This article first appeared in Eagle Rising. It was written and submitted to ER prior to Wednesday's incident at UC Irvine.
Given events of the past couple of weeks at UC Irvine centering around anti-Israel week and the coming appearance of conservative gay pundit Milo Yiannopoulos and my posts over the years about problems at UC Irvine (where I teach part-time), I thought I should address what some readers (and certainly some UCI administrators) must be thinking: Since I am a part-time teacher at UCI, why do I often write negative stories about the place where I work? Am I not biting the hand that feeds me? On a larger scale, why does a college teacher criticize the academic culture as I do? These are fair questions, and I think I should address them.
First of all, I do not limit my criticisms to UCI, nor to the University of California. The campus culture is a nationwide problem, and I have written or cross-posted articles about many campuses across the country. It is no secret that I don't have a high opinion of humanities and social science professors in general since they seem to be over-populated with radical leftists who are indoctrinating our children into a negative view of our country. That goes double for Middle East Studies departments. I stand by every thing that I have written on this site.
As to UCI, David Horowitz began his appearance at our campus recently by stating that UCI was a great institution. I agree with him. One of the things that makes UCI great is the fact that rather than being centered on humanities and social sciences, it focuses more on real sciences, engineering, pre-med, and other useful fields of study that can lead to a successful career. UCI's humanities sections are rather small compared to other major universities. There are a few professors at UCI who are an embarrassment in my view. (And I'm not talking behind their backs.)
In addition, over 50% of our students are Asian-Americans, most of whom are too busy studying to get involved in asinine social causes. It is to their credit if they are running circles around the rest of us. I have always maintained that 99% of UCI's students are not involved in the ugliness that goes on.
Overall, the campus atmosphere is pleasant. There are occasional exceptions, which I cover and write about. In specific, the activism of the Muslim Student Union and Students for Justice in Palestine is in my view asinine, hateful, and has contributed to periods of anti-Semitism on campus-as it has on other campuses. For a few years, UCI had acquired the reputation as one of the worst offenders due to the above coupled with an unwillingness of school officials to confront or even acknowledge the problem.
Who could remain silent in the face of that?
That is why I have been so outspoken. I am not trying to tear down UCI, nor the University of California in general. I am trying to make it better. Keep in mind that leftist professors are not shy about criticizing their universities and administrators when they feel a need to do so. Why should it be any different for a conservative teacher?
I made a decision when I began to get involved about ten years ago that I would accept any risk to my little part-time (retirement) teaching gig as a price for standing up for what I believe in. I should also add that up to now, UCI has respected my own right of free speech. I have never been threatened with any retaliation or told to stand down. That also makes UCI a great institution.
But it can be better, and hopefully, I can make a small contribution to that effort.