Washington and Lee University defends ‘How to Overthrow the State’ course

Washington and Lee University (above) has defended its course titled 'How to Overthrow the Government, which requires students to write a revolutionary manifesto

Washington and Lee University is not only encouraging students to plan on revolution; it is dangling the temptation in front of its freshman students.

The school’s “Writing Seminar for First-Years” course puts students “at the head of a popular revolutionary movement aiming to overthrow a sitting government and forge a better society,” reports FOX News.

“How will you attain power? How will you communicate with the masses?  How do you plan on improving the lives of the people?  How will you deal with the past?” the course blurb on W&L’s website reads. “From Frantz Fanon to Che Guevara to Mohandas Gandhi and others, we explore examples of revolutionary thought and action from across the Global South.”

Students enrolled in the course will produce a “Manifesto, drafting a white paper that critically analyzes a particular issue” and “write a persuasive essay on rewriting history and confronting memory.”

Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich dismissed the course as “one further sign of the insanity taking over higher education,” and tweeted: “The alumni should rise up and show how to overthrow a crazy college administration.”

In an interview with a local news outlet, W&L President Will Dudley complained the course has been “distorted, sensationalized, and turned into political fodder on blogs, television, and social media.”

“We are expressly committed to encouraging all to speak their minds freely and to consider carefully alternative points of view. It is incumbent upon us to treat each other with respect and not perpetuate or tolerate personal attacks,” he said, according to CBS19.


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