|Why We Were Founded|
In a healthy society, education is the thoughtful enjoyment of a cultural inheritance. But American society today is in the grip of an ideological culture war. During the last thirty years, colleges and universities have come to be dominated by the ideologies of multiculturalism and political correctness.
The result is that the distinctly Southern interpretation of American history and identity is simply not taught. If the Southern tradition is mentioned at all, it is usually vilified as little more than a mask for racism. In ignoring or eliminating the Southern tradition, much that is good and noble in American life is rendered inexplicable; but perhaps more importantly one erases from memory a valuable intellectual and spiritual resource for exposing and correcting the errors of American modernity. Eugene Genovese, a distinguished historian of the South--a northerner and a man of the left--has been a rare voice in criticizing this purge of the Southern tradition from the academy. In the Massey Lectures given at Harvard, he had this to say: "Rarely these days, even on southern campuses, is it possible to acknowledge the achievements of the white people of the South...To speak positively about any part of this southern tradition is to invite charges of being a racist and an apologist for slavery and segregation. We are witnessing a cultural and political atrocity--an increasingly successful campaign by the media and an academic elite to strip young white southerners, and arguably black southerners as well, of their heritage, and, therefore, their identity. They are being taught to forget their forebears or to remember them with shame."