www.brownspectator.com Volume III Issue I
SPECTATOR Inside The Morning After
“Party of the People” Goes Nuts page 3
Features An Interview with Ruth Simmons
So, You’re a Pimp
Vagina: How Does it Smell? page 7
Essays Halfway to Anywhere
Reassessing the University Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice page 5
In Defense of ROTC
Diversifying our Nation’s Military page 10
The Failure of “Diversity” Education page 16
Back Cover Ronald Wilson Reagan 1911-2004
Intellectual Diversity Revisited
Spectator 2 Spectator Editorial March 2005
Intellectual Diversity at Brown: A Sea Change? Chris McAuliffe
ntellectual diversity has been all the rage at Brown this semester. So far,the Brown Daily Herald has featured no fewer than six articles directly addressing the subject. President Ruth Simmons devoted the better part of her Spring Semester Opening Address to issues of intellectual diversity at Brown. Even many professors have been recently opining on their support for this suddenly chic phenomenon. Given all the newfound interest in intellectual diversity at Brown, one is tempted to believe that there are good reasons to be hopeful for the University’s future. And indeed there are. It is a significant development in itself that the Brown community has begun to associate “diversity” with differences which are more than skin deep. President Simmons’s choice of topics for her Opening Address was more than symbolic. It marked the first time since the dawn of the politicallycorrect era that such a high-ranking administrator has admitted that the lack of intellectual diversity at Brown is a tangible detriment to the quality of education offered here. A lazier administrator could have easily stopped at that point, but Simmons took the extra step of proposing concrete solutions to a real problem. The new fund she created to address this very issue has already been put to good use;
it was crucial in funding the March 14th appearance by Dinesh D’Souza. Despite such positive steps, much remains to be done. Perhaps most disappointing is the failure of many in the Brown community to reach a true understanding of what conservatives actually mean when we speak of intellectual diversity; perhaps some of that failure is our own. In calling for the university to rededicate itself to its mission of providing a truly liberal education, conservatives should be clear that we are not in favor of
fisted reign of overt political agendas over certain university departments and centers. Brown’s freshman orientation program remains mired in political correctness, and the entirety of racial and gender politics at this institution still have not advanced far beyond crude socialist theories. Intellectual diversity will score its greatest victory the day that the Third World Center exists, as it already claims to, for the betterment of all students of color, without assumption as to what their political beliefs are or should be. That
In calling for the university to rededicate itself to its mission of providing a truly liberal education, conservatives should be clear that we are not in favor of extending affirmative action to the realm of ideological viewpoints. extending affirmative action to the realm of ideological viewpoints. Such a move could result in nothing other than, in the words of Dinesh D’Souza, an “Illiberal Education.” What proponents of intellectual diversity, liberal or conservative, should be calling for is an end to the iron-
SPECTATOR The Brown Spectator is a journal of conservative thought and opinion published by The Foundation for Intellectual Diversity and funded in part through the Intercollegiate Studies Institute and the Collegiate Network. The Brown Spectator is constituted through the Undergraduate Council of Students of Brown University. The views represented herein do not necessarily represent the views of Brown University or the editorial board of The Brown Spectator.
day has not yet come, but given recent developments, cautious optimism is a reasonable sentiment.
Christopher McAuliffe ’05 is the Editorin-Chief of The Brown Spectator.
Sheila Dugan ©
Production Editor Joanna M. Joly
Editor-at-Large Stephen Beale
Veer Bhavnagri Vijay Malik Alexandra Toumanoff Laura Martin
The Morning After
The “Party of the People” Goes Nuts Sheila Dugan
fter November 2nd, the Republican Party magically transformed itself from a group of white men smoking cigars at the country club to a mess of slack-jawed yokels with their eyes cast towards the sky looking for signs of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Analyses of the 2004 election made much of the fact that “moral values” became the deciding issue in American politics, apparently superseding social security, the Iraq War, or prescription drug benefits. That eleven states passed popular referenda banning gay marriage reinforced this fact. Since then, Kerry supporters and others on the Left have been huddling in the Northeast and other designated “blue” states and safe zones as they wait for Republicans to create an Iranian-style theocracy in America. Maureen Dowd, a columnist for the New York Times, claims that George W. Bush “ran a jihad in America so he could fight one in Iraq.” The “Southern white Christian soldiers” could not resist Bush’s intoxicating message. They went to the polls, “opposing abortion, suffocating stem cell research and supporting a constitutional amendment against gay marriage.” Dowd named the enemy that day. With the checklist of issues she offered in her column, it would seem important for those progressives still confused over whom to court in 2008 to get a copy of this article to stuff in their wallets. Brown students offered their own caricatures of those who voted for Bush. My favorite reaction came from The Brown Daily Squeal. Rob Montz ’05 pointed out that his support for Kerry’s policies did not derive from any personal advantage to himself. Kerry supporters voted as they did, you see, because of “altruistic leanings.” Of course, Bush voters do not know what is best for themselves. When speaking of Bush voters, Montz was apparently referring to those wandering around Wal-Mart attempting to find a big
Democrats have the biggest bag of goodies, promising nationalized healthcare, a secure retirement, and affirmative action. And moral values—well, everyone knows Democrats love minorities, women, and poor people. enough Nascar shirt to fit on their obese figures, not the greedy ones who hate poor people or the neo-conservatives willing to wage war in the Middle East to suck the country dry of its oil. Other than dismissing the Bush supporters and revealing their distrust of the American electorate, some on the Left appeared bewildered by the creatures often called “conservatives”. It was almost as if some students had not yet made contact with a social conservative. In an article on the defeat of gay marriage and civil union initiatives, Natalie Korth ’08 tellingly said, “I really had no idea that entire states were against gay marriage. I thought it was just small, radical groups.” The idea that there are people who believe in marriage as an institution reserved for a man and woman is apparently foreign to some at Brown. Perhaps we should devote courses to the anthropological study of social conservatives, ensuring a proper
subject is extracted from a state south of the Mason-Dixon. After being at Brown in the aftermath of the election, I realized my upbringing was more privileged than I had originally thought. Instead of being introduced to the children of various political figures in prep school, I became familiar with the group that surpassed soccer moms as the hottest political constituents. I was raised in a place where I could count more churches than stoplights while driving to my own Sunday services. I know people who go to church twice a week—once on Sunday and again on Wednesday. And yes, I was even exposed to Confederate flags on a regular basis. What I hadn’t been introduced to was the snobbish Northeastern elite. Long thought of as a myth perpetuated “Party” continued on page
Spectator 4 Spectator An Interview with Ruth Simmons March 2005
The Brown Spectator’s Stephen Beale asks six questions of President Ruth Simmons regarding the University’s Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice, formed last year. Stephen Beale: What were the motives for the creation of the committee? Who participated in the decision? What is the chain of events that led up to the formation of this committee? Ruth Simmons: There was no chain of events. Issues related to the heritage of slavery—of which the reparations question was the loudest and most visible—had been current for years. I would encounter them from time to time in discussions with alumni and faculty, and it was my sense that there were gaps in the Brown community’s knowledge of its own historical record and that of the Brown family. While the reparations question certainly captured the public’s interest, it urged people to take sides on a narrow legal question, leaving wider areas of racial and social history unexplored. My motive was to create a process whereby Brown’s historical record could be developed and made accessible. In addition, I wanted to create a larger discussion about the ways in which societies have managed to confront troubling and difficult elements of their past, to clear the air and to move on. The Committee’s creation was actually recommended by the deans who correctly saw this as an opportunity to educate
expertise or was consideration also given to ensuring that the committee reflected a diversity of social and political philosophies? RS: The Dean of the College initially recommended committee members based on an understanding of their professional and academic expertise. Included in the group are persons who have some expertise with regard to other historical injustices – the Holocaust, the internment of Japanese-Americans, and South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, for example. In my letter to the committee, I wrote: The steering committee will comprise students and faculty who represent the range of knowledge and Photo courtesy of www.brown.edu perspectives that will be necessary Ruth Simmons. for a thorough historical inquiry into information and critical perspectives that these matters. It will be important to explore comparative and historical will deepen our understanding. SB: Could you state precisely contexts that may shed light on the issues of what the mission of the committee is? reparations and retrospective justice (for I understand that the committee does example, the history of the Holocaust, the not possess the authority to implement internment of Japanese Americans during reparations. Still, there has been some WWII, apartheid in South Africa, etc.). A confusion as to what exactly is the purpose wide range of complicated legal questions, of the committee. The New York Times moral issues, and historical controversies quoted President Simmons in such a way as to suggest to readers that she expected the committee to produce a series of policy proposals regarding reparations. Yet in the Boston Globe President Simmons wrote that the “committee’s work is not about whether or how we should pay reparations. RS: That was never the intent, nor will the payment of reparations be the outcome. This is an effort designed to involve the campus will need to be examined rigorously and community in a discovery of the meaning in detail. These are problems about which of our past.” Yet surely the committee will informed men and women of good will may not be limited to merely a discussion of the ultimately disagree; however, the goal history of slavery? Will it not also examine of the steering committee will not be to ... achieve a consensus, but to provide factual “Interview” continued on page
While the reparations question certainly captured the public’s interest, it urged people to take sides on a narrow legal question, leaving wider areas of racial and social history unexplored. ~ Ruth Simmons students about how to address complex questions. SB: How were the committee members chosen? Who was responsible for making that decision? Were committee members chosen solely on the basis of their varied
Halfway to Anywhere
Reassessing the University Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice Stephen Beale
lmost one year has elapsed since its disastrous debut, yet the mission of Brown University’s committee on slavery and justice remains unclear. Is the controversial committee a good-faith attempt to instruct the campus community in the virtues of disinterested dialogue, as university officials insist, or is Brown flirting with yet another intellectual fad, as many conservatives suspect? On March 13, The New York Times reported that Brown had convened a committee to undertake “an exploration of reparations for slavery and specifically whether Brown should pay reparations or otherwise make amends for the past.” In support of this claim the article quoted President Ruth Simmons: “If the committee comes back and says, ‘Oh it’s been lovely and we’ve learned a lot,’ but there’s nothing in particular that they think Brown can do or should do, I will be very disappointed.” There is no possible interpretation of this statement that is not favorable to some version of reparations. Contrast that with President Simmons writing in The Boston Globe in late April: “The committee’s work is not about whether or how we should pay reparations. That was never the intent nor will the payment of reparations be the outcome. This is an effort designed to involve the campus community in a discovery of the meaning of our past.” The latter quotation conjures up in the mind of the innocent reader an image of be-speckled professors and bowtied students sifting through the dusty recesses of history in search of truth. Yet the committee is much more than a grand historical inquest. It is, after all, designated as the University Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice. Does
not the suffix “justice” suggest some sort of corrective action in the present such as reparations? To be sure, President Simmons’s editorial in The Globe precludes the possibility that the final committee report will actually specify how and to whom Brown should pay reparations. But there is also no doubt that the committee will examine the idea of reparations even if it does not actually recommend that Brown itself pay reparations. As President Simmons herself conceded in a recent
Yet there is much more than mere selfinterest at work here. Consider the recent history of the reparations movement. In 1988, Congress authorized reparations payments to Japanese Americans who had been interned during World War II. This emboldened civil rights radicals in their own demands for reparations for slavery. In 1989, Congressman John Conyers introduced a bill which acknowledged the cruelties of slavery and mandated an investigation into the consequences for the descendants of slaves. And then
Is the controversial committee a good-faith attempt to instruct the campus community in the virtues of disinterested dialogue, as university officials insist, or is Brown flirting with yet another intellectual fad, as many conservatives suspect? interview with The Brown Spectator, “As to whether the committee will consider the idea of reparations, I am sure that it will.” The committee schedule confirms the centrality of reparations studies to its work: for the first semester the committee will review the history of slavery in America, then it will turn to comparative studies of how other societies have addressed their own legacies of social injustice, culminating in the fall of 2005 with one whole semester dedicated to the topic of reparations. Cynics suggest that the committee is actually a preemptive move by Brown to avoid paying reparations. They point to the nine reparations lawsuits filed against FleetBoston, Aetna, J. P. Morgan Chase, and other companies in 2002. Attorneys involved in these cases listed Brown as one of the probable defendants in future lawsuits.
in 1998, President Clinton offered a quasi-apology to Africans for America’s culpability in the slavery trade. Two years later, activist Randall Robinson published a manifesto, The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks. Then came two climatic moments: in 2000 Aetna Inc., a Connecticut company, apologized for its role in slavery, and then followed the barrage of nine lawsuits in 2002. Yet, in January of 2004, a federal judge in Chicago dismissed one of these lawsuits. Barely less than two months later a similar lawsuit seeking reparations for the 1921 Tulsa race riots likewise failed due to the statute of limitations. The reparations movement had collided with legal reality. The threat of a lawsuit against Brown therefore was minimal. Of course, the committee was assembled months before the dismissals, but then “Committee” continued on page
FIGHT THE LEFT ON CAMPUS
COLLEGE REPUBLICANS AT BROWN
MEETINGS HELD EVERY WEEK TO RECEIVE NOTIFICATIONS, E-MAIL
So, You’re a Pimp
Vagina: How Does it Smell? Travis Rowley
ne of my early encounters with liberalism at Brown University wasn’t even on campus. I met a girl while I was at a bar called the Yellow Kitten on Block Island, a small old-style colonial island off the coast of Narragansett, Rhode Island, my hometown. The area is a popular tourist spot in the summer, and thousands of people show up from all over the country to enjoy the beaches, fresh seafood, and tourist activities. It was the Fourth of July, and as you can imagine, an old-style colonial setting such as Block Island makes for a great celebration spot for that specific holiday. Thousands of people flocked to the island. I was nineteen, and in the bar. Give me a break. I’m Irish. Across the bar I saw a very attractive female, and anyone who knows me would also know that I would waste no time. You learn pretty quickly in your pubescent years that the pretty ones don’t stay lonely too long. This girl looked slightly older than me, and the only thing I found bizarre about her looks was that she was wearing some sort of alternative-style skirt that seemed to be made out of paper. I remember thinking that it looked as if she had made it herself in home-economics class in the third grade or something. Still, like The Flash, I was right beside her introducing myself. I remember her looking slightly miserable. The typical starter questions were asked. What’s your name? Where ya from? Where do you go to school? What do you study? Is your boyfriend within a 100-foot radius? Her name was Katie. Katie or Katy or Kadi or Kaity or K.D. I don’t know how she spelled her name because I never got the chance to send her a love-letter. Things went great at first, though. I remember making her laugh, but I don’t remember exactly what I said. I think I might have told her that I liked her paper skirt. That would have been funny. She said she had graduated from
Brown University. Great! Any competent womanizer knows that it always helps to have one common piece of ground for both of you to stand on, and I was going into my sophomore year at Brown in the fall. We were getting along great before I asked, “So what do you do now that you’ve graduated?” “I moved back to San Francisco and I run my own business.” At 19 years-
conviction, “Do you realize that there are thousands of women out there who have never had an orgasm?!” “No” I said. Actually, I don’t even think I knew women could have orgasms. “Well, I help women out who have those types of problems.” “By providing men for them?” “Yeah…well…sometimes other women too.” She said it so matter-of-
At 19 years-old I didn’t know any better. I couldn’t see the warning signs back then. Brown University. San Francisco. The paper skirt. I wasn’t going to get along with this chick. Oh, and I better not call her “chick” either. old I didn’t know any better. I couldn’t see the warning signs back then. Brown University. San Francisco. The paper skirt. I wasn’t going to get along with this chick. Oh, and I better not call her “chick” either. “Oh yeah!? What’s your business?” I asked, pretending to care. “I provide troubled women with sexual pleasure.” “What?” “Forget it. I don’t want to get into it,” she said. “No, no. I want you to tell me about it.” This 19 year-old was suddenly very interested. “I provide men for women who have trouble with their sex lives. Sex toys just don’t cut it. People need another person there to really be fulfilled. Ya know?” No. I didn’t know. Proudly. A million thoughts ran through my head at once, and I began to stutter because all of them were trying to come out at the same time, and I also wasn’t sure if I should say any of them. She could tell I was having a problem with what she had just told me, so she cut my stuttering off and asked me with
factly. I had gathered all of this information and thought I had it all figured out when I said, “Sooooooo…………you’re a pimp.” “No. I’m not a pimp. I help women who are very frustrated and unhappy people.” She was getting agitated and borderline insulted by my confusion about her “business.” I tried to get away from the controversial side of the topic. So, I asked her, “Oh, I see. Well…ummm…Do you make good money?” “I do okay.” “And do you pay the guys you set these women up with?” I asked. “Yeah, of course.” “Soooooo……you’re a pimp.” I couldn’t help but press the issue. She looked at me with a very serious face and said, “Ya know what, forget it! I believe in what I do!” She walked away. That’s okay. I could handle the rejection, and I never dreamed I’d marry a she-pimp anyway. She’d probably wear a white paper dress to our wedding. Not “Pimp” continued on page ...
Spectator 8 Spectator “Dutch” Economics March 2005
How Reagan Saved us from Domestic State Socialism Eric Neuman “The era of big government is over.” President Clinton, State of the Union Address, 1996 hether or not President Clinton meant to say that memorable line, the fact that the entire nation did not immediately recoil and demand that he correct his statement can be largely attributed to one man: Ronald “Dutch” Reagan. Those of us growing up in the eighties or later fortunately did not have to personally experience the dire economic circumstances the United States was in before the “Reagan Revolution.” Policies such as Johnson’s “Great Society” debacle (the American equivalent of the “Great Leap Forward” and almost as devastating) and Ford’s “Whip Inflation Now” (controlling inflation by acting as if it does not exist), convinced most economists that neither Democrats nor Republicans had ever taken a course in
million jobs after the tax burden had been relaxed, and the 70-plus percent decrease in inflation. People have argued and will continue to argue whether bureaucrats or citizens make better decisions regarding people’s lives, but what many young conservatives view as Reagan’s domestic legacy proves that at least sometimes government is not the solution to society’s problems. Even many who believed that FDR used government to solve the problems the market caused (as Reagan did himself) also believe that Reagan used the market to solve the problems government caused. Reagan at least agreed with his critics in that his policy was simple. It is not complex to say that, on the whole, people spend their own money more efficiently than does a bureaucrat thousands of miles away, in a cubicle in Washington, DC. Economic freedom also turned out to be good for peoples’ beliefs in themselves. National pride was low when Reagan
United States, Capitalism at first received the blame for mixed-market inefficiencies, and government blunder after government blunder resulted. Many considered State Socialism to be winning. However, as the American economy came roaring back and the Soviet Empire fell, libertarians and egalitarians the world over saw the freer economy prevail. When President Clinton uttered the aforementioned phrase, he was partially right. The size of government continues to expand, and even expanded under Reagan’s two terms. However, the ideology of Government as the expansive, omniscient institution that is the best solution to all society’s problems has been thoroughly discredited. Lawmakers are considering market-based initiatives in many areas that formerly were considered to be solely under the auspices of government. Enviro-statists are considering tradable carbon credits; concerned parents are asking for school vouchers; the Bush tax cut coincided with the latest economic recovery; media restrictions are being relaxed; security markets are even being considered to bail out FDR’s bankrupt Social Security system. The debate over bureaucratic versus market solutions is f a r f r o m o v e r, a n d economists are still wondering how most politicians ever graduated from college. Still, Austrian and Chicagoan economic solutions, when put to the test both domestically and abroad, are proving to be the best medicine for many of society’s illnesses. Even if “[t]he era of big government is over,” we are not in an era of conservative utopia either. Fortunately though, our political proposals are more creative and come from a wider array of possible approaches than they did in the days before Reagan. We have “Dutch” to thank for that. Eric Neuman ’04 is a former editor of The Brown Spectator.
Many considered State Socialism to be winning. However, as the American economy came roaring back and the Soviet Empire fell, libertarians and egalitarians the world over saw the freer economy prevail. economics. The bureaucratic experiments that politicians had been conducting on Americans’ jobs and money had taken their toll. The 1980 Presidential Election was a call by American voters that they wanted a change. Reagan’s “mandate” was convincing enough to pressure the Democratic-held Congress to pass the largest tax cut since President Kennedy. The tax cut was not without its critics then as it is not without its critics today. People derided the plan, calling it “simplistic,” and still debate the merits of supply-side economics or “Reaganomics” to this day. What is not debated is the creation of 8
took office, but, after Americans pulled themselves out of their economic slump, they were able feel triumphant, rather than resentfully grateful toward some patronizing government program. The stark contrast of the crumbling Soviet Empire highlighted the US’s economic success in the 1980’s. Apart from the editorial board of The Socialist Worker, it is clear to everyone now that Communism starved and imprisoned its citizens to revolution, but, for many decades, the intelligentsia lauded their “Noble Experiment” using fabricated economic figures from Pravda. In the
Sagebrush Rebel Reagan
The Soviet Union is Gone; Radical Environmentalism Remains Brian Bishop
he Reagan Revolution has been properly feted of late as its architect bid a final farewell to the field of battle. Given that one says nothing but good of the dead unless they were President, his critics have been remarkably quiet – largely limiting their contributions to suggestions that the Soviet Union would have collapsed eventually anyway. Reagan hating is, of course, still academic policy on any respectable college campus, but elsewhere around the nation, his revolution has won many hearts and minds. His admirers have assiduously avoided discussing Reagan’s environmental policy, as if it represents some Achilles heel of his legacy. Indeed, it might be fair to say that Reagan’s environmental approach failed, but not for the reasons popularly conceived. Reagan rent the Iron Curtain but could not untie the Gordian Knot. His legacy inspired opposition to elite environmentalism. Although the greens remain ensconced in the redoubts of Washington, D.C., they are no longer beyond reproach. Reagan’s approach to the environment was perhaps the most misunderstood aspect of his presidency. Ironically, Reagan and his Interior Secretary James Watt put down the Sagebrush
Rebellion. This was possibly the Reagan Administration’s greatest failing on a campaign promise, and represents the former President’s own admission that it was impossible to use the Presidential bully pulpit to reach the American people with any counter-orthodox ideas on the environment. Writing in 1985 on progress
federal management outlays. With no disrespect to a tenure that was inured with profound respect for the integration of grazing, forestry, mining and recreation into conservation policy, Jim Watt was, without question, the Benedict Arnold of the Sagebrush Rebellion. By adopting a good neighbor
If Dennis Hastert can wake up his sleepy speakership with a proposal to eliminate the IRS, perhaps he could be convinced to add the Bureau of Land Management to his bureaucratic extinction list. in privatization of public lands, Reagan lamented the widespread push for more land acquisition. “…[T]here wasn’t an environmental movement in [Adam Smith’s] day. I get my brains kicked out for reducing the acreage of wilderness land that someone wants to buy.” In a recent appearance at Colorado University, Jim Watt, who all but defined the administration’s environmental outlook, revealed a decidedly Rooseveltian streak in the Reagan administration. Watt touted putting more land in the lower 48 states into wilderness than Jimmy Carter, and revealed that he foreswore the explicit Sagebrush Rebellion objective of transferring federal lands to state governments because he believed the states needed the continued subsidy of
policy intended to defuse rather than fulfill the goals of the sagebrush rebels, the Reagan administration handed the environmentalists one of their greatest strategic victories in history while never getting the least bit of credit for it. Indeed, to this day, Republicans are criticized for the tenure of Jim Watt. This makes clear that on the subject of partisan environmental politics, Republicans can do no right and Democrats no wrong. Libertarians themselves let down the Sagebrush Revolution by not supporting the grassroots call for state ownership of unappropriated public lands under the “equal footing” doctrine of the Constitution. Libertarian abstractionists favored outright privatization and painted “Sagebrush” continued on page ...
www.brownspectator.com “[Government’s] great contribution to human wisdom… is the discovery that the taxpayer has more than one pocket.” - H.L. Mencken
Spectator Spectator 10 In Defense of ROTC March 2005
Diversifying Our Nation’s Military Sheila Dugan
n an op-ed to the New York Times, William Broyles Jr. writes of allowing “other people’s children” to fight our wars. Noting the scarcity of politicians’ family members fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, Broyles ends his column by advocating the return of the draft; only then “chance, not connection or clever manipulation, would determine who serves.” Charles B. Rangel, a representative from New York and another supporter of the draft, echoed this sentiment in his remarks to the House of Representatives on February 13, 2003. Invoking a Vietnam-era speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, he voiced his desire for a more “equitable representation of all classes of Americans” in the armed services. Broyles and Rangel claim that a war’s worth can be judged by the willingness of all members of society to bear the consequences of war. However, rather than focusing on reviving the draft, perhaps they should look at ways to captivate the attention of “children of our nation’s elite” and work to revive the Reserve Officer Training Corps, or ROTC, at our country’s most selective colleges and universities. At Brown University students choosing to join ROTC must take classes at Providence College. Harvard has a similar arrangement with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The inconvenience of going to another campus coupled with the fact that some
schools do not offer students credit for
1969, the faculty voted to deprive the naval
military science courses suggests these schools are either indifferent or hostile to the program. Cornell University is the only school in the Ivy League that offers ROTC for the Navy, Marines, Army, and Air Force. Even outside the Ivy League, the dominant symbol of New England elitism, students at Stanford University interested in the program are forced to take classes at nearby schools like Santa Clara University. Most Ivy League schools abolished their ROTC programs as a result of the protest movement during the Vietnam War, when many student activists aimed their energy at eradicating the program. At Dartmouth College, students took over Parkhurst Hall in 1969 to protest the program, feeling that their university should not support the “morally reprehensible” activities of the United States military. Although many of these students were arrested and sent to jail, by 1970 ROTC was no longer part of campus life. The program was eventually restored in 1985. Brown University has a similar history, with a less-happy ending. In March of
and air force units of their departmental status. The faculty also ensured students would not receive academic credit from their classes and deprived officers of the professorial status. The navy and air force units soon left campus. In 1972, the last on-campus cadets were commissioned. Like at most other schools, the removal of the ROTC from campus was seen as the direct result of student disproval of the U.S.’s policies in Vietnam. Current disapproval of the program stems from the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. At Harvard University, several faculty resolutions illustrate this point. Since 1990, the faculty has attempted to bar the university from paying for students’ training at MIT and to prevent the ROTC commissioning ceremony from taking place in the Yard. The University has largely ignored these resolutions, and since 1995 donors have provided the funds for students to train at MIT. Concern over the Department of Defense’s policy
The best testament to the greatness of the United States of America is its citizens’ willingness to enlist without coercion to defend and protect their country...
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“ROTC” continued on page
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from page 10... towards homosexuals may be genuine, but it does not stop schools from receiving money from ROTC scholarships and other federal dollars. Taking note of current attitudes toward the ROTC, lawmakers have responded to the problem. A bill passed by the House of Representatives in March of 2004 would deny Pentagon funding to schools that refuse to allow recruiters from the armed services equal access to students on campus, and make it mandatory for universities to submit to the Secretary of Defense a report promising that they will support the ROTC. Although pressuring schools that receive funds into providing more institutional cooperation to students who want to participate in ROTC appears to be a step in the right direction, a recent court decision jeopardizes these plans. In a 2-1 decision, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found revoking federal funds from law schools that refused to grant military recruiters access to their campus was a violation of free speech rights. It is time to bring ROTC back on Ivy League campuses or at least to pressure administrators to offer more support to these programs. Not only would it provide another way for students to serve their country, it is a virtual wet dream for class warriors like Rangel. Imagine having access to a polo shirt-wearing population of students where less than half are on financial aid, and where many hail from Exeter, Andover, and other posh private schools. The ultimate goal should be to keep our country’s voluntary military service intact. The best testament to the greatness of the United States of America is its citizens’ willingness to enlist without coercion to defend and protect their country—or at least to find the Department of Defense a better employer than McDonalds.
Sheila Dugan ’07 is the Executive Editor of The Brown Spectator.
GOP@brown.edu yes,wedo exist
“Interview” from page 4...
the idea of reparations even if it does not recommend that Brown University itself pay reparations? Why else call it the committee on “slavery and justice”? I believe that the purpose of the committee is quite clear, despite whatever people may think about one reporter’s approach to the subject in the New York Times. My earlier charge addressed the mission of the committee:
particular question, however, were made clear in my op-ed in The Boston Globe. SB: If this is to be a dialogue, what steps will be taken to ensure that the dialogue is as broad and diverse as possible and that dissenting voices from all perspectives will be presented to students? RS: I chose to create a steering committee rather than an ad-hoc committee because the real work will be done in public forums, presentations, discussions and debates. The committee will facilitate
I chose to create a steering committee rather than an ad-hoc committee because the real work will be done in public forums, presentations, discussions and debates. ~ Ruth Simmons The charge to the committee will be to organize academic events and activities that might help the nation and the Brown community think deeply, seriously, and rigorously about the questions raised by this controversy. Activities that the steering committee might organize include a scholarly conference with Brown faculty and experts from around the country, publications of various kinds (a volume of papers from the conference, for example, or a collection of essays on the role of slavery within Brown’s history), public lectures and colloquia for the Brown community, undergraduate research projects on the UTRA or GRP models, or special courses on the issues and their historical backgrounds. My hope is to form a committee of the highest academic quality that will be recognized as broadly inclusive of conflicting perspectives and differing methods of analysis... However, the committee will be chaired by a faculty member, and its primary energy and directions will be generated by its faculty and student membership. This remains the committee’s charge today. As to whether the committee will consider the idea of reparations, I am sure that it will. My own views on this
that process. I urge both the committee and the campus community to recruit a broad range of perspectives and, above all, to listen with respect and care. This is how academic communities do their best work. And if you examine the people whom the committee has invited to speak, I believe that you will find that a range of views and perspectives has been presented. I am confident that this effort to obtain a broad array of perspectives will continue as the committee does its work. SB: How are you applying the lessons of the David Horowitz controversy from the spring of 2001 to this current project? Was that controversy influential in the decision to create this committee? If so, how? RS: The Horowitz ad that appeared in The Brown Daily Herald dealt only with the narrow legal issue of reparations. The controversy that ensued was largely about the rights and responsibilities of community members and newspaper editors. SB: Why is it important to discuss this issue now? America is rapidly becoming a multiracial nation. Shouldn’t we prepare ourselves for the future of race relations instead of dwelling upon events that happened centuries ago? To be sure,
history is an important subject of academic study, but why does this topic merit the attention of the whole campus? RS: I am glad that you recognize that history is an important subject of academic study, and I certainly agree that, as we become a more diverse society, we must prepare ourselves to deal with the challenges that come with this important aspect of our culture. I do not agree, however, with your premise that the steering committee’s work amounts to “dwelling upon events that happened centuries ago.” Indeed, I would argue that if the committee lives up to its charge—and I fully expect that it will—its report can help us prepare for the future of race relations by learning from our past. That is the essence of an academic exercise like this one. As to whether this topic merits the attention of the whole campus, I would make two points. First, I am delighted that the Committee on Slavery and Justice is of interest to so many people on our campus and, indeed, around the country. I believe that the committee has received a lot of attention because the topic of its work is of interest. Second, the committee’s work is certainly not the only interesting and controversial topic that is discussed and debated on our campus. There are many other issues that are of enormous interest to our community-the war against terrorism, the conflict in Iraq, the environment, human rights, civil rights, trade and economics, and others. These important issues receive a great deal of attention at Brown, as they should. And this is one of the many reasons that Brown is such a wonderful institution for people to teach, study, learn, and advance knowledge.
“Committee” from page 5... again, the public announcement of the committee came later. Clearly, Brown administrators sensed a deeper need for the committee. If anything, the slavery and justice committee has rehabilitated the idea of reparations, endowing it with a measure of academic credibility. In all fairness, I feel compelled to note that President Simmons, Associate Provost Brenda Allen, and committee chairman Professor James Campbell have all repeatedly asserted in interviews with The Spectator that the work of the committee is an affirmation of the principles of intellectual diversity. As President Simmons put it, “[t] he Committee’s creation was actually recommended by the deans who correctly saw this as an opportunity to educate students about how to address complex questions.” Likewise, in perhaps the most concise formulation of the mission statement to date, Campbell told The Spectator that the purpose of the committee was to “open up space for people to start reflecting in comparative and contextual ways” on the question of how societies deal with “legacies of historical injustice.” He also expressed interest in inviting conservatives like Glenn Lowry and John McWhorter as speakers. Yet, as John Adams famously said, facts are stubborn things and there is one inescapable fact that spoils any reasonable hope that the committee will produce intellectually diverse programs for the campus: there is not a single conservative member nor is there even an outspoken moderate. Of course, in a university in which more than 90 percent of the humanities professors are registered Democrats—as Campbell himself pointed out—this should come as little surprise. Yet does this not merely make it all the more imperative that the committee reach out to conservative professors? It is especially disconcerting that the one committee member who had publicly criticized reparations, historian James Patterson, has since resigned due to conflicts with other
The Brown academic commitments. It is all the more revealing that even the initial student representation on the committee ranged from the radically liberal president of the College Democrats to the president of the Young Communist League at Brown. In her interview with The Spectator, President Simmons explained that all committee members were chosen primarily on the basis of their “professional and academic expertise.” There is no evidence that consideration was also given to ensuring that the committee reflected a diversity of social and political philosophies. Why then were so many of those who I interviewed for this article surprised
that President Simmons misunderstood the question, yet it is telling nonetheless. For conservatives and classical liberals the debate over freedom of speech obscured the deeper issue that was at stake: the dearth of intellectual diversity on campus. So unaccustomed were students to expressions of conservative thought that they could not even consider their merits without first rethinking the very meaning of freedom of speech. Such was the severity of the situation that the only source of contrarian opinion during Black History Month was a petty newspaper advertisement. And radical students did everything in their power to smother even this whisper of dissidence. As for
Would they be comfortable if the situation was reversed? Would we expect an intellectually diverse conversation on “slavery and justice” from Bob Jones University were it to convene a similar committee? and even offended that conservatives are lamenting the lack of intellectual diversity on the committee? Would they be comfortable if the situation was reversed? Would we expect an intellectually diverse conversation on “slavery and justice” from Bob Jones University were it to convene a similar committee? Lest we forget, Brown is the same place that exploded in a perfect storm of racial animosity after David Horowitz published a polemical advertisement on reparations in the Brown Daily Herald. How are the lessons of the Horowitz controversy being applied to the current situation? When this question was posed to her in The Spectator interview, President Simmons tersely replied that the “Horowitz ad that appeared in The Brown Daily Herald dealt only with the narrow legal issue of reparations. The controversy that ensued was largely about the rights and responsibilities of community members and newspaper editors.” The wording of her answer indicates
the university administration, it merely stepped aside and chided The Herald editors. Brown as an institution has simply not proven itself capable of sustaining a rigorous dialogue on a topic as toxic as slavery reparations. The committee’s final report to President Simmons will likely do everything it can to promote the idea of reparations without actually endorsing reparations. One doubts that the committee will issue a minority report. Stephen Beale ’04 is the founder and Editor-at-Large of The Brown Spectator.
The Brown Spectator Spectator
from page 7... my type. At nineteen years old, I didn’t fully appreciate what had just happened to me. Back then it was just another girl walking away from one of my valiant efforts to approach her. At that point in my life, I was not interested in political thought, yet I was still very opinionated. And as I spent more time at Brown, campus events would convert me into a committed conservative. Only then did I realize who my Pimp Girlfriend really was. She was a liberal. ****** The she-pimp gave me a glimpse of the type of feminism I would witness throughout my career at Brown. One of my later encounters with radical feminism occurred one day during my junior y e a r i n s i d e B r o w n ’s cafeteria. Because Brown does not have a real student center, students often advertise events through cafeteria posters, or through postcardsized slips on the dining tables. These table-slips promoted all types of campus events, from study sessions to musical concerts to activist meetings. On one particular day I noticed a tableslip that especially stood out from the rest. The slip was shaded bright red with a single word written on it in bold capital letters: VAGINA. Nothing else was written on the table slip. Just VAGINA. My intuition told me that it was a campus feminist organization that had placed these slips all over the cafeteria tables. I couldn’t say that for sure, though, because no organization had signed its name to these vagina-slips.
I was confused, but also very interested. I mean, I liked vagina, but I wondered why the feminists felt a need to remind me of female genitalia as I ate my lunch. I was quite vexed, so I asked several people about these vagina-slips. They told me that the purpose of the vagina-slips was to make people comfortable with the word “vagina.” Feminist theory was that people are comfortable referring to a penis in a variety of ways, but any explicit reference to female sexuality makes people cringe. Oh. Okay. I see. The following day I went back to the cafeteria for lunch. I don’t know why I kept eating there. Again I found what appeared to be the same table-slip on my table. It too was bright-red and had the forbidden V-word written on it. The
it taste? Despite my obvious bewilderment with feminist logic, did their actions contain any degree of decency? Was it appropriate to put things like vagina-slips on the cafeteria tables? Were Brown’s feminists going to be allowed to commit this extremism without any social ramifications (such as criticism)? Yes, they were. Nobody on campus even flinched. But how could anyone flinch? The vagina-slips were nothing compared to other productions of the Brown feminists. For instance, their campus sex-toy workshops. And perhaps the most unforgettable feminist event was the airing of the female ejaculation video, which featured four disturbed women masturbating to the point of ejaculation. Awesome. Just awesome. I heard about the female ejaculation video from yet another public campus advertisement. Come see women ejaculate! Solomon Hall, Wednesday 4pm. Of course, I wouldn’t miss it. I actually arrived early to grab a seat in the front row with my two roommates. We laughed our asses off. It may not surprise the reader by now to learn that the female ejaculation video was not something that was aired in an offcampus dwelling. This was not something that was intended to be hidden from University administrators. Rather, this was an event inside a Brown educational facility, approved by the University. After some time, this is what I found most disturbing, the fact that administrators were never present to chastise radical feminists or other sexual extremists for turning the campus into one big Hustler
Concerning instances of campus pornography, administrators never saw a need to oppose student indecency. feminists, however, had pulled a fast one on the rest of the campus. They had put out a batch of new-and-improved vagina-slips in the middle of the night while others slept. I turned my new vagina-slip over and read what they had printed on the back: HOW DOES IT SMELL? Well, I guess it depended on the vagina that they were talking about. I thought back to the supposed purpose of these vagina-slips: normalization of the word “vagina.” I hadn’t wholeheartedly agreed with the assumption that a table-slip that said “penis” on it was more appetizing to people than one that said “vagina.” Now, my classmates seemed to be suggesting that people would actually be pleased to see a table-slip that read: Penis, how does
“Vagina” continued on page
www.brownspectator.com “There can be no such thing, in law or in morality, as actions forbidden to an individual, but permitted to a mob.” - Ayn Rand
“Vagina” from page 14... Magazine. Indeed, instances of campus pornography never elicited any sort of disciplinary response. And again, here was the administration using the energy and verve of their students to create a haven for anything liberal. If serious criticism ever came, the administration had an easy out. Hey, it wasn’t us. We didn’t know what was going on. But we’ll be sure to solve this problem right away. Yeah, right. Concerning instances of campus pornography, administrators never saw a need to oppose student indecency. This refusal to oppose my classmates, and the fact that they were allowed to use
The Brown Brown’s facilities for their purposes, only suggested to me that the administration was actually endorsing their behavior. I must admit, as a student, I found Brown’s sexual openness as funny as it was repulsive. Perhaps my attendance at was repulsive. Perhaps my attendance at the female ejaculation video was motivated by a little more than my need
Yes. Would I send my own son or daughter to Brown? Absolutely not. At Brown, the message clearly was this: Have sex. Lots of it, and with as many partners as possible. Gay sex with five other men in a shower if you prefer. And I couldn’t help but notice it again. Liberalism was not asking people to do better, or to be better. Instead the message was: Just do whatever feels good right now, young ones. Don’t worry about the consequences. No mention or recognition of sacrifice, discipline, or responsibility.
Shouldn’t they have been concerned with what I was noticing, a campus with the same sexual morality as dogs in heat? for opposition research. But where were the adults who should have been in charge of the University? Shouldn’t they have been concerned with what I was noticing, a campus with the same sexual morality as dogs in heat? Did I find fun and humor with Brown’s sexually immoral campus?
So, You’re a Pimp is the first of a series of excerpts from Out of Ivy, a forthcoming book by Travis Rowley ’02.
