Home > College > Shut Up and Teach: A Review of Indoctrinate U

Shut Up and Teach: A Review of Indoctrinate U

“Instead of restricting free speech, let’s say we’re ‘ending harassment’.”

When I was considering universities to attend, there were a number of criteria I used to identify the optimal choice: quality of the computer science program, location, and cost were the big three. But in the back of my mind, there was always a small bit of consideration given to the political climate on campus, after I had heard tell of the free speech of students being abridged on college campuses. There was no terribly effective way to research this, and it stayed in the back of my mind until after I made the choice and came to my current school.

And, sure enough, I lucked out and managed to find a school that doesn’t have teachers who give political lectures in their Romance Languages course, and I’ve yet to hear of any actions taken against students over reasonably protected speech.

But that left me pretty curious: what was going on at these schools where such things were common place? How do the students manage? Thinking similar things, Evan Coyne Maloney and his On The Fence Films production team set out to document just that in their film Indoctrinate U.

This is a film with a broad scope, which sets out not only to document infringements on protected free speech, but also investigate its root causes, as well as indict the entire system of political correctness that has produced college students who will scream to military recruiters “Get out of our country!” while waving a flag of Palestine.

For example, Maloney tells the story of Steve Hinkle, a Cal Poly student who was punished and bullied by administrators after posting “literature of an offensive racial nature.” The posting? A flier announcing a speech being given by author Mason Weaver. The “offensive” speech? The title of Mason Weaver’s book, “It’s Okay To Leave the Plantation”. After all was said and done, some months later, Hinkle had nearly been thrown out of school for a flier that had been construed, under some nebulous definition, as “hate speech.”

But this documentary isn’t just talking to college students in their dorms, because all of this discussion of serious matters is interleaved with lighthearted “confrontations”, such as Maloney inquiring at some dozen universities where he can find their Men’s Center — “Is it near the Women’s Center?”

However, where these sections detail a narrative, there is another story told when the film just cools its heels and lets the fruits of this politically correct college mono-culture run wild. Incidents like a college student shouting the nonsensical jeer “The blood is on your shoulders, man!” and a college bureaucrat attempting to waflle and weasel his way out of whether he did or did not approve fliers that compare a student to Hitler and suicide bombers.

But since anecdotal evidence by itself can never be taken with proof, Maloney makes sure to dig up the numbers to bear up his claims, as well as interview college professors from across the political spectrum. Unfortunately and inexplicably, however, not a single college administrator contacted agreed to interview on camera.

But in all of this, I’m sort of predisposed to like the film, since it exposes something I disagree while using enough journalistic integrity that it can’t be dismissed out of hand as a smear job. But while I was watching the documentary in my dorm, my roommate came along and was instantly drawn in. Not only was he impressed by the film, he was entirely unaware of the events it documented. He and I are both lucky that we go to such a tolerant university, although I’ll admit he echoed my thoughts by muttering, “Oh, wow,” when Maloney made a passing reference to an incident where the ROTC office right here on campus was vandalized.

This film is whirlwind tour of political correctness on college campuses that wraps up with a stirring call to arms, as it were, to push for a new campus free speech movement, one that will tolerate views that may offend you. After all, as the film reinforces, nobody really has a right to not be offended. Summing up this wish for free speech on campus, Maloney punctuates his film with a protester’s own words:

“No justice, no peace.”

Categories: College
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  1. September 24, 2014 at 11:30 pm

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