Here at the University of Colorado, where I’ve just begun my sophomore year, I am enrolled in an “Intro to Political Science” class — which I expected would be taught by a rational and fair professor. In my first day of class, however, it became apparent my initial expectation of fair and balanced discourse was simply the callow misjudgment of a second-year student. One might think teachers at an institution of higher learning would be more concerned with presenting facts than opinions to a classroom of impressionable college students. For this professor, however, I guess that is too much to ask.
Arriving to class excited on day one, I anxiously staked out what would be my seat for the rest of the semester. I sat down and listened as the professor introduced himself and gave his background. I braced myself as he presented some of his personal views.
I later cringed as he laced his shameless Muslim apologetics into shaming the United States military. I was then baffled when he even called American patriotism “foolish.”
The first thing I noticed about my professor is that he had all the physical likability of a young Reza Aslan, a well-known and charming Iranian-American professor and media personality. He was bright, with vivacious eyes and a charming smile, coupled with a crop of salt and pepper hair. But as most of us know with people like Reza, looks can be deceiving. He might initially come off as a likable, friendly man — but he can quickly turn out to be an intellectually dishonest apologetic who spews lies to fit his own misguided narrative.
This professor indeed resembled Reza Aslan more than just physically, since as soon as he opened his mouth it became clear they share political views as well. The lunacy began when the professor brought up Brexit, and how the older generation in the United Kingdom has doomed the younger generation by voting to leave the European Union. I later cringed as he laced his shameless Muslim apologetics into shaming the United States military. I was then baffled when he even called American patriotism “foolish.”
Following these rants, my professor then made an egregiously false statement about the gender wage gap, claiming that the gap exists because there is no mention of women in the writing of the Constitution. Seriously?
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I felt as though I, a 20-year-old female student, had a better grip on reality than my teacher.
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One would hope that the person teaching a college course would not spout fallacious information about the wage gap — harmful misinformation which perpetuates a false narrative that women are still widely oppressed in American society. I find it severely disheartening that he would not mention that the discrepancies between the genders in terms of salary are due to many factors such as maternity leave or the tendency of many women to pick careers with a low payback rate — not due to women being inherently paid less than men for the same work.
I find it incredibly important to break out of my comfort zone and be surrounded by people of different mindsets rather than caught in a political-social echo chamber. I am comfortable having my ideas challenged and I try to keep an open mind in order to possibly learn from other opinions and beliefs. That is what college is supposed to be about, after all.
This brand of intellectual dishonesty, however, is incredible to me, coming from a teacher of higher learning. In just one class, it became quite clear the mindset of extreme social justice warriors and the authoritarian Left would be imposed on this political science class.
However, I’ve now learned that my naive hope for an objective, unbiased professor was perhaps itself a bit utopian. I should not have expected so much; we students now must settle for less. Still, I would have been fine with an instructor who was left-leaning but also open-minded, one who at least tried to be as unbiased as possible. Everyone has opinions, of course, but those opinions just don’t have to be taught as fact or made a prominent part of the coursework. The blatant, one-sided misinformation I experienced has me baffled. It is disingenuous, wrong, harmful, and deserves no place in our classrooms.
This professor persists in attempts to indoctrinate impressionable young students by stating as fact nonexistent oppression. I hope more colleges and universities across the nation are not plagued by this brand of anti-intellectualism and social justice madness that has infested my classroom and the brains of many malleable millennials. But I am afraid my hope is not reality.
Peyton Smith is a sophomore at the University of Colorado Denver.