That the older Boston bombing suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, became a terrorist strikes one as disturbing. That younger brother Dzhokhar also became a terrorist strikes one as frightening.
Adjusting to new country can be trying and stressful. The brothers’ parents came to America, only to return to Russia. Tamerlan came at age 16. A widely reported quote attributed to Tamerlan from 2010 says: “I don’t have one American friend. I don’t understand them.” According to his aunt, Tamerlan became a devout Muslim. He reportedly once stood up and shouted down his imam for praising Martin Luther King. One shocked witness recalled Tamerlan yelling, “You cannot mention this guy because he’s not a Muslim!”
So teenager Tamerlan found adjusting to America difficult. But how to explain Dzhokhar, who came to America a year earlier than his brother, at the age of 8?
Friends describe Dzhokhar as “Americanized” — an outgoing, friendly pot-smoker who became a popular captain of his wrestling team, a bright boy who never spoke about religion or Russia and never expressed hostility toward America.
Dzhokhar attended high school at Cambridge Rindge and Latin, a highly regarded school full of prominent alumni, including actors Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, poet e.e. cummings, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Eric Cornell and basketball Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing. Dzhokhar then attended University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth in 2011, where he was a sophomore at the time of the bombings.
What about the “education,” especially in the social sciences, that Dzhokhar likely received in high school and college? Did the usual left-wing professors, who dominate in number and influence on nearly all of America’s college campuses, teach his courses? Did his instructors stress America’s imperfections and teach that racism, sexism and homophobia remain major problems in America, that America is an imperial power that dominates the world, that “Bush lied, people died” on the Iraq War, that Abu Ghraib represents our American “military culture of abuse,” which explains why so many foreigners “legitimately hate America,” etc.?
How many in-class discussions and dorm bull sessions — conducted among similarly educated and like-minded students sitting beneath wall posters of Che Guevara — turned into a chorus of attacks against American “imperialism”?
The National Association of Scholars, a self-described “independent membership association of academics,” released a report last year on the effect of academic bias in the University of California system. Because of the lopsided domination in the number of liberal humanities professors vs. the small number of conservatives in the same field, the 10 UC campuses, they write, have become “a sanctuary for a narrow ideological segment of the spectrum of social and political ideas.”
Recent UC, San Diego syllabi include history courses like “‘Race, Riots and Violence in the U.S.’ Exploring how different groups of Americans have constructed competing notions of race, gender, labor and national belonging by participating in street violence.” And “African American History in the 20th Century,” which covers the transformation of African America by “imperialism, migration, urbanization, desegregation, and deindustrialization.” And “American Women/American Womanhood” includes topics in relation to “a dominant ideology of womanhood…witchcraft, evangelicalism, cult of domesticity, sexuality, rise of industrial capitalism.”
OK, that’s far-left-wing California. But the Texas affiliate found the same thing. In its recently released report on bias in history classes at University of Texas and Texas A&M University, NAS Texas found “all too often the course readings gave strong emphasis to race, class or gender (RCG) social history, an emphasis so strong that it diminished the attention given to other subjects in American history (such as military, diplomatic, religious, intellectual history).”
Our colleges and universities today find themselves stocked with ’60s radicals, some of whom even committed acts of violence. They include:
Former fugitive Weather Underground co-founder terrorist Bill Ayers — a now-retired professor who enjoyed tenure as a professor of education at University of Illinois at Chicago.
Bernardine Dohrn — Ayer’s wife and a former WU leader, who declared war on the U.S., spent three years on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list and became an associate professor of law at Northwestern University School of Law. Convicted murderer and former Weather Underground terrorist Kathy Boudin — a Columbia University professor and scholar-in-residence at NYU.
Former WU member Howard Machtinger — linked to a deadly unsolved bombing of a San Francisco police station, he enjoys retirement from his career as professor at North Carolina Central University and teaching fellows director at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill’s School of Education.
WU member Susan Rosenberg — spent years on the run after her indictment for WU’s Brinks robbery and triple murder, until apprehended for moving, according to The New York Times, “740 pounds of dynamite and weapons, including a submachine gun.” Rosenberg spent 16 years in prison until President Bill Clinton commuted her sentence, after which she took a job teaching at John Jay College.
After the Tsarnaevs became suspects, the president of Chechnya said: “Any attempt to link Chechnya and the Tsarnaevs, if indeed they are guilty, is futile. They grew up in the U.S.A., their viewpoints and beliefs were formed there. You must look for the roots of their evil in America.”
He is right. The search for the “why” starts right here.