This article first appeared in Eagle Rising.
Being a part-time teacher at UC Irvine, I closely follow the goings-on not only at UCI but other universities as well. Speaking as a conservative, suffice to say it's a pretty depressing picture. Almost all of the faculty in the humanities are raving liberals who feel it is their duty to indoctrinate their students, and in many cases, it is working. Everything and everybody follows the rules of political correctness.
Take San Francisco State University, for example. The school prides itself on its "tradition" of protest. The current president, Leslie Wong, has demonstrated over the past couple of years that he is in over his head in dealing with protests that cross the line into intimidation, threats, law-breaking and violating the rights of others to speak. Then you throw in the never-ending Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which is extended and played out on so many US campuses and you have a combustible mixture.
Just in the past couple of years, there have been a couple of very troubling incidents involving the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS) at SFSU. In 2013, GUPS students produced posters on campus that read, "My heroes have always killed colonizers". In 2014, the then president of GUPS produced a social media video that showed him holding a large knife and fantasizing about murdering Israeli soldiers.
Last week (April 6) the Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Birkat, came to speak at SFSU. He was invited by the campus chapter of Hillel, a national organization dedicated to enhancing Jewish life on campus. Unfortunately, members of GUPS and the deceptively named Jewish Voice for Peace decided that Birkat's words were not welcome on campus. About a dozen or so showed up, and a few minutes into the speech, they began to disrupt it with loud and profane chants. To make matters worse, campus police refused to take action to restore order or remove the protesters. According to various accounts, there was one officer present (or who responded to the scene) but that officer took no action.
Here is the report by one person who attended.
After hearing of this incident, I sent an email to SFSU President Wong as well as the interim chief of the campus police, Reginald Parson, and the Chancellor of the California State University system, Timothy White.
That same day, I received a response from Wong.
Wong's response leaves open a couple of questions. First of all, his claim that campus police attempted multiple times to remove the protesters is contradicted by other eyewitness accounts. Secondly, he implies that he was not present at the event. For what it's worth, one (anonymous) reader at Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers claims that Wong was there but took no action. As yet, I don't know whether he was there or not.
Then came the report on the incident by the campus paper, Golden Gate Express, a politically correct rag that resembles the Hollywood Free Press.
Not only did I place a comment in the reader thread with the text of Wong's response to me, but I also forwarded the email itself to the paper's editor.
Plainly, things are out of control at SFSU, as they are on many university campuses. The thugs and brown shirts are taking over, and weak administrators have no clue how to handle it. This week, the mayor of Jerusalem had his First Amendment rights taken away by a mob. Likewise, the rights of his audience to hear his words were also taken away as the campus police played the proverbial role of potted plants. This is a public university funded by the tax dollars of the residents of California.
I have seen way too much of this. As far as what is happening to our Jewish students, I think it is time to call in the lawyers.