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November 13, 2023

College Protesters Have Always Been Foolish

Their radicalization isn’t anything new, but the leftist worldview and foreign money that’s keeping the schools themselves from acting are.

One of the most disheartening aftereffects of Hamas’s attack on innocent Israeli civilians was the disgusting and disgraceful actions of college professors and their sheep-like students. They celebrated the massacre as the resistance of the oppressed. Their vapid hatred and pro-Hamas sentiments (because it’s not pro-Palestinian; if it were, they’d call for Hamas to surrender to spare the civilians of Gaza) were made manifest by threatening demonstrations, violence, and tearing down posters of kidnapped elderly, women, and children.

It’s disheartening because the students’ ignorant ire exposes the follies of a lack of morality expressed by many operating at the collegiate level. Daniel Greenfield of FrontPage Magazine recently wrote a piece about how college kids seem to be drawn to supporting mass murderers as a matter of course. This is seen throughout history, and it’s not unique to the U.S.

Greenfield’s indictment is scalding. He writes: “The ‘dumb college kids’ aren’t alienated by atrocities, they’re drawn to them. And it’s a fundamental misunderstanding of the last century to think otherwise.”

For Greenfield, the rot in universities comes from a lack of boundaries, specifically for those whose ideas are beyond the pale. Universities coddle these troublemakers and defend to the death their right to spew their poisonous ideologies under the guise of “free speech.” The Free Press’s Rachel Fish explains that the worldview that holds court on college campuses themselves is a big part of this coddling of radicals. She writes: “This worldview is anchored by a toxic stew of postcolonialism, postnationalism, and postmodernism. These intellectual frameworks were first articulated in the humanities in the late 1960s and found fertile ground in area studies programs like Middle Eastern studies, gender studies, and ultimately disciplines like history and literature.”

And when “intellectual frameworks” such as the one Fish described superseded reality and convinced young adults that this was enlightenment or a way to a happy, successful life, that was also an apathetic defeat of the intellectual elite. Greenfield articulates this idea by stating: “Liberals utterly failed to draw a red line with the Left. The constant dismissals of leftists as passionate but misguided, as having the right views but the wrong tactics, led to this. The liberals fell to the Left. And then the most extreme parts of the Left cannibalized the rest. College campuses, always radical, became nests of the most extreme politics in the country.”

That radicalism isn’t being easily shaken by students post-college years, either.

By allowing ideologies that lead to the worst sort of atrocities and dismissing radicalized students as “dumb,” universities have ceded the moral high ground. Perhaps that was lost long ago when intellectuals decided that morality that provided boundaries — such as those in the Judeo-Christian religious worldview — were too constraining. Moral relativism that declares everyone needs to do what is right in their own eyes is now the prevailing rule. More accurately still, the morality that has been adopted is a politically correct, nonsensical, and contradictory one.

There is another angle to this disruptive and anti-Semitic movement within our current campus life (though this one has other wider historical applications as well): Who is funding the colleges? This has been a more and more constant weakness in the upper echelons of higher ed. Whoever pays these poorly run colleges typically has the ear and dictates the ideology of the university. We face this already with the Chinese influence in our universities through Confucius Institutes, but Bari Weiss of The Free Press also reports: “After months of research, the NCRI [Network Contagion Research Institute] released a report (comprising four separate studies) following the money. The report finds that at least 200 American colleges and universities illegally withheld information on approximately $13 billion in undisclosed contributions from foreign regimes, many of which are authoritarian.”

While she does note correlation isn’t causation, it’s worth noticing that the universities that are receiving these undisclosed monies from regimes like Qatar are much more likely to have anti-Semitic incidents on their campuses.

There is perhaps another part of this puzzle needing to be explored. Generally, people donate to colleges that they have attended or whose child has attended. Could it be, like in the cases of the hostile-to-Jews Middle East, that donors have literally sent their children as emissaries of this bad ideology? The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), after much bad press from its own weak response to protests, recently suggested that the majority of the students leading the violence are foreign nationals. If that is indeed the case, the schools have an even greater responsibility to act. The students are here on a visa and are purposely causing chaos and harm on their campuses. Seems like grounds for deportation.

When bad ideas cannot be rooted out because those professors and administrators are too far up their own ideological contortion of a worldview to recognize it, that’s when we get the celebration of mass murder by college kids. Add to that a financial motive to bend to the whims of a country that holds these bad ideals, and the chaos is inevitable. We as a nation need to take a strong stand against these college radicals. They must be held to account in real ways.

But that won’t be done within the walls of their universities. Those institutions are too compromised.

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