Campus Protests Shed Light on Failed Policies, Failed Education System

Member Group : Guy Ciarrocchi

(This article first appeared in Broad+Liberty)

Anger. Destruction. Chaos. It’s societal failure on display.

From USC to Columbia, Penn and beyond, campus takeovers against Israel or for Palestine have erupted — primarily at “elite” universities. (I only use that term as a pejorative now.) We are not seeing “protests” at technical schools or Christian colleges.

There is so much that is so wrong on so many levels playing out across our nation. Sadly, this is both real life and a live “case study” in the breakdown of higher education, the failures in K-12 education — and many failures of today’s Democrat Party.

Yes, the Democrat Party is partly responsible for this mess. Starting with the absence of leadership from Biden, his party has largely been indifferent or muted in the face of antisemitism — or worse, supportive of the anarchy on these campuses. Senator John Fetterman (D-PA) is noteworthy not only for his consistent moral clarity, but also in that he is standing virtually alone.

The delayed, muted message from President Biden speaks volumes.

Whether Biden is weak, indifferent or being paralyzed by fifteen electoral votes in Michigan — a fear of offending its significant Muslim population — it doesn’t matter.

Biden is a weak president, relegated to trying to buy votes from younger voters — “canceling” student loans, tolerating their riots, and decriminalizing marijuana. Just last week, Biden announced yet another round of vote-buying masquerading as “forgiving student loans” that is unlawful and immoral. Worse, announcing this during these protests on campuses shows a level of tone-deafness and self-centeredness that is a new low.

Another factor is Biden’s open borders allowing in some people who have come here solely to cause chaos, disruption, or worse. An estimated six to ten million have crossed over. Taking the lower six million number, if even one-tenth of one percent of illegal/undocumented people are intentionally seeking to do us harm, that’s 6,000.

The President has failed us — regardless of your faith, regardless of your party.

Moreover, we should recognize the bigger picture: failed policies plus a failed education system. What happens when you mix ill-educated students — some of whom are privileged — plus the children of millionaires from nations that hate America, plus thousands who snuck in purposefully to cause chaos, and then add in the professional, left-wing agitators, the ones who bought or supplied the thousands of identical placards and similar-looking green pup tents spotted from Columbia to USC?

You get chaos and even anarchy nationwide.

Now, add in morally confused, frightened school presidents and local and state officials. We get days and days of chaos — with barricades, violence and student “press conferences” demanding vegan Uber Eats deliveries, while wearing keffiyehs bought from Etsy.

And canceled (or scaled back) graduations.

As for the American student-protestors — some of whom may have genuine concerns for the Palestinians and oppose war — let’s be clear: it is not illegal or punishable to support Palestinians, oppose Israel, or oppose Israel’s conduct of the war. It is protected speech guaranteed to Americans by the Constitution.

No one should be arrested for speaking “pro-Palestinian” or anti-Israel, or even anti-Jewish slogans, no matter how vile. However, encampments, barricades, vandalism, hostage taking, blocking students from classes and attacking police or others is criminal and should be treated as just that. Think of it as “teaching the students a lesson.”

Moreover, what is especially troubling is that this hate and vitriol has taken root so easily, so quickly. And, it is spoken, chanted, and spray-painted so proudly. It shows a deeper moral failing.

Academia has so twisted the concept of “tolerance” into a knot that actual threats and acts of violence are being protected on campuses, yet over the past years saying that only biological women should play women’s sports is somehow hateful and shameful — and has become prohibited as speech, let alone policy.

Teachers spend so much time telling young students that they’re so special and that every emotion and feeling is to be valued that they’ve forgotten to teach them that opposing ideas are to be heard, too. And that some ideas or values are wrong. There are actual facts and actual societal norms, customs and moral standards. You have the right to be wrong, but you’re still wrong. And actions have consequences.

Too many broken moral compasses.

This all began on October 7th with terrorists parasailing into a music concert and purposefully, brutally butchering Israeli millennials at a concert. Other terrorists sought out Jewish daughters to repeatedly rape them, while their fathers were forced to watch. And beheadings! This is so heinous, so unforgivable, so deprived that it sets an historic level of evil. Hostages are still being held. These are facts, live-streamed by the terrorists for the world to see.

Yet the unholy alliance on campuses is demanding action — to punish Israel.

Have the students forgotten? Don’t they care? Or, has years of education failure blinded them to facts, and taught them a twisted sense of morality?

Recall that these “elite” institutions — with acceptance rates often in the single digits — treat Riley Gaines like a terrorist, yet welcome actual spewers of hate, while tolerating campus takeovers, barriers being erected, and blocking students from attending class.

For years, many “elite” universities recruited privileged students from nations who actively oppose the United States. Just as they’ve done for the children of Communist China’s oligarchy.

Why? Because those students paid sticker price to attend Columbia, Penn or USC, or their countries gave millions in donations.

Protestors condemn Israel and the United States, yet praise Hamas, spout socialism and wear Che Guevara t-shirts. All of which is legally protected. But their words, actions and heroes reveal how our education system has failed. They lack an understanding of history and actual morality.

This is both real life, and a live case study in the utter failure of academia where parents and society have been complicit.

Weren’t they taught about the horrors of the Holocaust, that the Germans blocked Jewish students from attending school (before going on to massacre them)?

Weren’t they taught the wonders and accomplishments of America? Taught about the advancements of Western Civilization? Weren’t they taught about real life under communism?

Weren’t they taught that Jews have been living in the land now known as Israel for about 5,000 years? That, in Israel, Arabs and Israelis practicing whatever faith they choose (or no faith), serve in the Knesset, and are judges? That Muslims worship freely in Israel?

Sadly, our students were taught that they were victims in a world of “victims” and “oppressors”—and that they should unite with other “victims.”

Apparently, believing anything makes it right and removes any moral responsibility. These students believe that they invented morality and are the sole arbiters of what’s right.

They have learned a value system that is so twisted that LGBT students shockingly think Hamas would respect them.

The “everybody gets a trophy” generation has arrived on college campuses. And now they’re partnered with anarchists and those who snuck into America in order to destroy it.

I hope it’s not too late to save them.

I know it’s not too late to save the kids in high school, grade school, or younger.

And it’s not too late to ensure that America’s laws, culture and values are protected from the harm that’s being done now.

Have we learned our lesson?

Guy Ciarrocchi is a Senior Fellow with the Commonwealth Foundation. He writes for Broad + Liberty and RealClear Pennsylvania. Follow Guy at @PaSuburbsGuy