Campus Reform | Emmanuel Macron, other French officials concerned by 'intellectual matrix' of American universities

Emmanuel Macron, other French officials concerned by 'intellectual matrix' of American universities

French officials have expressed concern about American academic ideologies.

France's education minister said there is a "battle to wage" against American universities' "intellectual matrix."

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French officials warned against the "intellectual matrix from American universities."

In comments recently highlighted by the New York Times, French President Emmanuel Macron said in an October speech that “certain social science theories entirely imported from the United States” are a threat to his nation’s unity.

“And in so doing, we have left the intellectual debate to others, to those outside of the Republic by ideologizing it, sometimes yielding to other academic traditions,” asserted Macron. “I am thinking of Anglo-Saxon traditions based on a different history, which is not ours. And when I see certain social science theories entirely imported from the United States, with their problems, which I respect and which exist, but which are just added to ours, I say to myself that it is reasonable to make this choice.”

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“And so we must, very clearly, re-invest, on a massive scale, in the field of social sciences, history, understanding of civilizations by creating posts, by stepping up dialogue, academic and scientific debate in order not to allow the knowledge, the understanding of Islam as a religion, of the civilization it underpins and its contribution to our country and our continent to become ideological and exclusively political debates,” he continued.

“There’s a battle to wage against an intellectual matrix from American universities,’’ warned Macron’s education minister, Jean-Michel Blanquer, said.

National Association of Scholars Director of Research David Randall told Campus Reform that “America has owed much to France over the centuries, from their intervention to fight by our side in the American Revolution to the Statue of Liberty to their willingness to join with us in NATO for the defense of the free world against communism.”

“Now we owe a new debt to France, as its leaders stand up boldly to the tide of authoritarian leftism that has, alas, seized the commanding heights of America's government and society,” said Randall. “We wish them every success in keeping out the illiberal intellectual effluvia of America's colleges and universities By doing so, they inspire the forces of liberty in America, and render them incalculable assistance.”

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For years, Campus Reform has reported on American academics’ full-throated promotion of critical race theory, which former President Donald Trump called "divisive." 

In some instances, students have pushed for mandatory “anti-racism” courses, which promote such ideologies. Most recently, Harvard University cited self-proclaimed critical race theorist Ibram X. Kendi in telling administrators that curricula should be audited “using an anti-racist, anti-colonial lens.” 

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In other instances, professors and students have been “canceled” for any actions that could be interpreted as racist or discriminatory. One professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago, for instance, was subjected to three hours of mental examination and a drug test after he included a redacted reference to a racial slur on an exam.

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Similarly, a student was pressured to withdraw her intention to attend the University of Tennessee-Knoxville after a former high school classmate revealed that she said a racial epithet at the age of fifteen.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft