It’s Time To Quash Campus Radicalism


It’s Time To Quash Campus Radicalism

May 10, 2024 3 min read
Jason Bedrick

Research Fellow, Center for Education Policy

Jason is a Research Fellow in the Center for Education Policy at The Heritage Foundation.
Police face pro-Hamas demonstrators near the Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2024 in New York. CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP / Getty Images

Key Takeaways

For many protesters, the cause is irrelevant. It’s merely a pretext for “mostly peaceful” misfits and malcontents to inflict destruction upon normal Americans.

Students at MIT revealed their true genocidal intentions, chanting in Arabic “Death to the Jews” and “Palestine will be Arab.”

The silent majority can no longer afford to remain silent. To see fewer “Days of Rage” in city streets, universities must face a Day of Reckoning.

It’s clear from Monday’s “Day of Rage” that anti-Israel protesters don’t care about winning the hearts and minds of their fellow citizens. The sight of kaffiyeh-clad crazies storming the barricades outside the Met Gala, burning an American flag, and vandalizing the 107th Infantry Memorial in New York’s Central Park will endear their cause to no one.

Like much of what’s wrong with the world today, the Day of Rage originated in academia and then, like a virus escaping a Wuhan lab, wreaked havoc on the rest of society.

Blocking traffic so that people miss their flights, are late to work or can’t pick up their children does nothing to convince anyone about the justice of a cause. But for many protesters, the cause is irrelevant. It’s merely a pretext for “mostly peaceful” misfits and malcontents to inflict destruction and inconvenience upon normal Americans.

But the cause does matter to the protest organizers, many of whom have been trained by the Hamas-linked National Students for Justice in Palestine. Knowing their cause is unpopular among ordinary Americans, what they can’t achieve via the democratic act of persuasion, they seek to achieve via chaos and intimidation.

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If they truly wanted to persuade their fellow Americans, the protesters would be waving U.S. flags and explaining how their cause aligns with American values. Tellingly, they’re doing nothing of the sort.

Instead, the Hamas-loving extremists have repeatedly desecrated the U.S. flag and other beloved American symbols.

At several universities, protesters tore down the American flag and replaced it with the Palestinian flag. After the NYPD restored Old Glory to its rightful place at City College, Mayor Eric Adams properly called it “despicable” that colleges let campus radicals get away with it.

But universities are letting the student radicals get away with far worse. At George Washington University, students vandalized a statue of our foremost Founding Father, branding our first president a “genocidal warmonger,” wrapping him in a kaffiyeh, and placing a Palestinian flag in Washington’s stony hand.

Elsewhere in GWU’s “Gaza Solidarity Encampment,” the wannabe revolutionaries held a “people’s tribunal” in which they put university administrators on trial in absentia. As in the Soviet show trials, the outcome was a foregone conclusion. The university president, provost, board of trustees, and campus security were all found guilty by the overgrown toddlers and symbolically sentenced to death to the gleeful chants of “guillotine, guillotine, guillotine!”

Meanwhile, the Columbia Law School chapter of the National Lawyers Guild issued a letter directed at “the Jewish students, faculty, and trustees blocking divestment” from companies doing business in Israel. The Columbia crybullies accused the Jews of “threaten[ing] everyone’s safety”—one of the worst crimes on campuses steeped in excessive safetyism—and warned, “No Jew is safe until everyone is safe, and no Jew is free until Palestine is free.”

Students at MIT were even less subtle, at least in Arabic. In English, they chanted “we don’t want no Zionists here” and “Palestine will be free,” but in Arabic they revealed their true genocidal intentions, chanting “Death to the Jews” and “Palestine will be Arab.”

Americans hate bullies, so such intimidation tactics are rarely effective. But they apparently work all too well on college campuses, which tend to be run by sympathetic former campus radicals or quislings.

Case in point, after just four days of agitators violating university policies and disrupting campus life, Rutgers administrators caved into meeting eight of the protesters’ 10 demands, including declaring that Israel’s counterattack after the Oct. 7 terrorist massacre constituted a “genocide.”

Note that the Rutgers administrators weren’t persuaded to take this position based on logic and evidence in the academic spirit of open inquiry. No, Rutgers was willing to throw the Jews down the well just to make the bad men stop.

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Fortunately, there are some on college campuses who still have spines, particularly among the much-maligned fraternities.

After protesters at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill replaced the American flag with a Palestinian one, the administration had the Stars and Stripes restored. But as soon as the chancellor left, the protesters attempted to replace it again, only to have fraternity brothers rise to defend the flag as the pro-Hamas horde hurled rocks, bottles and sticks at them.

The silent majority of Americans side with the frat bros. A GoFundMe to throw them a party raised over half a million dollars in under a week. Call it “Revenge of the Normies.”

But funding frat parties is not enough. It’s time to defund the universities.

For far too long, universities have indoctrinated the youth in radical ideologies that are fundamentally anti-American, all while being subsidized by taxpayers.

Weak-kneed university administrators will restore sanity only when they’re more afraid of ordinary Americans than the campus crazies. That will require the politicians who represent ordinary Americans to hit universities in the pocketbook.

The silent majority can no longer afford to remain silent. To see fewer “Days of Rage” in city streets, universities must face a Day of Reckoning.

This piece originally appeared in The Washington Times