Clifford Rieders

The Politics of Exclusion

The President of the University of Pennsylvania, Mary Elizabeth Magill, and the Chairman of the Board resigned after the President testified before Congress that she could not unequivocally say whether calling for the genocide of Jews was against University policy. She denounced antisemitism in a well-crafted video released after the hearings, but still not clearly stating that the policy of the University was offended by calls for genocide against the Jewish people.

The heads of many other colleges and universities are in the same spiral of hate, having been hung on their own petard of hypocrisy.

The question is often asked as to how colleges and universities became safe harbors for racists, bigots, and antisemites.

Norman Lear, the creator of many TV series, and perhaps best known for All in the Family, recently died, after over a century of life. How did Norman Lear become identified with the Hollywood left? He claimed that at age 9 he heard the bigoted Charles Edward Coughlin. Coughlin had an antisemitic radio program that he broadcast from Michigan. He became the poster child for intolerance of antisemitism in this country.

Lear wound up fighting in World War II as a combat pilot. He flew some of the most dangerous missions for the United States.

While prior to World War II, the right-wing of the United States was identified with savage behavior against American Blacks, it is almost a forgotten reality that until well into the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, the Democratic Party was dominated by racist Southern Democratic officeholders.

World War II brought together the left and right in a common cause.

After World War II, the armed forces were slowly integrated, Roosevelt essentially refusing to take that course and Truman agreeing, albeit slowly. It took Republican Dwight Eisenhower, the Supreme Commander in World War II, to make the integration of the armed forces a reality.

Suddenly, the universities and colleges which had a policy of quotas against Jews and, no doubt, many others, including Blacks, women, and Asians became the refugee centers for the left that had returned from World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Americans were disenchanted, repulsed, and in revolt against what Eisenhower himself called the Military Industrial Complex.

The disdain for United States military intervention caused a leftward lurch. Little was understood about the relationship between the fascist state and the Soviet system. Both, of course, were genocidal racist regimes. However, colleges and universities became increasingly radicalized, in large measure as a reaction to the Vietnam War, and the fraud perpetrated upon our country by the Democratic Administration of Lyndon Johnson.

It is difficult for many to appreciate the fact that the same administration which brought us Americans coming home in body bags for a mission that we were not truthfully told about, also opened the door to true desegregation and enforceable Civil Rights laws.

Suddenly, there was a reversal of fortune. The same colleges and universities that were bastions of White male privilege, were now flipped. Everything that was wrong with exclusionary practices before World War II was permitted. Others who did not fit the narrative of the new left were excluded.

Forgotten were Southern White Democratic bigots, or the fact that it was the Republican Party in 1944 which supported the establishment of a Jewish State in Israel. George Orwell’s pictorialization of the animal farm where the mistreated animals revolted and took over from the farmer, permitted the pigs to practice excesses far and above any bad stuff the farmer did. Orwell’s magnificent story was a reflection of his view with respect to the Soviet State which had tossed out the dictatorship of the Czars. The Russians traded one egregious dictatorship for another.

In a sociological way, we have lived through our own Russian revolution in this country. We tossed out the bad old bigots and racists who controlled our colleges and universities, and we flipped the old vinyl LP to the opposite side, permitting more acceptably looking presidents and administrators to practice their own form of racism.

Perhaps not so oddly, both the White bigots of the past and the totalitarian-minded administrators of the present, are interested in having less Jews on campus. They exhibit difficulty speaking against genocide of the Jews and the Jewish State. Israel was good when it elected socialists, and became evil when it took a more conservative path. Suddenly, there are college and university administrators who excoriate those questioning whether men should be able to play women’s sports, but they cannot speak up forcefully against those who would preach the destruction of the Jewish State.

What is the solution to this problem?  Some claim that free speech must be practiced by all sides.  However, that is not going to solve the long-term problem.  Those who support colleges and universities, whether the government or private donors, must passionately insist upon policies where professors and students demonstrate character, rather than whatever is the current politically accepted bias.

Removing foreign money out of our colleges and universities will hurt those educational institutions that have become big business.  One of the most lucrative corporate structures in this country consists of the college and university system, with their extraordinarily high paid presidents, officers, and professors.

The line between left and right has always been blurred.  Recall that the Nazis called themselves the National socialists.  The extreme left wraps themselves in the cloak of moral superiority.

American institutions of higher learning have typically identified themselves with exclusionary movements.  In “The Third Reich in the Ivory Tower”, by Professor Stephen Norwood, Harvard’s support for the Nazi regime was documented.  The editors of Harvard’s Crimson argued for welcoming Ernst “Putzi” Hanfstaengl, who became Hitler’s foreign press spokesman.  Harvard was not the only school that had a warm relationship with Nazi Germany and proudly rejected Jews and other minorities, while welcoming the genocidal Nazi regime.  Today’s university leaders may be different genders, skin colors, and utilize the verbiage of the new left, but they have difficulty condemning genocide against Jews, while proudly proclaiming their support of more favored groups. The academic war against Jews and Jewish values is not of recent vintage.

About the Author
Cliff Rieders is a Board Certified Trial Advocate in Williamsport, is Past President of the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association and a past member of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority.