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How Did Student Patrick Dai Become Radicalized At Cornell?

How Did Student Patrick Dai Become Radicalized At Cornell?

“There’s no indication from what’s been released so far about his background that he came to Cornell with these thoughts. He learned them at Cornell.”

Cornell Junior Patrick Dai has been charged with making threats of violence against Jewish students at Cornell. Here is the Criminal Complaint against Dai (full embed at bottom of post).

I had a chance to discuss the culture at Cornell on with Stuart Varney on Fox Business this morning:

Transcript (auto-generated, may contain transcription errors)

Stuart Varney (00:00): Now this, a student at Cornell University has been arrested for allegedly making, well, he made anti-Semitic threats against Jewish students. William Jacobson is a law professor at Cornell. He joins me now. Professor, how do we counter this wave of anti-Semitism in colleges? What do we do about it?

WAJ (00:21): Well, the first thing you have to do is acknowledge that it’s there, which a lot of colleges and universities don’t want to acknowledge. They want to deal with band-aids. They don’t want to look at the underlying culture at Cornell and elsewhere, which demonizes Jewish people, separates them from the rest of the student body by racializing the campus, and Cornell and others have their eyes closed.

How did this student get essentially radicalized at Cornell? There’s no indication from what’s been released so far about his background that he came to Cornell with these thoughts. He learned them at Cornell.

Varney (00:53): An hour ago on this program, a resident theologian told us that he was trying to be the provost, I think, no, he was the chaplain. He wanted to be the chaplain at an Ivy League University. In his interview, the interviewers spent the entire time finding out his position on Palestine. This was extraordinary. This was 10 years ago. And all they wanted to know about was how do you stand on Palestine? He’s a preacher. He wanted to be the chaplain. Is it like that all over the place?

WAJ (01:25): It pretty much is. If you are pro-Israel, you’re going to have a very hard time getting hired at any university, certainly any elite university. You see this in academic associations. Multiple academic associations have adopted the boycott of Israel. The American Anthropological Association voted to boycott Israel. Aomething has gone so fundamentally wrong, particularly in the humanities, these groups like American nthropological Association are tax exempt groups. They’re supposed to be educational groups. I believe that they’re violating their tax exempt status. I’ve asked the IRS in the past to look into this, and they refuse to. It may be time for Congress to act. We are subsidizing this outright Jew hatred throughout academia, which takes place under the guise of being just against Israel. But as we see with this student at Cornell, it’s not just about Israel.

Varney (02:24): What proportion of professors defend free speech the way you do?

WAJ (02:30): Not very many. They defend their own free speech. I mean, that’s one of the problems we face on a campus is that some speech is protected and other speech is not. And traditionally on campuses, conservative speak speech, Republican speech, any speech that is not left wing has not been protected. And that’s the dilemma that we face. If universities want to be wide open free speech zones, I’m all for that. The problem is they highly regulate speech and manipulate speech, and that’s the problem.

Varney (03:02): You’ve appeared on this program several times, defending free speech. I take it you still have a job?

WAJ (03:09): I still do have a job. As of this morning, I was able to walk into my computer remotely from work. So, yeah, I mean, this is a problem. And and I’ve put out a call for the board of trustees of Cornell to get involved. They cannot close their eyes to the toxic culture that has taken place at Cornell where everything gets focused on race, and the end result is that you have Jews being demonized and students being radicalized.

Varney (03:33): It’s a shocking situation. But sir, thank you very much for coming on this program and telling us what it’s really like. Professor Jacobson, I hope you come back soon. Thank you, sir.

I have had numerous media appearances the past couple of days discussing Cornell and campus antisemitism, too many to all transcribe.

Fox News Digital interviewed me, and wrote an article about the interview:

A prominent Cornell University professor has called on the school’s board of trustees to take action after a series of antisemitic and anti-Israel incidents have left Jewish students feeling uncomfortable and unsafe on campus.

