Mob Rule Radicalization of the American Academy

As a retired academic with nearly nearly 50 years of professional experience at institution such as New York University, Rutgers University, City University of New York, University of Pennsylvania, Penn State University and several smaller colleges, I have witnessed the evolution of the growing radicalization of both faculty and students in academia. From the legitimate protests on campuses against the Viet Nam war and for civil rights and higher education for all in the 1960’s to the current radical, hateful, menacing mob rule and frequently antisemitic mob rule demonstrations incited and fueled by off-campus agents of fundamentalist anti-western regimes winding up with Jews either being recommended to leave campus or being physically blocked to returning to campus, reminiscent of the early days of treatment of Jews in Nazi Europe.

It has become clear to me that there is a concerted effort that was once a series of respected and cherished academic principles of “freedom of speech,” and “academic freedom,” along with the principles of the “right to peaceful protest” and “difficult discussions” has turned into mob rule, harassment and physical intimidation,  sloganeering as truth coupled with hateful and incitement speech as accepted persuasive rhetoric. “Death to America,” “Gas the Jews,” “Go Back to Poland” and claims of “Genocide,” Apartheid,” enabled by the 1977 Skokie Supreme Court Decision.

It has become further clearer to me that generations of increasingly privileged students have turned into radicalized educators and political leaders becoming increasingly bold in pushing hateful and incitement agendas to normalize their personal biases and beliefs in trying to claim some level of self-righteous moral superiority at the expense of others, both from the left and the right of the political spectrum with everyone now revering speaking “their own truths,” frequently having nothing to do with facts, rationality or any level of truth. We all have our own truths and to hell with anyone who disagrees. “Nuance” replaces clarity and “plausibility” disregards truth. And, “truth depends on context.”

As of this writing already Jewish and Israeli members of the university communities are getting spit upon, intimidated, ostracized and physically intimidated by radicalized privileged students and faculty in elite schools such as Yale and Columbia by on campus provocateurs proclaiming “We are Hamas.” Hamas is a terrorist organization that praises martyrdom, trains its young to be jihadis and shahids and uses them as human shield in their homes, hospitals, schools and mosques and were responsible for war crimes on October 7. I am confident many of these “protestors” are not even students, but paid provocateurs, possibly both foreign and domestic who should be deported for their incitement.

What will it take to reverse this cycle of hatred and violence on campuses because my biggest fear is that perhaps even by the time this is published, Jewish students or faculty may be killed on campus. Clearly administrators have not been able to contain this violence and so it is time to hold administrators, faculty and all those involved accountable so that mob rule has no place on campus. This is not protest, this is incitement, disruption of the peace and a hostile, hateful environment and has no place on a college campus. Too many have fought and died for the rule of law and civility over mob rule and the time has come for decisive political and legal action against those violating western principle of civility.

About the Author
Retired College Professor, President Emeritus & Co-Founder Scholars for Peace in the Middle East. Founding Publisher and Editor Kol Central Pa; Philadelphia JCRC; Academic Engagement Network, Residing in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania
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