American institutions of higher education have long been the targets of critical books from the right, arguing they have betrayed their fundamental educational role. Now from the left comes a book that takes the author's own institution, the University of California, Berkeley, to task for what he says is its culpability in some of the cruelest chapters of U.S. history.
UC Berkeley, popularly known as Cal, is famous worldwide as a hotbed of left-wing activism and academics. But Tony Platt, who has taught at Berkeley as well as Cal State, Sacramento, says that UC Berkeley hasn't owned up to its roots in "plunder, warfare, and the promotion of white supremacy." He takes it to task for involvement in the eugenics movement, hoarding of Indigenous remains, and its "complicity with the military-industrial complex and its incubation of unprecedented violence through the Manhattan Project."
In this era in which many institutions, educational and otherwise, are reckoning with their histories, join us as Dr. Tony Platt talks with Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of Cal's law school, about his call for the institution to deal honestly with its controversial past.
MLF ORGANIZER: George Hammond
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Professor Emeritus, UC Berkeley; Author, The Scandal of Cal: Land Grabs, White Supremacy, and Miseducation at UC Berkeley
In Conversation with Erwin Chemerinsky
Dean, UC Berkeley School of Law