William A. Jacobson, a clinical professor at Cornell Law School who joined the faculty in 2007, called on the Cornell Board of Trustees to pause new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives, adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of antisemitism and form a special independent commission to investigate antisemitism on campus and the negative effects of DEI.

“There has been a long problem at Cornell that the administration has just shut its eyes to. The faculty is extremely anti-Israel, not necessarily the majority of them, but there is a core group of faculty who agitate continuously for the destruction of Israel,” Jacobson told Fox News Digital.

“They claim it’s a colonialist state, even though the Jews are the indigenous people of the land of Israel. They claim that you need to liberate Israel, but who are you going to liberate from the people who have the historical claim to it? But it’s nonstop. It’s all the time, and that has a very pernicious effect on campus,” he continued.

“I’ve heard from a lot of students, and I’ve seen a lot of chatter that Jewish students in particular are extremely upset. They were extremely upset with the vituperative hostility towards Israel expressed by numerous student groups, expressed by faculty, and they don’t feel welcome at Cornell. They feel there’s a problem here. And I think the administration needs to get a handle on that.” …

“I’ve seen this coming for a long time. I’ve covered problems at many campuses with the anti-Israel movement for over a decade at my website Legal Insurrection, including problems at Cornell,” Jacobson said. “There have been multiple instances of Students for Justice in Palestine at Cornell disrupting pro-Israel events.”

Legal Insurrection features posts about anti-Israel episodes at Cornell, including a 2022 report on a panel discussion that included a professor who compared the Jewish state to Nazi Germany, a 2019 Students for Justice in Palestine call to renew a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) effort and pro-Israel students being taunted in 2014.

Jacobson, an outspoken critic of DEI agendas on college campuses who also founded, said he has not heard back from the Cornell Board of Trustees since his initial call for action earlier this month when Rickford made his comments.

Jacobson believes the school’s glaring issues with anti-Israel sentiment are “compounded by the campus’ obsession with race” because Jewish students are seen as the “White oppressors” when everything is viewed through an identity lens.

“It just creates a very toxic atmosphere that the administration has been oblivious to,” Jacobson said.

Jacobson wants to see widespread changes to the culture at Cornell but feels the current senior administration at the school shouldn’t be relied upon.

“They helped contribute to the problem through this hyperfocus on race and the DEI initiatives which are quasi-religious at Cornell,” he said, adding that he wants an independent commission to probe what caused such widespread antisemitism.

“I think they’re sticking their heads in the sand. And now everything is, you know, in a frenzy on campus, and they have not dealt with it properly,” Jacobson said. “I call upon the university again to take up my proposal… to take up my call to action for the board of trustees to get directly involved, to take this issue over and to address it, because we can’t just continue on the way we’ve been going.”

I also appeared on the Fox News Rundown Podcast

And Real America News with John Solomon and Amanda Head:



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Morning Joe?

Say it isn’t so Professor

    LukeHandCool in reply to gonzotx. | November 1, 2023 at 11:02 pm

    Why not? You don’t want to be preaching to the choir all the time.

    If Joe and Mika and Morning Joe panelists want to oppose what Professor Jacobson has to say, fine, let them go on the record then. Let the American people see where they stand. Professor Jacobson has the truth on his side.

      CommoChief in reply to LukeHandCool. | November 2, 2023 at 9:04 am

      Agreed. Restricting the message by only preaching to choir doesn’t win new converts. Frankly I believe there are more than a few lefty/woke folks who seem to be figuring out that their multiculturalism ideal requires everyone to at least buy in to the premise that everyone has a right to live, hold/express their own views within that multicultural framework and that there are more than few folks on the left who don’t buy in to that basic premise required for a multicultural society to exist. Better late than never but the proof of their removal of ideological blinders will be in future elections and their future actions.

