My former employer, California State University-Northridge, is the epitome of everything wrong with college campuses today. For almost a decade, I chronicled the utter insanity of the college as well as its hypocrisy. On this palmy California quadrangle, a “Hispanic-Serving Institution” comprised of over forty thousand students, Christian groups like InterVarsity are not welcome and the publicity office refused to promote a guest lecture by Shirley Jones, the Academy-award-winning actress who played Mrs. Partridge. On the other hand, a “queer icon” name “Bitch” can find its way to a prominent spot on the university website.
Here special deference is given to the likes of David Klein, who compares Israel to Nazi Germany, and to Rudy Acuña, the aging Chicano militant who authored Occupied America and sent an email to prominent LA Latinos postulating that I was a CIA agent sent to destabilize the university through government-backed sabotage.
Yet I was really a bridge too far. I grew up with a lesbian mother but converted to Christianity in pursuit of a chaste life and opposed same-sex marriage. Needless to say I was driven out of the job after eight years of relentless persecution. Of the many people humiliated and tortured by Northridge crybullies, one must count Brittany Klein, also known as Rivka Edelman, another adult who had been raised by lesbians. An Orthodox Jewish writer, she came to my Mythology class to lecture about the distinction between Jewish and Ovidian concepts of world creation. My dean, a radical lesbian “religious studies” expert from Women’s Studies, insisted that I post her name publicly and advertise the event through Jewish Studies. The result was that anti-Semites and LGBT radicals flagged her name from the Jewish Studies page, and flooded her workplace as well as all the publications that had published her writing to blacklist her. It’s now over two years and two lost jobs later, and she is still told by editors that no anti-gay or pro-Israel Jewish child of lesbians has a shot of being published under her own name.
This year, after running one tenured Latino off campus over political bias, getting roasted by Eugene Volokh over censorship by Armenian propagandists, settling out-of-court for big bucks over a Christian fired for his views on creationism, and being blasted by veterans and Christians for an offensive anti-Christian and anti-American wall mural, the place I once described as a “totalitarian gulag” is in the news again.
Now it’s because the university is clearly trying to block Adam Carolla and Dennis Prager from filming any scenes on campus for their upcoming movie about political correctness. In other words, as the Hollywood Reporter reports: “A funny thing happened to some right-leaning filmmakers trying to make their case that conservatives aren’t welcome on college campuses: They weren’t allowed on a college campus.”
This was a campus that accused me of sexist and anti-gay discrimination and retaliation for bringing students to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, yet booked for its 2012 Humanities commencement speech “Hon. Ricardo Alarcón,” a Democrat from local politics who seemed to give a speech against any life pursuit that might be deemed conservative.
As the Hollywood Reporter tells it, the administrators at CSU Northridge are trying to claim that the event involving Carolla and Prager had to be cancelled because of logistical and operational reasons. You know—non-toxic, “safe” reasons that give the victims of political repression no grounds for a lawsuit.
I am familiar with the uniquely disingenuous Northridge tactic of framing political bias as about anything other than politics.
It’s always like that at CSUN: “It’s not that you’re Republican, it’s just that that room was booked and we forgot to tell you;” “we respect your right to your own opinion but it would be a shame if an offended feminist is ‘hurt’ by the topic and files a Title IX claim;” or “we respect Christians’ right to their religion but gay students claim your speech will increase the risk of bullying and gay suicide on campus.”
I hope that Prager, Carolla, and their apparent lawyer Kurt Schlichter do not fall for this.
Conservatives needed to take on CSU Northridge a long time ago. The current shamelessness of Northridge’s leftists resulted, in large degree, from the fact that their earlier victims were too little in the conservative world to warrant mobilization on a grand scale. It is hard when you are a conservative scholar with a less than flawless history (I spent many years in the gay lifestyle prior to being born again), no public relations contacts, and no piles of money lying around, to fight back against the leftist university machine. But the problem is that each time little people are hung out to dry in the middle of a left-wing campus attack, oppressors like CSUN get bolder. Eventually even the big names like Prager find themselves mistreated.
I pray that an attempt to block someone as important and powerful as Dennis Prager will be CSUN’s Waterloo. But if there is a maelstrom of activism to fight back against the university’s attack on free discourse, I hope conservatives will look deeper than the specifics of one particular skirmish. Under a Trump presidency there has to be serious consideration of more muscular responses to these affronts to free speech. I suggest congressional investigations, hearings (and not just panels with famous people we’ve heard about for years and years), and financial actions like stripping the CSUNs of the world of their tax-exempt status, their accreditation, eligibility for federal grants, or federal backing of student loans.