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Progressive College Student Mistakenly Tries to Debate Dinesh D’Souza

Progressive College Student Mistakenly Tries to Debate Dinesh D’Souza

Why don’t you give up YOUR privilege?

Conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza visited Amherst College in October and engaged in some voluntary debate with a small audience.

One student asked two very long questions which, combined with D’Souza’s responses, make up the bulk of the video below.

The first question is about American foreign policy in the Middle East and D’Souza dispenses that issue fairly quickly. The second question has to do with social justice and racial privilege.

D’Souza dismantles the student’s argument systematically but ultimately cites the Achilles’ heel of all progressive arguments for redistribution. Why doesn’t this student give up his place at this elite institution of higher education so someone of lesser privilege may step in?

According to the Amherst College website, cost of attendance for the 2015-2016 school year is over $60,000 and attendance there is a privilege, not a right.

Scott McKay of The Hayride described it this way:

VIDEO: It Is Unwise For Leftists To Challenge Dinesh D’Souza To A Theoretical Debate

This clip, which goes 19 minutes or so but is well worth the time, comes from an appearance D’Souza made back in October at Amherst College.

He gets accosted by a freshman, and a reasonably intelligent one, with a pair of questions about white privilege and Islamic militancy arising as a reaction to American imperialism.

Needless to say, D’Souza is not impressed with the premises behind either question, and he knows a lot more about the world than the freshman does. It gets exceedingly good when D’Souza gets going on the question of white privilege and how to address it, and the unwillingness of the freshman, who is white as snow, to personally surrender his own unjust advantages as a gesture of leadership in this new “just” society to replace the free one bequeathed to us by the racist white men who founded the country.

As McKay points out, the video is 19 minutes long and when I started watching it, I wasn’t sure if I’d make it through the whole thing but I found myself unable to stop.

I highly recommend watching the whole thing:

Progressives love to complain about privilege and want to use government force to redistribute other people’s wealth. Their own? Not so much.

Featured image via YouTube.


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It is often said that a liberal is a person who is generous with other people’s money.

Progressives should be called Regressives Their antiquated racial philosophy is throw back to the 19th century.

Aside from this young man being unable to commit to his own cause, the question that needs to be answered is: And then what?

Lets say that we had some way to measure across history the effects of misbegotten privilege and opportunity and could reshuffle the deck so that at one moment in time everyone was starting from a level place. What would happen then?

We can look at similar activities, such as bankruptcy, to see that merely wiping the slate clean doesn’t solve what is causing people to behave one way or another. A small percentage benefit from bankruptcy and end up prospering, but many more end up right back where they were.

Because, in America, it’s not opportunity, nor race, nor even necessarily talent, but values, integrity, and determination that lead to success. Until the so-called disadvantaged groups of people assume value sets that lead to prosperity, there will be no lasting effect from any social justice redistribution.

Insufficiently Sensitive | December 12, 2015 at 4:38 pm

Lets say that we had some way to measure across history the effects of misbegotten privilege and opportunity and could reshuffle the deck so that at one moment in time everyone was starting from a level place.

That’s the first place the parlor redistributionist always starts thinking. It’s nothing but a waste of time – such an evaluation is impossible, and acting on it is even worse.

D’Souza nailed it with the concept of applying equal justice before the law, now. It is the best that any diverse group of humans can do as policy. The policy of the Social Justice Warriors is a deliberate campaign to destroy that concept, and to emplace themselves as The Redistributors according to their infinite series of decrees-of-the-moment. The law means nothing to them in this endeavor – other than an obstruction to be cleared away during their Accession.

The Social Justice Warriors are picking up on the absolute worst trait of the rest of the world: holding eternal grudges. When I was growing up, people recognized that the great virtue of the American system was that anybody, anybody, could succeed.

It is liberating to know that, other people may decide they do not like you, but they can’t prevent you from having a good and prosperous life.

This isn’t fun to watch. The kid is just droning on mindlessly. I can turn on MSNBC any time I want to see a liberal do that.

    I kind of cringed watching this, too. I teach at a university, and these kids are just parroting what they hear (not from me!). They can’t think because they aren’t taught to think, and they can’t reason because they are taught that reason is only found in leftist arguments (and these are never based in reason or logic). The kid is stunned by D’Souza because he has, perhaps literally, never heard a dissenting view, or if he has, he’s encountered people who just give up in disgust. He’s not stupid, he’s just . . . sadly representative of what is happening in our nation’s colleges and universities.

    These kids are swaddled in “safe spaces” and simply haven’t been asked, ever, to think about what they are saying or about how point A leads to point B. It’s really quite sad to me.

      It’d be a pretty good guess that he heard a lot of it from the faculty-looking indoctrinators sitting behind him.

      Especially the woman who kept rooting him on.

      Yours is an EXCELLENT post.

      I shall copy it and think about it. As a mother home-educating a child about to start high school, I would be interested in hearing your advice. How can I prevent my child from being this pathetic young man, who speaks volumes but says nothing?

        gibbie in reply to Anonamom. | December 13, 2015 at 9:08 am

        I’m not sure who your asking, but I have some suggestions. I’m in the same position as you, so I’ve been thinking about this a lot.

