PROF GIORDANO: Higher education is undermining America by pushing ‘global citizenship’

Across the country, we are witnessing growing anti-American sentiment permeate throughout academia.

Has the push toward ‘global citizenry’ come at the expense of America and the American identity?

Nicholas Giordano is a professor of Political Science, the host of The P.A.S. Report Podcast, and a fellow at Campus Reform’s Higher Education Fellowship. With 2 decades of teaching experience and over a decade of experience in the emergency management/homeland security arena, Professor Giordano is regularly called on to speak about issues related to government, politics, and international relations.

Do not ignore the prevalent trend in academia where universities and colleges are actively promoting the concept of “global citizenship.” This objective has been integrated into the mission and vision statements of numerous higher education institutions throughout the country, emphasizing the importance of “internationalization” while reducing the emphasis on the nation-state concept. Those behind this push believe “national citizenship is an accident of birth” and place it within the framework of Environmentalism and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice (DEISJ).

But has this push toward “global citizenry” come at the expense of America and the American identity? Across the country, we are witnessing growing anti-American sentiment permeate throughout academia. The latest example comes from the University of North Carolina where 673 university professors signed a letter opposing legislation that would require students to take courses on America’s founding and the Constitution arguing that it violates academic freedom.

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Rather than target American history and government, I wish these same professors would show the same disdain for the divisive and polarizing DEISJ initiatives that have infiltrated higher education and truly violate academic freedom by promoting a political agenda fueled by a toxic ideology.

Instead of celebrating the unique history and accomplishments of our nation, students are being taught to resent and even hate America by solely focusing on America’s sins. We should be teaching the totality of American history- both the good and the bad. Instead of promoting unity and understanding, these initiatives encourage victimhood and tribalism, further dividing us along racial, ethnic, and ideological lines.

The vast public education system was intentionally created to equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills to become active participants in our system of limited government. In the past two decades, there has been a notable shift away from the study of American government, civics, and history. As this shift was underway, some colleges implemented speech codes and language guidelines deeming words like “founders” and “America” offensive, and strongly discouraging their use. This absurdity has had disastrous consequences for our nation.

Over a 12-year period, only 16% of my students can pass a citizenship exam and most cannot differentiate the Russian constitution from the American Constitution. This is not unique to my students. According to the Department of Education, the Nation’s Report Card finds that only 23% of graduating public school students demonstrate minimum basic proficiency in civics, and only 11% of graduating public school students demonstrate minimum basic proficiency in American history.

On a societal level, the numbers are not much better. According to the Woodrow Wilson Institute, only 27% of Americans under the age of 45 demonstrate a basic understanding of American government and history, and just 1 in 3 Americans can pass a citizenship exam regardless of age.

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The prioritization of “global citizenship” is exacerbating the decline in students’ commitment and loyalty to the United States. In some cases, colleges have scrapped the Pledge of Allegiance and patriotism has been equated with racism, further eroding the value of American identity. The results are reflected in a recent Wall Street Journal poll, which found that only 38% of Americans consider patriotism to be “very important.” Continuing down this road will further weaken our national identity and lead to a breakdown in social cohesion. 

We are discussing American colleges and universities, it is crucial that they prioritize American history, government, and political philosophy. This will ensure that students have a firm grasp of their roles and responsibilities as American citizens. It will strengthen a sense of allegiance and dedication to the country and its values, while also promoting unity and understanding among different groups of people. It is only by strengthening our commitment to America that we can ensure a prosperous and secure future for ourselves and generations to come.

Editorials and op-eds reflect the opinion of the authors and not necessarily that of Campus Reform or the Leadership Institute.