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When I arrived at the University of California, Irvine as a freshman, I was looking forward to learning from some of the best and the brightest minds in academia. I figured that as a Finance major in staunchly conservative Orange County, I would get a mix of both conservative and liberal professors from a wide variety of backgrounds and disciplines.
I wanted nothing more than a balanced education, where professors would challenge my preexisting worldview and encourage me to develop both my intellect and my character.
What I found instead was a politically correct indoctrination center masquerading as a world-class university.
After walking across the graduation stage just a few weeks ago, I can say with confidence that I never had a single conservative professor in my entire undergraduate experience. This is not simply wrong; it is antithetical to the entire purpose of higher education.
When I say indoctrination center, I mean it in a literal sense. Make no mistake, the aim of this university, and the rest of higher education around the country, is no longer to develop the mind, heart, and soul of America’s future leaders. My experience, and the experience of millions of my peers across the country, has been one of an outright assault on not just our core values, but on us as human beings.
My freshman year, my fellow students voted to ban the American flag in their offices, deeming it as “hate speech” for having been “flown in instances of colonialism and imperialism.” After international public outrage, the student government wisely reversed their decision.
One of those students who voted to ban the flag was in my African-American studies course, and received a hug and immense praise from Professor Tiffany Willoughby-Herard on the first day of class. I wish I could say that was the worst of it.
Over the next ten weeks, Professor Willoughby-Herard made no attempt to hide her openly Marxist views, referring to the United States of America as a “slave democracy,” and using taxpayer funded class time to hold moments of silence for the supposed victims of police brutality. After referring to all Republicans as having a “life problem,” and claiming that every single non-black person was “inherently racist,” I just shut up and took my B- at the end of the quarter.
When I called out UC Irvine Chancellor Howard Gillman on this conservative persecution at a private event, he stuttered for no less than eight seconds in front of everyone, and gave me a politically correct answer about how some departments are more liberal, and some are more conservative. Ironically, Professor Willoughby-Herard frequently slandered him as “transphobic and anti-black.” It seems as if even the liberal enablers in UC Irvine’s administration have not quite realized the extent of the problem.
Professor Ana Rosas, who teaches in the Chicano/Latino studies department, spent the entire first day asking us one by one why we were taking her class on the U.S./Mexico border, and proceeded to publicly chastise dozens of students for not having politically correct enough answers. She referred to several Latino students as “not truly understanding our struggle,” essentially calling them “not Latino enough” because they were never undocumented immigrants like herself.
After she assigned us five of her own books to read, and directed us to turn in an assignment criticizing the US Border Patrol for arresting violent cartel drug traffickers, I had no choice but to drop the class.
This conservative witch hunt is certainly not limited to the humanities; it has permeated every single department of the school.
In my class on evolutionary biology, Professor Richard Symanski told us that law-abiding gun owners like me were responsible for mass shootings. I was lucky enough to have been filming the class, and caught him on tape recruiting what he deemed as “impressionable freshman” to join the gun control movement, so they could “do something about the Second Amendment.”
This taxpayer-funded professor’s comments should send chills down the spine of any person who understands the importance of our foundational constitutional rights.
These professors do not represent a tiny, extreme minority on our nation’s college campuses. Their fellow professors, students, and administrators vocally support the viewpoints of these out-of-touch zealots who hide under the facade of “education.”
Even as a Finance major, I experienced dozens of professors openly smearing conservatives and their viewpoints. Whether it is a seemingly casual comment slamming our President as an “idiot,” or a more direct assault on America’s core values, there is a culture of harrowing intolerance on these seemingly “tolerant” campuses. If this was my experience, can you imagine that of a humanities major at a school like UC Berkeley?
These fanatical viewpoints are proudly and openly supported by the administration, which simply pays lip service to the notion that there is a shred of intellectual diversity left on campus. The effects of this on our nation’s future leaders could not be worse.
Our taxpayer-funded universities have become a breeding ground for radical anti-American thought, where it is totally acceptable to shut down the free speech of another person if one deems it as “hate speech.”
When the UCI College Republicans hosted Milo Yiannopoulos last June, we had over 50 riot police from three different police departments, who barricaded our building with batons and shields to prevent violent student protesters from storming in. After we hired additional private security at our own expense to protect us from being assaulted or killed by the student mob, UC Irvine suspended our club for an entire year, even though we, along with our lawyers, complied with every administration directive before, during, and after the event.
It seems we got off easy with a simple club suspension. My friends at UC Berkeley had student Antifa protesters throw firebombs at the building they were in to burn it to the ground with them inside. That is now the price to pay for hosting a gay conservative immigrant at a taxpayer-funded university.
I could go on and on.
Our nation’s college campuses have become a war zone, both literally and intellectually. There is a war for the hearts, minds, and souls of my generation, and it is being waged across every campus in America. Even more importantly, this is a war for the future of our country, and the principles upon which it was founded. We will not stand for this erosion of freedom at the hands of a radical, entrenched, vile educational bureaucracy. We will not allow this cancer to metastasize any further.
My experience, and those of my brave conservative peers, will not dictate the future on America’s college campuses. There is a new movement of young campus conservatives who are standing up and fighting for what we believe in, no matter the consequences.
It’s the greatest honor of my life to have been one of them.
While my time at UC Irvine has come to an end, our collective fight for intellectual diversity and free speech in higher education will never stop. Our struggle has made this conversation mainstream, and the American people agree that these radical professors, students, and administrations are not the solution to our problem.
They are the problem.