        Send your son to a school which has a required core curriculum in Western Civilization. It has to be a legitimate one, not a watered down liberal corruption. A good example is Hillsdale College. Probably a bad example is Columbia University, which has such a core curriculum, but I suspect it has been corrupted by leftism.

        For those of you who, like me, attended the other kind of school, Western Civilization is a combination of the Greek philosophical tradition and the Biblical tradition. It is where our Constitution and the good parts of our culture came from. If we don’t know it, we don’t know who we are.

        If your son is interested in STEM, I’m not sure what to suggest. Almost all of the best STEM schools will require humanities courses which will corrupt your son, if not directly then through his peer group. Plus your tuition money will be used to support “studies” departments and “diversity” establishments.

        I’m hoping that in the next 3 years the free market system comes up with a better way of obtaining a STEM education. I’m also hoping that the church comes up with a better way of obtaining an education in the humanities. At the moment, STEM programs are graduating people who know how to create and implement technology, but do not have the faintest idea how to think about which uses of technology are good and which are bad.

        Hi Anonamom and thanks 🙂 As far as teaching critical thinking skills, just do the opposite of what is currently being done in our nation’s universities. I.e. don’t treat a mind like a vessel into which we pour knowledge and hear it parroted back to us; instead, teach critical thinking and research skills and let him or her learn how to find, challenge, and assimilate information.

        Teach your child a variety of viewpoints and challenge his or her reactions to them by asking questions about what each viewpoint’s next logical step would be; let your child know that it’s important to not only think he or she knows the other side of any given issue but to know it well enough to rebut effectively and logically; challenge your child with differing viewpoints and prompt him or her to create a defense for each side of an argument; teach him or her history, literature, philosophy, and religion along with maths and sciences.

        A few years ago, I wrote a post about how I do this in my frosh lit classes; it’s a bit long because it include both a poem and a short story, but here’s the link if you are interested:

        In that essay, I am obviously trying to break through the leftist nonsense that students learn in their other courses, so it’s not a pure example of hands off learning (I want them to think about big government and what happens to the people when government gets too big).

        To paraphrase a famous quote: You don’t know a subject until you can think with it and not just about it.

        I hope this helps, and I applaud you for home-schooling. If I had school-age kids, I would be doing the same thing. 🙂

    pesanteur in reply to Same Same. | December 12, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    What is perversely funny (though I agree that one can only hear so much of it. I pressed the mute button soon enough and just waited for D’s response) is that these kids believe their thought process is original and revolutionary. They can’t seem to process that it is monotonously interchangeable with everybody else around them. The perverse part is that this is an allegedly “liberal” institution, which would mean training minds toward free and independent critical thought.

They never want to do the right thing no matter the cause, just act like they’re moral.
Tell the sjw climate wacko’s to take the lead and give up cars, a/c etc., to convince other people of the righteousness of their cause and we get an excuse as to why they can’t.
I also ask why obama and hitlery get passes from them as they never protest those two and I never get a real answer. Lord knows hitlery alone could pay off millions of sjw victims personally out her stash of millions.

I remember this video. Dinesh is a skilled debater for sure. However, I think his strategy, however successful in dealing with this kid, misses the point. The heart of the issue is not that the kid is a hypocrite. The issue is that the redistributionist/reparationist approach in America is simply wrongheaded. Besides the certain fact that it would be impossible to actually know who “deserves” what given generations of separation from the original injustice (btw, if you’re half white, how much do you get?), it simply wouldn’t work. The only way for people to truly become prosperous is for them to develop themselves. If they choose applied math and computer science and engineering they will obtain a better life. There is no other reproducible, reliable way. But if our primary focus is to fixate on things like historical injustice then those people will be left with nothing for another generation while they agitate for a fantasy civil war.

    Milhouse in reply to broomhandle. | December 13, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    Of course the heart of the issue isn’t that the kid is a hypocrite. Actually the kid isn’t a hypocrite, and D’Souza’s attack on him is really unfair. But what he’s doing here is straight out of Alinsky. He’s making the greater point that you note, but he’s personalising it, and using the kid’s own principles to attack him. The more unfair the attack the better, because it demonstrates how wrong those principles are, how hurtful and unfair they can be when taken to their logical conclusion.

This shows the other side of the failure of socialism, where they run out of OTHER PEOPLE’s money.

Somehow the socialists do not put up THEIR OWN MONEY.

Hilarious. Analogous to: good master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? Love God and love your neighbor as yourself. All this have I done from my youth. Then sell all you have and give to the poor. Sad, he went away because he had much,

I see someone’s been reading Alinsky! Bravo!

Char Char Binks | December 13, 2015 at 6:48 pm

The kid was actually right about the meaning of “illicit”, and D’Souza was wrong. Still, D’Souza made some very good points.

This was unusual in that a bunch of numbskulls did not shout him down as they have so many other conservatives.
The first two years of college normally are very general no matter the major so sending your child to Hillsdale and getting some of those humanities unpolluted and then transferring credits to another school might be a solution.

Curiously, I know two people who are janitors at Amherst College. They are both better people than this kid (appears to be) who uses them as foils in his argument.