February 21, 2024

COLUMN: All men are created equal

“All men are created equal…” The Declaration of Independence

When I was a freshman at the University of Iowa, I enrolled in a required course called “Western Civilization.” Among the many things we studied was the World War II event called “the holocaust”. This term was applied to Nazi Germany’s long-term program to exterminate the Jews living in Germany and other countries under German control.

The Nazi German government policy concerning the Jewish peoples was to first: blame the Jews for all the nation’s problems, then: arrest and transport all people of Jewish heritage to concentration camps. Once in these camps, all valuable personal possessions were forcibly taken from them. Next the Jews were either forced to work as unpaid slaves, or, if unable to work, killed outright. It has been estimated that at least 6 million people of Jewish descent were killed in this manner before the war was over.

Since then, I have read several books and viewed several movies describing the German Jewish policies. I have also seen dozens of pictures taken by allied military personnel as the various Nazi prison camps were liberated as the war was drawing to a close.

In my optimistic youth, I was certain that nothing like this would ever happen again. In my home and in my school and in my church, I was taught to respect people of other nationalities or religious beliefs.

I was also taught in Polk Elementary School in Cedar Rapids about the Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson and signed in 1776 by 56 prominent leaders in 13 of the British Colonies in North America. People of my age, or a little younger, will remember how we began each day at school by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States and The Lord’s Prayer.

This was in the late 1940′s, less than five years after the end of World War Two. It was OK to be patriotic then and we were.

In 1963 I was faced with a challenge. I was a part-time student at the University of Iowa, married and working full-time as the assistant manager of a supermarket in Iowa City. I received a letter from my draft board to report for a physical examination. I recognized this as the preliminary to being drafted into the Army. My wife and I discussed this and decided that I should be proactive and enlist in the Army, which I did.

A little over three years later my enlistment was over and we returned to Iowa City to complete my college degree. I noticed a substantial change in the culture at the university. In 1963, many of my classmates wore coats and ties to class. All of the faculty were dressed the same. Three years later, in 1966, almost none of the professors wore coats and ties. None of the students wore any kind of formal clothes to class. The attitude of the student body had also changed. Students were eager to dispute with authority. Students were much less interested in classes. It seemed that classes were becoming less rigorous. At least in the non-science related courses.

The culture in many colleges and universities in the United States has continued to undergo a change. In the last 10 years my grandchildren have either completed or nearly completed their college programs. It seems that none of them have been exposed to the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution of the United States.

Instead, they have all been subjected to what amounts to brain washing. They have been told the United States is a nation steeped in prejudices, inequities and injustice. They have been taught that equal opportunity is of no value. They have been taught that hard work and application of energy is not important. Equality of outcome is now paramount. Political correctness is the most important thing. Any progress based on talent and application is not fair to those of less native talent or diligent application.

We no longer tolerate any kind of racial or social prejudice.

Unless, apparently, you are of Jewish descent or persuasion.

We have seen on national television three presidents of prestigious, well-funded, universities fail to live up to their university policies regarding prejudice. They have refused to take any action against students and faculty promoting prejudice against people of Jewish descent. This sounds like Nazi Germany during the Second World War.

University policy promotes favoritism for those of minority heritage, unless your heritage is Jewish in nature. When pressed, these university presidents refused to say discrimination against a student of Jewish heritage is wrong. They even refused to condemn death threats against the entire Jewish race.

Our universities have entirely lost connection with our nation’s founding documents.

Mike Lang, Chairman, Union County Republican Central Committee