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Resignations won’t fix America’s universities Antisemitism runs from students to administrators

Students march on the streets of Boston. (Erin Clark/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Students march on the streets of Boston. (Erin Clark/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)


December 12, 2023   5 mins

Societies rot from the head down, as fish are said to do. In the academy, too, the head rots first. Elite universities were the first to take to heart Marx’s admonition that the point is not to interpret the world, but to change it. Revolutionary change requires silencing ancestral voices, consigning to oblivion the rich traditions of interpretation from which Western civilisation sprang.

Since Jesse Jackson led chants of “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Western Civ has got to go” at Stanford in 1987, elite universities have progressively gutted core liberal studies programmes that introduced students to the vital civilisational inheritance of knowledge and wisdom rooted in Athens, Jerusalem and Rome. For the past two decades, they’ve judged applicants for admission as much by their devotion to community service and activism as by their academic potential. Activist students, in turn, began to demand that universities advance any number of causes under the umbrella of social justice.

The ideological invasion of the Ivory Tower has had predictably bad results. Much of higher education today effectively consists of giving students a handful of Post-it notes and teaching them how to apply them to the images that are projected onto their smartphones. People of colour who are evidently miserable and poor, such as the Palestinians of Gaza, are labelled “victims”, whose innocence is not only assumed but unchallengeable on campus. White, well-off, educated people, especially if they have a strong national identity, are identified as “colonisers” and “oppressors”. Should we really be shocked that students who’ve been taught this crude intellectual game, one that unfolds in the immediate present with no depth of breadth of understanding, would welcome the chance to celebrate Hamas’s demonstration that “decolonisation” is not just “an abstract academic theory” but a “tangible event”?

Bret Stephens has written that Americans are on the road to a second Kristallnacht. This is not a figure of speech. Since the Hamas pogrom of October 7, Jews have been attacked on the streets of American cities, and Jewish-owned stores are vandalised every day. To their shame, universities have been on the cutting edge of this intellectually-fuelled explosion of antisemitism, as they were in Nazi Germany.

Americans have taken notice. The US Department of Education recently opened investigations of possible discrimination based on ancestry or ethnicity at more than a half-dozen institutions. Summoned by Congress to explain why they have allowed antisemitism to fester on their campuses, the presidents of Harvard, Penn, and MIT all refused to say that calling for the genocide of Jews violated their codes of conduct or rules regarding bullying and harassment. Would these university leaders say the same about calls for the genocide of Palestinians, gays, or African Americans? The question answers itself. Even the Biden administration, which has aggressively pushed social justice imperatives, felt compelled to condemn their evasions.

The president and chairman of the board of trustees of Penn resigned in the aftermath of the congressional hearing, and many are calling for the presidents of Harvard and MIT to resign as well. These blood-sacrifices make for good theatre, but don’t address the problem. Lopping off the head of a rotten fish does little good: the foul thing still stinks to high heaven. The deeper problem is that the intellectual formation of large numbers of faculty and administrators at American universities supports acts of violence so appalling that to call them barbaric would be an insult to barbarians.

The genocidal logic of Post-it note ideology was recently made clear at Hillcrest High School in Queens. Students discovered that a teacher had attended a rally in support of Israel. As one told the New York Post: “A bunch of kids decided to make a group chat, expose her, talk about it, and then talk about starting a riot.” (“Exposure” has been a primary weapon of nihilists and revolutionaries for almost two centuries.) “School administrators and the NYPD
 got wind of their plans just in time to rush the teacher into an office and lock the door,” the paper reported. Students waving Palestinian flags and shouting “Free Palestine!” rampaged for hours, vandalising bathrooms and other property.

Here’s the kicker: the students called the teacher they tried to hunt down a “cracker ass bitch”. The kids may be ignorant, but they are not stupid. They’ve somehow learned that social justice licences the expression of hateful attitudes, including racism and misogyny as well as antisemitism. Did the mob pursue their quarry because she is a female teacher, or a Jew, or because she is a “cracker”? It doesn’t matter: an oppressor is an oppressor. A document on intersectionality distributed by the sociology department at my old university explained that oppressors include those who are “white”, “European”, “credentialed”, “upper and upper-middle class”, “anglophones”, and “pale”. Most Jews in the United States tick all these boxes. How could they not be oppressors, if they fit the profile?

The civilisational threat posed by this ideological activism in American higher education recalls the invaluable intellectual support German academics gave Nazism during the Third Reich. Theologians worked to fashion a new myth of Jesus as a forerunner of Nazism, presenting him as a spirited Christian warrior who strove heroically to destroy Judaism. They purged all Jewish content from a revised publication of the New Testament, depicted Nazi ideology as the fulfilment of the original Christianity of Jesus, and elevated Hitler to the status of the second coming of Christ. Today, few academics would see Christ as an Aryan. Yet many embrace identity politics and the religion of humanity with a distinctly religious fervour.

The German theologians were not alone. The philosopher Martin Heidegger played a leading role in clothing the Nazi Party with academic respectability. In “The Self-Assertion of the German University”, a speech he gave when he assumed the Rectorship of Freiburg University in 1933, Heidegger aggressively positioned the academy at the forefront of Hitlerism. His speech anticipated many of the attitudes now popular on American campuses. He decried what he called Germany’s “moribund semblance of a culture”, and he called for the expulsion of academic freedom from the university. He also characterised the revolutionary work of students and professors as a “battle” — music to the ears of academic social justice warriors.

Most important, Heidegger applauded the mobilisation of students under the FĂŒhrerprinzip, the suspension of written law on the basis that the word of Adolph Hitler is the law for Germans. History repeats itself, except that the FĂŒhrer — the “driver” — is now social justice. After 2020, critical race theory became mandatory in law schools, and many universities are now arguably ignoring the law for ideological reasons. Hamas is a federally designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), and federal law makes it a crime to provide “material support or resources” to an FTO. Yet students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which has over 200 active chapters on American campuses, has emphatically claimed to be “a PART of this [Hamas] movement”.

Many state laws also forbid support for terrorism. If SJP receives any financial or logistical support from a university — a share of student activity fees, photocopying, or anything else — that university is arguably involved in criminal activity based on federal law. These are ample grounds for excluding them from campus. Yet only three private schools, Brandeis, Columbia, and George Washington, have so far suspended SJP, and Florida, the only state that has tried to do so, recently backed down in the face of a lawsuit.

The Nazis engaged in what was called Gleichschaltung, political equalisation or coordination. A Schaltung is a circuit. Gleichschaltung in an organisation makes it possible to run a charge through it as efficiently as possible. It turns an institution into a conduit of ideological power. This, too, harmonises with the functional reality of much of American higher education.

