The New York Times ran a very interesting piece recently about the American ideologies that are circulating on French campuses. While Americans would like to believe that their way of life is great for everyone, there has been some push back. People do not want to have these ideologies forced on them, especially not by Americans.
French academics are warning of the issues that are going to be caused. These older educators do not like the direction things are headed in. “French politicians, high-profile intellectuals, and journalists are warning that progressive American ideas — specifically on race, gender, post-colonialism — are undermining their society. “There’s a battle to wage against an intellectual matrix from American universities,’’ warned Mr. Macron’s education minister.
Emboldened by these comments, prominent intellectuals have banded together against what they regard as contamination by the out-of-control woke leftism of American campuses and its attendant cancel culture…
The publication this month of a book critical of racial studies by two veteran social scientists, Stéphane Beaud and Gérard Noiriel, fueled criticism from younger scholars — and has received extensive news coverage. Mr. Noiriel has said that race had become a “bulldozer’’ crushing other subjects, adding, in an email, that its academic research in France was questionable because race is not recognized by the government and merely “subjective data,” the Times reports.
If the statement from this French education minister had been made by an American, there would have been widespread outrage. France feels a bit differently. A letter was written that is supported by 100 intellectuals. Political Islam is a major threat that the French are taking with the utmost level of seriousness.
“Who could deny the gravity of the situation today in France, especially after the recent Nice attack – a situation which, whatever some people claim, does not spare our universities? Indigenist, racialist, and “decolonial” ideologies (transferred from North American campuses) are very present there, fueling a hatred of “whites” and of France…
The reluctance of most universities and associations of university specialists to designate Islamism as responsible for the assassination of Samuel Paty is an illustration of this: their press releases only refer to “obscurantism” or “fanaticism”. “.
While wearing the veil – among other symptoms – are multiplying in recent years, it is time to name things and also to become aware of the responsibility, in the current situation, of ideologies that have arisen and spread in the university and beyond. The importation of Anglo-Saxon communitarian ideologies, intellectual conformism, fear, and political correctness are a real threat to our universities,” the letter reads.
Paty is the French teacher who was publicly beheaded by an Islamic extremist after showing his students Charlie Hebdo cartoons that are designed to make key points about secularism in France. Meanwhile, some Americans are going to make another valid point: many of these ideologies that are circulating among US students got their start in France.
The comments on the story tell it all. The comments that are receiving the most up-votes come from those who believe that the French have plenty to worry about. No, we are not referring to the comments that were left by New York Times writers or the ones that they approve of. For example, let’s take a closer look at the top comment as of this writing.
“Yes, importing the American political correctness/woke/cancel culture will destroy France. How do I know this? Because it is already destroying the US. It fuels social division, and it distracts from the real problems, which tend to be economic and environmental. Much of the recent scholarship coming from the US, obsessed about race and gender, is completely useless and extremely ideological.
It is no wonder that many of the most important books of global interest from recent years, such as Picketty’s Capital in the 21st Century, do not come from the US. US universities are not free environments of vigorous intellectual debate anymore, and the faculty lives under constant fear of uttering the wrong word or phrase, and of being canceled because of their ideas. If a child of mine decided to study social sciences or a humanities field, the US would the last place I would send them to. I’m glad France is standing up against this nonsense. It gives me hope,” they said.
Amen to that! We hope that they are successful when it comes to rejecting the woke wave.