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Left-wing activists are showing who's really in charge on Ivy League campuses

Stephanie Keith/Getty Images
Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

The Left’s winter of discontent appears to be transitioning into a summer of rage as college campus unrest heats up with the warmer weather.

Well-funded and well-organized anti-Israel protests are spreading from one college campus to another. And they are becoming a feature in America’s Democrat-run cities as mobs of radicals have been able to shut down roads, bridges, busy intersections, and businesses with impunity.

Unlike in 1968 when similar student unrest was eventually met with force when protests got out of line, most of America’s institutions have become willingly or unwillingly helpless in the face of this chaos.

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There won’t be a Richard Daley-type Democrat to restore order during protests at this year’s Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Those days are long gone. Good luck to the Windy City.

Left-wing political leaders and college administrators have been paralyzed by this threat. Most of their responses have been mealy-mouthed or evasive, despite the fact that several protests have turned violent and have been boiling over with antisemitism.

They are effectively letting activists have a “heckler’s veto” over their institutions

When the activists abuse other students and faculty — whose “crimes” are being Jewish or “Zionist” — Ivy League administrators offer hybrid online learning as the solution.

Think about that for a moment. The best that these temples of “diversity, equity, and inclusion” can offer to people who’ve literally been the victims of bigotry and intolerance is COVID-era Zoom learning and canceled graduation ceremonies.

In the institutions that pride themselves on being the most academically elite in the world and pillars of diversity and tolerance, we see weakness, idiocy, and hate in the boldest of colors. That’s what is being exposed.

And it’s important that they are being exposed, because as ridiculous and pathetic as some of the protesters are, they wield a disproportionate amount of power.

The Ivy League establishment now totally accepts the Left’s moral and ideological framework.

All they have to offer in resistance is a few voices on the outside pleading for a return to sanity or feeble attempts to shift blame. My feeling is that these calls for moderation will fall on deaf ears. The Left’s activist base sees blood. They know that the establishment can’t resist kowtowing to their demands — from the presidents of Columbia and Harvard to the president of the United States.

Hamas and Iran have called the student radicals “leaders of the future,” and it’s hard to deny that’s true. Ivy League and other elite colleges have been the pipeline to power in this country.

These are the people who will staff the White House and the human resource departments of the world’s largest companies. They are the foot soldiers of the countless nongovernmental organizations that soak up billions of taxpayer and donor dollars to promote left-wing causes.

I’d like to point out a few examples of our nation’s “leaders” of the future.

Here we have the flag of a terrorist organization. Great stuff:

At @Princeton, Hezbollah flags.

— Myles McKnight (@MylesJMcKnight) April 25, 2024

No big deal, just a protest leader calling for mass murder. Oh, and he delivered this screed directly to Columbia University administrators, and they did nothing:

“Zionists don’t deserve to live.”

Meet Khymani James, a leader of Columbia University’s anti-Israel Gaza Solidarity Encampment.

He said this during a live-stream which included a meeting with the school over threatening social media posts.


— Kassy Akiva (@KassyDillon) April 25, 2024

The best and brightest:

This lobotomized zombie beat out 95% of people who applied to Columbia

— Jon Levine (@LevineJonathan) April 25, 2024

This one really gets me. They don’t even know why they are protesting. You would expect students at New York University and Columbia to, like, know stuff?

NEW: Pro-Palestine protester has no clue why she is protesting and then asks a friend why they are protesting who also has no clue.


Reporter: "Why are you protesting?"

Protester: "Demanding that NYU stops! I honestly don't know what NYU is doing … Do you know what …

— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) April 24, 2024

There you have it. This is the Ivy League, where nose rings are in, facts are out, and tuition is nearly $70,000 a year.

Now, there are some on the Right who think we spend too much time covering and talking about the current meltdown in higher education. I can understand where they are coming from.

Why devote this much time to unrest at privileged universities when we have so many other, bigger problems that affect far more people?

Obviously, issues like millions of illegal aliens coming into our country, a fentanyl and drug crisis that’s destroying the lives of countless young Americans, and the mass chemical castration of children based on gender ideology are all much worse problems than whatever civil discord happens at Columbia University or the University of Southern California.

However, I think it’s important to give continued coverage to the insanity that is tearing away at the Left’s political coalition. 

And this is about more than just politics and strategy. It’s about revealing to the world what’s at the heart of our elite institutions. What happens at universities won’t just stay at universities, as we should all know at this point.

It is, after all, the universities that are the source of some of the most toxic malignancies in our society. They are at the heart of the cultural revolution.

To top it all off, it’s these people and failed institutions that now want the American taxpayer to cover some or most of the nearly $2 trillion in student loan debt that’s piled up over recent decades.

The message from campus radicals is that America is the “number one terrorist” in the world — now pay off my loans.

Maybe it’s universities like Harvard — sitting on a nearly $50 billion endowment — that should foot the bill. Yet, the Left wants Americans to pony up for this scam.

This is why we need to keep a spotlight on the escalating college campus situation, outside of the sanitized lens that most of the left-wing media would like to put on it.

We need to let the American people see what’s become of higher education; they need to see what that vision of the world is and how they cope with conflict. If we do, maybe more people will open their eyes to the problem and things will finally begin to change.

Originally published at The Daily Signal. 

Jarrett Stepman is a contributor to The Daily Signal and co-host of The Right Side of History podcast. He is also the author of the book The War on History: The Conspiracy to Rewrite America's Past.

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