The rot in higher education is far too deep to be fixed by resignations, lawsuits, and congressional hearings. Nothing less than a systematic and widespread effort at something like de-Nazification will do. Short of such drastic measures, I fear, the American university will continue to be an activist institution that advances a totalising ideology. And it will drag society down with it.


Jacob Howland is Provost and Dean of the Intellectual Foundations Program at the University of Austin.


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J Bryant
J Bryant
5 months ago

“The rot in higher education is far too deep to be fixed by resignations, lawsuits, and congressional hearings. Nothing less than a systematic and widespread effort at something like de-N*tzification will do.”
Agreed, and the author is certainly not the first person to reach the same conclusion.
My question is how do we, as a society, achieve this “de-N*zification” of higher education? As the author noted, Florida started the process and “backed down” in the face of a lawsuit.
I attended law school thirty years ago. My class mates were mostly left-leaning, often strongly so. They now hold senior positions in the US legal system and the system itself is “progressive”. How are we to effect change? Please write an essay about that, Mr. Howland.

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
5 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

The fix will take longer to heal than the damage that was done, timewise. It is always that way. One man and a bulldozer can destroy the work of one thousand men laboring for ten years in one day.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
5 months ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

I saw Bret Weinstein on a podcast yesterday. Always sober and thoughtful, Weinstein was almost completely resigned that civilization is doomed. He seemed to be holding back tears when he spoke about his two children and their likely very bleak futures.

But there are glimmers, and people need to embrace and share them. We took our visiting son to see “The Shift” movie yesterday. Definitely not his sort of thing – it is unashamedly Christian – but he actually liked it and it led to lively discussion about the state of our world and the power of faith. Frankly, I think faith in God is about all we have left.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
5 months ago

I suspect Weinstein may be correct. The mass immigration of Muslims (with their large families) and the adoption of Sharia law (there are 85 sharia courts in UK) into Europe and the US and the wholesale adoption of DEI into our institutions; in my humble opinion will be the end of western civilisation as we know it. Probably within the next two generations or say 80years.

Last edited 5 months ago by Peter Lee
Chipoko
Chipoko
5 months ago
Reply to  Peter Lee

This is the UK Parliament research briefing ‘Sharia law courts in the UK.’
https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CDP-2019-0102/CDP-2019-0102.pdf

Karen Arnold
Karen Arnold
5 months ago

That’s quite interesting, my son is in his late 20’s, dismissed church as not being relevant for a long time, we’ve never been a church going family, he works in a high tech world but is rejecting it for his social life. He mentioned joining a church to find people who have the same moral standards and cultural references.

mike otter
mike otter
5 months ago

I am with Pinker and “better angels, enlightenment now” etc – sure the left are a threat and drag anchor on humanity BUT overall progress occurs, its just not linear. (That was a phrase used by Obama who despite being held as a figurehead of racism and hate IMO is actually a pretty middle of the road guy, regardless of what he got up to as a youth – didn’t we all?) as a GOPer i’d find it hard to vote for Trump against him, though DW same issue don’t apply with creepy Joe!

Keith Merrick
Keith Merrick
4 months ago
Reply to  mike otter

I sort of agree but I think there’s something missing. Yes, when looking at the big picture human society has become steadily less violent over time. Also when looking at the big picture, western society has become ever more liberal. Reduced violence and increased liberalism seem to have gone hand in hand – until now. But now that liberalism has overshot its mark and tipped over into arguably making society more rather than less violent, where should hope of a less violent society come from? Simply by backpeddling to an earlier, less extreme version of liberalism?

Last edited 4 months ago by Keith Merrick
Susan Grabston
Susan Grabston
5 months ago

I have certainly gone back to faith, but not to religion, and certainly not CofE which is correctly described as “labour at prayer”. I am seeing this spiritual resurgence in folk as well. What was once wall to wall self help is increasingly Peterson, McGilchrist, Vervaeke, Orr. People know what they’re missing and simply want a way back to sometjing deeper – what McGilchrist would call wisdom. James Orr was recently interviewed asked about his fears for the future to which he replied “well I’m a christian so I have my eye on a different horizon”. I found it very moving to hear someone share their convictions because it is so rarely done I believe the same can be achieved through telling people their history. An updated version of Our Island Story could help people by providing a ground to stand on.

Keith Merrick
Keith Merrick
4 months ago
Reply to  Susan Grabston

When Orr said his eyes were set on a different horizon, surely he was talking about the horizon of heaven rather than a deep sense of British history, otherwise the comment about being a Christian makes no sense.
I find Jordan Peterson infuriating. Whenever Sam Harris asks him a direct question about his belief you just know he’s going to go on about the logos and telos and even those of us who are hanging on his every word will be none the wiser. This, to me, is the surest sign that Jordan can’t, or won’t, say out loud what his beliefs are. To simply come right out and say, “No, I don’t believe in the God most people mean when they say ‘God'” is something he can’t bring himself to say.
And the truth is, though we’ve all come to the conclusion that godlessness leads to nihilism and a fractured society, which person of any intellectual honesty can bring himself to say out loud that yes, he does believe that the Creator of the Universe chose the Middle East of 2,000 years ago as the ideal place and time to send His son, Jesus, who is actually one facet of himself (along with the Holy Ghost), to be born of a virgin and then to be killed so as to redeem all of mankind of its sins? The whole lot is clearly nonsense driven by wishful thinking.
It may turn out that humans only thrive when they believe certain things: they are being watched over; there is a point and plan to all this; death is not the end; the bad are punished and the good rewarded in heaven, unlike here on earth etc. It may also turn out the humans need to worship something, to obey the object of admiration and to devote himself to Him, rather than always trying to optimize one’s own pleasure through watching another film, another game shows and having another beer. Yet just as Sam Harris says, can’t we try to achieve some of these things without lying to ourselves?
It sounds to me like what you’re advocating is not so much faith as a sense of ‘deep Britain’, an idea that seems to be very much in the air at the moment (Douglas Murray, Alexander Poots). This may involve reading some Tolkien, some C.S. Lewis or Thomas Hardy. And it’s certainly worth a try.
I have come to the conclusion that rather than look for a religion substitute (deep history, ancestor worship etc.) the best thing is to look at the thousands of people I’ve known in my time, pick the one I most admire and then analyse what it is about them I find so great. In my case it’s a friend who is kind, calm, funny, content with her lot, and the least self-absorbed person I know. Alighting on a role model is much easier than trying to build a life from first principles.

