Idaho university presidents try to distract from their leftist propaganda
By Wayne Hoffman
The presidents of Idaho’s public universities had multiple chances over the last several days to own up to their role in promoting social justice propaganda. They had their chance to promise to implement reforms. Instead, the heads of hubris at the University of Idaho and Boise State University doubled down, deflecting from a well-documented record in which their schools have shown open hostility toward American ideals and gleeful support for leftist neo-racism.
When asked during a budget hearing about the University of Idaho’s pro-Black Lives Matter website, President C. Scott Green claimed that the site is “really an educational website for people who want to know what the movement is about.” Come on, President Green. You mean to say that without the University of Idaho, people wouldn’t be able to figure out Black Lives Matter? Interesting, if true. Obviously, it’s not. But what’s really objectionable is that Green went on to purport, to the state lawmakers in charge of his school’s budget, that the website is a venue for multiple perspectives, including “voices from conservative figures.”
For months, the university’s “Black Lives Matter Resource Page” has been filled to the brim with ideas, articles, books, and podcasts almost exclusively from socialists, Marxists, and racists. I pointed this out last summer, and the website has sat largely unchanged since then. I even met directly with Green in August, where I reiterated my objections. But only in the last few weeks, right before the legislative session started, the site was updated to include three articles from three prominent defenders of our country’s values: Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell, and Shelby Steele. You can track the changes to the site via the Internet Archive. Three articles out of a hundred. I guess that’s all it takes to shut up conservatives who, as Green put it, “make a living” complaining about university indoctrination efforts.
Then, you have Boise State President Marlene Tromp. She told state lawmakers that it’s her goal to lift up all voices, so that everyone is heard, regardless of their viewpoint. Tromp announced Boise State’s new “Center for American Thought and Advancing the American Experiment.” This is nothing more than a distraction from the ideological indoctrination at BSU. It is an obvious effort to reposition the university and mitigate legislative backlash against the university’s progressive activism. A new center disguised as a return to American ideals will not solve BSU’s deeply rooted problems. Social justice ideology teaches that America is irredeemably racist and seeks to dismantle the American way of life.
Unless the Legislature acts and forces Boise State to return to its core mission, the Center for American Thought will become the Center for Why America is Racist.
She’s hoping that’s enough to get lawmakers to ignore the fact that the university’s administration egged on the students who ousted a coffee shop from campus simply because the coffee shop was pro police. She’s hoping lawmakers forget the fact that BSU also has its own share of pro-BLM websites. And then, of course, there’s the biggest elephant in the room, the fact that BSU is so infused with leftist social justice indoctrination—it’s in the coursework, it’s in the housing, it’s in the school’s policies—that it is nearly unavoidable for students.
It’s not impossible to imagine that Tromp would appoint a radical activist academic to control the center who poisons students’ minds with disdain for the principles the country represents. So far, the school has done nothing to prove that it is invested in historical truth and that its new institute will appreciate the beauty that so many others around the world see in America.
I asked Sen. Steven Thayn, the chairman of the Senate Education Committee, what lawmakers are going to do about all the social justice nonsense. His answer: probably nothing. That explains why the presidents of Boise State and the University of Idaho are going through the motions, doing the minimum, saying the predictable things they need to say to make it through the next several weeks unscathed.
But over in the House of Representatives, there’s a bigger, in fact, growing appetite to do something. I hope they do. I hope they show Green and Tromp and the rest of the country that what our public colleges and universities are doing is not OK, and that these taxpayer-funded institutions need not continue to be the indoctrination factories that they’ve become.
Wayne Hoffman is President of Idaho Freedom Foundation.