    Owego in reply to gonzotx. | November 2, 2023 at 6:17 am

    Yeah, that was my reaction, too, but I think LHC, below, is right. OTOH, it would be disturbing and just a little too convenient if they and their like suddenly conceded the professor’s point. I’d be very, very skeptical that it was anything more than insincere, dishonest, and self serving theater, which is, after all, what they do.

E Howard Hunt | November 1, 2023 at 8:31 pm

Answer: By attending

I am proud to donate money to the LIF every year and I will again this year. Thank you to the best team out there that is fighting for REAL justice in America.

Stay safe professor. The brown/black shirts and their unstable tools cannot stand a reasoned and compelling counter argument. After all, violence is their speech while your speech is violence.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair | November 1, 2023 at 10:54 pm

I really doubt this guy all-of-a-sudden turned into a flaming Jew-hater at Cornell. I’m sure that you can find him expressing a great dislike of Jews earlier in his life. College just isn’t that influential.

Of course, it could be a chick. Many guys radicalize because they are dating one of the Manson chicks or some girl from the Bader-Meinhof gang, though this guy doesn’t look like that would be the issue. For him, it could be the chick’s radical brother …

    When did you attend college?

    It’s an immensely influential brainwash cult these days. Keep in mind how immature (thus easy to manipulate) the average college student is compared to 30 or 40 years ago.

      ThePrimordialOrderedPair in reply to healthguyfsu. | November 1, 2023 at 11:06 pm

      Sure the kids today are immature and stupid … but that means that the chances that they got roped into stupid ideas much earlier than college is that much more likely. If this kid had any friends in high school I would lay money that he expressed dislike of Jews to them – probably due to envy, maybe out of competitive anxiety.

      The Chinese are none too fond of Jews, even though they only have one little village of Jews in all of China.

      I mean … sure, it’s possible that he didn’t have many thoughts of Jews and was just a normal guy until he hit Cornell and had to sit in a bunch of classes with idiot marxists teaching them and forcing silly ideas on the students (at least, to regurgitate back to the professors if they wanted to pass the classes), but I kind of doubt it.

        The Chinese are none too fond of Jews, even though they only have one little village of Jews in all of China.

        That’s not true. To the extent that Chinese have any opinion at all about Jews, it’s generally positive.

        It’s very likely that he learned this at college, and elsewhere in this thread I will suggest a possible explanation.

          Kepha H in reply to Milhouse. | November 2, 2023 at 10:21 pm

          (Hua people–Chinese and their diaspora and offscourings such as China and Singapore–have lots of different attitudes about Jews).

          Official China and those sympathetic with the program of the Communist Party may very well have a negative attitude about Jews. In the early ’90’s, when both Christianity and Islam were surging in China, a few people in Kaifeng, Henan, started contacting foreigners to explore their Jewish roots, and some of the aging foreign Communists who’d settled in China started going frum in old age. The CCP issued a circular noting in alarm what happened to the Soviet Union when “those people” started acting up–even if this Jewish revival in China involved only a few hundred people at most. Further, official China and its state media have long made no bones about seeing the “Palestinian struggle” as one against a species of Western colonialism.

          China is also very much a spiritual colony of 19th century Germany–including its Blut und Boden nationalism. I saw this on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. This fosters a tendency to see Jews as interlopers wherever they may be. Further, along this line, I had a very disturbing conversation with a minor minion of the Chinese foreign ministry while serving in the US Consulate in Guangzhou. This woman could not understand how a German-descended American (even if the German ancestors were Jewish) could not have a warm spot for Hitler. She saw the official murder of a slew of Old Country relatives as a “small price to pay for national unity”. When I explained that if German-Americans had any World War II “ethnic group hero”, it was probably General Eisenhower. This drew a blank. I then explained that “Eisenhauer” is “Ironworker” in German. The look on that woman’s face was the same as if I had told her that some Uighur separatists had gotten hold of a nuclear device and detonated it in downtown Beijing. But, to return to the cases of some of the foreign Communists of Jewish origin who settled in China, Zeev Suffott, Israel’s first ambassador to the PRC, reported how some Party members accused the Jewish comrades of introducing an inhumane fanaticism into the CCP–as if Old Mao were surnamed Murmeltier and from Halic rather than Hunan, and Jiang Qing a daughter of Szatmar rather than of Shandong. I’m sure the old “foreign friends” who went frum in old age are seen by many older and loyal Chinese Communists as evil betrayers.