Last edited 4 months ago by Keith Merrick
Keith Merrick
Keith Merrick
4 months ago

We had faith in God before but we came to the conclusion that, deep down and post-Darwin, we didn’t really believe. Even if there were a resurgence of belief there’s no reason to think it would last. After all, the arguments are still the same as they were and the evidence hasn’t changed.
Maybe we all expect too much nowadays and merely assume that small communities were ideal places. Maybe we moderns just can’t accept that life isn’t better than it is. But maybe Thomas Hardy was right when he mused that life had never promised that much and it had kept it’s promise. Perhaps it should be enough for us that we no longer have anaesthetic-less amputations or 18th century dentistry. Wanting a spiritual comminuty too is just greedy. Next we’ll be saying that by rights we ought to be able to live forever.
And of course there are small communities where everyone still has a strong and binding faith in God (e.g. Pentecostals) but who would want to live among them with their mad beliefs, regardless of how close their community is.

Last edited 4 months ago by Keith Merrick
mike otter
mike otter
5 months ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

Well we just need to make sure we got the bulldozer. Also look at the tards, TSs etc – what are they gonna do when the bulldozer breaks down – they sure as hell won’t kno whow to fix it.

Keith Merrick
Keith Merrick
4 months ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

I disagree. This has been 60 years in the making. No reason why the correction should take that long. Leftists are very fashion conscious. When they see the trend is moving against them many of them will jump ship. Whatever is ‘cool’ and in will win most of them over.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
5 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Why do we need universities? If they didn’t exist we wouldn’t invent them. We have the Internet. Put the courses and lectures online and shut them down.

Alan B
Alan B
5 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Content on the internet can be altered even more quickly than the cheap pamphlets that replaced textbooks in Nazi Germany, so I don’t think you’ve got the answer, Mr Bryant

mike otter
mike otter
5 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

It may be that universities are like ICBMs or heroin, if the current version wasn’t invented society would invent something else to do the same job. So universities are to monasteries what heroin is to opium.

Roddy Campbell
Roddy Campbell
5 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

We need universities to teach people to think, to discuss objectively and dispassionately, to weigh evidence and to discover. The internet isn’t very good at doing any of those things at the moment.

Neither, it appears, are some US universities, because they have lost the principle of objective truth.

The answer isn’t no universities. It’s good universities.

Last edited 5 months ago by Roddy Campbell
Tom Graham
Tom Graham
5 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

We still need STEM faculties. You can’t train a doctor or engineer online.

But the social sciences should all be bulldozed for sure.

mike otter
mike otter
5 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Why do you think the ‘tards with their heating pipe AKs are so snarky about the AR15? At this point thats not the only solution but it may become so unless civic order is restored. On a lighter note Bill Gates autocorrected AR15 to AR80 – a potent and agile sport moped made by Kawasaki in the 90s. There is an AR rifle of that name – US version of the hated british army SA80 – works on dry days at moderate temps only lol.

Last edited 5 months ago by mike otter
Kerry Davie
Kerry Davie
5 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Are you not permitted to write ‘de-nazification’ ?

Michael Cavanaugh
Michael Cavanaugh
4 months ago
Reply to  Kerry Davie

NEIN! 😉

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
5 months ago

I think you start the reformation by taking a strong stand against DEI – refuse govt funding unless schools dismantle DEI depts and eliminate DEI positions. I don’t think you can stop universities from teaching CRT, but you can dismantle the bureaucracy that reinforces it.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
5 months ago

The author occupies a senior role at UATX, which includes amongst its academic body none other than Kathleen Stock. She must’ve accepted a post there in the knowledge that the academic freedoms which she tried to maintain prior to her resignation from the University of Sussex still prevailed. UATX must therefore be doing something which those academic institutions that’ve fallen prey to the ideology decried in the article aren’t doing.
So what is it that allows UATX to stand as an apparent bastion of academic freedom? As J Bryant asks, perhaps the author could write about too.

Last edited 5 months ago by Steve Murray
Richard Pearse
Richard Pearse
5 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

UATX (you may know this) is a startup inspired and sponsored by academics and journalists who’ve been woked-to-death in their prior institutions. Independent funding – so they can do it right from scratch.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
5 months ago

When the heads of elite academic institutions convince themselves that calls for Genocide can be waved away with such insouciant casuistry, then we are through a very dark looking-glass indeed.
(For any who might not already have seen this clip: Shocking: Harvard, MIT, Penn: “It’s ok to call for the genocide of Jews” – YouTube)
As the 3 university presidents gave their testimony, it seemed incredible they couldn’t see how they were coming across to anyone watching. Their complacency at the rise of anti-semitism on their campuses was shocking enough, but what really stopped me in my tracks was the self-satisfied smirking (from the Pres of UPenn particularly) as though they were indulging the congresswoman by having to slow down to explain things to her.
They exhibit that condescending and smug intellectualism that insists on contorting very simple concepts so they become seemingly complex. What could be simpler than recognising that calls for Genocide are wrong? Who wouldn’t already know that? Instinctively? Truly, it takes years in academia to become stupid enough to be able to intellectualise concepts of basic human decency to the point that you can justify obvious evil, or demand the need to “Contextualise” it?
To date only one has resigned (Magill of UPenn). It seemed inevitable to me that all would have to go, because their comments were so indefensible, but then I saw SNL’s opener this weekend and you realise that the prevailing view amongst the Liberal establishment and the media is that it was the Congresswoman, rather than the Univ Presidents who deserved mockery.
College Presidents Cold Open – SNL – YouTube
But the pushback has started. In the aftermath of their testimony various donors have cancelled bequests – UPenn lost $100 million from a single donor! Each of those Presidents has subsequently released videos and statements explaining away their answers, as though they were surprised to have been “misunderstood.”
They claim that their institutions stand for Free Speech absolutely, thus calls for genocide have to be seen in that light – but that is demonstrably false. Campuses regularly ban contraversial speakers, students can be expelled for uttering any racial slurs and safe-spaces and trigger-warnings are required to protect students from hurty-words and ideas. …. Yet amidst all that, calls for the eradication of Israel and the open harrassment of Jewish students of campus needs to be ‘contextualised’ before these institutions will act? It is absolutely indefensible.
In the aftermath of the Brexit referendum and Trump’s election, we heard ludicrous comparisons with 1930s Germany across the media from the same bien pensant people who now appear to be embracing attitudes that exactly chime with that era.
I’m delighted to hear there is a move afoot from several major benefactors that any future donation is dependent on the dismantling (or at least defanging) of the Universities’ DEI programs that are killing them as a place of learning and the free exchange of ideas.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
5 months ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

“In the aftermath of the Brexit referendum and Trump’s election, we heard ludicrous comparisons with 1930s Germany across the media from the same bien pensant people who now appear to be embracing attitudes that exactly chime with that era.”
It is always a sign when the left points into a mirror.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
5 months ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

I think you are inaccurately comparing past presidents with the current DEI batch.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
5 months ago
Reply to  Peter Lee

Sorry, Peter, I’m not sure I understand you.
How so?
The 3 University Presidents who testified last week are the only ones I’ve discussed. I’ve not compared them to – or even mentioned – their predecessors.

