[Marxism] colorado hs teacher under attack

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Mar 3 18:40:24 MST 2006

Michael Yates wrote:
>A high school geography teacher here in Colorado--Jay Bennish who teaches 
>at Overland HS--is in trouble, attacked by the right, for things he said 
>in a an honors geography class after Bush's State of the Union address.

I've been battling with people on the Cliopatria blog all day about this:


Look for the entry by Robert KC Johnson titled "The Colorado HS Incident". 
Robert Johnson is a neocon Brooklyn College professor who was involved in a 
big controversy over not getting tenure. He accused the department of 
"political correctness". Another frequent Cliopatria poster is Ralph Luker, 
who didn't get tenure at Antioch College after his students accused him of 
racism. They are both involved with an outfit called FIRE, which stands for 
Freedom for Individual Rights in Education. It can best be described as 
David Horowitz lite.

The blog is part of the History News Network, which is run out of George 
Mason University, a long-time player in rightwing politics.

Here's one of my comments under Johnson's initial post:

Interesting to see that this rag [Rocky Mountain News] is in the vanguard 
of witch-hunting high school teachers now. I guess they are an easier 
target than Ward Churchill. Do you wonder why leftwing students in college 
or high school don't go around snooping like latter-day versions of Nazi or 
Stalinist youth? It would seem that they have better things to do with 
their time. When I was an undergraduate at Bard, I used to hear diatribes 
against socialism from Heinrich Blucher that were filled with factual 
errors and gross distortions of Marxist theory. Then when I got to the New 
School in 1965-1967, I was treated to nonstop "critiques" of Marxism in my 
sociology courses. If somebody had approached me with a proposal to begin 
collecting dossiers on errant professors in order to scandalize them in the 
tv, radio and newspapers, I would have laughed in their face. This, of 
course, does not even address the question of how the media was bent on the 
same sort of anti-Communist distortions. I think that at the bottom of the 
new McCarthyism there is an overwhelming hatred of that tiny splinter of 
dissent that remains in the academy. True totalitarians are not happy 
unless they get 100% consent, even if it is enforced by firings and 

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