Camille Paglia: Public Schools Creating Students Who ‘Know Nothing’

Outspoken feminist Camille Paglia says the current generation of hyper-sensitive, safety-seeking college students was gradually created by the downward spiral of public education that has left them ignorant of history and geography and focused, instead, on viewing America as an evil nation.

In a discussion with American Enterprise Institute (AEI) scholar Christina Hoff Sommers, Paglia said:

What has happened is these young people now getting to college have no sense of history of any kind. No sense of history. No world geography. No sense of the violence and the barbarities of history. So, they think that the whole world has always been like this, a kind of nice, comfortable world where you can go to the store and get orange juice and milk, and you can turn on the water and the hot water comes out. They have no sense whatever of destruction, of the great civilizations that rose and fell, and so on, and how arrogant people get when they’re in a comfortable civilization, etc. So they now are being taught to look around them to see defects in America – which is the freest country in the history of the world – and to feel that somehow America is the source of all evil in the universe, and it’s because they’ve never been exposed to the actual evil of the history of humanity. They know nothing!

Paglia, a professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, slammed the trend of public schools beginning the teaching of “identity politics,” such as that found in “sexual harassment sensitivity training” and “diversity training,” all the while true education is absent.

“It’s really started at the level of public school education,” she noted. “I’ve been teaching now for 46 years as a classroom teacher, and I have felt the slow devolution of the quality of public school education in the classroom.”

Sommers described what students indoctrinated in identity politics are learning:

So young people in a typical Gender Studies class now learn that they inhabit a society with this matrix of oppression and, depending on your identity – you might be advantaged so you have unearned privilege – or you might be burdened because of your race, or maybe you have disability or your gender preference and on and on. But, underneath it all, is this assumption that the United States is a white supremacist, imperialist, capitalist, patriarchal, oppressive society …

Sommers added that, as early as in junior high school, American students are being indoctrinated in a “very distorted view of the world.”

Paglia followed up by referring to the typically leftwing view of international policy based on, “If they’re not being nice now it’s because we weren’t nice to them in the past,” as “naïve.” The registered Democrat said, “You cannot believe the naivety and where we’re heading into this very murky future of the world with terrorism on the rise … I don’t know how this generation is going to cope with that.”

She added that currently students are failing to learn about major historical events while preoccupied, instead, with “no bullying,” and “gender bending things.”

In her discussion of the seriousness of the dumbing down of young Americans, Paglia asserted its consequences are analogous to the last days of the Roman Empire.


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