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
5 months ago

I fear the Left is exploiting two traditional, or even cultural forms of prejudice here. The African-American community’s distrust of the Jews in the US, and British South Asians’ Islamic-based prejudice against the Jewish community in the UK. Both are significant communities big enough to sustain this historical prejudice in some quarters.
In other words, there has to be a significant cultural underpinning of this phenomenon leading to the conclusion that the academic Left are wholly irresponsible and really should be punished for their callousness here, neglecting their ethical duties as educators.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
5 months ago
Reply to  Tyler Durden

I am not buying that.
From July 2018 to June 2023 Lawrence Bacow (Jewish), was the president of Harvard. In fact 3 of the last 5 Presidents of Harvard have been of Jewish extraction.
They oversaw the increasingly anti White and woke/divisive ideology consuming universities and did nothing about it. All was good while Whites were the target, but now they’re outraged when the Golem they created turns its focus on them

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
5 months ago

Many American Jews are in name only – they are secular and don’t observe the religion’s teachings – which is obvious. There’s an element of self-hate amongst Jews as well. Exhibit A is SNL (comedy) producer who just aired that intensely ant-Semitic skit about the Ivy college presidents testifying in front of Congress.

Last edited 5 months ago by Cathy Carron
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
5 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

I do not disagree that there is an element of self-hate, but secular or not they are still Jewish

David Yetter
David Yetter
5 months ago

Indeed. The anti-white aspect of wokeness is essentially the “the-Jew-run-the-world” version of antisemitism repurposed to attack a larger target (white Europeans instead of Jews, or rather including Jews — the Ashkenazim fit, and hateful ideologues aren’t too precise, so they’ll hate the Sephardim as well). It has the same structure: A group is vilified on the basis of having out-competed other groups, and held to be the source of the world’s miseries for centuries, if not millenia. Mere membership in the group is treated as a moral defect, and the most extreme advocates of the view propose that elimination of the group in question is the only way to solve the “problem” they present. Heck, one enterpising wokester, R. Tolteka Cuaukhtin, has found a way to repurpose the hoary old antisemitic charge of deicide, repackaged with a bastardized Greek-Latin neologism “theocide”, to attack all white folk of European ancestry. We didn’t kill Jesus. We killed the entire bloodthirsty pantheon of the Aztecs!
Maybe the Jewish presidents of Harvard who helped build the Golem thought the target would move off of Jews, not realizing they’d still be in the middle of the bullseye of the new expanded hatred.

michael morris
michael morris
5 months ago

Interesting that former Harvard president, Larry Summer, is Jewish and he was fired for breaching ortodoxy by discussing the possibility of greater male variability.

Kellen
Kellen
5 months ago

I appreciate your comment. It’s amazing to me for the last many years, Whites, in particular men, have been demonized by the academy and now Jews are taking some heat, all hell is breaking loose. It’s long been okay to demonize Whites, just not Jews. Now we have a problem.

starkbreath
starkbreath
5 months ago

Thanks so much to the author of this for saying what needs to said: so many of our institutions (not just in the US but in the UK, Europe and worldwide) have become venal, authoritarian and corrupt and need to be replaced.

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
5 months ago

My impression is that the problem is most deeply rooted in the rapidly growing ranks of university administrators rather than amongst the academics per se (without suggesting there no demented folk in the latter category). Many would feel queasy about an academic purge but an economy drive amongst the bloated ranks of administrators – involving amongst other things elimination of all specialised DEI units – would far raise less alarm and probably have more impact.

Terry M
Terry M
5 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

Precisely. In the US the faculty to student ratio has remained relatively constant for decades. However, the staff to student ratio has increased dramatically – mostly within HR, student ‘services’ (lazy rivers, coffee bars, and climbing walls), and ‘counseling’ depts – such that the staffs are often larger than the faculties. Government needs to defund these superfluous staff positions, and donating alumni need to pull their funding as well. On that note, Harvard is reported to have lost over $1 billion in donations in the past few weeks. So these public decapitations of the universities are a very, very good warning to the rest of them; let’s hope they get the message.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
5 months ago
Reply to  Terry M

Harvard supposedly ‘lost’ a billion in donations but its hedge fund is worth $51 Billion and middle eastern and Chinese money keeps flowing in
.that said, alums who don’t approve of the ant-Semitism and general intolerance should refrain from giving. We did over ten years ago; none of our schools get our money which has been diverted to local conservation causes.

Burke S.
Burke S.
5 months ago

Huh, turns out refashioning all of our history into an “oppressor/oppressed” narrative where all the losers are magically held down by the evil (white) races and bronze statues and names on buildings didn’t actually turn out well for the Jews.

If only we could have seen it coming! Who would have thought the Jews of all people would be targeted for being money-grubbing, colonizer supporting oppressors? Why, liberal Jews supported all these movements now coming for them! Surely they can be one of the “good people”! Ha!

It’s just too bad there’s no more Confederate monuments left for the losers to call evil and blame their ongoing problems on as they destroy our heritage.

Last edited 5 months ago by Burke S.
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago

Does the US have any Universities in the TRUE sense of the word?

Here in the benighted UK we USED to have, but they were swept away some thirty years ago by John Major & Co.*

(*Now SIR John Major.)

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
5 months ago

True. But the problem is older than that. At a Russell Group university in the eighties I was ‘taught’ by people barely older than me who had spent their lives in the cozy bubble of the education system. Few of them had ever experienced adult responsibility or the insecurity that most adults have to contend with.

It’s easy to see how these kidults can become infatuated with stupid ideas.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
5 months ago

Charles, the rot started with the creation of the new universities in the 1960s, Sussex et al where the humanities departments became left wing agitprop.
When the polys started humanities departments in the late 1960s they were largely filled with middle class Trots, Corbyn et al.
Pre WW2 the Polys offered degres from U of London Extra Mural Department in Science and Engineering ( B Wallis for example ) and the Institutions of Engineering, mosty Civil, Mechanical and Electrical ( Part1 HND, Part 2 Degree level )via night school.Proof of success – Camm- Hurricane; Mitchell- Spitfire; Chadwick- Lancaste; de havilland – Mosquito. Part time degree in science, engineering, law, surveying,accountancy,physics, chemistry, etc over 5- 6 years, starting with good A or S levels.
The simplest solution is revert to O Level , A Level, S Level and Oxbridge Entrance exam in languages, history,geography, maths and sciences. Insist on S Level Latin for all humanities degrees and separate Pure and Applied Maths A Level for all science degrees.
Quality, not quantity. Shakespeare, Austen, Brontes, G K Elliot, Dickens, Kipling, Orwell, Churchill, Lloyd George, James Brindley- Canals, G Stephenson- Railways, , Faraday- Physics, Wellington and Nelson, did not have degrees, etc.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Spot on Sir!

