Re: Voltaire's Prayer, and why we at the Pope Center were reminded of it today
Posted by Jon Sanders at 2:40 PM
This is to explain my earlier blog. On the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill right now, leftists are going bonkers over the idea that the College of Arts and Sciences has proposed bringing courses in Western Civilization to campus.
So they've chosen to fight back by smearing the donors approached by the College, the Pope Foundation, and hooting about all the boo-scary conservative endeavors the foundation is involved in. The political cartoonist for the Durham Herald-Sun does a wonderful job of depicting their paranoia (which he obviously shares).
A protest of the proposal will be underway in mere minutes from this posting, according to an email on the UNC-CH leftist listserv this morning:
A couple of meetings back, we voted to sign on to a letter in protest of the University taking a $12 million grant from the Pope Family to establish a Program in Western Civilization. Yes, these Popes are the folks who fund all of North Carolina's most conservative think-tanks and policy advocacy groups. And these are the same good timers who consistently come out in opposition to academic programs such as African-American Studies, Women's Studies, Latino/a Studies, and (well clearly) Sexuality Studies.
Anyhow, there is going to be a student protest tomorrow at 3pm in front of Wilson Library to urge the Administration to reconsider accepting this grant or at the very least, to allow students to be a part of the development of this potentially new curriculum.
Below are some more details from some of the organizers. It would be great to see some of you out there as we join our allies from BSM, FSU, SURGE, and so forth.
Some of you have probably heard about a grant proposal that's being written for several million dollars from Art and John William Pope to create a program in "Western Studies" at UNC-CH.
Not only does "Western Studies" raise red flags for many, but as the grant is designed, the Pope brothers will have oversight of the curriculum through a four to five year renewal. This is extremely worrisome, particularly given the history of what else these two men have funded, included the John William Pope Foundation, the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, and the John Locke Foundation.
These organizations have systematically attacked many programs and professors at UNC-CH and beyond whose work or purpose is to give voice to traditionally marginalized groups.
In short, the work done through these organizations reinforces inequality and erodes academic freedom.
Please join a group of concerned students, faculty and community members in taking a stand against accepting money that represents values antithetical to UNC-CH's mission of justice, academic and intellectual freedom and integrity. A protest will take place at 3 pm on the steps of Wilson Library on Monday, Nov 15th (just prior to a meeting of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the group that will submit the proposal, in Wilson Library). .
But it gets better than that. At UNC-CH today, a particular activist with a history of impersonating others (such as UNC President Molly Broad and the victim of his hero's sexual and racial discrimination and harassment) is now passing himself off as a representative of "The Pope Center" in a display on campus today. We have the display on videotape, and my understanding is that he's back now pretending to be a representative of "The Pope Curriculum."
That's more confirmation of a maxim I quoted at the bottom of this column:
Plus on est de fous, plus on rit.
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