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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Virtue signaling turns nasty at Stanford, silly at Vanderbilt

Theo Baker, a Stanford sophomore, in The Atlantic.

When Jewish students organized a discussion of anti-Semitism, activists drowned out the panelists with their shouts, he writes. As people tried to leave, "activists, their faces covered by keffiyehs or medical masks," yelled insults.

One shouted, "Go back to Brooklyn!" Another told attendees to "get off our fucking campus" and accused Jews of "child trafficking."

As a rabbi tried to leave the event, protesters pursued him, chanting, “There is only one solution! Intifada revolution!”
. . . some turned on a few Stanford employees, including another rabbi, an imam, and a chaplain, telling them, “We know your names and we know where you work.” The ringleader added: “And we’ll soon find out where you live.” The religious leaders formed a protective barrier in front of the Jewish students. The rabbi and the imam appeared to be crying.

"Colleges have always had dithering administrators and radical student activists," writes Baker. But he thinks the average student is different. "The only reliable way to get into a school like Stanford is to be really good at looking really good." Students are "overachieving strivers," not rebels capable of standing against the majority.

And they are accustomed to seeing issues as right vs. wrong, colonizer vs. colonized, the virtuous vs. the evil with no nuance, context or room for discussion, he writes. "Either you support liberation of the oppressed or you support genocide. Either Stanford is all good or all bad; all in favor of free speech or all authoritarian; all anti-Semitic or all Islamophobic."

"We need people willing to protest what they see as wrong and take on entrenched systems of repression," Baker writes. "But we also need to read, learn, discuss, accept the existence of nuance, embrace diversity of thought, and hold our own allies to high standards. More than ever, we need universities to teach young people how to do all of this."

Vanderbilt students occupied the chancellor's office. They forgot to bring food and sanitary pads.

Steve McGuire posted a video of anti-Israel Vanderbilt students screaming "coward" at a black police officer for refusing to join their sit-in of the chancellor's office. "You are black in America, and you're NOT standing with the marginalized people of the world," one shouted. "What does that make you?!"

Protestors, who occupied the office for 21 hours before being removed by police, were angry that they were not allowed to go to a restroom in the building and return to the sit-in, writes Suzy Weiss on The Free Press. A female student called 911 to report she was at risk of toxic shock because she didn't have a spare tampon (or was unwilling to change tampons in the office). "When administrators brought in food from Panera Bread for the officers but not the students, it was treated like a human-rights abuse."

I remember Vietnam War protests in the early '70s, which sometimes became violent. There was lots of self-righteousness, but more respect for free speech, as I recall. And nobody demanded that sit-ins be catered by the university.

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1 Comment

JK Brown
JK Brown
Mar 29

The German youth did similar before the first World War. Good news, many of them survived the trenches to be the bureaucrats that implemented the Final Solution. So we have something like that to look forward to

The chiefs of the youth movement were mentally unbalanced neurotics. Many of them were affected by a morbid sexuality, they were either profligate or homosexual. None of them excelled in any field of activity or contributed anything to human progress. Their names are long since forgotten; the only trace they left were some books and poems preaching sexual perversity. But the bulk of their followers were quite different. They had one aim only: to get a job as soon as possible with the…

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