Image 01 Image 03

David Brooks: ‘Universities Are Failing at Inclusion’

David Brooks: ‘Universities Are Failing at Inclusion’

“today the most hostile place to be an American Jew is not at some formerly restricted country club but on a college campus”

I don’t agree with David Brooks very often, but he is right about this.

From the New York Times:

Universities Are Failing at Inclusion

Over the past five weeks, Jewish students on America’s campuses have found themselves confronted with those who celebrate a terrorist operation that featured the mass murder and reportedly the rape of fellow Jews. They see images of people tearing down posters of kidnapped Jewish children. At M.I.T., Jewish students report that they were told by some faculty members to avoid the university’s main lobby — which had been the site of a pro-Palestinian protest — for their own safety. At Cooper Union, Jewish students were barricaded in the library by a protest that started out as a pro-Palestinian demonstration and quickly became, one student reported, “pure anti-Jew.”

Rabbi Nomi Manon, who has directed the Hillel at the University at Albany since 2011, told The Albany Times-Union, “Every Jewish student that I talk to feels a sense of impending doom, anxiety, fear or anger about the really marked rise in antisemitism.” Shabbos Kestenbaum, who is a graduate student at the Harvard Divinity School, told The Forward, “The past few weeks have been the most isolating, saddening, maddening experience I’ve ever had.”

Universities are supposed to be centers of inquiry and curiosity — places where people are tolerant of difference and learn about other points of view. Instead, too many have become brutalizing ideological war zones, so today the most hostile place to be an American Jew is not at some formerly restricted country club but on a college campus.

How on earth did this happen? I’ve been teaching on college campuses off and on for 25 years. It’s become increasingly evident to me that American adolescence and young adulthood — especially for those who wind up at elite schools — now happen within a specific kind of ideological atmosphere.

It centers on a hard-edged ideological framework that has been spreading in high school and college, on social media, in diversity training seminars and in popular culture. The framework doesn’t have a good name yet. It draws on the thinking of intellectuals ranging from the French philosopher Michel Foucault to the critical race theorist Derrick Bell. (For a good intellectual history, I recommend Yascha Mounk’s recent book, “The Identity Trap.”)


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


retiredcantbefired | November 20, 2023 at 12:42 pm

Brooks actually gets something right. Will it get him kicked out at the Times?

The “hard-edged” thing already has a few names.

The universities are actually succeeding in DEI (Discrimination, Exclusion, Indoctrination). This is the age of double speak so one should not assume that DEI means anything like what the glossies would have you believe it means.

Yesterday, I received an email disguised to look like it had been sent from the MIT Alliance for Free Speech (except for the Yahoo address). I don’t know why the impersonator bothered, since from the very first sentence it was obviously loaded with idiocy precisely opposite to anything the actual group would write. I welcome it as a “flak” indication that we are over the target. Here it is, in all its rampant buffoonery.

From: MIT FreeSpeech
Subject: MIT Free Speech Alliance Update
To: Undisclosed recipients:;

Dear MIT Free Speech Alliance Member:

The MIT Free Speech Alliance (MFSA) recently hosted an on-campus event attacking STEM programs at MIT as “systemically racist”. The MFSA leadership would like to eliminate these Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math programs that prepare so many adolescent youth for success in collegiate science and engineering programs.

The MFSA leadership is primarily a small group of retired Caucasian men in their 70’s whose ideals would set MIT back 70 years to a time when MIT was primarily a white male academic institution practically devoid of women and minorities among its faculty and student body. MIT would no longer be able to educate students to become leaders in a diverse world able to solve pressing cross-cultural issues around the globe.

The MFSA leadership would like to dismantle all Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) infrastructure at MIT thereby imperiling the various programs it supports. Instead, they would like to create an MFE (supposedly Merit, Fairness, Equality) infrastructure that discretely favors privileged white males.

If the MFSA anti-STEM, anti-diversity, anti-equity, and anti-inclusion viewpoint is not aligned with your values, please do not allow the MFSA leadership to claim they represent you as they try to influence policy at MIT. Please email MFSA president Wayne Stargardt ([email protected]) and MFSA hired administrator Peter Bonilla ([email protected]). Ask them to remove your name from the MFSA membership list they claim to represent as they advocate to destroy the diversity that helps make MIT the great world-class institution it is today.

So instead of persuading me to leave the group, this message has inspired me to recruit instead. I am asking anyone here who is a graduate of MIT and not yet a member of MFSA to write to the administrator’s address and join. Tell them you were referred by the 11/19 Yahoo Clown.

    NotCoach in reply to henrybowman. | November 20, 2023 at 2:03 pm

    The evil fascism of merit…

      henrybowman in reply to NotCoach. | November 20, 2023 at 8:55 pm

      “a Merit, Fairness, Equality infrastructure… discretely favors privileged white males.”
      Don’t look now, dude, but you just own-goaled yourself.

    Milhouse in reply to henrybowman. | November 20, 2023 at 10:17 pm

    whose ideals would set MIT back 70 years to a time when MIT was primarily a white male academic institution practically devoid of women and minorities among its faculty and student body.

    One question: Was it a better institution then than it is now? I think that question answers itself…

JackinSilverSpring | November 20, 2023 at 1:17 pm

Brooks needs to get with the program: DIE is Division, Intolerance and Exclusion, especially of white males, Asians and Jews.

Perhaps Jews at large should stop the self-sabotage and cease supporting the progressive left?

The ADL still gives them millions of dollars and supports their expansion of power despite giving lip service to speaking out against the Hamas atrocities.

If Hamas wasn’t slaughtering Jews the ADL wouldn’t say anything at all about them, just as the left generally doesn’t say anything publicly about the comparable slaughter by Hamas’ co-religionists in dozens of wars across Africa.

The key is not to support any institutions that are governed by principles of the intersectional left

Brooks, he was one half of PBS Newshour’s, Liberal vs Very Liberal.