If the last three years have proven anything, it’s that America’s top universities are deeply sick, and “progressive” ideology is to blame.
In 2020, left-wing faculty made certain everyone knows that Black Lives Matter and shamed anyone who was skeptical of that Marxist-led organization. Flash forward to October 2023, and these same crusaders couldn’t care less about slaughtered, tortured, beheaded, and dismembered Israeli Jews — and we have it in writing.
Take the death of George Floyd in May 2020, an opioid addict with a “high tolerance for fentanyl” and a criminal history of drug abuse. Floyd died in police custody — with a “fatal level” of fentanyl in his body — after Minneapolis cops arrested him for buying cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill and forcefully held him to the ground for nearly nine minutes.
Floyd’s sad death was a controversial footnote to America’s decades-long struggle with drug addiction. But for race-obsessed cynics searching for a new election crisis — or a reason to burn down America’s cities — it was enough to make Floyd a Black Lives Matter icon martyred by Republican “white supremacists.”
Our Ivy League universities led the “progressive” movement to defeat systemic racism with dozens of statements decrying America’s slave-owning origins and systemic injustices. Now those same universities are amazingly quiet and nuanced about Hamas’ bloody murder of 1,300 women, children, and civilians.
The contrast is stunning.
“Mr. Floyd’s death follows a pattern of racial injustice that has become too familiar in our country and that amounts to a national emergency,” Yale University president Peter Salovey sermonized in an 800-word letter in May 2020 damning the “racism, nativism, and bigotry too pervasive in society today and throughout our country’s history.”
Compare that with Salovey’s letter three days after the 2023 Hamas attacks, blandly titled “War in the Middle East” and half the length of his Floyd opus. “[I] condemn the attacks by Hamas in the strongest possible terms,” he wrote, but let’s not forget (Salovey hastily added) that “non-militant Palestinians have been killed or displaced” as well as Israeli Jews.
Does that include the dozens of Gazans accidentally killed by Hamas rockets (and falsely blamed on Israel by congressional Democrats)? One wonders. “I call on all of us to treat each other with compassion and understanding and to reject discrimination and intolerance in any form,” Salovey’s letter concludes.
Contrast that with, Yalies4Palestine, the university’s intifada advocacy group, which doesn’t mince words in its “unwavering support of the Palestinian people’s right to return to their land and resist over 75 years of colonization.”
Ditto Yale professor Zareena Grewal, who tweeted during the attack:
My heart is in my throat. Prayers for Palestinians. Israeli [sic] is a murderous, genocidal settler state and Palestinians have every right to resist through armed struggle, solidarity. #FreePalestine
Salovey’s response? Crickets.
In May 2020, Harvard president Lawrence Bacow waxed for nearly 600 words about the shocking and “senseless killing of yet another black person—George Floyd—at the hands of those charged with protecting us,” harkening back to America’s struggle “to find common ground that might unite us” in the wake of Martin Luther King Jr.’s murder in 1968.
Then there’s the terse, 126-word press release from his successor, Claudine Gay, on Oct. 12, 2023, a full five days after the attack:
Let there be no doubt that I condemn the terrorist atrocities perpetrated by Hamas. Such inhumanity is abhorrent, whatever one’s individual views of the origins of longstanding conflicts in the region . . . . And I appeal to all of us in this community of learning to keep this in mind as our conversations continue.
Small comfort to the Jewish students threatened by Harvard’s radicalized pro-Hamas group Students for Justice in Palestine, which quickly endorsed Hamas’ violence: “The apartheid regime is the only one to blame.”
Even when pushed to condemn terrorism by angry students, Gay equivocated: “We have no illusion that Harvard alone can readily bridge the widely different views of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
Cornell president Martha Pollack wasted no time in chiding students that Hamas’ unprovoked attack was really no different than a random act of God (or bad weather):
The loss of human life is always tragic, whether caused by human actions such as terrorism, war or mass shootings, or by natural disasters such as earthquakes, fires or floods . . . . Just last month, we saw atrocities in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, and this past weekend there was a terrible earthquake in Afghanistan.
“Perhaps some of our current students will ultimately have the wisdom that has so eluded world leaders, and find a way to permanent peace, not just in the Middle East but around the world,” the letter wistfully concludes.
Painfully missing: Any condemnation of Hamas as a terrorist organization.
Pollack issued a revised statement on Oct. 10 offering her “heartfelt apologies for the omission” after outraged students and faculty “expressed dismay that I failed to say that the atrocities committed by Hamas this past weekend were acts of terrorism, which,” of course, “I condemn in the strongest possible terms.”
