American colleges are no longer focused solely on academic success but have become breeding grounds for progressive politics. The Rise of the New Fascists on campus has ushered in an era of extreme political correctness which strips students of their right to free speech for those who disagree with the status quo. The result has put many conservative’s education at risk. Though the problem has worsened over the years, it’s by no means a new phenomenon.

In 2004, William Felkner was a graduate student at Rhode Island College (RIC). He was enrolled in the school’s social work program, and part of the requirement for his major was an internship, but not one of his choice: it must “advance social change,” it must advocate policies, and must “achieve social justice.”

However, Felkner, as a conservative, couldn’t justify advancing progressive ideas that went against his political philosophy, so he pursued an internship with the then-Republican governor instead. And for that, he was told he couldn’t graduate.

Felkner’s case against RIC began in 2007 and has been in limbo ever since until late last year when a judge dismissed his complaint. This egregious decision was called out by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, the Cato Institute, and the National Association of Scholars in an amicus brief defending Felkner’s First Amendment rights:

“The entirety of the record shows that Defendants required Felkner to engage in lobbying related to a partisan issue. While RIC social work students could choose among a range of issues to lobby the Rhode Island General Assembly, the Social Work 531 syllabus explicitly required students to engage in ‘policy advocacy’ in order to ‘achieve social justice.’”

A state-run school is not allowed to do that. In court case after court case, judges have declared such politically charged requirements as a violation of students’ constitutional rights. But as professors have gotten more comfortable in their roles as the leaders of this New Fascism, they’re bolder than ever. Their goal is not to churn out well-rounded citizens, but activists. And not just activists — leftist activists in search of social justice.

As George Leef wrote in Forbes about this case:

Imagine the consequences if the case stands with the trial court’s dismissal of the claim that the college has violated Felkner’s rights under the First Amendment. That would embolden professors across the nation to push ahead with their desires to make “social justice” activism an integral part of the curriculum.

Mandatory student participation in a host of political conduct would get the green light. Aggressive professors would fear no legal difficulties if they say to students, “You can either work to push our political agenda or go somewhere else.”

That illiberal, unscholarly approach should not be acceptable anywhere and shouldn’t be legal in any public educational institution.

About The Author

Mark Meckler

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at MarkMeckler.com, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.