BOOK REVIEW

Blacklisted by Higher Education

Exiled: Stories From Conservative and Moderate Professors Who Have Been Ostracized, Marginalized, Demonized, and Frozen OutB

ias against conservative professors in academia is getting worse, not better. Mary Grabar, a conservative professor of English, has put together a series of essays by conservative and moderate professors who have found themselves shunned and frozen out of academia due to not espousing liberal political views. Each professor – all white males, due to the trend in academia in favor of women and minorities at the expense of men – explains the horrific experiences they have undergone simply trying to make a living in this field. Most of them have been shut out of well-paying full-time work at 4-year institutions, instead relegated to “perpetual adjunct status, teaching twice as many classes as the average course load, for wages that work out to be less than minimum wage.” They are willing to speak up in her book because they have “nothing to lose except such poorly paying temporary employment.”

It should be alarming that this is not just happening to conservative professors, but also to moderates. Grabar explains how the course curricula has become so far left, it’s almost impossible for anyone but a radical to teach the ridiculous topics. The literary classics have all but disappeared, only to be used to scan for evidence of Western Civilization’s racism, sexism or homophobia.

Authoring academic scholarship critical of communism or Islam generally takes academics out of consideration for employment. Grabar notes how some of these scholars have even been relegated to teaching at high school, forever blacklisted by higher education.

Professor M.D. Allen describes the alarming ratio of liberal to conservative professors tracked in California. Currently, it ranges from 10:1 in the natural sciences to a high of 21:1 in the social sciences. These ratios are projected to increase to a shocking 64:1. He speculates the reason the left in academia fights so hard to protect their agenda is not because they particularly care about the various far left aspects of it, but that “the most sacred part of them is under attack” and if they don’t fight back hard, “evil will triumph.” He believes this mentality is actually a “debased form of religion.”

Professor Martin Slann was a Democrat until the left started promoting Islam and Shariah law. He states, “…perhaps the last straw had to do with clowns such as Imam Rauf and his wife Daisy Khan (of 9/11 mosque fame), stating that there is no real contradiction between the United States Constitution and Sharia Law.” When Slann gave presentations at political science and international studies conferences about the moral bankruptcy of the United Nations, and saying that there was no hope of making Islam and Shariah compatible with political democracy, he was received with hostility and ostracized. At another conference, he pointed out that Israeli Arabs live better than Arabs living in the 22 other Arab countries. Not a single academic attending joined him later at lunch, he sat with friends he’d brought, and was never asked back to the conference.

Professor Paul Kengor discusses the double standard in liberal academia when it comes to critiquing the horrors of communism and Nazism. Because Nazism is incorrectly perceived as a right-wing ideology (thanks to the left’s own disinformation and deception), it is considered acceptable to criticize. Although, the only difference between the two was that Nazism was about national socialism and Soviet communism was about international socialism. But since the Soviet Union allied with the United States after Hitler’s 1941 invasion despite the Hitler-Stalin non-aggression pact of 1939, the left downplays communism’s negatives. Kengor exposes the cozy connection between socialism and atheism, and how our students have been so dumbed down about communism that, “An American politician could literally run for office with a slogan of ‘From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs,’ and a shockingly large segment of the public would have no idea what was being espoused.”

Professor Scott Herring, a politically moderate professor, became estranged from the radical left when he realized it had been lying about the U.S. confrontation with the former Soviet Union. After working at Yellowstone Park during most of the 1990s, he became an English professor. Yet, he found it difficult teaching subjects for the course ‘Literature of the Wilderness’ that fit into the left-wing box academia required of him. Traditional English literature written by Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain, John Muir and Theodore Roosevelt is all guilty of the “three mortal sins, Racism, Sexism and Homophobia.” The only classics author that worked was Willa Cather, because she allegedly was a lesbian – but her works had nothing to do with her alleged lesbianism, which she kept private. A Maoist graduate student helpfully rescued him by suggesting he use a work by Luther Standing Bear, a Sioux born in the 1860s. The book was “the single most wildly racist document” he had ever seen, and even his students figured out how bad it was. He saved face by telling the students he hoped they would spot these things and proceed to deconstruct the book as part of the class!

Conservative Professor Brian Birdnow could not find any outlet to publish his dissertation because it was a critique of communism. After many turn-downs, he finally found a publisher – four years later. With an impressive background that includes a doctorate, two books, six articles in scholarly journals, and more, Birdnow applied for hundreds of jobs in academia with no success. Finally, he landed a two-year stint at McKendree College in Illinois. After two years with an impeccable record, he was forced to re-apply for the job. He saw the rankings of applicants and discovered that 11 women were ranked above him, while he was in 12th place behind all of them. The only other candidate with a doctorate who beat him out had “spent her time writing about the significance of cookbooks.” A second candidate was a member of the “Feminist Writers Group,” and stapled essays by junior high girls into a booklet. A third wrote about the crisis of American masculinity in the 1950s, and masturbation. The candidate who was eventually hired to replace him had done her academic scholarship on prostitution in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

When news of his non-renewal spread throughout the campus, the students rallied around him, and the Student Government Association passed a resolution declaring that he should be retained. To no avail, however, as he is a “non-person in academia” marked with a scarlet letter “C” for “Conservative.” He now teaches a whopping average of seven classes per semester as an adjunct, with a second job on Saturdays.

Professor Jack Kerwick has been teaching philosophy for almost 13 years, but is relegated to positions of adjunct professor. “The ideal of the university as a free market place of competing ideas is a fiction.” He notes that the fashionable academic determines knowledge by the “holy trinity” of race, gender and class. Professors are now activists first, who indoctrinate students, rather than scholars and teachers who educate students.

Grabar closes the book by looking at statistics that reveal this bias. She analyzes the new book, Why are Professors Liberal? by Professor Neil Gross, a self-described liberal. His thesis posits that conservatives deliberately choose not to become professors, due to the hostile academic environment. He claims it is self-selection, not discrimination, that leads to the low numbers of conservative professors. Even if this is true, it is a problem, which Gross discounts. Grabar criticizes Gross’s casual dismissal of the hostile academic environment, “It never seems to occur to Gross that a healthy testing of ideas is more likely to lead to creativity.”

What’s wrong with Gross’s theory is it does not account for the conservative and moderate professors in Grabar’s book who do try to become professors, but are denied full-time positions and thus careers and livelihoods. To his credit, Gross reveals surveys where liberal academics have admitted they are less likely to hire an applicant if he or she is a Republican, evangelical, voted for a Republican for president or similar. Yet, he claims – without providing any evidence – that this does not result in discrimination, stubbornly sticking to his thesis. His book would have been fairer if it had been written by someone with less partisan and ideological views.

Grabar has put together a chilling book revelation of how much more liberal and groupthink our universities have become even since the 1980s and 1990s, when political correctness first started seeping into academic life and poisoning young impressionable minds seeking knowledge; instead they are daily subjected to an incessant brainwashing of leftist ideology and the rewriting of history. It is far worse now and a bigger, more difficult problem to solve. In fact, confirming Grabar’s thesis, the consequences of not reforming higher education are dire.


Rachel Alexander is the founder of the Intellectual Conservative and an attorney. Ms. Alexander is also a contributor to SFPPR News & Analysis.