|Justin Morrill’s land-grant university system is off course.|
Somali-born refugee Abdul Razak Ali Artan was a student at Ohio State University, founded in 1870 as a land-grant college. According to the 1862 Morrill Act, the purpose of land-grant OSU, originally known as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College, was to “without excluding other scientific and classical studies and including military tactic, to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts, in such manner as the legislatures of the States may respectively prescribe, in order to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in the several pursuits and professions in life.”
Those benefits were intended to accrue mostly to Ohio residents whose taxpayers have, over the decades, helped fund the university. The taxpaying parents hope that their children will have a leg up on out-of-state and international students when college application time rolls around.
As years went by, however, international students became more appealing to U.S. universities, and local students less so, not only because overseas students pay higher out-of-state tuition fees, but also because they add diversity to the campus, a goal administrators deem important, if not vital.
As details about Artan’s pre-attack life slowly surfaced, one of his classmates revealed that he was studying microaggressions, defined as everyday verbal, nonverbal and environmental slights, snubs or insults, whether intentional or unintentional that offend women, minorities and gays.
|From Somalia to Columbus, Ohio.
Summing up, Artan was not from Ohio or a neighboring mid-Atlantic state or any other U.S. state; he was born in Somalia, more than 8,000 miles from Columbus. And Artan wasn’t studying agriculture or mechanical art, but political correctness.
Justin Morrill, the Vermont U.S. Representative and Senator who championed the act, is surely rolling over in his grave. Okay, things change over time; the Morrill Act passed more than 150 years ago, but jeez, come on!
Artan’s unprovoked attack, apparently terrorist-inspired, has renewed calls for a moratorium on refugee resettlement. Before Washington legislators return home for their winter break, send your representatives a message here at the CAPS Action Alert page that you want sensible refugee legislation to be addressed among the first orders of business in the new Congress.