November 6, 2012 –Election Day. –a day where we take to the polls to (re) elect a president. We are reminded that not so long ago, minorities and women battled for suffrage, for the right to be heard and counted. Even today, in states across the country there remain numerous acts of voter suppression and legislation aimed to disenfranchise minority voters in particular. We are reminded that in order for democracy to succeed we must constantly fight to maintain and sustain the rights that ALL citizens are entitled to –and work against those who would try to strip or pervert the rights guaranteed to all of us in the eyes of the law.
I was compelled to write this short blog post because today my colleagues and former students at the University of San Diego are beginning a protest to combat the university’s violation of the tenets of academic freedom and censorship. Actions taken by the university to rescind Dr. Tina Beattie’s invitation to serve as a fellow at USD point to the ways in which donor dollars trump democratic education. Much has been written about this controversy (see links below) that can provide those interested with a much deeper understanding of the issue.
I am a firm believer that education, at it’s best, provides students with a diversity of ideas, understandings and perspectives. Particularly in the Social Sciences and the Humanities, these ideals should be used by students to inform their positions and beliefs. For any authority in power –whether that’s the government, university official, or professor to actively prevent the presentation of ideas –whether one agrees or disagrees with them from those willing and wanting to hear them is an act of violence and totalitarianism., and violates the very foundation of education.
So this is a short note to say, I stand in solidarity with my friends and colleagues today. I admire your heart and passion. Stay Strong.
Highly recommended reading: