It’s Time to Turn Yourself In

Dennis Jett casts a satirical eye on Professor Watchlist.

December 16, 2016
 
 

I read with great concern the Nov. 30, 2016, article on the opinion page of The New York Times by George Yancy about his being placed on something called the Professor Watchlist. I rushed to the website for the list, which was created by a group called Turning Point USA for the purpose of identifying college professors who oppose “the principles of fiscal responsibility, free markets and limited government.”

My concern turned to shock as I discovered that only one professor from my large, public, Northeastern research university was on the list. So I immediately filled out the form on the website in order to report that my name should be added to it.

I figured that I should be the one to turn myself in for CRT -- counterreactionary thought. While I’m not sure what I teach can be called “leftist propaganda,” I must certainly be guilty of harboring such ideas, having worked not just in academe but also in government -- and for many of those years overseas.

To help other educators to bring themselves into line with the new political reality that has descended on the land, here are some suggestions:

  • Use all administrative gatherings, such as department meetings and Faculty Senate committees, to publicly confess your own inclinations toward CRT. These occasions can also be used to denounce others whom you suspect have committed CRT.
  • Form a committee to be on the watch for such utterances wherever they may occur.
  • Form another committee to read all emails and monitor all phone calls for CRT.
  • Form a third committee to criticize the failure of the first two committees to find enough names to add to the list.

At the institutional level, your university should rebrand itself as a charter school. Under the new U.S. Department of Re-education, no federal funds will be forthcoming unless you do. You should also eliminate all courses that are not part of the STEM disciplines. The purpose of a higher education is, after all, only to grease the wheels of capitalism. Social sciences, humanities and the arts are therefore unnecessary and can only lead to deviant ideas.

Debates on the campus should be limited to exchanges of phrases from the soon-to-be-issued little orange book that all will be required to carry. It will be full of sage advice and sayings like “no profit too big, no government too small.”

And lastly, go to the Turning Point USA website and turn yourself in. If you are in academe, you are guilty of thought and therefore have committed CRT.

Bio

Dennis Jett, a former career diplomat, is a professor of international affairs at a large public research university in the Northeast.

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