Spectator Spectator 16 Building Differences March 2005
The Failure of “Diversity” Education Pratik Chougule “No community can be built on the basis of preferential treatment and double standards, and their existence belies university rhetoric about equality.” Dinesh D’Souza n the name of diversity, multiculturalism, and political correctness, Brown University has deliberately broken with the ideals of a classical liberal education. Perhaps this a c a d e m i c revolution can be most plainly witnessed in the university funded “diversity” program, Building Understanding Across Differences (BUAD), which I, unfortunately, endured for two days of freshman orientation. Rather than “increasing understanding and dialogue among students of differing social identities related to race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ability, and class,” BUAD deliberately and unequivocally engages in censorship, indoctrination, and race-baiting, which can only produce an environment of ignorance, self-victimization, and cultural division on campus. Before exploring the hazardous implications of such programs, it is useful to first examine the sheer immaturity and benightedness of the student and faculty participants. Prior to any discussion of the issues, the students were instructed by the faculty leader of the program, that if they
are hurt by anyone’s comments or feel uncomfortable in any way, they should “raise their hand and say ‘OUCH.” At this point, the discussion will be stopped, and the student will share his/her feelings on the matter. Shortly after we were told this, I discovered that this “OUCH” ordeal was no joking matter. After watching a Katie Couric documentary which explored
While it is easy to shrug off BUAD and other “diversity” programs as nothing more than laughable examples of far-left multiculturalism and political correctness at work, the long term consequences of this university funded asininity are potentially dangerous for the several reasons. In the words of Michael ChenIllamos ’05, a West Indian, Latino and gay
The inherent political agenda of such “Diversity” programs can be witnessed in their propensity to stir up blatantly antiAmerican thinking. The general theme of BUAD is clear: America is a racist, elitist, homophobic, insensitive nation. the widespread bigotry and racism of America, I raised my hand to argue that racial profiling, in certain instances, can make our country safer. (It’s no secret that while most Muslims are not terrorists, most terrorists are Muslims.) Immediately, several students raised their hands and yelled “OUCH,” in order to promptly silence my “racist” opinion. My bigotry was confirmed a few moments later when I suggested that affirmative action causes lesser qualified minorities to be admitted over other white and Asian applicants. After another obligatory “OUCH,” I was assured by a fellow BUAD member that despite affirmative action, minorities at Brown, on average, have grades just as high as other applicants. It was at this point that I knew it was time to leave the program.
member of BUAD, “Discussions here are very politically correct.” This political correctness inevitably leads to a level of censorship, which takes away from the integrity of the debate. The fact of the matter is that issues dealing with race, class, ethnicity, and sexual orientation cannot be meaningfully discussed without hurting someone’s feelings. Ultimately, however, all sides gain when people are free to voice their opinion openly, even if it is not politically correct. Furthermore, BUAD and other “diversity” programs are clearly politically tilted in their approach. Besides the fact that there are few if any conservatives involved with the program, the general philosophy on these issues are approached “BUAD” continued on page
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“BUAD” from page 16...
from a very left-liberal perspective. This environment is conducive to indoctrination, not education. The inherent political agenda of such “Diversity” programs can be witnessed in their propensity to stir up blatantly antiAmerican thinking. The general theme of BUAD is clear: America is a racist, elitist, homophobic, insensitive nation. No mention was given to the fact that America was built on the principles of liberty, and that it is the most inclusive, egalitarian nation in the world. If the best colleges and universities of are nation continue to promote a generation of leaders who do not believe in the egalitarian principles of America, they have failed in their core missions. Finally, “Diversity” education, by singling out minorities and promoting the notion that they are oppressed, foster
an environment whereby resentment, self-victimization, and isolation are inevitable. “Diversity” programs impede on their own core mission, that being, to build a society in which all members can assimilate fairly and equally. Fortunately, at least one member of BUAD benefited from the program. “People come up to me and think it’s okay to just touch my hair,” he said. “They never think of it as a degrading act – or that it’s an invasion of personal space…. It’s condescending, but I don’t think there’s a conscious decision to be condescending.” His classmates in BUAD, he added, “know not to do that anymore.”
Pratik Chougule ’08 is a Staff Writer for The Brown Spectator.
“Sagebrush” from page 9... portraits of sagebrush rebels as cranks and kooks. This is epitomized by a quote the CATO Institute’s Carl Hess gave Time Magazine in 1995: “Someone’s going to carry a gun, someone’s going to shoot, someone’s going to bomb a Forest Service office”. Reagan was unswerving in the concept of “Equal Footing” in his personal belief, if not in his presidential accomplishments. While Governor of California, an addled constituent wrote to Reagan asking for lower property taxes and more federal government land acquisition. Reagan responded that he believed the western states had been deprived of the proper role in disposing of lands that were not privately held upon statehood: “[T]he Constitution then stated and still does state that any states coming into the union subsequent to the 13 colonies would have the same right to territory as did those original colonies.” Experience shows us that states manage their own lands more effectively and efficiently. With Ronald Reagan’s passing, it is time to consider real change, devolving not just management but ownership of these lands, and giving actual legacy to the Gipper’s ideas. If Dennis Hastert can wake up his sleepy speakership with a proposal to eliminate the IRS, perhaps he could be convinced to add the Bureau of Land Management to his bureaucratic extinction list. In turn, if states find some management tasks too expensive or complex, they can sell these lands for development or preservation. If all these environmental groups are so damned concerned about every leaf of every tree in the country, let them put their money where their mouths are.
Brian Bishop is the host of Rule Free Radio on WARL 1320.
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from page 3... by Rush Limbaugh and various commentators on Fox News, this caricature materialized as I absorbed people’s reactions to the election. As far as they were concerned, “those with the Confederate bumper stickers on the back of their pick-up trucks,” as Howard Dean once said, made a mistake by voting for George W. Bush. Democrats have the biggest bag of goodies, promising nationalized healthcare, a secure retirement, and affirmative action. And moral values—well, everyone knows Democrats love minorities, women, and poor people. They are the ones attempting to eradicate poverty and a slew of “isms” most in this country don’t even know exist. Well, I guess its time for some progressives to realize that voters do not always go to the polls with their hands out waiting for goodies from the federal government. Perhaps it is time that they consider re-examining many of the tenets of the Leftist canon which has guided them since the New Deal. Even more important is to prevent the condescension that emerged on campus from entering into mainstream political dialogue. If that were to occur, Zell Miller’s famous assertion will become true beyond any doubt. The Democratic Party will be a “national party no more.” Sheila Dugan ’07 is the Executive Editor of The Brown Spectator.
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