Progessive “Scholars” exempt from accountability?

Are North Carolina university employees exempt from providing their work correspondence records to the public? With publicly-funded organizations, the answer is certainly not. That employees produce communications that may be embarrassing, or even incriminating, is irrelevant. The public has a right to know what’s going on within our public institutions—often it’s troublemaking.

There is a vast network of leftist groups operating in this State under the guise of “social justice.” (link) Their activities, including deceptions about who these people really are, link together in unending attempts to thwart the interests of a large majority of our citizens—in this case to denounce and discredit the recently elected Republican majority State government officials. Many leftists find havens in our university systems where they greatly outnumber—and outspend—a few opposing conservative organizations in North Carolina. (link)

For example, Scholars for North Carolina’s Future (SNCF), a conglomerate of liberal university activists, recently demanded that Gov. Pat McCrory condemn the Civitas Institute, a small private conservative organization in Raleigh, for requesting email correspondence from the work address of UNC-Chapel Hill professor Gene Nichol, a hyperactive member of the “Scholars.” (link) They went so far as to claim that the legal request by Civitas was an unprecedented “abuse of power.”

(A tactic proposed by Saul Alinsky in his “Rules for Radicals” was “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”) Some of the “Scholars,” presumably interested in our “future,” do not even work or live in North Carolina. (link)

This confrontation was reported in the January issue of Civitas Capitol Connection, a subscription monthly paper distributed by the Civitas Institute ( Francis X. DeLuca wrote the article. As far as I know, the Civitas organization does not hide within any larger entity or receive government grants, nor is it a part of a vast web of affiliates.

As stated, Civitas is a “nonprofit dedicated to advancing conservative and free market principles” in the State of North Carolina—simple and straightforward with no code-words or hidden agenda. Its primary work is “watchdog” activities that expose government corruption. (link)

This small group is a big threat to people who use their public positions to deceive the public and further their personal social schemes at the expense of taxpayers—leftist attacks on Civitas attest to its effectiveness. The socialist words such as “justice,” “progressive,” “collective power” and “sustainability” come out of “Rules for Radicals”—used to increase their political power and take wealth from earners.

Not long ago the SNCF was labelled “Scholars for a Progressive North Carolina.” I suspect they changed that because the word “progressive” is synonymous with “liberal,” “reformer” and “radical”: bad connotations in a largely conservative State where smaller government, lower taxes and fewer regulations have more support than opposite policies pushed by radical leftists.

These people fear being exposed when their words and deeds become transparent and reported to the citizens at large. If they have nothing to conceal, they shouldn’t fear public scrutiny of their writings. And if they are using this issue only as a tactic to discredit people with different views—citizens they see as enemies—they should be called out publicly.

In any case, state employees should not be allowed to work at publicly-funded facilities while undermining policies enacted by our elected officials, whatever their political views.


About R. E. Smith Jr.

Mr. Smith writes essays and commentary on politics, American history, environment, higher education and culture. He's been published in print media and at blog sites for about 25 years. Smith's formal education includes B.S. and M.S. degrees from the State University of New York and Syracuse University. He has earned a 21-credit hour Certificate in Professional Writing from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. Training/work experience: NYS Ranger School; U. S. Army, Corp of Engineers; soil scientist and forester with USDA; Assoc. Professor at SUNY; real estate agent; small business owner.
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