What I Have Learned from Conservative Students Teaching American Politics at a Predominantly White Institution (PWIs): Reflections of a Minority College Professor

Earnest N. Bracey


Disruptive, conservative college students are a symptom of a larger problem that we have in higher education today. Also, many of our students are unprepared academically, but some think that they should pass American politics—and other controversial courses—anyway, without doing the necessary work. Of course, this higher education issue has taken on new gravity, given that liberal college professors are being verbally attacked and threatened by these conservative, college students, especially if they are from a minority group, or if they are African Americans at Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs). Their major complaint is always about there being a liberal bent in academia, but many are tricked into thinking in a certain, conservative way. These are carefully crafted, politically motivated attacks, because some of these students don’t respect or believe in the veracity of anything told by minority professors, particularly their diversity of ideas about current political issues. As we might imagine, for example, the social injustices and racial terrorism of the past toward minorities, in the United States, just doesn’t register with some of these conservative students, with latent prejudices, because they mostly want to just rail against liberal professors of all stripes, ratcheting up the divisions we have at the higher education level. Moreover, these conservative students also applaud the tactics and rationale behind their verbal, classroom attacks and threats, as they monitor certain (liberal) college professors. Perhaps they have a prevalent belief that most liberal professors are somehow evil. Finally, these disruptive students believe what they want to believe, which isn’t the best way to consider important policy matters today. Indeed, these misguided students should think more critically about the social and political issues, without blindly following someone because they tell the best story, or because of their conservative values. In the final analysis, we must wonder if the traditional ways of teaching students at Liberal Arts College and Universities are dead.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22158/csm.v2n1p15


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