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April 28, 2017

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, But If You're a Jew, Have They Got Noose For You!

The word "Brooklyn," with all the imagery, connotations and history it conjures has an almost mythic quality to it. I was born and raised there in 1960, and to those of my generation and older who have that birthplace in common, we can confirm that everything you ever imagined about the borough is as visceral and colorful as its distinct accent. Don't get me wrong; it certainly had its problems, some of them ugly. But whatever its flaws, I don't think there's any other place in the country where the ideals of the American melting pot, especially of tolerance, came as close to being a reality as it.

One of the centers of my world was Brooklyn College. Far from being a great student, or even an average student, I nevertheless enjoyed my time there (IYKWIM). And as a Jew, the idea of someone hassling you (unless it was the Chassids who pestered you to go the mitzvah tank and put on tefilin [look it up]) was about the furthest thing from your mind. In fact, Brooklyn College was, as you might expect, a hotbed of pro-Jewish and pro-Israel student political activity.

What a difference 40-odd years makes. Today, Brooklyn College has the dubious distinction of being among the top 10 college administrations most friendly to terrorists and hostile to the First Amendment in the nation.

At Brooklyn College, President Michelle Anderson responded to posters protesting the links between the campus chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine and Hamas by tearing them down and denouncing their sponsor, the David Horowitz Freedom Center. Anderson emphasized that Brooklyn College's status as a public university and its obligation to uphold the First Amendment did not in her view extend to speech she considered, without proof or substantiation, "hateful" or "bullying."

President Anderson failed to address the posters' central claim that Students for Justice in Palestine is funded by the terrorist organization Hamas, and exists to spread Hamas's genocidal propaganda against Israel and the Jews. Instead, she cited the widely-discredited smear site of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as the basis for her criticism of the Freedom Center.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, considering the rise of what can only be described as a bona fide fascistic, insurrectionist movement with college campuses as their origin.

If fascism comes to America, it will be through our college and university system.

The biggest cowards in our country today are many, if not most, of our college and university administrators followed closely by a fair amount of their faculty. They are allowing their institutions to be taken over by a monolithic world view that is increasingly totalitarian and antithetical to the diversity of opinion on which the search for truth depends.

The inmates are running the asylum -- and not with any of the humor of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. It's only a slight exaggeration to say that Social Justice Warriors are to social justice what the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea is to democracy. In a few years, freshman handbooks may no longer be necessary. They can give out copies of Orwell's Animal Farm instead.

A common thread with all of this is not just the usual suspects wanting to overthrow "By Any Means Necessary" the United States, but the nexus between Leftists and Islamists, taqqiya-centric or otherwise:

. . . In an anonymously leaked e-mail sent to Thomas Paradise (yes, Paradise), head of the Fahd Center, three Center faculty members – Joel Gordon, Ted Swedenburg, and Mohja Kahf – slammed (Phyllis) Chesler as “a prominent Islamophobe” who expresses anti-Muslim “bigotry,” commits “hate speech,” and has been published by “the ultra-right Breitbart forum” and other “right-wing platforms.” (It's true that, since her fall from feminist grace, Chesler has written less often for leftist than conservative outlets, this one included: she's done so because the latter tend to be far more open to a diversity of views than the former.) Chesler's views, the three Arkansas professors wrote, were so far out that they simply could not be “tacitly accepted as part of the discourse.” But then, what else can you expect from lackeys of an authoritarian foreign government that exerts severe and (when necessary) violent control over “the discourse”-in addition to denying religious freedom, imprisoning dissidents, and executing gays and apostates?

Despite the fact that, in this instance, the University of Arkansas took millions from Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin-Talal (the 9/11 hijacker apologist who said the Jews forced Rudy Giuliani to return his check after the attack) to fund the Fahd Center, the issue of money is a distant second compared to the mindset of academia all over the country, even in what was the epicenter of American secular and religious Judaism, Brooklyn. And that mindset is defend Islam to the hilt, blame America, blame Israel and silence anyone who dares raise a voice of opposition.

There are those on Capitol Hill who are sounding the alarm about the concomitant threat of the sanctioned quashing of the First Amendment. Congressman Sean Duffy (R) Wisconsin, has written a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to see what can be done, vis a vis the withholding of funds for public universities, to combat this epidemic of hate that is being tolerated if not explicitly endorsed by university officials:

Duffy is asking DeVos to provide him with "a set of specific actions the Department of Education can take to ensure that taxpayer-funded institutions of higher education create and support a fair environment that protects speech and fosters dialogue." He also requested "specific recommendations" for actions that Congress can take to ensure taxpayer-funded colleges and universities "foster an honest, equitable, and fair discussion of political issues and thought."

"I implore you to be mindful of these politically intolerant environments that our taxpayer dollars are funding throughout the United States, and to take any and all necessary action to prevent this systematic suppression of free speech," Duffy wrote.

In her short tenure, Secretary DeVos has been less than stellar, at least in her public statements, which is about all that we have seen from her, so I am not hopeful about her zeal in presenting this problem to the President. In fact, I think it's crucial that President Trump deal with this because academia is the poisoned wellspring from where much of the opposition to him and in fact to the majority of the American people has been, and is coming from, and with a fury and persistence the like of which we have not seen since the late 60s. The time for action is now.

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posted by at 05:30 PM

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