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
5 months ago

Thank you. Pre 1960 university educated friend of my Mother was history teacher at a convent school. She could translate Latin, Norman French, Anglo- Saxon and Celtic and just considered herself an average teacher. How many historians with degrees can translate four lanuages ?

Niall Cusack
Niall Cusack
5 months ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Celtic is not a language. I believe it is a Scottish football team.

Last edited 5 months ago by Niall Cusack
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago
Reply to  Niall Cusack

Gaelic?

Niall Cusack
Niall Cusack
5 months ago

The Irish language is Gaelic.
Its Scottish offshoot is GĂ idhlic, which sounds very much like English RP ‘garlic’.
Manx is something like Gellik.

Welsh, Cornish and Breton form a separate group.

If the lady in question really had a command of all six Celtic languages, then she was not just a polymath but a polyglot.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
5 months ago
Reply to  Niall Cusack

No just Welsh. Orwell knew seven languages. Most dons as C Northcote Parkinson said in the mid 19th century would have have known Latin, Greek, French, German plus others. If they were a divine, then Hebrew as well. For example all Indian Civil Service members had to speak four languages. How many languages are spoken in Nigeria or say Kenya, so how many would the various officials have to speak to be competent? In the 1940s Shell secretaries stationed in Sharjah had to speak Arabic and pre early 1960s, air hostesses had to speak French.
Part of the mistakes made by our ruling class since WW2 is that few speak foreign languages and have lived in other countries which was common pre 1950.If Kissinger and the other USA Generals had fought in the Chindits/ SOE in Burma, Thailand and Malaya in WW2 or in Malaya in the 1940s/50s and learnt the languages, perhaps Vietnam would have been a success.
I doubt that few of those who support Hamas have read their writings, especially on the treatment of women and even more so, of the Muslim Brotherhood and Khomeini.
The basis of the MB and Khomeini in rejecting the West is the sexual freedom of women.

Niall Cusack
Niall Cusack
5 months ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Who is G K Elliot?

Niall Cusack
Niall Cusack
5 months ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Latin for all Humanities? Yes, indeed! (Litterae Humaniores, after all.)
But why not Greek as well?
I teach a course for adults using an excellent text by Clyde Pharr: Homeric Greek – a Book for Beginners. He takes you through Book I of the Iliad in bitesize chunks with running vocab.
For Classical Attic there is Athénaze.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
5 months ago
Reply to  Niall Cusack

Ideally yes. What I think studying Latin and Greek achieves is the ability to learn other languages and also gives an insight into the rise and fall of civilisations.
The Western World is run by a ruling class who refuse to learn from the past or look at the World from a different perspective. The war in Jugolsavia took place because Serbs and Bosnians were still influenced by the victory of Muslim Turks in 14th century; Hamas is inspired by a Muslim theology which dates 1400 years and Putin is recreating the Empire of Peter the Great.
The Western World is run by effete impractical progressive atheistic materialistic rulers who have a post 1960s perspective. The Western World is increasingly similar to Greece post 150 BC and Western Rome post about 350 AD when both civilisations had lost their martial valour and indulged in frivolous discussions with themselves.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
5 months ago

There is only one institution of higher education that I am aware of that refuses to accept one thin dime from the U.S. government, thereby, not having to be coerced into silly DEI programs and affirmative action, etc. That is Hillsdale College in Michigan. Their speech digest, entitled “Imprimis” is issued monthly, free of charge and is wonderful.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Many thanks!

Joanne
Joanne
5 months ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

There are apparently several more. Here’s a list, according to one article, and some of the names are well known: https://reason.com/2019/05/02/10-colleges-where-you-wont-have-to-walk-on-eggshells/

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
5 months ago
Reply to  Joanne

Bismarck’s Blood and Iron Policy and his attack on Roman Catholic schools resulted in government funding universities to develop it’s military capability. Britain found in 1914 it was buying dyes from Germany via Holland. The lack of industrial research in certain areas and the fact that some universities were nearly bankrupt resulted in the Haldane Report.
Haldane
principle – Wikipedia
Haldane said academics should decide where the money is spent, not politicians . The result was that British universities became dominated by the arts with minimal expenditure on pure science and even less on applied science and engineering.
C P Snow writes about the connection between the A Stream Civil Service and largely Oxford Dons and divorce from science.
The development of the Politics, hilosophy and Economics degree has resulted in a leftward drift of dons since the late 1930s. Dons, even those in pure science have a contempt for trade and technology, hence applied science and engineering. The development of new universities and art department in polys since the late 1960s meant taxpayers money has gone to expanding arts degrees, not applied science and engineering, in subjects which are nothing more than leftwing agitprop. Leftwing agitprop types very rarely read Classics or Engineering and play contact sports such as rugby, hockey or boxing. J R Tolkien said it took 15 years to become proficient in Greek hence hardly any Marxist Classicists.
In Germany and Switzerland there are close ties between education and industry, for example the Fraunhofer Institutes.
The reality is that very few leftwing agitprop types have the technical skills and toughness to construct and maintain  the infrastructure needed for civilisation. One of the first construction projects in Rome was the Cloaca Maxima
Cloaca Maxima – Wikipedia

Chipoko
Chipoko
5 months ago

Yes. It was John Major who fatally diluted the UK higher education system by abolishing the polytechnic institutions (which served a definite purpose in providing useful vocational degree and other programmes, and which delivered high quality training for many industries), thereby enabling them to reinvent themselves as third-rate, so-called universities, many delivering useless degree programmes in the humanities (e.g. media studies, women’s studies, etc. The consequences of that mad policy reverberate strongly to this day in the UK higher education sector.
Come to think of it, John Major was very much in the same Woke mould of two Tory leaders who followed him – Cameron and May (though not Johnson to the same extent). The infusion of Woke ideology into every facet of the UK’s existence exploded into our lives, for the worse, under Tory rule. Disastrous!

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
5 months ago

C Northcote Parkinson, the Historian , said the average don in the mid 19th century had a degrees in classics and usually mathematics and read three to four European languages. In those days academics were scholars.
A gentleman knows Latin, a gentleman and scholar knows Latin and Greek. Pre 1920 one had to pass a paper in Greek to enter Oxford and it was similar for Harvard.
One action Britain did was to rid India was of debt bondage. Degrees at universities have become Ponzi schemes and created debt bondage for many graduates.
I suggest departments at universities loan the students the money and become responsible for collecting the payments. If departments are as wonderful as they claim, it should be a good investment for the student.

