Twenty days ago, the world was shocked by Hamas’s brutality. The Iranian-backed terrorists slaughtered babies, raped women, and kidnapped elderly grandmothers. For many students on American college campuses, however, Hamas’s terror has passed for fair play in a just war. Campus politics is increasingly hostile to both the Jewish people and the Jewish state. Where is this hatred coming from?
The “allyship” on display on college campuses has its roots in the inconspicuously titled K-12, “Ethnic Studies” curriculum. While the subject, often called “Critical” or “Liberated” Ethnic Studies, sounds benign enough, it often focuses on topics including “white supremacy,” “systemic racism,” and “resistance movements.” These ideas are designed to indoctrinate children into political activism. Ethnic Studies does not embrace viewpoint diversity; it is Critical Race Theory by another name, and it is taught in K-12 schools around the country.
Ethnic Studies started in the late 1960s, when California universities began teaching “Black Studies” at the behest of the radical, Vietcong-inspired student activist group Third World Liberation Front. As time went by, the concept proliferated—and universities began dedicating classes and even whole departments to topics such as African American Studies, Chicano Studies, and Native American Studies. None would argue against studying literature, history, and culture from all over the world, but Ethnic Studies was never about diversity and tolerance—and its biggest proponent, the Third World Liberation Front, was never shy about this.
In one 1969 speech, Third World Liberation Front and Black Panther leader George Mason Murray declared, “it is up to us to make the revolution, to break the system, to smash it, shatter it, and destroy it, as brother Lenin said.”
In another speech, Murray “attacked Jewish people as exploiters of the Negroes in America and South Africa and called for ‘victory to the Arab people’ over Israel.”
“All political power,” he continued, “comes from the barrel of a gun.”
The anti-Semitic, hate-filled rhetoric, propagated under the guise of “Ethnic Studies” has also crept into K-12 education. In 2016, for example, California passed a law requiring ethnic studies be taught in high schools. “The new Coalition for Liberated Ethnic Studies… reflects the expansion of the discipline into elementary and high schools,” radical magazine Convergence boasts,
“drawing together Ethnic Studies K-12 teachers, teacher educators, youth and community activists from across the country to organize, support each other’s local struggles, and build power. And it comes together as Zionist forces join the fray to oppose the inclusion of Arab American Studies—and Palestine—in Ethnic Studies.”
Ethnic Studies evangelists want to “build power” and oppose “Zionist forces,” by which they mean destroying the wealthy, powerful Jews they say control politics and the media. Incidents of anti-Semitism in K-12 education are far from isolated.
It’s little wonder when people are taught hate and divisiveness as children, that they blame Jews when the world’s only Jewish state is attacked, babies are murdered, and women are raped.
In 1987 Allan Bloom bemoaned the state of higher education, writing, “I used to believe that American students came to the university with a ‘clean slate,’ that is, without prior education about their deeper selves or the world beyond their superficial experience.” Nearly 40 years later, what’s happening on college campuses is worse than Bloom could have imagined: students arrive with hatred, ignorance, and a broken moral compass.