| October 28, 2013

Taxpayers funding ‘social justice’ activism

“To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves,” Thomas Jefferson wrote, “is sinful and tyrannical.”

Unfortunately, this compulsion is all too common in higher education. I’ve pointed out, for example, that Higher Ed partners with news organizations whose story selection and narrative frameworks propagate opinions with which most Oklahoma taxpayers disagree. Now a report from the OU student newspaper informs us that a new “Activist-in-Residence” began her first day on the job last week.

Yes, there is such a thing as an “Activist-in-Residence” program at the University of Oklahoma. You likely won’t be surprised to learn that it’s a program of OU’s “Center for Social Justice” (yes, that exists too, and it propagates the opinions you would expect). The Center for Social Justice is an initiative of (wait for it) the Women's and Gender Studies Program, to which Oklahoma taxpayers are also compelled to furnish contributions of money. The Center’s aim is “to promote gender justice, equality, and human rights through local and global engagement.” The Center’s co-director says the Activist-in-Residence program is funded “through community member donations,” but she neglects to mention the indirect costs (overhead, etc.) borne by taxpayers.

In a brief review of two different books, Marvin Olasky notes that neither author “apparently grasps how corrupt academia has become.” Apparently neither do Oklahoma lawmakers, who continue to compel their constituents to fund things they find objectionable. It’s time for Oklahoma policymakers to right-size government and use growth revenues to buy down the state income-tax rate, as Kansas is doing. They can start by defunding the propagation of opinions which most of their constituents disbelieve.

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