          Official China also does not wish to alienate the Islamic world, seeks to lead the de-colonized Afro-Asian region, and hence cannot but be somewhat cold towards Israel and sympathetic to the Palestinian Arab cause.

          But, other Chinese (again, including Mainland, Taiwan, the Nanyang) admire Jews as a creative and entrepreneurial people and respect their antiquity as a people group. If Christian, or Christian-influenced, the admiring, respectful, or even pro-Jewish bent is even greater.

          As for this guy Dai, my guess is that along with many other young people in America, he soaked up an anti-Israel-cum-anti-Jewish attitude from media, schools, intellectual discourse,, and especially in elite colleges. There are no longer enough Shoah survivors to impress the younger generation with one common raison d’etre for the Jewish state; and probably most young Americans are completely ignorant of the important Jewish communities that existed in Iraq, Egypt, Yemen, and the Maghreb prior to expulsion in the 1940’s.

          And, if young Americans now villify Columbus, the early Puritan settlers of New England, and other American founders as destroyers of native cultures and idealize indigenous peoples, can they not be expected to sympathize with a people who were apparently “there before the Jews came”? I do not sympathize with this mindset at all, but it is there.

        SuddenlyHappyToBeHere in reply to ThePrimordialOrderedPair. | November 2, 2023 at 9:34 am

        Obviously, he never went to college. Not sure he completed high school either.

      M Poppins in reply to healthguyfsu. | November 2, 2023 at 9:09 am

      It was a leftist brainwashing cult when I was in college more than 30 years ago – SDS, the Black Panthers, the feminazis.

    He probably got second place on a midterm to a Jew.

    Thinking outside the box… You would have to be a mind reader to know with any certainty. One thing I believe, human brains continue to develop (?) until a person is 25 or 26.

      Sultan in reply to amwick. | November 2, 2023 at 8:56 am

      Yes, amwick, I think it is a biological fact that the human brain is not fully developed until around age 26 (for males) and a bit earlier for females. Then why do we allow them to vote? They are not allowed to represent us in Congress, so why can they vote? Because, my daughter strongly believes, they can be forced to fight (and die) in the military at age 18 and therefore must be allowed to participate in choosing the government that controls war and peace. I believe that is a crock of you know what and have told her so. The two require totally different qualifications. You don’t WANT a grunt in the army to have independent thoughts, intelligent or not. And the number of people under the age of 26 who actually can be in combat is comparatively small. How about a compromise: anyone under 26 drafted (forced) into the military and assigned a potential combat role can vote in federal elections. OK

        CommoChief in reply to Sultan. | November 2, 2023 at 3:57 pm

        As a counter offer, how about making combat service a prerequisite for voting? Not just service in a combat zone either but only those awarded the Army CIB, CAB, CMB, the USMC CAR and their equivalent for Navy/AF/CG.

    I agree that he looks like an incel or a pervert.

How did he become radicalized at Cornell? One possible explanation is hinted at in his posts that didn’t get all the publicity, but are quoted in the criminal complaint.

Date: 2023-10-28 20:16:07 IP:
School: Cornell University – CU
Author: pig kÿs
Content: as long as the target is sub human like a zionist jew-woman then räpe is allowed and encouraged by the quran. Mashallah

Now this might not mean anything. Maybe he’s just playing a role and pretending to be a Moslem for the purpose of these posts. But maybe he became a Moslem at Cornell, and that is what gave him these beliefs.

