Kevin Williamson is unwilling to call today’s college student radicals Red Guards, but he sees more than a few parallels between their actions and those of Chairman Mao’s adolescent storm troopers.
The Red Guards were fighting the bourgeoisie, elitism and the number one and number two capitalist roaders. More than that, they were shifting the blame for the Great Famine of the early 1960s away from Mao and his Great Leap Forward. It was unthinkable for Mao to be held accountable for the mass starvation that cost 35 million people their lives.
Isn’t something similar happening today, to a lesser extent? As we near the end of the monumental failure that is the Obama presidency, we are seeing a concerted effort to shift the blame to white people, to anyone who ever said a disparaging word about the great Obama.
The underlying message is that the president is not at fault for anything that has gone wrong. The fault lies with everyone who disagreed with his policies, with everyone who ever criticized his presidency. Anyone who falls in this category must shut up and be shut down. They must all be attacked... even humiliated.
His failed presidency is not Obama’s fault; it’s all the fault of a racist culture, one that refused to allow a black man to succeed.
The Red Guards were culture warriors. They were following in the footsteps of Nazi Brown Shirts and were trying to rid the culture of supposedly alien elements, elements that were preventing the advent of the Workers’ Paradise promised by Marx.
As of now, one does not know whether to find more fault with the pathetic students who seem to have nothing better to do with their time than to protest and disrupt or with the pathetic administrators who have been bowing down to the students’ imperious demands. Perhaps these administrators know what happened to the teachers who defied the Red Guards in China. They were often humiliated, sometimes murdered and occasionally butchered and eaten.
One suspects that the students who are agitating for whatever cause they find more just are using the demonstrations as an excuse for not doing their assignments and not showing up to class. They are demanding more courses in politically correct topics. Then they will no longer have to suffer by reading the words of white males. This suggests that they are not doing very well in their courses.
Every prospective employer will now think twice before hiring a candidate from a minority group, regardless of whether his degree says Yale or Missouri.
If these students were capable of doing their schoolwork they would probably be doing their schoolwork. Now they will not be handing in their assignments, will not be participating in classroom discussions, and will expect to receive excellent grades. Woe be unto any professor who chooses to downgrade them for not doing the work.
When exam time comes, they will undoubtedly fail, but will probably receive passing grades. What professor really wants to lose tenure for a principle? In a culture where the new normal tells everyone that a professor who says the wrong thing must be vilified and humiliated—as happened with the Red Guards—why would any professor or administrator risk his job in order to take a stand?
The protesters have announced to the world that they are really not worth the trouble. They want an alternative university where they can feel that they are competent, so, why not give it to them? In so doing they are admitting their own incompetence. They world knows the truth, but can no longer say it. The world knows that their degrees have not really been earned, so let the world sort it out.
Williamson describes how the Pink Guards have mounted a radical assault on free speech:
The Pink Guards have declared war on freedom of speech, demanding official retribution against those expressing even such innocuous sentiments as “all lives matter.” Indeed, they have declared complaints about the suppression of free speech to be a form of speech that must be suppressed, with students at the University of Missouri, the nation’s 103rd most prestigious institution of higher learning, demanding that students responsible for such counterrevolutionary activities be sent to reeducation camps (“required to attend extensive training for racial and cultural competency”). Protesters at Dartmouth physically assaulted students trying to study in the library and denounced them as “filthy white f***s.” At the University of Missouri, Professor Melissa Click physically assaulted a student journalist filming in a public space, and the university, which is run by feckless cowards, has taken no action against her.
Of course, it is all happening because the student protesters know that Barack Obama has their back. Anyone who dares to sanction them risks a federal investigation. Besides, why argue and debate with people who prefer self-righteous fury to the marketplace of ideas. So, while Williamson is correct to note what should be done, he knows, as you and I do that it will never happen:
The obvious thing that university administrations should be doing — and the one thing they will not do — is to expel these students and take out restraining orders banning them from campus. College campuses are places of learning, and universities have the right to impose reasonable standards of conduct. Whatever you believe “reasonable standards of conduct” to be, surely they exclude criminal assault and the actual disruption of academic activity. If the universities cannot draw even that line in the sand, then the public ones should simply be defunded and shut down as useless.