Archive for the ‘Academia and freedom of speech’ category

Normalizing anti-Semitism on campus

November 14, 2017

Normalizing anti-Semitism on campus, Israel National News, Dr. Richard L. Cravatts, November 13, 2017

Progressive students have decided, from within their own moral self-righteousness, that the Palestinian campaign for self-determination is such a sacred cause that anyone who questions it or expresses the Israeli point of view is a moral retrograde. To support Israel is to risk being deemed a racist, an imperialist, a tacit supporter of apartheid. And more than that: if you are Jewish, or even a non-Jewish student with no connection to Palestinian Arabs or Israelis who has not publicly proclaimed his or her allegiance to the Palestinian cause and denounced the Israeli one, he or she can be deemed morally unworthy of serving as a student leader or even, in the South African instance, of attending a particular university.

The student leaders who, in the context of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, now try to suppress all thought of which they disapprove have sacrificed one of the core values for which the university exists. In their zeal to be inclusive, and to recognize the needs and aspirations of victim groups, they pretend to foster inquiry but have actually stifled it. The first victim in the dilution of academic free speech and debate has been the truth.

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At McGill University recently, three board members of the University’s Students’ Society were removed from their appointments after a vote at the Fall General Assembly due to their alleged “Jewish conflict of interest.” The ouster was led by a pro-BDS student group, Democratize McGill, which was campaigning against pro-Israel students in the wake of a September ruling by the Judicial Board that had rejected the BDS movement on the McGill campus once and for all. This was done on the grounds that the movement failed to uphold the university’s constitution by “violat[ing] the rights of [Israeli] students to represent themselves” and discriminating on the basis of national origin.

In retaliation, and to eliminate pro-Israel views on the board, Democratize McGill launched an effort to purge the board of BDS opponents. This effort was based on the cynical notion that such opponents harbored a clear conflict of interest that arose from their purported biases. Because the students in question were Jewish or pro-Israel (or both), they were labeled by Democratize McGill as incapable of making informed or fair decisions as student leaders.

In stating this premise, the pro-BDS students ignored their own obvious biases as well as the lack of any balance in their own views on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. They nonetheless felt entirely comfortable suppressing pro-Israel voices and Jewish students on the board, asserting that they sought to remove these students because they “are all either fellows at the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee (CJPAC), an organization whose explicit mandate is to promote pro-Israel discourse in Canadian politics, or primary organizers for the anti-BDS initiative at McGill.”

Those students were to be disqualified, in other words, for having views that differed from those of the student leaders who sought to purge them. The Jewish board member and two other non-Jewish, pro-Israel board members were subsequently voted off the board.

McGill has a history of seeking to suppress pro-Israel expression, not only in the student government but also in its press. An example is a 2016 controversy involving The McGill Daily, which made the astonishing editorial admission that it was the paper’s policy not to publish “pieces which promote a Zionist worldview, or any other ideology which we consider oppressive.”

“While we recognize that, for some, Zionism represents an important freedom project,” the editors wrote, “we also recognize that it functions as a settler-colonial ideology that perpetuates the displacement and the oppression of the Palestinian people.”

Leading up to this revealing editorial, a McGill student, Molly Harris, had filed a complaint with the Students’ Society of McGill University’s (SSMU) equity committee. In that complaint, Harris contended that, based on the paper’s obvious anti-Israel bias, and “a set of virulently anti-Semitic tweets from a McGill Daily writer,” a “culture of anti-Semitism” defined the Daily – a contention apparently confirmed by the fact that several of the paper’s editors were BDS supporters and none of the staffers was Jewish.

An attempted purging of a pro-Israel student from student government, similar to the inquisition that occurred at McGill, took place in February 2015 at UCLA, when several council members on the USAC Judicial Board, UCLA student government’s highest judicial body, grilled Rachel Beyda, then a second-year economics student, when she sought a seat on the board.

The focus on her candidacy was not her qualifications for the position (which no one seemed to doubt), but the fact that she was Jewish. At issue was the way her “affiliation with Jewish organizations at UCLA . . . might affect her ability to rule fairly on cases in which the Jewish community has a vested interest in the outcome, such as cases related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” as the student newspaper described it.

“Ruling fairly,” of course, meant ruling in support of the increasingly virulent anti-Israel campaign on the UCLA campus. Solely on the grounds of her religion, she failed the political litmus test that so-called progressive students, enthralled with their pursuit of social justice, see as their default position – being pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel.

The same thinking inspired a similarly discriminatory proposal the previous May by two members of UCLA’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which attempted to bar Jewish candidates from filling council positions if they had taken trips to Israel subsidized by the Anti-Defamation League, American Jewish Committee, or other organizations. According to the activists, those organizations “have openly campaigned against divestment from corporations that profit from Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights.”

Of course, there was no mention in this debate of sponsored trips to send pro-Palestinian students to Israel or the territories on propaganda excursions designed to malign Israel and teach visitors an alternate, anti-Israel narrative. Once again, in addition to trying to stack the deck against the pro-Israel argument, this proposal took it as a given that anyone not committed to the Palestinian cause was by default not to be trusted, incapable of making unbiased decisions, and morally compromised.

A particularly odious attempt to rid a campus of Jewish and pro-Israel voices took place in 2015 when student council leaders at Durban University of Technology (DUT) in South Africa floated a proposal suggesting that Jewish students be purged entirely from the institution. As the student body’s secretary, Mqondisi Duma, put it, “We took the decision that Jewish students, especially those who do not support the Palestinian struggle, should deregister.” This is, one would think, a rather shocking sentiment from students who themselves benefited from a worldwide campaign in the 1970s and 1980s to end South Africa’s racist apartheid system.

The moral arrogance of the South African students’ proposal was breathtaking, and not only because of its grotesque version of the anti-Semitic practice of making all Jews responsible for the political actions of Israel. It revealed that the pro-Palestinian movement is so enthralled with the righteousness of its cause that anyone who harbors or expresses other views is considered a pariah, unworthy to have his or her ideas heard in the marketplace of ideas on campus.

