Indoctrinate U is a 2007 documentary film written, directed by, and starring Evan Coyne Maloney, regarding ideological conformism and political correctness in American higher education. Among other things, the film examines the use of institutional mechanisms such as speech codes, which it claims are used to punish students who express political views that are unpopular within academia. The film was preceded by two shorter versions, Brainwashing 101 and Brainwashing 201: The Second Semester.
- Welcome to the great marketplace of ideas: the American university. Here, freedom of expression, honest discussion and academic inquiry reign supreme, and the future leaders of our world meet as equals in a forum of open debate. At least, that was the idea.
- Frequently, double standards on campus come from selective application of speech codes: university regulations used to prohibit speech that, in the rest of society, is clearly protected by the first amendment... Over the years, speech codes have been used to prohibit some rather innocuous behavior. Brown University prohibits speech that might make someone feel "angry, impotent, or disenfranchised." Colby College outlawed anything that could lead to a "loss of self-esteem." Be careful who you turn down for a date! "Suggestive looks" were banned at Bryn Mawr, Haverford College prohibited "unwelcome flirtations," and U-Con [University of Connecticut] banned "inappropriate laughter." And at West Virginia University, students were told not to use the terms 'boyfriend' or 'girlfriend' - the school says those words are too "gender-specific," instead 'lover' and 'partner' are preferred.
- Schools often pay people to run administrative offices that are blatantly political in nature. Take, for instance, the office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Awareness at Bucknell University. This office held events and sent campus-wide emails telling students to support gay marriage. Now, whether or not you support gay marriage is beside the point. The question is, should paid university employees be actively encouraging students to adopt their politics?
- I wish I could have made a film about academia that didn't talk so much about democrats and republicans. But the fact is, academics are obsessed with politics - and in an environment where speech codes can get you kicked out of school or fired from your job, the political leanings of the people who interpret those codes is very much relevant.
- If you can get students persuaded of a couple of basic ideas of the nature of reality, you can go a long way towards succeeding in a social engineering project in which you are engaged.
- Professor David Clemmons, Monterey Peninsula College
- Two individuals from the African Studies department composed a statement; by opposing reparations, I was acting in a way that was akin to Hitler, the Nazis, and the Ku Klux Klan. Calling someone who disagrees with you a racist, a Nazi, and a Klansman, simply for calling for intellectual diversity, is engaging in a kind of intellectual and academic thuggery... words like that are not designed to further a conversation or to enhance a debate, they are designed to end the debate; to de-legitimize the speaker.
- Professor Jay Bergman, Central Conn. State University
- People are so exquisitely sensitive and so exquisitely vigilant that they end up condescending to black people when actually the idea was to treat black people as equals.
- Professor John McWhorter, UC Berkeley
- Rather than say we're suppressing speech, let's say what we're doing is ending harassment. The problem then becomes, what is the definition of harassment? If a person has their feelings hurt, they will say they've been harassed. If a person feels offended, they will say they've been harassed... They don't want to be known as a harasser, so they go away quietly. It's a very clever way of implementing a speech code.
- David French, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).
- The most popular way of distributing publications on campus is to leave them in certain designated publication areas, and every other publication does this. But when the Patriot was left there, we found that the stacks would disappear - within minutes - and we weren't that popular. A lot of the people that go to Berkeley actually might not have believed that conservatives existed there, and they're angry that they do... People don't like what you have to say, and they take it upon themselves to get rid of any information contrary to their views.
- Kelly Coyne, editor, Cal Patriot
- In math, if you get the answer wrong, it's wrong. It's not four, it's five. In sociology, you get the answer wrong, and you're a bad person.
- Sukhmani Singh Khalsa, student, University of Tennessee
- I really don't know why issues such as globalization and global warming and militarism are brought up in a class on German literature.
- Oliver Wolf, student, Bates College
- Yeah, there are some classrooms - including, sometimes, mine - in which conservatives might not feel entirely comfortable... in some cases it may involve not knowing if the professor is grading you fairly, and that's the real issue.
- Professor Michael Bérubé, Pennsylvania State University
- Unidentified protester: It troubles me to see a black man stand in front of me and speak out against affirmative action. [sits amidst applause]
- Ward Connerly: It bothers you that a black man would be against your point of view. If that isn't- If that isn't saying- [inaudible due to protesters]
- Evan Maloney (voiceover): Yup. Fifty years after the start of the civil rights movement, and some people on campus still believe that blacks don't have the right to think as individuals.
- Evan Maloney (voiceover): After students at Columbia held an affirmative action bake sale, some students took offense and marched on the administration with a list of demands.
- Protester 1: This so-called "bake sale" that happened... it's intent to drive minority students off of campus, already marginalized in racist, capitalist America...
- Protester 2: ...My sexist, my racist, and my homophobic country...
- Protester 3 (shouting): Yes, I am angry today! [cheers] And I am hostile! Now come and talk to me and deal with this anger that you made in me!
- Protester 4 (near tears): Stop it. Stop it! Just stop it.
- Protester 2: The anti-affirmative action bake sale was three weeks ago.
- Protester 3: I need my university to be a vehicle for change and understanding.
- Protester 2: We were out here protesting for two days before he made a statement! [cheers] And the statement was incredibly weak...
- Protester 5: We are going to be giving them a list of demands as to what we think that office can be doing...
- Protester 2: We want structural change, is what we want! We want things to really change on campus! [applause]
- Evan Maloney (voiceover): What do they want to change? Other people's right to free speech? Other people's right to disagree?