should teach its students. Thanks, Walter!