McConnell: College Radicals Entitled To Opinions, Not Donors
‘Until recently, the tenured left-wing apparatchiks of America’s elite universities might have expected donors to keep on writing checks, no matter which sort of unhinged, post-modern hate they ginned up. Well, not anymore.’
“I spoke recently about alarming reactions to the October 7th attacks coming from America’s top universities.
“We’ve seen student radicals spew outright hate, and campus leaders respond with agonizing, equivocating statements.
“But it appears that neither thickheaded young activists nor mealy-mouthed administrators can hold a candle to university faculties when it comes to moral obtuseness. So here are a few examples.
“After a student group at Columbia University published a letter describing Hamas’ savage attacks as the, ‘struggle for freedom’ of ‘occupied peoples [who] have the right to resist occupation,’ over 100 faculty members signed a letter of their own, expressing a desire to, quote, ‘preserve Columbia University as a beacon for ‘fostering critical thinking and opening minds to different points of view.’
“Needless to say, I’m a staunch supporter of the First Amendment. People are entitled to different points of view. But they aren’t entitled to different facts. And the only group that’s occupied Gaza since 2007 is Hamas.
“Besides, America’s higher education system has a long way to go when it comes to protecting free speech and fostering diverse viewpoints. Just ask any right-of-center academic!
“But of all places to start on their journey toward freedom of expression, they chose to celebrate terrorism.
“Meanwhile, the University of Pennsylvania is facing a donor revolt over campus protests and an anti-Semitic literary festival that predated October 7th. But that didn’t stop the local chapter of, essentially, its professors’ union from issuing a six-page letter denouncing the University administration’s pro-Israel views.
“The school’s painfully nuanced attempts at moral equivalency are, apparently, an ‘erasure’ of Palestinian voices. Donors’ outrage at radical calls for a pogrom are ‘coercive threats’ that demand their removal from all university boards.
“Mr. President, let’s remember who’s doing the aggressing here. There’s an open FBI investigation into online threats encouraging the murder of Jewish students at Cornell University.
“The University has had to bring in police to help protect the Kosher dining hall on campus. And many Jewish students are opting to stay in their rooms for safety.
“Until recently, the tenured left-wing apparatchiks of America’s elite universities might have expected donors to keep on writing checks, no matter which sort of unhinged, post-modern hate they ginned up.
“Well, not anymore.
“At Penn, one alumnus’s call to boycott the school has spread like wildfire, precipitating a crisis that by one account could put a billion-dollar hole in the University’s books.
“At least a dozen CEOs have pledged not to hire any members of the Harvard student groups who blamed Israel for the murder of its children.
“And elite law firms have started rescinding job offers from law students who regurgitate terrorist talking points. Some are even competing with each other to fund relief efforts in Israel.
“So activist professors are entitled to their own opinions. But money is also protected speech, and they aren’t entitled to donors’ pocketbooks.
“That’s not how the real world works.
“America and our allies have woken up from a ‘holiday from history.’ American business and philanthropists are starting to do the very same thing.
“Let’s hope it continues.”
Related Issues: Israel, First Amendment