Sue Ward
Sue Ward
5 months ago

The difference between 1930s Germany and western academia in the 21st century was that – though amoral and downright wicked – the proponents of the ideology and the student body were largely highly educated, literate, eloquent and cultured. The same is not true of the marauding drones who are the shock troops of modern so called social justice.

Jeff Dudgeon
Jeff Dudgeon
5 months ago

If students emerge with degrees and earn less than those without, there will a gradual response against the teaching of post modernism.

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
5 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Dudgeon

Unless their political allies refund all of their money.

Emre S
Emre S
5 months ago

Good to see these things being explored more openly. Nah sees were ultra-progressives of their time, and they got high support from people in academia and medicine. Liberals were lite versions of them in their racism which gave us things like eu genics. The people holding these views in US were similarly more likely to be Democrats.

glyn harries
glyn harries
5 months ago

While I don’t disagree with the problem of narrow-mindedness and Red Guardism on campuses, I think it’s as wrong to compare what the NAZIs did as it is for those to compare the actions of Israel to the NAZIs. It’s cheap and inaccurate.

mike otter
mike otter
5 months ago

Saw some ironic graffiti in Bristol the other day that sums up how society needs to deal with this in the immediate term – ie the heat of battle; “students raus”. Srsly shutting down non STEM and non vocational degrees for a generation is the only way we can deal with these criminals w/o a full on civil conflict. So a vocational degree may not necessarily be STEM based, “accountancy” or “nursing and midwifery” or “social care” can all function w/o the racism and violence asociated with worshipping Marx (A dead, white, fat jewish man with boils lol)

Last edited 5 months ago by mike otter
Susan Grabston
Susan Grabston
5 months ago

A few hopeful signals in uk? 1. Top colleges are now overwhelmingly taking foreign students for fees pushing out British kids 2. Some 40% grads now doing non grad jobs reducing currency 3. GenAI making students seek skills rather than knowledge which universities are ill equipped to provide but which top flight employer apprenticeships can. 4. Ageing demographics will reduce requirement for a degree (nursing, et ). I think we’ll go back to 20% attending. Of course many of thesewill form the elite, but the bulwark against them will be larger. Too little, too late? Maybe … bit we have to fight.

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
5 months ago

What did East and West Germany do with their Nazis in the postwar era?

Must have been some kind of program for de-Nazi-ing them ?

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
5 months ago
Reply to  Dumetrius

Employed them in the Stasi which was why it was so effective. People went from from Communist in the 1920s to Nazi in the 1930s and 1940s and post WW2 reverted to being Communist. If someone is prepared to murder, rape and torture for a cause, they will do it for any cause.

Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
5 months ago

There seems to be a lot more angst about a few protests about Palestine than the general anti whiteness that emanates from US universities and from there across the world.

Keith Merrick
Keith Merrick
4 months ago

Couldn’t agree more. How and where do we start?

Rod McLaughlin
Rod McLaughlin
5 months ago

“Since the Hamas pogrom of October 7, Jews have been attacked on the streets of American cities, and Jewish-owned stores are vandalised every day. To their shame, universities have been on the cutting edge of this intellectually-fuelled explosion of antisemitism, as they were in Nazi Germany.”
Almost every word in this statement is false. Since October 7th, the only thing remotely resembling the Nazis is the IDF’s rampage through Gaza.
For decades, leftists have stirred up false claims of racism in US higher education. This article is part of a right-wing version, where the specific form of racism being faked is ‘antisemtism.’
Contra the authors’ claims, leftist students are so not-antisemitic, they will say almost anything to avoid uttering the J-word. They blame “imperialism,” or even “white supremacy,” for the creation and maintenance of the Jewish state. A black congresswoman claimed that AIPAC was attacking her because they’re white men, and she’s a black woman. In fact, it is because they are Jewish supremacists, and she is mildly critical of Israel.
Supporting Jewish supremacy is complicity in genocide.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
5 months ago

So, their revolutionary fervor is a rejection of “ancestral voices”–which is often true–now let’s revolt? I respect Howland’s viewpoint and his previous contributions here, but while many of the individual points ring true, the main argument seems largely off the mark.
Even in the face of evident campus antisemitism, I see major pushback and “exposure” of bigotry from defenders of Israel and Jewish people more generally. And by what studied contortions is that which is often called Cultural Marxism now “Naz*fied”? I know that the word German version of “socialist” is in that infamous acronym, and that the horseshoe bends close at the extremes, but I still think the connection is strained. As a non-Jew no longer on a university campus, I understand that my perspective is insulated.
Perhaps more space was needed to make this particular case seem a stronger one–to those who are not way too ready to accept any denunciation of university culture.

Last edited 5 months ago by AJ Mac
A D Kent
A D Kent
5 months ago

So by way of actual evidence of recent events to support his thesisregarding US universities the author offers us one incident at a high-school and a pamphlet from his old university days. Apparently that’s a ‘civilisational threat. With all due respect, I think that’s a touch unconvincing.

Ray Andrews
Ray Andrews
5 months ago

> Bret Stephens has written that Americans are on the road to a second Kristallnacht.
Which is why it should be seen as vital that Israel stop committing the crimes that justify antisemitism.

Roddy Campbell
Roddy Campbell
5 months ago
Reply to  Ray Andrews

Like defending their country when attacked?

Barry Dank
Barry Dank
5 months ago

Howland states: “The rot in higher education is far too deep to be fixed by resignations, lawsuits, and congressional hearings.” But in no way does Howland indicate there is a deep rot. What university rot she presents is solely rot within some elite Ivy League universities. , But nothing deep beyond the aforementioned universities. For example, the University of Pennsylvania certainly harbors such rottenness, but nothing deep as indicated by the fact that UOP located in Philadelphia has apparent had no effect on the largest campus in Philadelphia which is Temple University. I think that such applies to other Pennsylvania universities, such as Penn State, University of Pittsburgh as well as elite colleges such as Bryn Mawr, amongst many others. Maybe Howland is an elitist who only cares about elite universities and has no problem besmirching American universities in general,

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
5 months ago
Reply to  Barry Dank

Part of the problem is that Ivy league universities are not accredited, because it is largely assumed that these institutions are doing a perfect job. They’re the cream of the crop.
This leads to a phenomenon known as academic isomorphism, a process in which other four-colleges and some community colleges seek to emulate the best institutions. Basically, whatever the elite universities deem to be the greater good, so too do the lesser known colleges. This is one of the ways Marxist ideology has spread like a mind virus from one institution to another. There are some exceptions, notably Hillsdale and University of Austin, Texas, and some Christian colleges. However, many of these have been under attack by federal agencies seeking to get these colleges closed down, either through revocation of their tax-exempt status, or by not meeting minor accreditation standards, or through some inflated Title IX issue.
The system is rotten to the core. It does not start from the Ivy League presidents, although they are largely responsible, but even higher: an American president too fearful to stand up to the fringe elements in his party. The whole higher education system needs a complete overhaul. Free speech is important, but what is even more important is that universities develop moral character in their students. Right now they are producing leaders who believe that anger and violence is a legitimate means of achieving their goals. Unless this is not stamped down immediately, it will go ill with America. While I am saddened by the Hamas-Israel conflict, one of the good things that come out of it is revealing to Americans the hateful ideologies being taught in their institutions.

