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First Amendment Violation

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Nazi Americans; Spies In Classrooms


By James Donahue

January 2006


Illegal government wiretaps and eavesdropping on Internet and electronic communications seems paranoid enough, but consider this: a conservative alumni group is offering students $100 a pop to record lectures by professors who dare to say anything that might be considered anti-American (or anti-Christian?).


The website of the Bruin Alumni Association not only is recruiting campus spies, it posts a “Dirty Thirty” list of professors considered by the group to be the most extreme left-wing members of the UCLA faculty. The site also includes profiles on the political activities and writings by these faculty members.


The leader of this assault on freedom of speech at UCLA’s campus is Andrew Jones, a 2003 graduate who says he wants to restore “an atmosphere of respectful political discourse” on campus. “We are concerned solely with indoctrination, one-sided presentation of ideological controversies and unprofessional classroom behavior,” a statement on the website said.


The campaign has drawn a sharp reaction from the university and mass resignations from the alumni’s advisory board. UCLA Chancellor Albert Carnesale called what Jones is doing “reprehensible” and school officials said the selling or distributing of recordings of classroom lectures without consent of the instructor violates university rules.


Indeed, the prospect of having “spies” secretly taping classroom lectures and open discussions between professors and students is not only an extreme violation of First Amendment rights, but it threatens the very thing that gives higher education its value. That is the free exchange and debate of thought over political, economic and philosophical ideas . . . even if the ideas are radical and even seditious in content.


What professor and what student would dare to speak freely about such things as the positive aspects of socialism in comparison to capitalism, for example, if there is a chance that the conversation is being secretly taped by an ultra-conservative Christian spy in the room.


Such students willing to “sell-out” for the cash are less than a Judas in our society. In accepting such a task for the cash, they are reinforcing the ugliness of the right-wing system that seeks to restrict free speech, take away the rights of all Americans, and throw society back into a new period of the dark ages.


At least Judas had a purpose for what he did. If the story of the capture and crucifixion of Jesus is to be believed, someone had to be the scapegoat that double crossed the master and start the process rolling.


Suppression of free thought on a university campus and in the classroom is tantamount to destroying creative thought and thereby bringing an already troubled nation to its knees.





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