Joseph Manson, an anthropology professor at UCLA, revealed that he is leaving academia because of the “Woke takeover of higher education,” and lamented the “militant” individuals who are upending his university.
Manson discussed his reasons for retiring from the University of California Los Angeles at the age of 62 in a blog post.
In the post, the professor described the ways in which “militant” faculty members are upending the university, even bringing about a decline in academic standards.
Manson characterized UCLA’s anthropology department as being “unusually peaceful” and “intellectually inclusive” until the late 2000s. Everything changed, according to the professor, when “militant faculty recruited even more extremely militant graduate students to work with them.”
The professor went on to cite the “public torment and humiliation” of colleague Professor Jeffrey Brantingham as an example. Brantingham created predictive software that had the potential to aid law enforcement in preventing urban crime. Of course, that was not something that the woke could tolerate.
The university’s Anthropology Graduate Students Association quickly passed a resolution condemning Brantingham’s predictive software as furthering the “criminalization of Blackness in the United States,” as well as reinforcing “the racial capitalist and imperialist projects” dominant around the world. Following the resolution’s passing, Brantingham was a target of activism from both colleagues and students for years.
Describing the buzzword-filled resolution, Manson noted that it didn’t contain an actual argument against Brantingham’s work or anything to dispute the science behind it, but instead resembled a religious document denouncing the professor as a heretic.
“This document contains no trace of scholarly argument, but instead resembles a religious proclamation of anathema,” Manson observed. “As you won’t be surprised to hear, Jeff is not a racist, but a standard-issue liberal Democrat.”
Manson went on to state that several colleagues secretly admitted to him that Brantingham had been treated unfairly, though they avoided saying anything publicly because of “fear of the Woke faction.”
Alongside other clues to the pervasive fear within academia, the professor said that all faculty members besides himself voted to do away with the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) — which is an admissions test used by many American graduate schools. Despite the GRE’s usefulness in determining whether a student has the proper qualifications to be admitted to a school, the faculty believed it needed to be removed to avoid the possibility of being “regarded as racists.”
UCLA is not the only university that has done away with this process. Several elite schools, including Harvard University and the broader University of California system, removed admissions testing requirements for undergraduates.
While on the campaign trail, President Joe Biden endorsed these anti-meritocratic moves, agreeing with the premise that standardized testing is “rooted in a history of racism and eugenics” and vowing to end its use in public schools.
Manson listed numerous other concerning signs of what he called “Woke capture” at UCLA, including a demand to include “non-binary and intersex identities in biology courses,” the rise of anti-Zionism, and mandatory approvals of statements of diversity for faculty job applications.
Ultimately, all of these reasons led to Manson’s decision to leave, despite advice from other academics to stay at the university. According to the professor, he chose to leave his career in academia because higher education in the U.S. is “morally and intellectually corrupt, beyond the possibility of self-repair, and therefore no longer a worthwhile setting in which to spend my time and effort.”