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
5 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Israel has always been the canary.

Barry Dank
Barry Dank
5 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

So if I accept what Julian Farrows argues then I accept that American higher education is rotten to the core, and that the whole system of higher ed needs a complete overhaul. Of course, this goes along with Howland when he asserts that “the American university will continue to be an activist University that advances a totalizing ideology. And it will drag society .down with it”.
Well, I would argue that there is no THE American university, if you see one university you have not seen them all. Such represents gross stereotyping. Saying THE American university is rotten to the core functions as trashing meaningless rhetoric that finds a home here at UnHerd just as it does in too many websites.
If as indicated American universities are rotten to the core, I challenge Farrows and Howland to accompany me to a randomly chosen university, San Diego State, and specifically indicate the nature of the rot there, how it can be removed, and how SDSU can be completely overhauled. I think that their thinking does not prepare them for the task. What we need here is some critical and creative thinking, not mudslinging. And yes, the Presidents of the Ivy League universities who testified merited severe criticisms. But to say these Presidents in essence represent the realities of almost all universities dilutes their critique, to say the least..

John L Murphy
John L Murphy
5 months ago
Reply to  Barry Dank

I agree that the obsessive identification of universities with elite institutions is ridiculous. But even at the lowest ranks of higher-ed, as in California’s working-class Bakersfield Community College, a two-year state school, for instance, DEI is embedded in hiring and weaponized in curricula. You can’t get a faculty position (tenure-track) without passing the ideological litmus test. Florida tried, but progressive backlash hurts. David Yetter’s comment below rings true. Whi!e 20 million Americans are undergrads, only 70k are in the Ivies. Reading the press may distort the analyses, as so many in the creative as well as ruling classes have attended the top-20 schools, ad perpetua…

Last edited 5 months ago by John L Murphy
Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
5 months ago
Reply to  Barry Dank

The real problem in the US is in secondary education. Most of the kids going to university are really not equipped either to benefit from it or to withstand the brainwashing. It’s crazy – and scary – that the richest country in the world is not even in the top twenty for educational attainment.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
5 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Very good comment. The gold standard for 12 to 13 year olds is The Winchester College Election Exam. How many in the most expensive schools in the USA could pass it ?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Mind you Winchester* is pretty ‘woke’ these days and hardly any boys still go on to New College as originally intended.

(*Founded about 1382 for US readers.)

R.I. Loquitur
R.I. Loquitur
5 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

I would wager you that none of the top 20 nations for educational attainment are nearly as heterogeneous as the USA.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
5 months ago
Reply to  R.I. Loquitur

Heterogeneous in ethnicity, yes. But very homogeneous in world view or political persuasion.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
5 months ago
Reply to  R.I. Loquitur

And …?

David Yetter
David Yetter
5 months ago
Reply to  Barry Dank

Sorry, but the rot is nearly everywhere in American higher ed. DEI bureaucracies, the teaching of literature replaced with deconstructionist “theory” and political advocacy, anti-Western versions of history curricula, departments with name of the form [affirmative-action-beneficiary-group] Studies, are to be found at every state university the length and breadth of the fruited plain and at all but a handful of liberal arts colleges.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
5 months ago

Perhaps some with a more in depth knowledge of American politics could clarify for me. Did the uni’s say that explicitly calling for the genocide of Jews isn’t against their code of conduct, or did they say the “river to the sea” chant that some have interpreted as a call to genocide isn’t against their code of conduct? As to me they’re two different things

starkbreath
starkbreath
5 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

It’s hard to believe that you haven’t watched footage of the hearings, which made it explicitly clear that these individuals were not willing to condemn calls for the genocide of Jews as being against their institutions’ code of conduct.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
5 months ago
Reply to  starkbreath

Why would I watch the hearings? I’ve no interest in following American politics too closely as to me it often appears to be performative tribal nonsense

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
5 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Yes, it’s better to keep yourself uninformed and continue hating.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
5 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Do you follow the ins and outs of every minor skirmish in foreign parliaments? If not why am I going to slavishly follow a disagreement between some American politicians and university staff?

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
5 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Because what is going on in US universities is the same as what went on in European universities during the rise of the naz1s, and that’s important for all of us.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
5 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Please outline the parallels between now and 90 years ago, perhaps with an admission that those echoes do not come only from universities, or anything on the Left.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
5 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Who are you trying to kid. The British left is riddled with anti-semitism. Corbyn, Galloway, Walker … the list goes on and on.
What’s happened in London and elsewhere looks a lot like the Helldorff demonstrations of 1931. Plus Hitler could not have risen to power without the explicit support of large swathes of German academia.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
5 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

That does not establish anything approaching a strong then-and-now parallel and I hope you know that.
The antisemitism on both horseshoe-bending wings of the political spectrum is both real and sickening, but it is totally thriving and unsurprising, as ever, on the far-far right.
In this present-day moment there is vastly more pushback against that strain of bigotry both within and against academia, and nothing approaching the domestic acquiescence or international complicity with Germany in the 1930s.
The old anti-Jewish sickness is still far too widespread, but it is not somehow more virulent on the left than the right today nor more prevalent among those citing Marx (a German Jew) or founder of Postcolonialism Edward Said (a Palestinian) in their Ivy League research papers than it is among those who fondly recall their tiki-torch marches or riotous “sightseeing” misadventures on 1/6/21. At a minimum, that case has not been made in any balanced or persuasive way. Get real.

Last edited 5 months ago by AJ Mac
glyn harries
glyn harries
5 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The videos clips have been on all the news channels and social media.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
5 months ago
Reply to  glyn harries

Because clipped videos on social media are never edited to suit a narrative are they? And everybody berating me for not paying attention to it being shown on the mainstream news outlets are the same ones that scream about the MSM being completely untrustworthy. The hypocrisy is outstanding!

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
5 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Because you’ve taken up far more time holding forth than it would have to inform yourself.
I appreciate some of your combative opposition here, but it’s a bit much to ask for “clarification” after starting with a series of combative outbursts, concerning an exchange and national politics you profess not to care about.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
5 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

What happens in the UK, seems to follow what is happening in the USA. Perhaps you should take an interest. At least in the major news stories of the day.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
5 months ago
Reply to  Peter Lee

No, it’s better to make a comment on something you have no knowledge about or interest in. BB does this often, unfortunately.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
5 months ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Pot calling the kettle black there my friend

starkbreath
starkbreath
5 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

You would watch the hearings so you could know what you’re talking about. Not doing so and commenting anyway is just plain asinine.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
5 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I believe it was the president of Harvard who was explicitly asked if calls of genocide violated their code of conduct. She said it depends on the context. She might have been thinking river to the sea, but that wasn’t the actual question. At best, her answer was patronizing and condescending. None of them expressed any real sympathy for the feelings of Jewish students, real or perceived.

Last edited 5 months ago by Jim Veenbaas
Billy Bob
Billy Bob
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Ok, I agree then that sounds more explicit and if she can’t condemn that she deserves to go. If it had simply been river to the sea that to me can also be interpreted as a simple call for a Palestinian state, so trying to claim that is always genocidal has always struck me as rather lazy but the way you’ve described it does appear to go far beyond any other interpretation

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
5 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I’m probably agnostic about any of these people being fired. Like Trump, they are symptoms of a larger disease and will likely be replaced by another progressive foot soldier.

Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
5 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The three presidents were asked ‘Would a call for the genocide of Jews be in breach of your Code of Conduct, yes or no?’. All three immediately responded that it would be a case of considering the context of such a call. Later, each has tried to make a case that their Codes are strongly in favour of free speech, hence the mis-speaking about genocide – which for me indicates that they have no capacity for independent analytical thought, or at least that they all generally need to consult the current edition of the ‘Staying On Message for Academic Leaders’ manual before opening their little beaks.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
5 months ago

An easy follow up question would be to ask the same question about calling for genocide against black people and see if you got the same answer. Then you’d see how far this commitment to free speech really went

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
5 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The question was put.

It’s there on YouTube.

As a few seconds searching on YouTube would have shown you.

Had you bothered.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
5 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

That’s what makes it so disturbing really. These schools rank amongst the worst in the country for free speech. Harvard is actually the worst and Penn is in the bottom five. They abhor micro aggressions and create safe spaces, but when it comes to Jews
.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
5 months ago

Yes, free speech has never encompassed explicit calls for any kind of violence, let alone mass murder.

David Yetter
David Yetter
5 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Actually, advocacy of violence is generally permitted under the American First Amendment. There is a whole body of jurisprudence about when a call for violence constitutes a “true threat” (in which case it is illegal in most circumstances — the notion had never been defined by a SCOTUS decision so what constitutes a true threat varies between appeal court circuits), incitement to riot, or other offenses constituted of speech advocating violence. If it does not run afoul of any of those laws and legal precedents, calls for violence are protected speech.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
5 months ago
Reply to  David Yetter

The constitution doesn’t actually apply here. All these schools have their own Code of Conduct and didn’t even follow these.

David Yetter
David Yetter
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

That is true. Private universities (unlike state universities) are free to restrict expression that would be free speech in society at large. I was objecting to Hugh Bryant’s assertion that “free speech has never encompassed explicit calls for any kind of violence”, which for all I know might be true under the more restrictive notion of free speech in the UK or other Commonwealth countries, but is certainly false in the United States.

Last edited 5 months ago by David Yetter
Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
5 months ago
Reply to  David Yetter

I stand corrected. But doesn’t the call for the annihilation of an entire race constitute a ‘true threat’? It ought to.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
5 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

reductio ad absurdum

Avro Lanc
Avro Lanc
5 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

and the Swastika is just a religious symbol right? Go and wobble your antisemitic head awhile. See what falls out.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago
Reply to  Avro Lanc

Don’t you mean HAKENKREUZ ?

The Swastika is Sanskrit symbol dating back centuries. Today it is often seen in the mosaic floors of numerous Roman Villas.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
5 months ago
Reply to  Avro Lanc

Of course. Any sympathy for the plight of the Palestinians or criticism of Israeli policy has to be a result of antisemitism doesn’t it. Much like f**cist or r*cist, the word has been lazily thrown around so much lately every time there’s anything but blind loyalty to Israel that it’s lost all meaning

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
5 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Yes, pay not mind to what “river to the sea” actually means. And please, for heaven’s sake, don’t look at a map to learn which democratic country occupies the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
5 months ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Depends where you draw the boundary doesn’t it. The two state solution in the Oslo accords had both Israel and a Palestine running from the Jordan to the Med after all

michael harris
michael harris
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

They did ‘express’ sympathy for their Jewish students when it dawned on them they might lose their nice fat jobs.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
5 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

They’re not two different things. Annihilation of the Jews, not just Israelis, is central to the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood and all its offshoots and has been since well before the state of Israel was founded. Al-Banna said ‘we will fill the oceans of the world with their corpses’. Spouting their slogans is an endorsement of their ideology.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
5 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

What on earth is the point of asking someone to clarify something when, in half the time, you could watch the testimony for yourself and form your own unfiltered opinion?
Shocking: Harvard, MIT, Penn: “It’s ok to call for the genocide of Jews” – YouTube
Three and a half minutes to watch.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
5 months ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Because I don’t trust short videos of that nature. They’ve often been cropped or edited to exclude certain information, which can then be used to take the words said entirely out of context.
Goves comments about people having enough of experts being a prime example

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
5 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

If I ask you whether Hitler was bad and you reply, “hmmm, I’m on the fence” I don’t need to hear much more.

If I ask if calling for the genocide of Jews breaches University codes of conduct and you reply that it depends on the context, and that if it crossed from speech into action then it would constitute harassment then I’ve frankly heard enough. I don’t need to hear anymore. You have proven yourself unfit for office.

Billy, you appear to want the context yet won’t invest a few minutes to get it, then ask other posters to provide it for you, despite the fact you have no idea how subjectively they might frame that context.

Here goes: these university presidents have over intellectualised a very basic concept. Simple human decency, let alone responsibility, means calls for genocide are not only wrong but should be punishable. These three presidents should resign from their posts and any of their students who call for genocide should be expelled. That doesn’t require context. Calls for violence- let alone mass killing – are always and without exception, wrong.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
5 months ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

I never said I was on the fence about calling for the genocide of Jews. I was questioning whether they explicitly called for the genocide of Jews, or whether they said something else and some believed that was what was implied.