Must’ve slipped her mind — oops.
Pollack had no such slip in 2020, when she blasted “the scourge of racism” which caused the “killing of George Floyd,” Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and others suffering “in the midst of a pandemic that is having such a disproportionate impact on communities of color.”
Pollack vowed to “address it [racism] directly in our educational programs, in our research and in our engagement and related activities,” so that “people do not have to fear for their lives because of the color of their skin.”
No such confrontation with Islamic terrorists.
Like Cornell, Brown University president Christina Paxson excoriated America’s “anti-black racism and racial injustice” that “continue to cut short the lives of black people every day”:
This is historical, lasting and persistent. Structures of power, deep-rooted histories of oppression, as well as prejudice, outright bigotry and hate, directly and personally affect the lives of millions of people in this nation every minute and every hour. Black people continue to live in fear for themselves, their children and their communities
No two ways about it — living in America is a racist nightmare for minorities, Paxson thumped, so “we must continue to demand equity and justice for all people, inclusive of all identities.”
But don’t expect any such commitment for Israelis or Brown’s Jewish students, who got a mealy-mouthed statement in Oct. 2023 “offering guidance and resources” and a reminder that “the issues that underpin the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are complex,” so they must remain empathetic and open-minded about “deeply held and often conflicting views about the best ways forward.”
“The horrifying ending of the life of George Floyd … drew back the curtains on centuries of invidious discrimination against African Americans,” Columbia University president Lee Bollinger gushed in 2020, with a veiled warning about America’s coming “descent into authoritarianism” under President Donald Trump.
No such horror at genocide for his successor, Minouche Shafik, whose Oct. 2023 letter doesn’t even mention Hamas or terrorism. Notably, the Egyptian-born Shafik — who sits on the board of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — was present at the Oslo peace negotiations between Israel and Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization in 1994.
Shafik’s prevaricating wasn’t good enough to Columbia’s campus socialists, who blasted on Oct. 17 that Columbia’s Jewish students were a threat to campus Muslims. Shafik:
President Shafik: Why is the pain, fear, and grief of Palestinians not being addressed publicly? We write this to support students, colleagues, and faculty who do not feel safe on campus.
Credit Princeton president Christopher Eisgruber for labeling Hamas a terrorist organization in his statement. Deduct as many points for equating the murder of thousands of Israelis with Palestinian deaths caused by Israel’s justified retaliation against Gaza and the Palestinians’ own murderous government.
Don’t fret, Eisgruber writes — Princeton “has reached out to students and other community members from Israel and the Palestinian territories” with counseling services and “thoughtful” analysis of the war.
No such nuance in his 2020 letter addressing the death of George Floyd: “We have witnessed yet again how this nation’s long legacy of racism continues to damage and destroy the lives of black people,” Eisgruber wrote:
We all have a responsibility to stand up against racism, wherever and whenever we encounter it. Commitments to diversity, inclusivity, and human rights are fundamental to the mission of Princeton University.
The Mask Slips
Anyone who’s followed the decline of Western universities will recognize a clear theme here: University luminaries are loathe to offend terrorist sympathizers and antisemites, yet can’t spill enough ink castigating America as a racist dystopia.
This is no accident; it’s the rotten fruit of Marxist ideology taking over our national institutions decade after decade. The taint was present long before October 2023; Hamas’ viciousness only caused the left’s mask to slip.
It’s time for parents to pull their college students out of these radicalized universities and stop subsidizing woke activists’ recruiting centers. Congressional Republicans have already proven they’re serious about protecting America from Islamic terrorists. Great — now get serious about the ideologues festering hate in our own academies.
Here a few ideas: Tax the Ivy League’s multibillion-dollar endowments. Cut all government funding to universities that promote socialism. Ban anti-American curricula that promotes lawlessness, victimhood, and lies about our national heritage, and replace them with studies that will create good citizens.
With “progressives” in disarray over Israel, conservatives have a rare opportunity to abolish the left and restore our republic to greatness. If we don’t take it, that chance may never come again.
Hayden Ludwig is director of research for Restoration of America.
Originally Posted on: https://thefederalist.com/2023/10/23/compare-how-university-elites-responded-to-george-floyds-death-and-the-innocent-israeli-massacre/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=compare-how-university-elites-responded-to-george-floyds-death-and-the-innocent-israeli-massacre
[By: Hayden Ludwig