In 1844, a college was formed in Hillsdale, Michigan. Last night,166 years later, my husband and I were privileged to be included in a Hillsdale special event held at the Westin Crown Center in Kansas City where the college's twelfth president, Dr. Larry P. Arnn, spoke about the school's founding, history, principles, and values in connection with our country's political landscape.
"Finding Opportunity Amidst Danger: Steps to the Restoration of Constitutional Rule" was his speech title. Although a CD will eventually be available, I took notes that I'd like to share with my fellow conservative "Political Chippers" while hoping that many of you are already aware of this exceptional institution---either through now hearing the college advertised on the Rush Limbaugh radio show--or by receiving Hillsdale's free monthly speech digest, Imprimis. We have been subscribers to Imprimis for perhaps five years and I cannot recommend it enough for adults and teenagers to read the speeches given by some of our most respected conservative thinkers and/or leaders. One of my favorite speeches Imprimis featured was two or three years ago by Mark Steyn on socialism. (Steyn substitutes for Rush occasionally and is often on Sean Hannity's FOX television program. Rush, too, has been featured in the digest). My notes are intertwined with the foundation of Dr. Arnn's messages to create my own interpretations, reactions, and added thoughts to his messages.
Hillsdale started their institution long before the Department of Education or the government regulatory groups were even formed, let alone keeping count of any possible government non compliance infractions. When the college was founded, it immediately accepted all national origins, both genders, and all races. Those who know history realize that this this was not common for the time. Hillsdale, therefore, has no wrong "to correct" or "no guilt" to have to defend or pay financially or socially.
And, even today, the clincher of why they don't have to explain or defend when the boots of government come onto their campus---is that they have never accepted federal funds! Zero. They were chastized and put under scrutiny in 1977 because the Carter Administration researched that some of their students were receiving federal funds through other programs---so indirectly, per the government reasoning, Hillsdale was accepting federal funds for their existence. Hillsdale acted. No direct OR indirect funds allowed. No being beholden. No strings or tethers to government money.
Their core curriculum is a principled determination to maintain this independence of no tax dollars while proving excellence in education. Education that includes character, morality, and traditions along with the knowledge. And knowledge is not only a dry accounting of facts and dates, but also, critical to future American true leadership and productivity, reflection and choice. One cannot "reflect" until one has learned!
Both David Barton from Wallbuilders and our own Kansas Kris Kobach, Constitutional lawyer and Secretary of State-Elect, will be pleased to know that the Hillsdale students learn from the original source documents, not from several "experts" in between, telling them "what it means/what it says." The students decipher the words and the actions of the historical individuals; they cogitate and come to their own conclusions and decisions on what it means to them and possibly to their future and our country's future. This is but one rich entitlement of freedom.
Today, Hillsdale as an organization, and their students (and also those seeking Constitutional following and truth), are holding to a principle of freedom that is certainly under seige and must be practiced and protected. Dr. Arnn spoke in Kansas City five years ago; the attendance last evening was more than double. He told us he knew why. We're more concerned than ever. We know something is more than just amiss in our country today.
The Nature of People is the key question---the idea of having an Immortal Soul is a core of what is being questioned and affects many aspects of our lives. An immortal soul would not be shown in a human body by outside appearances. Our English word, "nature," is derived from a Latin word associated with "Birth." The elite among us like subverting and denying the relentless power of nature...our cognitive being, our being able to have a sense of humor, and the ability to reason. If we are simply animals/mammals as some elites want to push upon our society and our children, we would not be able to laugh at ourselves---or our government! Glenn Beck would have smiled last night as Dr. Arnn mentioned the Progressiveness of our illustrious former President Woodrow Wilson, who was a part of denying our nature.
Wilson, and his friends, "refined" education inasmuch as believing that we are condtioned and shaped only by what our surrounding circumstances are at any given moment. With that thinking, you see, they then KNOW how to make humans think of them---they can pass laws to shape and change us---and have the audacity to take over the process of history and think of themselves as our Creator (think both Barack Obama and George Soros), no longer representing us as the free souls we are, granted our rights by God. Instead, we become their piece of material to shape and bend at their will, allocating us the right to live, without ever having to actually voice their big lie.
Other historical figures mentioned, favorably, within the Hillsdale program last evening were George Washington and James Madison. A quote from Thomas Jefferson was on the short video of the college campus and classrooms. With the subject of the college's non-discriminatory criteria from its inception, brilliant runaway slave, Republican Frederick Douglass, had a dominant mention as well. Dr. Arnn's book, Liberty and Learning; The Evolution of American Education, was available; I now have a copy to later read. However, immediately went to the index for his mention of Douglass' involvement with Hillsdale because Douglass is one of my favorite American historical figures. I read his autobiography, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, in 2004. The other caption on the title is "The classic autobiography of a runaway slave who became Abraham Lincoln's advisor and the Consul General to Haiti." You won't forget Frederick Douglass once you know of him.
The index directed me to the following from Liberty and Learning (page 55): "The second transgression of Hillsdale College, according to the Michigan Department of Education, has to do with race, or rather with 'composition of candidates'." (candidates being their enrolled students)......"In response to this outrage, I brought up the things that Frederick Douglass had said on this subject. Douglass has come into our story before. He was a runaway slave. After his escape, he had to live in England for several years to protect himself from the fugitive slave laws, under which he would be returned to servitude if found in the North. Having righteous indignation in plenitude, he was however a man without bitterness".
The chapter continues: "Douglass came to speak at Hillsdale as an honored and celebrated guest in the middle of the Civil War. There were many places in the North where he would not have been welcome in that day. In the South, he would have been arrested on sight. We have a list of the young men who gave their lives to vindicate the rights of Frederick Douglass, and also their own rights! The list is very long for a college this size. As the Civil War was ending, Douglass was asked what should be done on behalf of the freed slaves. How could they be helped?"
Excerpts from Douglass' answer: ...."What I ask for the negro is not benevolence, not pity, not sympathy, but simply justice. The American people have always been anxious to know what they shall do with us...I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us!"......"All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone!...(Y)our interference is doing him positive injury."*
Hillsdale College enrolls approximately 1300 students. If you truly don't like government interference and want your children to have an education that revolves around our history and freedom, you may want to inquire to Hillsdale. Start with subscribing to Imprimis (Em-pry-mus). It began in May, 1972, with the main article, "The Dangers of Price Controls" sent to about 1000 homes. Today, their mailing list is about two million homes. It's free (donations appreciated).
Dr. Arnn's further and closing remarks included the following: We have a weak president and other nations know it and are laughing at us. "Learn!"...."Teach!"...."Talk!"....for the purpose to, best of all, "Run These Guys Out of Washington!"
Pursuing Truth ~ Defending Liberty Since 1844
33 East College Street
Hillsdale, MI 49342
Political Chippers have been doing all three of his suggestions. Think he'd like us as much as you would have enjoyed Dr. Arnn and his associates from Hillsdale.
*full statement reprinted as the second paragraph in the dissent of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in the recent case of Grutter v. Bollinger (another college case about its own practice of "counting by race" in admitting students).