Progressive students have decided, from within their own moral self-righteousness, that the Palestinian campaign for self-determination is such a sacred cause that anyone who questions it or expresses the Israeli point of view is a moral retrograde. To support Israel is to risk being deemed a racist, an imperialist, a tacit supporter of apartheid. And more than that: if you are Jewish, or even a non-Jewish student with no connection to Palestinian Arabs or Israelis who has not publicly proclaimed his or her allegiance to the Palestinian cause and denounced the Israeli one, he or she can be deemed morally unworthy of serving as a student leader or even, in the South African instance, of attending a particular university.

The student leaders who, in the context of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, now try to suppress all thought of which they disapprove have sacrificed one of the core values for which the university exists. In their zeal to be inclusive, and to recognize the needs and aspirations of victim groups, they pretend to foster inquiry but have actually stifled it. The first victim in the dilution of academic free speech and debate has been the truth.

Dr. Richard L. Cravatts, President Emeritus of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, is the author of Dispatches from the Campus War Against Israel and Jews.

 

New Book Sheds Light on Anti-Trump Agenda in Public Schools and Politicization of the Classroom

October 1, 2017

New Book Sheds Light on Anti-Trump Agenda in Public Schools and Politicization of the Classroom, Washington Free Beacon,  , October 1, 2017

Getty Images

In his newly published bookThe Corrupt Classroom, Lance Izumi of the Pacific Research Institute illustrates how the public school classroom has become increasingly politicized, with liberal teachers indoctrinating students with an anti-Trump and leftist agenda.

Izumi makes the case that while many school choice supporters rely on academic school performance data to show that public schools are failing, there are many other equally important reasons to support it.

“Many parents, for example, are rightly concerned about the growing politicization of the classroom,” Izumi explains. “Far from being mere anecdotal incidents—and there are lot of those—political bias is becoming systemic in public school systems and has turned many public schools into indoctrination centers for progressive ideologies and causes.”

For example, the United Educators of San Francisco, a teachers’ union, created an anti-Trump lesson plan and distributed it to 6,000 members. In the lesson plan, Trump was labeled a “racist and sexist man” and included only reports from left-wing sources such as Mother Jones. Teachers were instructed to tell students, “we will keep fighting” and “we must and will fight for justice against an unjust system and an unjust people.”

Izumi also cites the example of Yvette Felarca, a teacher at a middle school in Berkeley, Calif., who is the leader of By Any Means Necessary, which was described as a militant, radical group that uses violence to spread its message.

“Felarca reportedly shoved a man to the ground at a demonstration in Sacramento,” Izumi explains. “The brawl resulted in seven people being stabbed. Felarca told the Mercury News that the First Amendment should not protect speech with which she disagrees and that she labels ‘hate speech.'”

Izumi says that following these actions, parents were outraged and complained that her violent message should not have a place in the classroom. The book cites many more examples of how students were subjected to indoctrination in the classroom, including some who were asked to complete assignments with an anti-Trump bent or teachers who were very open about their liberal beliefs—including one who yelled “Die!” in front of students at a photo of President Trump.

Izumi says that parents should also be aware of school-related crime and the safety of their child when deciding what school to choose.

“There have been many instances of appalling crimes on school campuses, ranging from peer-to-peer bullying to classroom sexual assaults that make every parent shudder with fear for the safety of their own children,” Izumi writes.

For example, Lanny, a 9-year-old in Alabama, was attacked by a bully at her school and suffered a concussion, a bruised face, and two black eyes. Instead of accurately reporting the incident to the child’s mother, school officials said Lanny had fallen on accident. Lanny’s mother decided to homeschool her daughter following the incident because she doesn’t feel the school did enough to prevent bullying and did not even punish the bully.

“When I asked the principal what was being done about the bully, he said she would be suspended for two days,” Lanny’s mother said. “Then I found out they didn’t even do anything to her.”

In addition to safety, Izumi says there are religious biases that have been present in the classroom that parents should be concerned about.

“Just as parents do not like teachers and school officials to favor one political candidate over another, so parents oppose the promotion of one religious faith over another,” Izumi says. “Yet, in public schools across America, teaching, curricula, and policies seem intended to disfavor Christianity and favor other religious faiths.”

There have also been instances of sexualization in the classroom. Izumi explains that a school in Fremont, Calif., distributed a textbook for ninth-graders that taught teenagers about vibrators, oral sex, bondage, female sterilization procedures, and sexual techniques that went beyond the activities that cause birth.

“Not surprisingly, the textbook ignited outrage among parents in the school district, despite the socially liberal reputation of the San Francisco Bay Area,” Izumi explains. “Hundreds of people signed a petition to urge the Fremont school board to rescind its decision to use the textbook in ninth-grade health classes.”

Izumi says that all of these reasons are cause for parents to be concerned about what school their child is attending.

“A public school might have decent test scores, but if parents feel their children are being politically indoctrinated, are at risk of being victimized by other students or teachers, are being shortchanged because of mismanagement by school officials, or are having their basic value system overturned, then parents and their children should have the right and the tools to exit the public school system for educational alternatives that better meet their needs and preferences,” Izumi said.

The Thought Police Strike Again

September 15, 2017

The Thought Police Strike Again, Gatestone InstituteGiulio Meotti, September 15, 2017

How can we pretend that freedom of expression in the West is protected — from fascism, Islamism, anything — when we restrict it in our universities?

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This politically correct nonsense highlights even further the infantilization of our culture — such as the demand for “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings”. It may look like a comedy, but its effect is deadly serious.

Groupthink is a debilitating force. in any civilization. It undermines one’s ability to resist the real enemies of democracy and freedom: it makes us blind to radical Islam and jihadi terrorism, and it gives the impression that our society is a joke.

Instead of being intellectually diverse, universities are trying their utmost to impose homogeneity of thoughts and ideas. So-called “right wing newspapers” are banned from certain universities. Recently, at the City University of London, the student union, devoid of irony, fascistically voted to ban some conservative tabloids in order to “oppose fascism”.

Headlines every day proclaim the new religion: political correctness, cultural vandalism and censorship — not from Islamic emirates such as Saudi Arabia, but in Western cities right here.

The Writers Union of Canada, for instance, recently apologized for a magazine editorial that defended the right of novelists to create characters from backgrounds other than their own.

Just think of that: a writer defending the right to use one’s imagination?! What an insult! At least, to “the new Stalinists” it is.

“In my opinion anyone, anywhere, should be encouraged to imagine other peoples, other cultures, other identities,” Hal Niedzviecki, who was the editor of the union’s magazine, Write, defended freedom in an editorial. The Union then announced that Niedzviecki had resigned.

Another journalist also fell victim to this new religion. Jonathan Kay also recently resigned as editor of the magazine The Walrus. Defending Niedzviecki’s right to use his imagination cost Kay his job.

Their unspeakable crime was, it appears, “cultural appropriation” — one of the new “groupthink” expressions that the theologian Paul Griffiths condemned as “illiberal and totalitarian“. Griffiths, too, had to resign from Duke University after criticizing his colleagues for a “diversity program” that “provides foundational training in understanding historical and institutional racism.”

Every revolution needs to master a new “language” to achieve uniformity of expression and thought. George Orwell, in 1984, called the replacement language “Newspeak”.

Cardiff Metropolitan University, one of the largest in Britain, compiled a list of 34 words that it “encouraged” teachers and students to stop using, and replaced them with “gender-neutral” terms. “Fireman” should be replaced by “firefighter”; “mankind” should be replaced by banned “humanity”, and so on. Princeton University also expunged the word “man” in its various uses, in favor of supposedly more “inclusive” expressions. City University of New York decided to ban “Mr.” and “Mrs.” California State University replaced commercial terms such as “businessman”, “mailman”, “manpower” and “salesman” to avoid that horrendous, forbidden word.

While at it, why not also purge Christianity’s religious language? Some of the most famous theological universities, such as Duke and Vanderbilt, invited professors and staff to use “inclusive” language even when they are referring to God, because the masculine pronouns are “a cornerstone of patriarchy”.

This politically correct nonsense highlights even further the infantilization of our culture — such as the demand for “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings”. It may look like comedy, but its effect is deadly serious. British philosopher Roger Scruton has said that a kind of “moral obesity” is crippling Western culture.

Groupthink is a debilitating force. in any civilization. It undermines one’s ability to resist the real enemies of democracy and freedom: it makes us blind to radical Islam and jihadi terrorism, and it gives the impression that our society is a joke.

That is why Algerian writer Boualem Sansal, whose novel 2084 depicted a dystopian state governed by religious law, said “literature and arts are not playing a big role in this struggle against barbarism”. Those writers are, instead, far too busy implementing political correctness.

Universities in Britain are now even holding workshops to “deal with right wing attitudes in the classroom”. Instead of being intellectually diverse, universities are trying their utmost to impose homogeneity of thoughts and ideas. So-called “right wing newspapers” are banned from certain universities. Recently, the at the City University of London, the student union, devoid of irony, fascistically voted to ban some conservative tabloids in order to “oppose fascism”.

Dozens of personalities, conservative and liberal alike, have been prevented from speaking on many U.S. campuses. This is just a short list: Milo Yiannopoulos, Janet Napolitano, George Will, Condoleezza Rice, Madeleine Albright, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Henry Kissinger, Christine Lagarde, Charles Murray and Jason Riley.

First, students asked to limit freedom of expression to a specific place on campus. Then they started issuing declarations about no rights to free speech. Finally, in a crescendo of hysteria, they ended up throwing firebombs. How can we pretend that freedom of expression in the West is protected — from fascism, Islamism, anything — when we restrict it in our universities?

When the “politically incorrect” commentator and writer Milo Yiannopoulos was due to speak at the University of California, Berkeley on February 1, 2017, a mob of 150 people proceeded to riot, smash and set fires, causing more than $100,000 of damage. (Image source: RT video screenshot)

A few weeks ago, the 2017 Whitney Biennal in New York opened with a protest in front of a painting by the American-born artist Dana Schutz. The picture depicted Emmett Till, a boy lynched by racists in Mississippi in 1955. More than 25 black artists signed an open letter, written by the artist Hannah Black, to the Whitney’s curators and staff, asking that the painting be removed from the Biennial, allegedly because “the painting uses black suffering for “profit and fun'”. Ms. Black also asked that the painting be “destroyed and not entered into any market or museum”.

That request not only aimed at censoring different ideas, but, like the Grand Inquisitor, of destroying the “wrong thought”. The new religion — featuring political correctness, cultural vandalism and censorship — is dismantling the West.

Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.

The Latest Victim of the Campus Hate Industry

September 8, 2017

The Latest Victim of the Campus Hate Industry, Gatestone InstituteBruce Bawer, September 8, 2017

(Robbie Travers is a male. Unless he dresses like a female, the photo accompanying the article appears to have been labeled incorrectly. — DM)

As a result of Allman’s complaint, the university is now investigating Travers on “hate crime” charges. A spokesman for the university explained that it is “committed to providing an environment in which all members of the university community treat each other with dignity and respect.” Travers, for his part, has described Allman’s complaint as retaliation for a social-media posting in which he had drawn attention to a comment by Allman that “all men are trash.”

Such perverse thinking, of course, is commonplace today among college students in the English-speaking countries. Instead of taking full advantage of the precious opportunity that a university education affords them, they prefer to spend much of their student years finding examples of oppression — real or imagined — to denounce. 

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All men are trash.” — Esme Allman.

Allman is a young woman who, although a student at one of the finest universities on earth, considers herself to be a multiply oppressed victim and who sees the world around her as swarming with oppressors. She has been so well-schooled in the idea that whites are always the oppressors and dark-skinned people always the victims that when she sees a fellow British subject rooting for his own nation’s side in a war against jihadists, her first and only thought is to brand him an “Islamophobe” — this, even though the enemy in that war are men who would force her into a burka or consider her, as an infidel, deserving of rape and/or death.

So it is that Robbie Travers, whose only offense is believing in freedom and opposing a totalitarian ideology, has found himself in hot water — a real victim of a mentality that is all about power and dogma even as its pretends to be devoted to “dignity and respect” for all.

Robbie Travers is a 21-year-old law student at the University of Edinburgh and an articulate, insightful contributor to Gatestone as well as other websites. In his essays, he has illuminated the topsy-turvy values that dominate contemporary British political discourse – as exemplified by the refusal of the Speaker of the House of Commons to invite President Trump to address Parliament and the refusal of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn to ban Al Qaeda from Britain as a terrorist organization.

Now, Travers has become the victim of the very forces about which he has written. In April, after the US Air Force carried out a successful anti-ISIS action, he posted a comment on Facebook:

“Excellent news that the US administration and Trump ordered an accurate strike on an Isis network of tunnels in Afghanistan. I’m glad we could bring these barbarians a step closer to collecting their 72 virgins.”

It was no different from a British subject during World War II celebrating the invasion of Normandy. But Travers’s comment offended first-year history student Esme Allman, who filed a complaint with the university. In it, she charged that Travers had violated the student code of conduct and accused him of “blatant Islamaphobia [sic]” and of putting “minority students at risk and in a state of panic and fear.”

As a result of Allman’s complaint, the university is now investigating Travers on “hate crime” charges. A spokesman for the university explained that it is “committed to providing an environment in which all members of the university community treat each other with dignity and respect.” Travers, for his part, has described Allman’s complaint as retaliation for a social-media posting in which he had drawn attention to a comment by Allman that “all men are trash.”

Robbie Travers. (Image source: Robbie Travers Facebook page)

Who is Esme Allman? A member of Edinburgh University’s Black and Minority Ethnic Liberation Group, she was a candidate this year for the position of Black & Minority Ethnic (BME) Officer at the university’s Student Association (EUSA). Not only did she not win; for whatever reason, her name doesn’t even appear on the final list of candidates.

But the university’s website does include the text of her candidacy statement, in which she describes herself as a “feminist and womanist from inner-city London” who has “a strong interest in intersectionality” and who values “inclusivity as well as building and preserving safe spaces for us.” It has been important to her, Allman writes, to run “a truly intersectional campaign” for the post of BME Officer; if elected, she promises, her “first job will be to work alongside the other liberation groups to ensure EUSA are fully representative of our views.”

Allman goes on to list several “manifesto points,” including this: “I will continue to engage in the discussions started with academics on the WhyIsMyCurriculumWhite campaign.” What is this campaign? Begun at University College London, it is a self-described effort to “decolonis[e] the academy” and “uprising against the ‘Whiteness’, Eurocentric domination and lack of diversity in the curricula.” Allman also says that she “will continue to work with the StudentsNotSuspects Campaign to protect student groups from the enforcement of the Prevent strategy.”

What is the Prevent strategy? It is part of the British government’s anti-terrorism program; its objective is to prevent Islamic radicalization, which in that country often takes place at universities.

To most sane people in the West, it seems like a laudable goal to keep college students from becoming jihadist murderers. But to certain radical types in the British academy, the very idea of such a policy reeks of Islamophobia. Hence the StudentsNotSuspects Campaign, the name of which gives a pretty good idea of what it is all about.

We don’t know much about Allman. But her candidacy statement makes one thing clear. Although only a first-year student, she has certainly learned the language of identity-group grievance and victimization. “Womanist”, if you didn’t know, is a word coined by the novelist Alice Walker to describe feminists of color and to indicate a focus not only on sexism but on racism. “Intersectionality,” coined by activist Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, refers to the idea that persons belonging to more than one oppressed group experience a form of oppression that is greater than the sum of its parts. Allman’s use of the term “safe spaces” suggests that she considers much of her university campus, and presumably much of the U.K. generally, to be an “unsafe space”; from her membership in to a “liberation group,” we must assume that she considers herself, in some sense, imprisoned or tyrannized. At Edinburgh University, she is “colonized” because of her race and is oppressed by a “white” curriculum.

Given all this, Allman’s complaint about Travers is not only unsurprising, but predictable. This is a young woman who, although a student at one of the finest universities on earth (it came in at #27 in Times Higher Education ‘s latest international rankings), considers herself to be a multiply oppressed victim and who sees the world around her as swarming with oppressors. She has been so well-schooled in the idea that whites are always the oppressors and dark-skinned people always the victims that when she sees a fellow British subject rooting for his own nation’s side in a war against jihadists, her first and only thought is to brand him an “Islamophobe” — this, even though the enemy in that war are patriarchal monsters who would force her into a burka or consider her, as an infidel, deserving of rape and/or death.

Such perverse thinking, of course, is commonplace today among college students in the English-speaking countries. Instead of taking full advantage of the precious opportunity that a university education affords them, they prefer to spend much of their student years finding examples of oppression — real or imagined — to denounce. So it is that Robbie Travers, whose only offense is believing in freedom and opposing a totalitarian ideology, has found himself in hot water — a real victim of a mentality that is all about power and dogma even as its pretends to be devoted to “dignity and respect” for all.

America’s Post-Charlottesville Nervous Breakdown Was Deliberately Induced

August 25, 2017

America’s Post-Charlottesville Nervous Breakdown Was Deliberately Induced, The Federalist, August 25, 2017.

