The past couple of weeks have very clearly exposed the systemic rot in higher education. After Hamas launched an attack on Israel that became the bloodiest day for Jews since the Holocaust, the late teenagers and 20-somethings who occupy our universities were quick to blame the “real” culprit: the Jews.
Now, activists on the Left are finally facing the consequences of their own actions, something they claimed was the real meaning of cancel culture when conservatives were getting fired for 10-year-old tweets.
Nonbinary NYU student Ryna Workman, for example, lost a job offer at the Chicago-based international law firm Winston & Strawn after she issued a statement saying that “Israel bears full responsibility for this tremendous loss of life.” (As if the victim blaming isn’t bad enough, she neglects to mention Israelis aren’t just dead; they have been held hostage, raped, and brutalized.) Her words, the firm said, “profoundly conflict” with its values.
Now, her fellow radicals are defending her, saying that her defense of violence isn’t the problem. No, the real “violence” is that she lost her job offer.
New York University law students penned a letter in support of Workman, saying that the job loss represents “systemic, concentrated violence.”
The Washington Free Beacon’s Joseph Simonson reports: “The letter’s signatories, which include the Black Allied Law Students Association and the Women of Color Collective, accuses NYU of being complicit ‘in the abuses of the Israeli government,’ and condemns ‘the broader NYU administration for not protecting Ryna as a student and important member of our community.’”
College students have for years claimed that “words are violence,” protesting the presence of conservative speakers and ideas. Now, when a Cornell professor calls the Hamas attacks “exhilarating” and students tear down photos of captured Israelis, Generation Z leftists suddenly have nothing to critique. In fact, they join in wholeheartedly.
At Harvard, a statement from more than 30 student groups blamed Israel for the Hamas attacks. “We, the undersigned student organizations, hold the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence,” it said.
The students defending Workman also criticized NYU faculty and administrators for not standing up for her. “We, too, condemn the violence of silence,” they wrote.
If you frame terrorism as a struggle against the forces of Western colonizers, you can excuse anything, even mass murder of civilians. To sum up, words are violence, lost opportunities are violence, and silence is violence. Kidnapping, rape, and murder, however, are just the price we pay for decolonization.