Sometimes, a country has to hit rock bottom before it wakes up. I believe that is the case in America. There is hope, however, that America can be fixed.
The recent resignations of president Liz Magill of the University of Pennsylvania and president Claudine Gay of Harvard after their refusal before Congress to unequivocally condemn antisemitism on their campuses are a strong indication that America is in a state of transformation.
The ghastly atrocities committed by Hamas on Oct. 7 have led to an American reckoning. People are beginning to realize that you either fight evil or you’re done. There’s no wiggle room.
President Sally Kornbluth of MIT, however, who also faced Congress, is hanging on by the skin of her teeth. This expression is derived from the book of Job. According to the commentaries, Job took the middle position in regard to the Israelites’ slavery in Egypt. Jethro pushed for the Israelites’ freedom but Job remained silent. He was stricken with disease as a result, of which he says, “My skin and flesh cling to my bones and I am left with only my gums” (Job 19:20). Kornbluth tried to take the middle way as well and is suffering a similar fate.
Kornbluth’s days are likely numbered. More than 700 alumni of MIT have issued a letter accusing her of causing a “public uproar” that has given her institution a “national reputation for antisemitism.”
“During the congressional testimony of Dec. 5, 2023, president Kornbluth implied that calls for genocide of Jews may not constitute bullying and harassment under MIT’s code of conduct, depending on context,” it notes. “Exactly what kind of message was the MIT Corporation trying to send to the MIT community, and especially its Jewish members, with such a statement so at odds with the overwhelming majority of the public?”
The message is clear, given that Kornbluth and her administration have been enabling antisemitism for some time. One MIT student told The New York Post, “I personally, and we as a community, have been reporting incidents of antisemitism for years, and nothing has been done.”
Fortunately, it seems that action will soon be taken. House Republican Conference Chairwoman Rep. Elise Stefanik, whose questioning forced all three university presidents to reveal their amoral stance on campus antisemitism, has declared that she will pursue a “long overdue” cleansing of elite universities’ “institutional rot.”
As Stefanik rightly pointed out, “Billions of taxpayer dollars go to these institutions. … And not only do you have Jewish students who are being physically assaulted and harassed on campus, but you have a lot in these offices of DEI that are antisemitic by definition.”
Even if the problem of campus antisemitism is dealt with, however, there is a great deal more that needs to be fixed. The culture of “wokeism,” which is also endlessly promoted by institutions of higher education, is one of them. In addition, family values must make a comeback. Without strong family bonds, society goes into free fall. Faith in God must also be restored.
Can America be fixed? It will take time and strong leadership, but I am cautiously optimistic.