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Charlie Kirk is leading an effort to redirect big money away from colleges that are functioning as left-wing propaganda mills rather than providing an actual educational experience.
The founder and president of Turning Point USA calls this initiative for donors to vote with their wallets by closing them “Divest U.”
In an interview on Fox and Friends on Saturday, host Jedediah Bila noted that Divest U, Turning Point’s partnership with Prager U, has already redirected $7 million away from Harvard and Baylor.
Kirk implied to Bila that the results of radical, anti-America, anti-free speech indoctrination throughout the country’s so-called institutions of higher learning are being played out in real-time throughout the pervasive cancel culture and on the streets of some of America’s cities, and thus it’s time to cut them off.
“I have always been perplexed over the last couple of decades how many conservative donors and philanthropists have continued to fund the most radical left-wing institutions in our country. We have to look at the root causes. Why is it that we have thousands of people that want statues to be torn down in our streets or even more than that, when you look at the broader population. Millions of young people. It’s because we have continually sent our most prized possession, the next generation, to centers of learning, that actually teach ingratitude towards America.
“And I think conservatives have a moral prerogative to not have their hard-earned dollars go towards these centers of left-wing indoctrination. It is not about Western society or free speech or free dialog anymore or meaningful conversation at these colleges.
“Unfortunately, it’s about one-size-fits-all ideology, where their idea of diversity is everyone looking different but thinking the same. I think it’s time for conservatives to use the tactic of divestment to effectuate positive social change.”
(Source: Fox News)
Even in its early stages, this effort apparently is garnering success, Kirk continued.
“I have had the opportunity to get to know over the last few years have been very successful business people and philanthropists and the examples you just mentioned. Let’s take Harvard, for example. I’m really proud to say that over $6 million in gifts have been de-committed to just Harvard alone in the last week because of this project at divestu.com. What’s been incredible is thousands of emails have been pouring into our organization of donors that are also de-committing their gifts from other colleges. We will be announcing them in the next week…
“We are not telling them what to do with their money except just don’t give it to that college do. Do whatever you want to, but please de-commit the dollars from the previous universities.”
In response to Bila’s question about whether donors may be making contributions to their alma maters for other than ideological reasons, Kirk responded that many of the potential donors are out of touch with the woke groupthink that prevails on campus.
“It’s a great point, and of course they have the freedom to do as they wish. In a lot of ways, the college we remember 30 years ago is not the same college as today. That’s a phenomenal point because a lot of these donors have a history and memory that the college is a place of free discussion and a place to study Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, and that’s not the college that exists today.”
In Sunday’s interview with FNC’s Chris Wallace, President Trump similarly criticized the left-wing disinformation that is increasingly embedded in the curriculum including K-12 as well as at the college level that essentially teaches students to hate their own country.
Last month, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich asserted that “three generations of brainwashing” in America’s schools by the hard left is responsible for the prevailing “leftist Anti-American Theology.”
In a separate exchange with Fox News about Divest U, Charlie Kirk explained that “For decades the radical left has used divestments as a tactic to try to push for divisive, Marxist ideas – conservatives have never used divestments as a tactic.
“We’re telling donors they should no longer be writing these seven-figure checks to institutions that are, essentially, the root causes for a lot of the cultural regression we have seen in recent months. Some donors are just recommitting the money and putting it toward a hospital or a local food bank – they have lots of different types of plans. Some want to divest their dollars and then fund conservative speakers to come onto campuses.
“Whatever they decide to do with their money is within their own volition, but once the university no longer has that capital under their umbrella, it really does send a powerful message and a powerful signal that they are giving a vote of disapproval.”
That’s something for graduates to keep in mind perhaps upon the arrival of the next fundraising email or phone call.
Anyone familiar with academia knows that it is almost impossible for anyone right of center (especially those with a history of publications that reflect a free-market, free speech philosophy) to get tenure, let alone get hired in the first place unless they self-censor their political ideology. Those handful of tenured conservatives are often under ideological attack and face a hostile work environment.
Parenthetically, unlike their left-wing counterparts who tend to enthusiastically politicize even the most non-political subjects with their educational institution’s approval, any conservative, populist, or libertarian who teaches on an adjunct/part-time basis is, in general, aware that they must avoid expressing opinions about politics at all costs, otherwise their semester-to-semester contract likely won’t be renewed.
At one time, many believed that radical campus activists were in for a rude awakening when they went to work for corporate America. It turns out, however, that corporate America has surrendered to the former campus activists.
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