09 March 2016

How Right-Wing Billionaires Infiltrated Higher Education


The Chronicle Review   February 12, 2016   By Jane Mayer

[Mayer is a staff writer at *The New Yorker.* This article is adapted from her new book, *Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaries Behind the Rise of the Radical Right.*]

If there was a single event that galvanized conservative donors to try to wrest control of higher education in America, it might have been the uprising at Cornell University on April 20, 1969. That afternoon, during parents’ weekend at the Ithaca, N.Y., campus, some 80 black students marched in formation out of the student union, which they had seized, with their clenched fists held high in black-power salutes. To the shock of the genteel Ivy League community, several were brandishing guns. At the head of the formation was a student who called himself the "Minister of Defense" for Cornell’s Afro-American Society. Strapped across his chest, Pancho Villa-style, was a sash-like bandolier studded with bullet cartridges. Gripped nonchalantly in his right hand, with its butt resting on his hip, was a glistening rifle. Chin held high and sporting an Afro, goatee, and eyeglasses reminiscent of Malcolm X, he was the face of a drama so infamous it was regarded for years by conservatives such as David Horowitz as "the most disgraceful occurrence in the history of American higher education."

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