OpinionSchools & Higher Education

Appeasing campus violence will result in mayhem if Trump wins

It is impossible that student radicals will respond to a Trump victory with anything other than catastrophic destruction.

A woman chants slogans during an anti-Israel demonstration near Columbia University in New York City on May 23, 2024. Credit: John Lamparski/Getty Images.
A woman chants slogans during an anti-Israel demonstration near Columbia University in New York City on May 23, 2024. Credit: John Lamparski/Getty Images.
Adam Goldman
Adam Goldman is a junior at New York University majoring in politics and minoring in history. He is founder and chief editor of The NYU Review, a free speech newspaper created in late 2023.

In the weeks after the recent university semester concluded, left-wing pundits continued to appease virulent campus protests, fomenting further campus unrest. In fact, just a few weeks ago, in southern California, nearly 100 students at California State Los Angeles University barricaded themselves inside a student services building to protest Israel’s war against Hamas.

After holding the university president and administrative staff against their will for hours, the protesters left the building at their own discretion and returned to an unauthorized encampment at the university.

The university president Berenecea Johnson Eanes was quick to respond, ordering the swift removal of the encampment.

The experiences of Eanes and other university president have often been understated by the mainstream media. In various left-wing circles, sympathizers with the Palestinian and progressive cause are still standing up for destruction and mayhem at the hands of campus demonstrators.

At New York University in April, students used similar tactics, utilizing tents and chains of keffiyehs to restrict access to buildings and target students they believed support Israel. Chants of “intifada,” “Jewish state no more” and “Israel go to hell,” along with deriding the university president as genocidal, were heard daily. Yet the prestigious university, like other such institutions, took little action. They apparently feared the derision of the anti-Israel movement.

Unfortunately, many political pundits, like Mehdi Hasan, the former host of the Mehdi Hasan Show, participated in this derision, describing campus protests as a light unto the anti-war movement and avoiding the elephant in the room—campus violence. 

Hasan, an ardent supporter of protests against Israel, has claimed that student concerns about the campus protests were hysterical and inaccurate. He asserted, “The reality does not match what we’ve been told on social media or in some of the more hysterical op-eds. So I think the reporting in general has been shoddy. And then in terms of the substance of it, of course, it’s bias.”

Regardless of Hasan’s insinuations, the underlying implications of such a perspective are extremely dangerous. While a contested issue like Israel, on which the liberal-left is split, will garner enough support for university presidents to preserve peace and order, other more progressive issues will not. 

As mainstream media networks focus their attention on Donald Trump and the 2024 election, there is no reason to expect any university president to condemn violent and destructive protests in the aftermath of a potential Trump victory.

In this case, as foreshadowed by prior appeasement of reckless behavior during social justice protests, political leaders, university administrators and pundits across the country will almost certainly not object to violent protests against conservatism and Trump personally. No matter how dangerous or cruel the protests become, so long as they support the ideological perspective of the progressive media, their behavior will not be questioned.

In 2020, mainstream media outlets like CNN, MSNBC and others insisted on lecturing Americans on how peaceful progressive protests actually were. They used Hasan’s tactics of attacking those who raised concerns about unlawful looting and violence.

At overwhelmingly liberal institutions, it is all but impossible to see any Trump or Republican victory being met with a peaceful aftermath. At my own institution, professors and faculty alike have used class discussions to attack the former president and his allies, suggesting that his death would be an optimal outcome. To my surprise, my classmates often agreed. This is a startling indication of the possibly dire circumstances that may result from a Trump victory. 

The message from liberal institutions is clear: We are dedicated to extending progressive power and attacking any ideological alternative.

Worse still, if political leaders, pundits and activists continue to describe campus protesters as anything other than the unlawful agitators they have become, they will enable another rampage of destruction and chaos that will endanger us all.

Noah Pollak, a contributor to The Free Beacon, has called out these people, tweeting that a University of California Los Angeles administrator had chosen to accept students with stridently left-wing perspectives only to complain when protests became violent.

Pollak’s point underlines the reality that progressives who stand with these unhinged protesters have never understood the ideology of students who consider violence and destruction an acceptable way to achieve political change.

Campus protests in November are thus inevitable. The threat requires our full attention now in order to address what might become mayhem in just a few months. Violence ought to be called violence and administrators must set the tone with suspensions and disciplinary action before school starts again in September.

Unfortunately, given the thousands of students who have already escaped justice, it may already be too late.

For many students, the university is a place to meet people, learn new things and discover what our future might look like. But at the hands of bad actors, it has become much more than that. It is now a place of dangerous confrontation with agitators who aim to attack all those who disagree with them.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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