Indoctrinate U

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Indoctrinate U
Indoctrinate U poster new.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by Evan Coyne Maloney
Produced by Blaine Greenberg
Stuart Browning
Thor Halvorssen
Associate Producer
Frayda Levy
Written by Evan Coyne Maloney
Narrated by Evan Coyne Maloney
Music by Chandler Tuttle
Blaine Greenberg
Cinematography Oleg Atbashian
Edited by Blaine Greenberg
Production
  company
On the Fence Films
The Moving Picture Institute
Release date(s)
  • March 23, 2007 (2007-03-23) (Tribeca Film Center, New York, NY)
Running time 120 min
Country United States
Language English

Indoctrinate U is a 2007 American feature-length documentary film written by, directed by and starring Evan Coyne Maloney, that examines controversial topics like equality and fairness, diversity, ideological conformism and political correctness in American institutions of higher education. To great extent, the film uses for comedic effect the irony of subjective and selective suppression of free speech and of thought in universities, from the harassment by administrators of professors who hold minority views, to institutional mechanisms such as speech codes, which are used to punish students who express political views that are unpopular within academia.

Film content[edit]

Throughout much of the documentary, the filmmakers use humor to highlight what is shown to be the irony of selective protection of freedom of speech, the likes of which is apparently abundant in universities across the United States, according to the film. Maloney argues that while students involved with the "campus free speech movement" of the 1960s nobly and successfully defended the rights of students to think and express and freely share ideas, somewhere along the way, their message devolved into one that allows only their viewpoints to be heard - an ironic turn in which many of the oppressed students of the 1960s now find themselves as the oppressive administrators of the present day.

The film documents how minority critics of controversial policies such as affirmative action, like political activist and former University of California Regent Ward Connerly, are routinely shouted off stage or otherwise have their views marginalized, seemingly without real consideration - often simply by likening them to Nazis or clansmen to delegitimize them entirely; or how students at Cal State San Bernardino and at other schools across the nation trying to illustrate the inherent racism of affirmative action by holding "affirmative action bake sales" are ironically reprimanded for expressing "hate speech".

Clips of anti-military protests at UC Santa Cruz and San Francisco State University, at one point show how protestors demanded that recruiters from the Army Corps of Engineers leave the school's career fair, with such fervor that it led the cancellation of the entire event. Also shown is the treatment of conservative students at the University of Tennessee and Cal Poly, the latter of whom was reprimanded and incurred over $40,000 of legal fees having his record cleared of the charges levied against him by the university for posting "racially-offensive material" around campus - announcements for a speech hosted by the College Republicans Club (of which he was a member) for guest speaker and African-American political commentator C. Mason Weaver, because of the title of his book, It's OK to Leave the Plantation. A later court order required that the student's record be expunged and his legal fees paid.

Also included are the racial and ethnic politics at the University of Michigan and Yale, teaching at Duke and Columbia; interviews with David French and Greg Lukianoff, (then respectively president and director of legal and public advocacy at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education), Glenn Reynolds, Daniel Pipes, Carol Miller Swain, and others.

Production[edit]

Filming[edit]

Maloney spent two and a half years making the documentary by conducting interviews on various college campuses and with various thinkers. The film was preceded by two shorter versions, Brainwashing 101 and Brainwashing 201: The Second Semester. The two shorts led the 2004 American Film Renaissance festival to select Indoctrinate U as its "most anticipated documentary."

Indoctrinate U was produced by On the Fence Films with the support of the Moving Picture Institute, and Stuart Browning, Blaine Greenberg, and Thor Halvorssen. The film's executive producers are Stuart Browning and Blaine Greenberg. Its associate producer is Frayda Levy. It was edited by Chandler Tuttle.

In March 2007, Maloney appeared on Hannity's America to discuss the film. On April 19 of the same year, he appeared on C-SPAN's Washington Journal where they showed clips from the film and took calls.

Lawsuit and website closure[edit]

yellow logo with green lettering, "I" superimposed over "U" and with text "reductio ad absurdum"
Original Indoctrinate U poster 
Red-colored letter "I" superimposed over "U".
Partial logo of Indiana U

On November 13, 2007, the official website was taken down and replaced with a notice that read: "Due to threatened legal action from a major taxpayer-funded university, we've temporarily taken down the Indoctrinate U homepage while we assess our options." The website was back up by December 4.[1] Maloney explained in a statement that Indiana University claimed there was a similarity between the university's logo and that of the film's. The Indoctrinate U logo was changed and the website resumed operation.[2][3] In a note to the Wall Street Journal, Maloney emphasized his ready compliance with IU's demands, saying that while he was confident that the film's logo was not an infringement of IU's rights to their own logo, as the differences of the two are "readily apparent", as well as the fact that "there is also no likelihood of consumer confusion because our product is a film whereas theirs is four years in Bloomington." It was decided that it was simpler to comply with the demands than to fight them, particularly because the logo had little bearing on the film itself. Maloney says that he became more confused when, after the dispute was settled, Indiana University (which doesn't appear in the film) demanded a sum of money from the production company - what Maloney and others viewed as an attempt to bankrupt the company and effectively silence him.[4]

Reviews[edit]

A review in The Weekly Standard said, "The documentary combines relatively shocking footage (one professor excitedly tells the camera "whiteness is a form of racial oppression . . . treason to whiteness is loyalty to humanity") with snappy editing to create a documentary that bounces quickly from subject to subject."[5]

Examples of "intellectual thuggery" in the film are nothing more than "the tip of a disgusting iceberg", laments Walter E. Williams, noting that "Several university officials refused to be interviewed for the documentary. They wanted to keep their campus policies under wraps, not only from reporters but parents as well."[6][7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Taranto, James (December 6, 2007). "Best of the Web Today". OpinionJournal.com (Dow Jones & Company, Inc.). Retrieved 2007-12-06. 
  2. ^ Maloney, Evan Coyne (December 6, 2007). "No Logo". OpinionJournal.com (Dow Jones & Company, Inc.). Retrieved 2007-12-06. 
  3. ^ Taranto, James (December 11, 2007). "Best of the Web Today". OpinionJournal.com (Dow Jones & Company, Inc.). Retrieved 2007-12-11. 
  4. ^ Taranto, James (December 6, 2007). "'Indoctrinate U': What Really Happened". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 28 December 2011. 
  5. ^ Sonny Bunch. "Academic Thuggery". Weekly Standard. Retrieved 2007-05-19. 
  6. ^ Academic Cesspools by Walter E. Williams, October 17, 2007
  7. ^ Academic Cesspools II by Walter E. Williams, November 7, 2007

External links[edit]