Campus Brownshirts and the Shame of the Universities

Paul gets Power Line’s coverage of the appalling spectacle of the University of Missouri off to a good start, but there’s a lot more to be said about this shameful episode.

I think it was Ramsay McDonald [Ed.: It was Clement Attlee.] whom Churchill described as “a sheep in sheep’s clothing.” The University of Missouri’s now former president Tim Wolfe is a Wolfe clothed as an even lower form of supine rodent. This capitulation ranks on the cowardice scale right up next to Cornell in 1969. And we’re not far from the behavior of the German universities of the 1930s, as witnessed by the University of Missouri journalism professor calling for some “muscle” to expel the media from a public institution. Only thing missing is the brownshirt. (Odd, isn’t it, that a protest movement doesn’t want media attention. Usually protests crave media attention above all. Very revealing.)

Perhaps the best inadvertently probing account of the absurdity of the scene came from a report in The Nation, filed before Pres. Wolfe surrendered to the braying hounds. See if you can spot the irony of this paragraph:

I spoke with Dr. Rebecca Martinez, an assistant professor in women’s and gender studies. She said, “The football program here at Mizzou is a central part of the university culture. The collective athletes of color who made the decision to go on strike do so with conviction for social justice for marginalized students on our campus. Given the importance of football here, they are taking a significant stand. They are not thinking of themselves, their play, and their careers at this moment. It is not an easy thing to do on a football-centered campus like ours, especially around the issue of racism. There will likely be no shortage of those who put football above humanity and who are convinced that racism doesn’t live here. And they are wrong.”

How often is football celebrated by someone from a special “studies” department (remembering that “studies” always signifies a politicized and ideological department)? Football is usually deplored by the politically correct as part of the system of exploitative patriarchal violence.

But it just gets better:

The roots of racism at Mizzou run deep and reach back a hell of lot farther than the last year. But this wave of struggle was sparked by what has been seen as the absence of response from the administration over the killing of Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, Missouri, located just two hours from campus. As grad student Jonathan Butler said to The Washington Post, “There was national coverage, so for the school to not cover that or really address that, and we are only two hours away, I think was a huge mistake on their part and contributed to the current cultural environment that we have. It just shows that there are racially motivated things—murders, assaults, other things—that happen and we are just going to sweep them under the rug.”

My goodness! Only two hours away! Good to know the new standard: any event the left decides to gin up for maximum political effect now has at least a two-hour radius rule, requiring that university presidents participate in ritual self-abasement.

But let’s keep reading:

Students collectively gathered in great numbers on campus grounds to ask why black lives didn’t seem to matter to the administration. These demands were met with apathy by Tim Wolfe and a series of incidents of racial harassment of black students. It reached a breaking point on October 24 when a swastika was smeared in feces on the wall of a dorm bathroom.

I’d be willing to wager a considerable sum that this swastika is a hoax, as are about 95 percent of all such campus events of racism. In any case, I hope the Obama Justice Department will send in the FBI to do DNA testing on the fecal artwork.

Meanwhile, among the list of absurd student demands of the University, the last one deserves special attention:

8) We demand that the University of Missouri increases funding, resources and personnel for the social justice centers on campus for the purpose of hiring additional professionals, particularly those of color, boosting outreach and programming across campus and increasing campus-wide awareness and visibility.

Reminds me of the Dartmouth students who occupied the president’s office there a year or two back demanding that there be a “queer studies” class embedded in every department—even physics and chemistry, one presumes.

Republicans have a majority in the Missouri state legislature I believe, and should do just the opposite: they should cut the University of Missouri’s funding by 10 percent, to be restored only on the condition that the campus “social justice centers” are all shuttered. Better still would be specific budget language abolishing all of the radicalized “studies” departments completely. The faculty will howl. Politely inform them that they are welcome to find academic employment elsewhere.

I repeat: Where is Sam Hayakawa when we need him?