NBC News / YouTube

Wars are won or lost based mostly on perceptions of events, not on what actually happens. This is true for any given battlefield, whether it’s the 1968 Tet Offensive in Vietnam or the ideological battlefield over the future of the First Amendment as played out in Charlottesville in 2017. The reality of what takes place in the public arena is always secondary to any projected illusion.

So let’s never forget this: Whoever has the power to dictate public perceptions of reality is in a position to dictate public opinion and behavior. Abusing language and images to stir up emotions is an ancient trick of power-mongers. And once journalism turns into unchecked propaganda, we become trapped in its dangerous illusions.

Only the teensiest fraction of Americans have any real interest in violent extremism, whether it be the violence represented by the specter of the Klu Klux Klan or the violence promoted by groups like Antifa who pretend they are fighting for social justice. But the media is promoting imagery of the former as a foil for the latter.

Why Are We Being Assaulted With Fringe Concerns?

Most Americans today are still just trying to live freely, to pursue happiness peacefully. Meanwhile, power elites in politics and the media are providing a daily platform for fringe elements who identify as white supremacists. Why would anyone in his right mind do such a thing? Again, we can only deduce that such imagery serves as a useful foil to lend moral high ground to “counter-protesters.” The media elites provoking them need white supremacy bogeymen in order to achieve their ultimate agenda, which, ironically, is to achieve total supremacy.

Against this staged backdrop, repeated over and over again, Americans are being emotionally manipulated to take up cause with those whose ultimate purpose is the repeal of the First Amendment and erasure of national memory. As Helen Raleigh recently wrote in The Federalist, this has all the hallmarks of an attempted Maoist-style cultural revolution.

We should be asking why these elites insist that violence-prone groups on the American Left—such as Antifa, Occupy, Moveon.org, etc.—are pure as the driven snow, as peaceful as sleeping babes. Obviously it disrupts the narrative to know that the Southern Poverty Law Center inspired gunmen into attempted massacres, including the one in June that critically wounded GOP Rep. Steve Scalise and the 2012 shooting at the Family Research Council. So maintaining the illusion of such groups’ innocence is what allowed Michael Moore to argue in a recent CNN interview that he was promoting a society of “love” while smearing as racist every one of the 60 million Americans who voted for Trump. That’s a rallying cry for national division.

The polarization of America didn’t happen overnight. It’s actually not even all that real. It’s been teased out over many decades by media, entertainment, and academia in order to reap the agitation we’re seeing today. Understanding the how and why of this process is critical to reviving civil society and our freedoms. So, how did this all come to be? There are myriad factors: family breakdown, mob psychology, fear of being politically incorrect, the cultivation of ignorance in public education, the inflammation of resentments and hatred and false guilt, people should really start thinking on getting help from awol academy to educate themselves.

A lot more factors are responsible for the state of mass delusion we appear to be in today, but I’ll try to map out three elements I think the recent gruesome events in Charlottesville highlight: 1. the manipulation of our language; 2. the deliberate use of such loaded language to cultivate extreme emotions in people, particularly anger and resentment; and 3. the role of mass media as a nuclear device to impose those perceptions on a mass scale

Element 1: Loading the Language

Mavens of social media have inundated us with trendy terms intended to mold our thought patterns. Let’s just consider two expressions: “alt-right” and “woke.” First, “alt-right.” It’s a tar-and-feather term intended to eliminate independent thought by getting the masses to associate the “right” with various boogeymen like the KKK of old. The goal is to eliminate their “hate speech.” Once the alt-right domino falls, then conservatives’ speech goes. Then the speech of everybody else, because the First Amendment must stand for everyone or it stands for absolutely no one.

Then there’s the expression “woke.” It’s even more direct in its purpose: literally to activate people into a program of collective thought reform. “Woke” is a semantic device that promotes social distrust and even paranoia. The idea is that evil conspiracies—white supremacism, slavery, Confederate flags—are behind every bush targeting you. It comes with corollary slogans, such as #staywoke and #stayangry.

Such terms are the pieces of anti-intellectual spaghetti that stick to the walls of our minds when we are not equipped to think independent thoughts. The thought police aim to make certain words and thoughts catch on in the hive mind, thereby cultivating certain emotions and behaviors in people.

But when honestly defined, the term “woke” actually means “programmed.” You can see it in today’s manufactured mobs composed of individuals who identify as social justice warriors. Any different opinion is likely to trigger a panic attack in them. They are blindly obedient to college professors who get them to confess their guilt for being born into “white privilege”—or being born at all. They parrot taunts to their perceived enemies and take safety in mobs that threaten violence, knowing full well when the local political machine has kneecapped police, whether it be in Berkeley or Charlottesville.

The coordinated mob violence we see playing out essentially over the existence of historical monuments and free speech goes well beyond indoctrination and brainwashing. It is a cult mindset deliberately cultivated by elites in education, pop culture, and academia.

When Anti-Fascism Means Fascism

So in a very real sense, as George Orwell wrote in “1984,” words take on their opposite meanings. For example, freedom means slavery and vice versa. Ignorance means strength. Today it’s clear that the hyped term “anti-fascism” as in Antifa actually means fascism.

Is there anything President Trump could have said or done that would have made a difference under today’s social and media conditions? Perhaps for a few thoughtful people, his choice of words would have made a difference. But for the most part, even if he had from the outset spoken in a presidential manner and with all of the Left’s approved words, nothing would have changed in the propaganda media. Even if Trump had mimicked the SPLC and said the Charlottesville rioting was only about white supremacy and the KKK and that, yes, all historical monuments that Alinskyites want down should come down, it would not have changed the anti-speech trajectory of the anti-speech mob.

We are in full mass delusion mode. Our language has been undermined to game our perceptions. Those altered perceptions pull us into the groupthink that feeds fake public opinion cascades. Large segments of society, including many who should know better, have fallen for it, speaking apologetically and bolstering what is clearly a ruse to repeal the First Amendment. They fear someone might think them a bigot if they criticize the violence perpetrated by anti-speech activists like Antifa and Occupy. So they feed the violence by giving it a pass.

Element 2: Using Distorted Language to Rub Resentments Raw

The growth of this cult-like mentality is reflected in Orwell’s essay “Politics and the English Language.” He states that the whole point of manipulating language is to obfuscate in order to control. Anger and resentment are strong, natural motivators for getting people to attack perceived enemies. Bitterness is at the heart of every grudge, and those drunk on power have always depended on such misery to play their divide-and-conquer games.

Once bitterness sets in, it rots out the human capacity for social harmony and acts of mercy. At best, it’s passive-aggressive. At worst, it’s the short fuse to violence. At the core of it all is identity politics enforced by political correctness, special tools of propagandists to divide us in order to conquer us.

When people nurse grudges, they tend to grow into obsessions. Obsessions easily become delusions as we perseverate upon them, creating ever more monsters in our minds. Pretty soon a bunch of kids are pulling down a statue in Durham, North Carolina to engage in what psychiatrist Joost Meerloo described as “ecstatic participation in mass elation.” In his book “The Rape of the Mind,” Meerloo called this type of mob action “the oldest psycho-drama in the world.”

When minds become captive to the propagandist’s boogeymen, our survival mechanisms go into effect and we feel we must slay monsters, whether real or imaginary. This is especially true when a mob of supposedly like-minded folks come together to face off against their common enemy. Like in Charlottesville or any other place where a governor might abuse his power to promote riots by making sure there is no law enforcement present to maintain order. That was always the real point of promoting the riots in Charlottesville and so many other places by getting the police to stand down. The purpose of the media collusion is to get their movie running 24/7 in as many heads as possible.

We’ve not been vigilant as we’ve been taken down a long road of what influence guru Robert Cialdini calls “pre-suasion,” or laying the groundwork to influence others’ decisions, then taking advantage of the “privileged moments” that ensue. The privileged moment of the Left today consists of a pompous moral elevation to get people to focus on a well-cultivated fear of being tainted by association with racist nutcases. Unless we quickly become more vigilant to this ruse, it’ll be too late when we realize we’ve been manipulated by Stalinists all along.

Alinskyite Cultivation of Hatred

None of this is new. The archetypal agitation expert Saul Alinsky considered resentment an absolutely essential tool for replacing freedom with totalitarianism. All in the name of freedom, of course. If you study history, you’ll note how all tyrants project their own intentions onto their perceived opponents. It’s a well-documented pattern in all genocides. Fascism can only come to power in America, for example, through an echo chamber repetitiously promoted as “anti-fascism.”

Consider these choice quotes from Alinsky’s book “Rules for Radicals,” which serves as a guidebook on the art of cultivating hatred in people: “The organizer must first rub raw the resentments of the people of the community; fan the latent hostilities of many of the people to the point of overt expression . . . an organizer must stir up dissatisfaction and discontent; provide a channel into which people can angrily pour their frustrations . . . your function – to agitate to the point of conflict.”

Here’s another choice quote from that piece of work: “The one thing that all oppressed people want to do to their oppressors is sh-t on them.” The trick is to get people to conjure up the illusion of white hoods behind every bush, and redefine the word “hate” so it applies to anybody who thinks a thought independent of elitist groups like the SPLC.

Alinsky knew that a few power-hungry elites like himself couldn’t simply undermine a free nation on their own. He needed drones to do his bidding—mob mobilization papered over with the euphemism “community organizing.” This is why totalitarians—from Marx to Lenin to Stalin to Mao to Castro and so on—always depend upon agitating and mobilizing masses via the abuse of mass media. Real debate is anathema to that goal, which is why free speech is always such an enemy of tyrants. Free speech is an essential antidote to any form of slavery.

Element 3: Mass Manipulation Via Mass-Media Propaganda

Our brains work primarily by making associations towards whatever is capturing our attention at any given moment. Out of sight, out of mind. But obsess on something and it consumes you. This is why power elites make a point of directing our focus 24/7.

Social psychologists and marketing experts know very well that we are driven by our perceptions of reality, not by reality itself. As Cialdini pronounced, “What’s focal is causal.” Once the media captures our focus, manipulators can take advantage of “privileged moments” to get us to behave their way.

This human vulnerability has become magnified in the age of social media. False images and memes now flicker like strobe lights through our brains at breakneck speed. The only way to discern reality is to put down the devices and actively seek out what is real from what is perceived. And to ask some real questions, such as: Where exactly is the violence coming from? Are things really as they seem? Are we being hypnotized to echo the constant flickering of this imagery?

Media Collusion with Rioting

An oft-quoted proclamation from Bolshevik power-monger Vladimir Lenin goes like this: “The press should be not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, but also a collective organizer of the masses . . . We must be ready to employ trickery, deceit, law-breaking, withholding and concealing truth… We can and must write in a language which sows among the masses hate, revulsion, and scorn toward those who disagree with us.”

Media elites largely now collude with rioting that serves their agendas. But, as all community organizers understand, it’s nearly useless to try to mobilize people who’ve got productive lives to live and an interest in the world beyond themselves. Such people have family loyalties and strong friendships and no appetite for hatred. They tend to be people who are culturally literate with natural curiosity and a basic grasp of human history, or at least of human nature.

Since love and knowledge and self-reliance stand in the way of totalitarian goals, all of that has to be destroyed. Only by creating the predictable sense of alienation their policies promote can Alinskyites grow their necessary hive of drones.

The End Result: Division and Loneliness

In the end, the war against free speech is a war against conversation and human fellowship. Without free speech, our alienation from one another would become complete. We couldn’t get to ever really know one another once all of our social interactions became regulated. Real friendships would be obstructed.

When “Coming Apart” author Charles Murray was undergoing his tarring and feathering by the mob at Middlebury College that refused to let him speak, he spent some time looking out at the individuals in the mass. He reflected on what he found, especially in how the students mindlessly modeled the behavior of their peers: “Many looked like they had come straight out of casting for a film of brownshirt rallies. In some cases, I can only describe their eyes as crazed and their expressions as snarls. Melodramatic, I know. But that’s what they looked like.”

In fact, they look like kids in the grip of a cult mindset: Lost. Lonely. Deluded. Deceived. Just scan these sad mugshots of Antifa protesters released by the Portland, Oregon police department after they were arrested for violent acts on May Day this year. It’s a collection of faces filled with cluelessness, loss, and delusion. The mugshot of the identified white supremacist who plowed his car into the crowd, killing a woman, fits right in with them.

Finally, consider the young environmental activist Jeff Jacoby wrote about in the Boston Globe recently. She was peer-pressured into a desperate door-to-door attempt to save the planet and ended up sobbing from exhaustion at the reporter’s doorstep: “It gnaws at her to see how angry so many people are these days. She wasn’t raised to hate people whose politics are different from hers, she told us.”

Indeed, this gnaws on all people of goodwill when resentments are rubbed so raw. Yet alienated people are being filled with hatred and deployed to the streets to serve the agendas of political and media elites. Jacoby’s headline states “we are a nation on the verge of a nervous breakdown.” I’d add that because of the gaslighting tactics of power elites, we are actually in the throes of a nervous breakdown.

Anti-Israel Academics Launch Campus Antifa Group for Faculty

August 19, 2017

Anti-Israel Academics Launch Campus Antifa Group for Faculty, Washington Free Beacon, August 19, 2017

Police clash with demonstrators as they try to clear ‘Antifa’ members and anti-Trump protesters from the area during a protest in Portland / Getty Images

Trinity College’s Williams wrote on social media after GOP House Whip Steve Scalise was shot that white people are “inhuman a-holes” who need to “die.” Drexel University’s Ciccariello-Maher tweeted in 2016, “All I want for Christmas is white genocide,” and this year tweeted that he wanted to “vomit” when he saw someone give their first-class seat on a flight to a uniformed soldier. Both were investigated by their respective academic institutions for these comments.

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Prominent anti-Israel academics launched a campus antifa group earlier this month for faculty across the United States.

Purdue University’s Bill Mullen and Stanford University’s David Palumbo-Liu created the Campus Antifascist Network (CAN) to combat “fascists” who use “‘free speech’ as a façade for attacking faculty who have stood in solidarity with [targeted] students,” as Palumbo-Liu described it on his blog.

Mullen, in an interview with Inside Higher Ed, said the mission of CAN was “to drive racists off campuses and to protect the most vulnerable from fascist attack,” and “to build large, unified demonstrations against fascists on campuses when they come.”

When Inside Higher Ed asked Palumbo-Liu about CAN’s views on the use of violence—such as the alleged assault by masked, black-clad antifa members of a conservative student earlier this week—he said the group “would advocate self-defense and defense in various forms of those who are being threatened by fascists, but not violence.”

Palumbo-Liu was more forthcoming about his opposition to the alt-right and white supremacists on campuses, saying he was primarily concerned by their “propensity to physical violence, aggressive confrontation and provocation, and violations of others’ civil rights.”

In his blog post, Palumbo-Liu wrote that CAN would support faculty who fascists “aggressively sought to smear, bully and intimidate … especially faculty of color.”

“Progressive scholars such as Keeanga Yamahtta-Taylor, Johnny Williams, Dana Cloud and George Ciccariello-Maher, among others, have each been threatened with violence, or firing, for strong anti-racist social justice commitments,” he claimed.

Trinity College’s Williams wrote on social media after GOP House Whip Steve Scalise was shot that white people are “inhuman a-holes” who need to “die.” Drexel University’s Ciccariello-Maher tweeted in 2016, “All I want for Christmas is white genocide,” and this year tweeted that he wanted to “vomit” when he saw someone give their first-class seat on a flight to a uniformed soldier. Both were investigated by their respective academic institutions for these comments.

Meanwhile, both Palumbo-Liu and Mullen have been leading figures in the academic campaign to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel. In 2014, Mullen issued a call on anti-Israel site Electronic Intifada to “de-Zionize our campuses.” Palumbo-Liu, in a 2016 piece titled, “9 things you need to know about the Israeli occupation of Palestine,” recommended readers look to alternative news sources for their information on the region, including several sites accused of publishing anti-Semitic content. He later updated the article to remove If Americans Knew from the list, after receiving backlash for recommending an outlet that has repeatedly published conspiracy theories about Jews. IAK has been marginalized even by virulently anti-Israel groups, such as the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation and Jewish Voice for Peace.

CAN has created an open-access “anti-fascist syllabus” that “analyzes past and present contours of fascist thought and organizing in their various forms, and provides tools for understanding and for fighting fascism today … Primarily, the syllabus articulates fascism as an historical expression of capitalism’s tendency to exploit and dominate poor, working class, and oppressed people.”

“The syllabus is … intended for students, activists, teachers, unionists, workers, and communities: Muslims, Jews, women, LGBTQI+ individuals, socialists, communists, anarchists, people of color, working-class people, and the alternatively abled, and is an act of solidarity with these communities’ struggles for self-defense,” according to the description.

The syllabus has collected dozens of articles from left-leaning sources such as the American Socialist QuarterlySocialist RegisterThe NationMother Jones, Jacobin magazine, and publications from the defunct communist Sojourner Truth Organization.

In the wake of the white supremacist march at Charlottesville, CAN issued an invitation for more academics to join its cause. The group has already reportedly seen a spike in membership.

Neither Palumbio-Liu nor CAN responded to inquiries about the program.

The Federal Program Funding Hamas Supporters on College Campuses

August 1, 2017

The Federal Program Funding Hamas Supporters on College Campuses, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Greenfield, August 1, 2017

When President Trump presented his budget, he defunded Title VI from $72 million to zero. But it’s up to Congress to make it happen.

What’s Title VI?

Title VI of the Higher Education Act set out to fund international studies that would promote our national security. But on many campuses, Title VI centers undermine our national security by supporting Islamic terrorists.

The Higher Education Opportunity Act mandated that Title VI centers reflect a “wide range of views”. Instead when it comes to the Middle East, Title VI centers have only one point of view.

Title VI centers are the organizing points for Islamist and anti-Israel activities on college campuses.  The attacks on Jewish speakers and students, the BDS resolutions and terror support begin with Title VI. So do the pro-Hamas speakers who spew hatred on campuses across America.

Instead of a wide range of views, 6 Title VI Middle Eastern studies directors have backed an academic boycott of Israel. Not only do they not promote a range of views, but they suppress pro-Israel views.

Title VI faculty play a crucial role in supporting campus hate groups from SJP to JVP to MSA. And Title VI material then finds its way from colleges into school classrooms.

All of this hatred is funded by taxpayers. But it doesn’t have to be.

Rep. Grothman, joined by Rep. Allen, Rep. Garrett and Rep. Lamborn are trying to defund Title VI and move funding over to the National Security Education Program (NSEP).  But they face an uphill battle.

Defunding Title VI would do a great deal to neutralize the ugliness and hatred on campuses.

Take the Center for Near East Studies at UCLA. The Center is busy touting a faculty member’s attack on Trump. The faculty includes Khaled M. Abou El Fadl, a leading authority on Sharia Islamic law, whom Daniel Pipes named a “stealth Islamist.” El Fadl provided an “Affidavit of Support” for top Hamas terrorist Abu Marzook. He donated to and defended the Holy Land Foundation: a Hamas front group.

In more recent articles, Abou El Fadl has defended Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt. He distinguished between “countries and movements adhering to ideologies of resistance” including “Iran, Syria, Hizbullah, Hamas” in contrast to the “moderate” appeasers of America and Israel.

“Why is Saudi Arabia so hostile to political Islam movements such as Hamas, Hizbullah, or the Muslim Brotherhood?” El Fadl asks. And the answer is that the Saudis have become “westernized and secular”.

El Fadl has been touted as a moderate because he criticizes the Wahhabis. But his criticism is not moderate, but Jihadist. He complains that Wahhabis care more about whether a Muslim woman wears a veil than “about the invasions of Iraq, Gaza, or the fate of Jerusalem.”

Should Title VI be in the business of funding centers that echo Osama bin Laden?

“Israel wants to destroy Hamas because Israel wants to continue controlling the fate of Palestinians, neutralizing their nationalism and ideological foundations, and breaking their will to resist,” El Fadl rants.

Should Title VI be in the business of funding Hamas propaganda?

But you don’t have to be an Islamist at the Center for Near East Studies to hate Israel and defend the terrorists.

Take Gabriel Piterberg, the Center’s former director. Piterberg has been at the center of a firestorm, not over his support for terrorists, but over allegations that UCLA officials had attempted to cover up accusations that he had tried to shove his tongue into the mouths of two female grad students.

Piterberg was forced to resign as director of the Center for Near East Studies, but is still on staff.

Gabriel Piterberg backs an academic boycott of Israel and associates with Students for Justice in Palestine. He appeared at a American Muslims for Palestine event. AMP has links to Hamas. He has described Islamic terrorist attacks on Israel as “a frightening piece of consciousness raising.”

Sexual harassment and contempt for the victims of terrorism are all part of the Title VI package.

Piterberg appeared at a Center for Near Eastern Studies event on a panel with Richard Falk. The Gaza and Human Rights symposium came complete with chants of “Zionism is Nazism” and F___ Israel”. Falk is a 9/11 Truther and a fan of the Ayatollah Khomeini who has supported domestic terrorism. His ugly behavior was so extreme that he was condemned by the UN Secretary General.

Falk had described the Boston Marathon bombings as “blowback” to “American global domination.” He was on good terms with an anti-Israel activist had written a book in which he wondered whether “Hitler might have been right.”

A UCLA conference organized by Piterberg included Falk and the latter had been present at a number of CNES events. That is a truly notable accomplishment for a man who had been condemned by the United States government even while it kept on funding Title VI. But that is what Title VI gets you.

UCLA’s Center for Near Eastern Studies is notorious, but it’s not unique.

“For most of human history, human beings have not thought of consent as the essential feature of morally correct sexual activity,” explained Jonathan Brown, the Alwaleed bin Talal Chair of Islamic Civilization in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.

The Islamic Studies professor was justifying Islamic sex slavery.

“Slave women do not have agency over their sexual access, so their owner can have sex with them,” he had claimed in the past. And, he asserted, “It’s not immoral for one human to own another human.”

The School of Foreign Service has been a recipient of Title VI funding.

John Esposito, a professor at the School of Foreign Service, testified on behalf of the Holy Land Foundation’s money men for Hamas. Esposito has defended some terrorist attacks by Hamas. He complained that, “despite HAMAS’ victory in free and democratic elections, the United States and Europe failed to give the party full recognition and support.”

Georgetown’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies is Title VI supported. Elliot Colla, who is affiliated with the Center, signed on to a letter claiming that Hamas’ “missile assault was in direct response to Israel’s terrifying the entire population of the West Bank”. Fida Adely, of the Center, pushes BDS and has denounced Israel for raids on Hamas. At a Center event, George Mason University professor Noura Erakat complained that Israel was indiscriminately targeting Hamas people.

These are a few examples out of many. The Freedom Center, the Amcha Initiative, the Canary Mission, Stand With Us, and a great number of other groups have been battling campus anti-Semitism.

This is an opportunity to make a difference.

Defenders of Title VI claim that it will help us fight terrorism. But how can Title VI help us fight terrorism when it promotes terrorism?

While we fight terrorists abroad, Title VI spreads terror at home.

Title VI has become an outlet for anti-Semitism and for anti-American propaganda on campus. If we can change that, then we will send a message that the college campus is no place for terrorists and bigots.