At the beginning of February, The New York Times published a story about Hillsdale College, calling it “a ‘Shining City on a Hill’ for Conservatives.” The Times report proved to be a very fair and revealing article about this prominent conservative college promoted by Rush Limbaugh (which also happens to be my alma mater). But America’s newspaper of record did find a way to work in some subtle jabs at the school, which required answering.
The Times’ Erick Eckholm argued that the issue of race “captures the juxtaposition of Hillsdale’s pathbreaking origins with its present-day conservatism.” Hillsdale College claims to have been the first college to admit students regardless of race or sex — in 1844. The college boasts of sending more students (and professors) to fight for the Union than any other school, due to in part to its opposition to slavery. But Eckholm quoted the current president, Dr. Larry Arnn, suggesting that the school’s opposition to “social justice” betrays a racist conservative philosophy.
“My answer to the charge that we do not promote ‘social justice’ is that we don’t and that I am proud that we don’t,” Dr. Paul Rahe, professor of history and Charles O. Lee and Louise K. Lee Chair in the Western Heritage at Hillsdale, told PJ Media in an email statement. “Justice is owed individuals, not groups. There is no such thing as ‘social justice.’ The phrase is a slogan used by those intent on looting.”