Opinion: The poisoning of the tree of liberty

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Poisoning the sweet tree of liberty

By Rick Manning

An iceberg is heading into the path of the United States Constitution.  A destructive wave of political thought that appears out of the mainstream on the surface, but which like an iceberg has 90 percent of its mass below the surface.

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You see evidence of this destructive collision when the Internet takes note of a Duke University graduate student’s school newspaper column that makes the claim that, “an urgent and overdue conversation about racism — on our campus and across our country — has been derailed by a diversionary and duplicitous obsession with the First Amendment.”

The column serves as a rationale for shouting down opposing views all in the name of being heard and having a national discussion on race while dismissing alternative viewpoints as invalid due to their racist origins.

The same week that the column appeared, the GOP-controlled Senate confirmed Wilhelmina Wright to a lifetime seat on the federal bench.  Wright’s nomination ran into controversy when it was learned that she had written an attack on private property just as racist in a 1989 UCLA Law Review article in a piece edited by Derek Bell, one of President Obama’s mentors. 

Wright’s comments, however, are not what is significant about the article, “Racial Reflections: Dialogues on the Direction of Liberation.” Instead, it is the academic legitimizing of an assault on the legitimacy of the Constitution and America itself that stands out.

While the words white privilege are not used, Bell’s introduction lays out the radical concepts that are bubbling to the surface a generation later as acceptable in academic circles while quaint notions like the rule of law and constitutional rights are either not acknowledged or dismissed as inadequate.

Outraged by stories about school districts having kids kneel en masse on prayer rugs to have empathy with followers of Islam? This empathy through doing teaching concept can be found referenced by Bell.

Can’t understand how Black Lives Matter followers reject the obvious point that all lives matter?  The foundational answer that systemic oppression makes black lives more precious can be inferred from the article.

But the real goal is to delegitimize the old, dead white guys who wrote the Declaration of Independence and Constitution.  Bell or one of his co-authors writes, “The framers’ ambivalence founded upon white supremacy, survived and subverted the well-intentioned efforts of even those who championed abolition and the post-Civil War amendments granting citizenship rights to the former slaves.”

To Bell’s devotees, everything is viewed through the prism of race with the very design of the Constitution meant to be used as a tool of oppression.

So the next time you read something that seems just plumb loco from a college student or professor understand that what may seem nuts to you, is likely seen as being mainstream on college campuses, and it is the dissent from these teachings that must be suppressed.

GOP presidential candidates tend to avoid education policy out of the correct belief that it is not the federal government’s job, but just as Hamlet’s father was killed by having poison poured into his ear, so must our constitutional republic die if the poison of hatred for America is not cut off at its academic roots.

The author is president of Americans for Limited Government.

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