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Beloved Unbeliever - Part 2

Guest: Jo Berry

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December 15, 2023

Moral Cowards In Academia

The clueless testimony presented by the presidents of three elite American universities before the House Education and the Workforce Committee has ignited a national firestorm. The hearing dealt with the shocking explosion of anti-Semitism on American university campuses in the weeks after Hamas massacred 1,500 Israelis on October 7th. Concerned members of the committee demanded an explanation for why Jewish students are being threatened and harassed with no consequences for the students who are doing the harassment.

President Claudine Gay of Harvard, President Liz Magill of the University of Pennsylvania, and Sally Kornbluth of MIT, totally failed to clearly commit to stopping the anti-Semitic attacks on their campuses. Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY) tried repeatedly to get a straight answer on whether student behavior codes were violated when anti-Semitic students called for genocide of Jews. University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill seemed particularly clueless. She insisted that she would need to know the "context" of the genocidal threats before she could say if they violated student codes of conduct.

All three university presidents claimed they did not want to violate the free speech rights of students on their campuses, and used this as an excuse to not discipline those who were verbally abusing Jewish students. Of course, many universities routinely punish conservative speech that they don't like.

The moral cowardness that permeates American institutions of higher learning was seldom more exposed and the consequences were swift. Within 24 hours, a major donor to the University of Pennsylvania, Ross Stevens, announced he was so sickened by the failure to clearly condemn anti-Semitism that he would not gift $100 million he had pledged to the school. President Liz Magill's failed lame effort to clean up her testimony was soon followed by her resignation. Demands for the resignations of the presidents of Harvard and MIT continue to grow.

We have been urging reform of American higher education for years. The current explosion of anti-Semitism on our campuses did not happen overnight. It has been building for years because of the prevailing left-wing atmosphere in academia. For example:

• U.S. campuses push a neo-Marxist worldview that divides all countries and people into the oppressed and the oppressors. The students are taught that the United States and Israel are colonial oppressors. Palestinians, third-world countries, "indigenous peoples" are seen as the oppressed. Students are told that violence is justified in order to overthrow oppression.

• U.S. universities accept millions of dollars in foreign contributions each year. Among the leading donors are Islamic countries such as Qatar, which harbors an animus toward Jews and Israel.

• The U.S. has issued thousands of visas to students from nations that are some of the most anti-Semitic in the world.

Conservatives demanding campus reform made some progress under Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos during the Trump presidency. But the latest university scandals have awakened traditional liberals to the realization that something is deeply wrong.

This is an opportunity to break the leftist monopoly in our universities and restore them as genuine institutions of higher learning where all views can be safely argued and expressed. The solution will take years. In the meantime, we urge all parents and grandparents to do adequate research before they send their children and grandchildren to universities that will indoctrinate rather than educate them.

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