Anti Intellectualism Essay

2195 words - 9 pages

Anti-Intellectualism: America’s mysterious downfall

Bullying statistics suggest that at least one out of every four kids will be bullied sometime throughout their youth. Children may be bullied for a variety of reasons, including attracting positive attention, being intelligent, having personal vulnerabilities, having few to no friends, popularity, unattractive features, disabilities, sexual orientation, uncommon beliefs, or even race. Among these reasons for bullying is a very important one many people fail to realize and this is anti-intellectualism. Anti-intellectualism is hostility towards, opposition, and mistrust of intellectuals or people with intellectual views. ...view middle of the document...

It was ironic that Pol Pot executed intellectuals when he himself was formally educated at a university, enjoyed French literature, and was fluent in French. Though Pol Pot was an educated man, he was a dropout, which partially explained his hatred for those who began or even accomplished what he evidently could not.
Another famous case of Anti-Intellectualism was more current in April of 2014, when almost 300 female students were taken from inside their school, the Government Secondary school in Chibok in Burno State Nigeria. They were taken by Boko Haram, who is a known kidnapper of females. Boko Haram is under the false impression that females should not be educated, so he kidnaps them to use as sex slaves and/or cooks.
Anti-Intellectualism was famous during the Great Depression in the 1930’s. When the stock market crashed, people went bankrupt, and banks were forced to close many wealthy people lost their money. Because of this they dropped to the literal lower class. Intellectuals were able to survive in the sea of fortune with their floats on practical hands on skills opposed to the former upper classmen that drowned and sunk to the bottom because they previously only had tangible, measurable products and services. Many would think this would prove the theory of Anti-Intellectualism to be incorrect but it actually increased it.
Statistics show that nowadays approximately twenty-eight percent of all adults in the United States have not read a book in the last year. Though their ignorance and illiteracy may be benign, many of these same adults deride and even mock scientific theories, educational values, philosophical ideas, influential literature, and famous art.
A few years ago, in 2010, a high school language arts teacher, Shelley Evans-Marshall was fired because parents complained about her assigning her students to read the American Library Association's list of "100 most frequently challenged Books" and write an essay about censorship. The court found her assignment to concern political, social and other matters that were “irrelevant” to her provided lesson plan. The controversial issue in this case was that her interest in her student’s free expression did not outweigh certain other interests that the school actually cared about. The school board portrayed their common belief that teachers as, Shelley Evans-Marshall, were to simply teach the subject but not regulate it. Consequently the court decided it was the “education institution that has a right to academic freedom, not the individual teacher” and thus Shelley Evans-Marshall was fired. Anti-Intellectualism played a key role in this case being that ordinarily the problem would be the literature itself, but it was actually the opinion of the literature that students had. It was believed that Shelley Evans-Marshall should have just taught the subject and students should have simply learned it without any expressed opinion on it.

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