Sun. Jun 16th, 2024

More of this: It took real courage to crush Wash-U’s campus ‘tentifada’

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun3,2024

For the first time, a major liberal university has stepped up and done the right thing by arresting the “tentifada” clowns who had been privatizing its campus to feed their own narcissism.

The merits of the campus Free Palestine movement are dubious enough on their own. It takes a special kind of cognitive dissonance to hate America so much that you can shout “From the river to the sea!” while waving a gay pride flag that would instantly get you murdered in the Palestinian state you are calling for.

The protesters’ message is generally antisemitic, ignorant and vile, rooted in decades of archaic Soviet anti-Israel propaganda. In 2024, this ideology can convince only the most uninformed, which is a real indictment of American higher education. The fact that many campus protesters aren’t even students is less surprising than the fact that students who pay massive amounts in tuition would act as such, let alone the fact that so many faculty and administrators encourage them.

All that aside, it is illegal to defile a private college campus by trespassing, or to uglify a public college campus by making it your own private campsite. And I am proud to say that my school, Washington University in Saint Louis, is one of the few to have done something about it. Hats off to our chancellor, the Wash-U Police Department, the board of trustees and everyone else involved in arresting the participants.

That should be the end of it. After all, it is summer, and students only social justice when they don’t have corporate internships to do. Unfortunately, our faculty senate has too much time on its hands and is trying to get as many faculty as possible to sign on to a resolution condemning the swift administration of justice against the tentifada students and faculty.

Part of their reasoning is that it was clearly traumatizing to have police anywhere in their vicinity, “having recently navigated profound divisions stemming from 2014 protests surrounding racialized police brutality in our region and the police killing of Michael Brown, Jr. in particular.” They are referring to the incident in nearby Ferguson, in which an adult man by that name, shortly after roughing up and robbing an immigrant shopkeeper on video, was killed in the act of assaulting a police officer and attempting to take away his gun.

Even if we ignore all the details of Brown’s story and focus only on legitimate concerns about police brutality that people might feel in predominantly Black and low-income Ferguson, their applicability to student protesters at an elite $65,000 per year private university will always be a mystery to me.

The faculty senate proposal also whines about how the Wash-U police “inflicted the most severe injury in the nation to date in connection with the present university protests.” As if it were evidence, they link to a Washington Post article that mentions a professor injured by police at Dartmouth, but there is no mention of injuries at Washington University. The Chronicle of Higher Education‘s coverage of this incident also mentions injuries, but only those of three police officers. So, if there was actually a faculty injury here, it is news to me. 

I get it. The kids would rather not have been arrested. Maybe they didn’t even know what they were saying when they shouted “From the river to the sea!” and “Intifada revolution.” We expect bad behavior from college kids. But they still have to have consequences for it.

Wash-U has apparently prevented at least one alleged instigator from graduating. The faculty senate’s complaints about this deserve to be ignored. So does its pleading for six colleagues who have been put on administrative leave for allegedly helping set up the shantytown on our campus and using swipe-cards to give unauthorized persons access to campus facilities. They deserve a fair process and a chance to rebut the accusations, but no one gets a free pass to facilitate lawbreaking in the workplace.

For once, we have seen a major university do the right thing and stand up against misguided (at best) faculty, staff and students. I am impressed by the bravery of Washington University in St. Louis. 

Liberty Vittert is a professor of data science at Washington University in St. Louis and the resident on-air statistician for NewsNation, a sister company of The Hill.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

Related Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *