Education

College Of The Ozarks Now Has A Mandatory Class On Patriotism

by Tod Perry

October 27, 2017

In an opinion piece for The Washington Post last year, writer Alex Nowrasteh noted that while America’s conservatives often criticize the left for political correctness, they’ve developed their own “PC” code of behavior: patriotic correctness. “It’s a full-throated, un-nuanced, uncompromising defense of American nationalism, history and cherry-picked ideals,” Nowrasteh said.

According to Nowrasteh, those who violate the right’s version of PC can face harsh consequences. “Insufficient displays of patriotism among the patriotically correct can result in exclusion from public life and ruined careers,” Nowrasteh wrote. “It also restricts honest criticism of failed public policies, diverting blame for things like the war in Iraq to those Americans who didn’t support the war effort enough.” 

College of the Ozarks in Missouri recently announced it will require students to take a class that encourages “an understanding of American heritage, civic responsibilities, love of country, and willingness to defend it,” according to its mission statement. The class is called Patriotic Education and Fitness and requires students to learn about modern military customs, U.S. politics, flag protocol, and rifle marksmanship.

Requiring students to take a class that encourages love of country seems a lot like patriotic correctness run amok, but College of the Ozarks’ president doesn’t see it that way. “I want them to have an appreciation for the country in which we live. They should understand how it works, and they should understand more about the military and how it operates,” Jerry Davis told Inside Higher Education. “If you’re going to be a good citizen, we can’t think of a better way to prepare you than to take a class like this.”

This isn’t the first time College of the Ozarks has imposed its brand of patriotism on students. Last month, it announced its sports teams will not play against any team whose players won’t stand for the national anthem. “We need more emphasis on character and unity and less emphasis on political correctness,” Davis said in a statement. What he fails to realize is that those who kneel are fighting for the values the flag represents, while he fights for the symbol itself.

Top and share image via Osman Rana/Unsplash

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