Gonzaga University: Another college application and another dispiriting slog through the dreary social justice universe of American higher education.
The college application process continues. All the colleges demand essays that subtly invite the student to explain that he, she, or it was “born a poor black child,” or “born a gender mislabeled child.” When we got to the application for Gonzaga, a Jesuit institution, though, its single essay question, on a first quick read, seemed to be genuinely different and intriguing:
As part of Gonzaga’s Presidential Speaker Series, the University brings to campus individuals whose scholarly research and commitment inspire students to action. Who would you choose to speak at Gonzaga and why? (word limit 50-300)
I should know better than to skim. The above is not, in fact, what that essay question asked. In my first quick appraisal, I ignored a few key words:
As part of Gonzaga’s Presidential Speaker Series, the University brings to campus individuals whose scholarly research and commitment to social justice inspire students to action. Who would you choose to speak at Gonzaga and why? (word limit 50-300)
Et tu, Gonzaga? Et tu?
Just to give a little context, Gonzaga’s speakers for the last six seasons have included Greg Mortensen, liar and thief, who create a fake social justice story and then embezzled from the money that came in;* Thomas Friedman, the laziest man in journalism who has dreams of becoming a Chinese-style dictator; and Jane Goodall, who has done nice work with chimps but who also compared President Trump in an unflattering way to a chimpanzee and who is another mindless scientist who is all-in for anthropogenic climate change despite the fact that the predictions have consistently been wrong. (Which means no actual science was involved in the making of this theory.)
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a former Liberian president, also spoke. She has apologized for her support for James Taylor. She’s also squirreled away money in the Bahamas.
Ingrid Betancourt, a Columbian by birth and French by marriage, Columbian politician made famous because FARC kidnapped her and held her for many years, spoke. Her biography is all over the place. Clearly, the FARC communists didn’t like her. Just as clearly, she comes from the usual loopy Leftist politics that are the norm in too many countries. Hugo Chavez seems to have been someone she admired. Regarding her kidnapping, she foolishly put herself in incredible danger. Two men who shared her captivity say she was an awful, greedy, entitled captive, believing she deserved special treatment. A third man says she was very nice. I’d love more information from you guys.
And lastly there was Siddhartha Kara, whose mission is to stop human trafficking and slavery. I applaud him. He’s been focusing on sex workers in Southeast Asia and central Europe, among other things. Interestingly, though, a word search of his name with either “Islam” or “Muslim” doesn’t come up. I find that strange given that the Muslim faith has slavery (sexual and otherwise) as a core doctrine and that slavery is endemic to the Muslim world. Hmmm.
All in all, a mixed bag, with some losers (by my standards), some not-nice-people (by my standards), and a couple of ciphers (by my standards). I would love it if you all could add to my fund of knowledge about these speakers.
But it’s not Gonzaga, it’s something — or, rather, somewhere — else. What I’ve learned is that all of the colleges ask “What’s unique about this college that makes you want to attend?”
Judging by the websites, nothing makes any of them unique. They are distinguishable only by size, geographic location, campus architecture, and date of founding.
Otherwise, all the colleges, subject only to a few exceptions such as America’s military academies, promise the following: A great education, career opportunities (which, if true, should mean it’s totally reasonable for them to guarantee student loans), diversity, and a fantastic social life. All have home pages or “campus life pages” that instantly assure the aspiring student that if he, she, it is black, Muslim, or a member of the LGBTQ etc. spectrum, this campus is the place for him, her, or it.
I’m unimpressed by all of these social justice factories.
Please correct me if I got anything wrong in the above discussion. I’m feeling very irritated and explosive thanks to wading through these things for days and weeks. Often, that leaves me construing facts in the worst possible — or even in the wrong — way.
*Although to do Gonzaga justice, it appears they invited Mortenson, and he may even have spoken, before the scandal broke.