Ivy League Professor: Teaching Identity Politics is ‘Criminal Abdication’ of Teachers’ Responsibilities

Glenn Loury
Facebook/Glenn Loury

During his latest show, Glenn Loury, an Ivy League economics professor and host of video blog The Glenn Show, blasted the teaching of identity politics in higher education, calling it a “criminal abdication of our pedagogic responsibilities,” while asserting a teacher’s responsibility is to challenge students’ preconceptions about themselves.

Loury was talking to John McWhorter, an author and linguistics professor at Columbia University, on Tuesday when he began discussing the issue of identity politics in American higher education.

“To teach young people that they are this [the color of their skin] is criminal in my opinion,” he stated.

“We’re to challenge them!” he exclaimed. 

Loury lamented that students present themselves by the nature of their skin or sexual preference.

“They [students] come in telling me that they’re this [the color of their skin] or that they’re their genitalia,” he said. “That’s how they get to me at 18 years old. They think they are these things.”

The professor also criticized the lack of knowledge on behalf of those presenting themselves as such.

“They haven’t read anything,” he said. “They haven’t been anywhere. They haven’t done anything.”

Loury then expressed what he believes are his duties as an educator. 

“I’m a teacher,” he said. “My job is not to reaffirm them in their preconceptions. It’s to challenge them to outgrow them — their preconceptions.”

Emphasizing the “pedagogic trust” accorded to educators, Loury blasts the failure to challenge students.

“We’re entrusted to shepherd young minds into their maturity,” he said. 

“To jump on a bandwagon and to fill their heads with slogans rather than challenge them with the best that human beings of any color have thought through the ages, is a criminal abdication,” he cautioned.  

After the segment was aired, many prominent figures on Twitter expressed support for Loury.

“Want to know what truth sounds like? Take a listen to this,” political commentator and YouTube personality Dave Rubin wrote.

“Glenn, would love to have you on the show…,” he added.

“Must watch,” South Dakota state Rep. Fred Deutsch wrote.

“Must watch!” Moisés Naím, a distinguished fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, exclaimed.

“I know this is being shared a lot but wow ‘abdication of pedagogic trust’ is SUCH a framing of this issue,” political commentator Charmaine Yoest said .

“Can we make @GlennLoury a national holiday?” former Lt. Governor of Missouri Peter Kinder wrote.

“I propose reducing every freshman orientation at every college or university in the country to the 1 minute and 13 seconds it takes to play this video clip of Professor Glenn Loury telling it exactly like it is,” Robert P. George, professor of jurisprudence at Princeton University, wrote.

“Terrific statement that every professor worth his or her salt should applaud — sadly many professors have lost their way,” Dr. Chad Pecknold, a professor of theology at The Catholic University of America, said.

“To reaffirm identity politics in the classroom is a ‘criminal abdication of pedagogic trust,’” he added. “100.”

“This is magnificent,” journalist Sohrab Ahmari wrote.

“Thank you Professor @GlennLoury! Couldn’t agree more!” bestselling author Joshua Charles said.

“So many young people today have been, or are in the process of being DUPED and CORRUPTED by older people,” he added, before sharing a quote from the French philosopher Montesquieu: “It’s not young people who degenerate; they are ruined only when grown men have already been corrupted.”

“I love this, @GlennLoury,” journalist Bari Weiss said.

“’I’m a teacher. My job is not to reaffirm them in their preconceptions. It’s to challenge to outgrow them, their preconceptions,’” one Twitter user wrote. “Every teacher must repeat this 10x a day. Make a sign & post it over your classroom door.”

“I was recently told in a training session that on the first day of school I should introduce myself by my race & compel students to do the same,” another Twitter user said@GlennLoury shows what is wrong with this approach. Preach!”

“I hope this Professor is the chair of his division of studies!” yet another wrote .

“Glenn Loury is a national treasure,” another said.

“This professor is who all professors should be,” another replied.

Left-wing Salon.com gave credit to Breitbart News on Tuesday for launching the “right-wing” pushback against Critical Race Theory, which is now a major focus of national debate, starting in 2012.

Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.


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