Letters to the editor: June 18

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The real situation at colleges

It’s past time to quash the Big Lie. And it’s also time to squash the littler lies and stereotypes that are widely believed. One such lie is that universities and colleges “are helping to spread the progressive agenda of anti-America and socialism” (“Hold universities accountable,” May 28). Not only is this untrue, it is a defamation to an underpaid and under-appreciated profession.


First, colleges do not get together and conspire to advance any political ideology. Second, teachers in the main are dedicated to their academic discipline, not any ideology. Third, college students rebel if they think that somebody is trying to “brainwash” them. Most importantly, despite the stereotype, college faculties taken as a whole are not particularly liberal. Yes, teachers in the liberal arts and social sciences tend to be liberal (not socialist). But teachers in schools of business tend to be quite conservative, as do teachers in schools of law, medicine, agriculture and engineering. But they do not spend their time brainwashing students in conservative ideology. So let’s deal in verifiable facts, rather than “feel good” allegations and non-existent conspiracies.

Sidney Chernick


Columbia

 

Moneytheism and monotheism

Hold universities accountable” (May 28) camouflages an attack on a core value of Judaism. Our beloved tradition insists upon the primacy of education, believing that the more you know, the better person one will be, hence the saying in Pirkei Avot (2:16) “an ignorant person cannot be pious.” To define education in purely utilitarian terms shows the difference between capitalism’s moneytheism and Jewry’s ethical monotheism.

Further, to denounce “socialism” is to besmirch the Labor Zionist (democratic socialist) origins of the state of Israel.

And as to a “progressive agenda of anti-America,” the history of the United States on this continent can be summed up in one sentence: Black people from Africa were enslaved to work land taken from brown Indigenous people in order to create wealth for white European colonizers.

S. Z. Auerbach

Baltimore

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