“I expected people to say, ‘What is this terrorist doing here? We don’t want your kind here,’ ” said Woldt, a 22-year-old blue-eyed Catholic, recalling her anticipation before stepping into a local barbecue joint. “I thought I wouldn’t even be served.”
Instead, Woldt’s experiment in social anthropology opened her own eyes. Apart from the initial glances reserved for any outsider who might venture through a small-town restaurant’s doors, her experience was a pleasant one.
What Woldt discovered was not the prejudices of the small-town, southern, white American but instead the prejudices and stereotypes of contemporary leftist academia. Woldt expected to find prejudice not because she had already seen it but because her education indoctrinated her to expect it in others. This little incident opens a window on the insular, elitist and bigoted world of leftists in contemporary academia.
My own hometown of Brownwood, Tx is the very archetype of small-town America. With a population of 18,000 it is the largest community in a radius of 70 miles (112km). It is the biggest small town in a broad swath of small towns. Yet Brownwood has a small population of Muslims who came in the mid-1990s as refugees from Kosovo. Even before then, Brownwood had Buddhists and Hindus who came to open businesses (seems like almost all the non-chain motels in Texas are owned by Hindus) or who moved there after marrying someone in the service. A large percentage of the population has lived and worked overseas either in the military or in the oil industry.
Yet I am sure that an academic like Woldt would look at Brownwood on the map and instantly conclude that it is filled with rednecks from a Simpsons cartoon. It’s startling to remember that academia was once associated with well informed people who pursued questions from diverse perspectives, instead of the ignorant, indoctrinated drones we see today.