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Andrew Pessin

Decolonization and Murder

Any ideology that endorses the mass slaughter of a specific people should have no place on any university campus, particularly those allegedly dedicated to anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Unfortunately, the October 7 massacre by Hamas of 1400 mostly Jewish civilians exposes the disturbing fact that exactly such ideology pervades many campuses.

It was about “decolonization,” they are saying, a treasured value in today’s academy and an essential part of a package of related ideologies. As one representative professor, Marc Lamont Hill of CUNY, put it, “So many university academics who insist upon doing performative, virtue signaling ‘land acknowledgements’ at every public event are eerily silent as real liberation struggles are happening. Guess decolonization really is a metaphor for some folk…” He clearly derides those who are all talk and no action, so for him, at least, decolonization apparently justifies the slaughter.

Nor is he alone. This remark came after ten days of massive campus rallies openly celebrating the “resistance,” their sanitized word for the mass torture and slaughter of Jews. Students for Justice in Palestine, the leading national campus group with some 200 chapters, celebrated and defended the massacre by openly proclaiming that “decolonization is a call to … actions that go beyond … rhetoric,” including “resistance … in all forms,” including “armed struggle,” and illustrated their social media with images of the homicidal hang gliders in case we missed the point. Most tellingly, they declared that they “are PART of this movement, not [merely] in solidarity”—the movement, that is, that guns down unarmed dancing teenagers.

So all that slaughter is apparently fine for these so many people if it’s for “decolonization.”

But now, speaking of land acknowledgments, consider this.

In the lobby of a central building on my campus (like many other campuses) there is an enormous posterboard proclaiming that “You are on Pequot and Mohegan homeland,” noting that the college “celebrates Indigenous People’s Day.”

By the decolonization rationale above, our local Native Americans would be within their rights to invade our campus and mercilessly slaughter every single one of us. Indeed those who support indigenous rights and decolonization ought to be the first to offer their throats to avoid that vapid virtue signaling that Lamont Hill derides and actually live (and die) by what they believe.

Do these people really support the Mohegans’ right to come in and gouge our eyes out, cut off our hands and feet, tie us up and burn us alive, and rape us while they are at it?

Or do they only support such when the alleged colonizers are Jews?

One suspects that when they learn that it’s the Jews who are actually the original indigenous inhabitants of the land and the Arabs the colonialist conquerors, they will be markedly less enthusiastic about the slaughter of babies and children in the name of decolonization.

In fact in the very same tract declaring themselves “part of” the “armed struggle” movement for decolonization, SJP itself acknowledges that their chapters are on campuses across “occupied Turtle Island,” and further admit that they are themselves Palestinians “in exile,” i.e. not indigenous here. So by their own logic they should be the first to offer their throats to their local Native Americans; or since they’re keen to be a “part of” the violent movement, they probably should just eliminate themselves.

Of course this is all outrageous.

There’s actually a word for violence targeting civilians for any political aim, including for decolonization: it’s terrorism. And anyone incapable of identifying and condemning this act as such is pro-terror, pure and simple—just as soundly as those openly screaming their support for terror.

Whatever the merits of “decolonization” as a political aim in general or as applied to the Land of Israel, it is simply terrorism to target civilians in that manner, even if they’re Jewish. No political aim could ever justify slitting babies’ throats, raping little girls, chopping off the hands and feet of teenagers, gouging out eyes, murdering children in front of their parents, murdering parents in front of their children then kidnapping the children, binding entire families together then burning them alive—and worse. But our campuses have been seized by an ideology that leads students and professors by their masses to endorse precisely this, and administrations to remain complicit either in their silence or wishy-washiness about it.

If your ideology endorses the mass extermination of a people, it’s time to rethink your ideology.

And to be removed from campus.

About the Author
Andrew Pessin is a philosophy professor, Campus Bureau Editor at The Algemeiner, co-editor of "Anti-Zionism on Campus," and author most recently of the novel, "Nevergreen," an academic satire examining campus cancel culture and the ideological excesses that generate it. For more information, visit www.andrewpessin.com.
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