Is Dhimmitude Crushing Our Young People

June 14, 2021

Amidst the current banter about hiring a reporter as a tenured professor for a special chair in the UNC-CH journalism department, all sorts of conversations are now going on about the 1619 Project and the Critical Race Theory.  More and more people are realizing how these two progressive programs are being cleverly inserted into vital areas of public life – our schools, our colleges, the military, and all levels of government – without the majority of citizens’ knowledge.  Many report that HR departments in private companies are dealing with it as well as it trickles out of government.

A Wall Street Journal article floated in over the transom that related to how these endeavours and the over-arching subject of “wokeness” is impacting the behavior of those who are having this new messaging forced on them at work and in classrooms.

R.R. Reno, the gentleman who wrote the article, entitled “Why I Stopped Hiring Ivy League Graduates,” interestingly doesn’t dwell as much on the activists who carry the woke message and force it on others as much as he shows concern for the students in our colleges who are intimidated and bullied into staying quiet and not responding when assailed over their supposed racism.  His underlying question is about what kind of working adult that produces in our competitive work environment.

He writes after watching in on an “all-college Zoom meeting for undergraduates” last fall.  First he addresses the activists who display “a stunning combination of thin-skinned narcissism and naked aggression,” and then the college administration who respond “with self-abasing apologies.”

But most of his commentary lies with the reaction of “the majority of students.”

He says, “…I find myself wondering about the silent acquiescence of most students. They allow themselves to be cowed by charges of racism and other sins. I sympathize. The atmosphere of intimidation in elite higher education is intense. But I don’t want to hire a person well-practiced in remaining silent when it costs something to speak up.”

Reno examines a term used in the Islamic world call dhimmi, meaning “allowed to exist” which describes how Jews and Christians in Islamic countries are tolerated but “on the condition that they accepted their subordinate role in society.”

Sociologists have coined the term “dhimmitude,” as a way of describing the “mentality of those who have internalized their second-class status.”  Is that they way we want our students to think and how they should be treated?

Reno then discusses the type of college student who emerges from our university system – from Ivy League to large state universities – and questions how capable they are to engage in the job market with the baggage they bring from the culture wars.

“Talk of systemic racism and fixation on pronouns inculcate in young people an apocalyptic urgency, a mentality that often disrupts the workplace and encourages navel-gazing about “diversity,” “inclusion” and other ill-defined notions that are far removed from the main work of my organization, which is good writing, good editing and good arguments.

The closing paragraph is the saddest as Reno describes a conversation with an Ivy League student, who said: “’The first things you learn your freshman year is never to say what you are thinking.’ The institution he attended claims to train the world’s future leaders. From what that young man reports, the opposite is true. The school is training future self-censors, which means future followers.”

What kind of world has our pandering to liberal aggression created.  Sad indeed.