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Dennis Prager
Dennis Prager
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What You're Paying for Your Child to Learn at College


As high school seniors throughout America will be receiving acceptance letters to colleges within the next month, it would be nice for parents to meditate on what they're getting for the $20,000 to 50,000 they'll pay each year.

—The United States is no better than any other country, and in many areas, it's worse than many. On the world stage, America is an imperialist country, and domestically, it mistreats its minorities and neglects its poor while discriminating against non-whites.

—There is no better and no worse in literature and the arts. The reason universities in the past taught Shakespeare, Michelangelo, and Bach rather than, let's say, Guatemalan poets, Sri Lankan musicians and Native American storytellers, was "Eurocentrism."

—God is at best a nonissue, and at worst a foolish and dangerous belief.

—Christianity is largely a history of inquisitions, crusades, oppression and anti-intellectualism. Islam, on the other hand, is "a religion of peace." Therefore, criticism of Christianity is enlightened, while criticism of Islam is Islamophobia.

—Israel is a racist state, morally no different from apartheid South Africa.

—Big government is the only humane way to govern a country.

—The South votes Republican because it is still racist, and the Republican Party caters to racists.

—Mothers and fathers are interchangeable. Claims that married mothers and fathers are the parental ideal and bring unique things to a child are heterosexist and homophobic.

—Whites can be racist; non-whites cannot be (because whites have power, and the powerless cannot be racist).

—The great world and societal battles are not between good and evil, but between rich and poor and the powerful and the powerless.

Patriotism is usually a euphemism for chauvinism.

—War is ignoble. Pacifism is noble.

—Human beings are animals. They differ from "other animals" primarily in having better brains.

—We live in a patriarchal society, which is injurious to women.

—Women are victims of men.

—Blacks are victims of whites.

—Latinos are victims of Anglos.

—Muslims are victims of non-Muslims.

—Gays are victims of straights.

—Big corporations are bad.

Big unions are good.

—There is no objective meaning to a text. Every text means only what the reader perceives it to mean.

—The American Founders were sexist, racist slaveholders whose primary concern was preserving their wealthy status.

—The Constitution says what progressives think it should say.

—The American dropping of the atom bomb on Hiroshima was an act of racism and a war crime.

—The wealthy have stacked the capitalist system to maintain their power and economic benefits.

—The wealthy Western nations became wealthy by exploiting Third World nations through colonialism and imperialism.

—Defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman is as immoral as defining marriage as the union of a white and a white.

Some conclusions:

If this list is accurate — and that may be ascertained by visiting a college bookstore and seeing what books are assigned to any given instructor — most American parents and/or their child or children are going into debt in order to support an institution that for four years, during the most impressionable years of a person's life, instills values that are the opposite of those of the parents.

And that is intentional.

As Woodrow Wilson, progressive president of Princeton University before becoming president of the United States, said in a speech in 1914, "I have often said that the use of a university is to make young gentlemen as unlike their fathers as possible."

In 1996, in his commencement address to the graduating seniors of Dartmouth College, then-president of the college, James O. Freedman, cited the Wilson quote favorably. And in 2002, in another commencement address, Freedman said that "the purpose of a college education is to question your father's values."

For Wilson, Freedman and countless other university presidents, the purpose of a college education is to question (actually, reject) one's father's values, not to seek truth. Fathers represented traditional American values. The university is there to undermine them.

Still want to go into years of debt?

Dennis Prager hosts a nationally syndicated radio talk show and is a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He is the author of four books, most recently "Happiness Is a Serious Problem" (HarperCollins). His website is



1 Comments | Post Comment
To seek truth one must question everything. Whatever the purpose of a college education is, the decision to "reject one's father's values", is in part the process of evolving as a thinking human being and discovering one's own values and viewpoint. Let's not forget how fast the world moves, the world that formed his father's opinion and values exists only in part. Implying the classics you were taught are the only true classics is like saying Picasso is not a true artist because he's not Monet or Classic Rock isn't music because it's not Classic Bach. Colleges still teach the history behind music and art and all you mentioned above. The difference is, what they teach isn't censored or filtered as it was in your day. Your children recognize the generation gap, that times and thinking have changed. If they support and value the changes, they will accept what they agree with and reject the rest. Parents should not fear what their adult children are learning because if they've done their parental duty, their child will, like so many have, form their own opinion of the subject matter and if it disagrees with the professor's teaching, will give the answers necessary to graduate but keep in their heart and take into the world their own value system which may or may not mirror their father's. The overwhelming sense I get is fear. The older generation is so fearful, having learned never to question, but the younger generation questions everything and they are exposed to so much more; information and viewpoints that until recently were censored, but are now easily discovered. I'd rather be in debt to pay for college/university education than produce yet another ignorant adult who rejects out of hand any viewpoint or value system that differs with his.
Comment: #1
Posted by: demecra zydeem
Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:41 AM
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