    AF_Chief_Master_Sgt in reply to Milhouse. | November 2, 2023 at 5:24 am

    He is definitely of weak mind, easily manipulated, and part of the culture that has no firm moral standing.

    Even if he wasn’t antisemitic throughout his life, he was easily lead down this path.

    My bet is that he harbored some resentment against Jews early on, and it became more radical as he sought out groups at University where he could fit in.

    Peabody in reply to Milhouse. | November 2, 2023 at 9:37 am

    Cornell has been radicalizing students for 20 years but the only one ever found was a Chinaman named Dai.

    Kepha H in reply to Milhouse. | November 2, 2023 at 10:27 pm

    A real possibility that the perp is a convert–or even cradle Muslim. In any case, I, for one, did a bit of studying up on Islam in the wake of 9/11, and did not like what I learned.

Thank you, professor, for bringing the trustees into the conversation, even if only in passing. These people must be taken to task for the administrations they’ve hired and enabled, not just at Cornell, but everywhere. Conditions at Cornell and elsewhere simply cannot have been a secret, they cannot. Nor did they happen overnight.

The troublesome part is that if trustees, regents, directors, call them what you will, are truly representative of the nation then we – and world – have a big problem. Let us all hope, pray, or whatever you do, that Israel and Hamas, Ukraine and Russia, China, the Uyghurs, and the South China Sea are not are not signs of things to come. But then, Minneapolis, Portland, and sanFrancisco; Biden, Talib, and Newsom – “Houston, we have a problem.”

There’s no indication from what’s been released so far about his background that he came to Cornell with these thoughts.
I would argue there’s no indication he did or did not have these sorts of thoughts before going to Cornell. While the universities are utterly broken with their Progressive religion masquerading as intellect, the public schools aren’t too much better. They just tend to not be as radical in their expression. But that is where the foundation is laid for future radicalism.

Also, a piece of that foundation was what seems to be parents with “open minds.” The little bit I’ve seen from them indicates they provided little discipline (other than academic demands).

How was he radicalized at Cornell? He was set up for it.

Some alumni at Cornell and other universities have recognized the problem developing for years and have created organizations to try and reverse the trend, e.g., The Cornell Free Speech Alliance. Please consider joining (and supporting) such an organization at your alma mater if one exists and forming one if it does not.

I watched the MSNBC segment this morning and couldn’t believe what I heard from Jonathan Greenblatt! Even though I recognized him right away, I had to wait for a confirmation that it was indeed him — I couldn’t believe my ears. I actually couldn’t disagree with anything he was saying. Has he had an epiphany finally?

The Real Truth | November 2, 2023 at 12:11 pm

Cornell just like other top Universities has been infiltrated by antisemitic Professors who have pushed their horrendous prejudices on the students. Young people have weak minds that are easily influenced, and those Professors have unfortunately been TOO sucessful ! To get rid of this problem, we must get rid of Teachers who push THEIR agenda on young minds. They are there to TEACH, and NOT to influence THEIR decisions on Religion, Politics, Gender, or anything else on those students !

This is startling and disturbing. And it’s a damning indictment of Cornell, that such indoctrination can occur on campus.

I graduated from an east coast elite women’s college in 1964, before any of this began occurring among college students… least as far as I am aware. But in about 2015 or so some anti-semitism erupted on the campus of my alma mater, and ultimately forced the then-current president to resign. I’ve heard nothing recently from my college, but the current president must be a bit nervous.

It starts in a) the admissions office and b) the hires to the faculty.. The most recent “meet the new faculty” I saw a brochure rife with DEI and SJW agenda new faculty, and with a dearth of faculty in the serious subjects. The combination of malleable social activists and doctrinaire brainwashers gets us to where we are now. A new admissions team and winnowing of the faculty is a first step.

The other less reported aspect of campus culture is the growing presence of ‘international Students’ many from Muslim Nations where they drank in casual antisemitism with mothers milk. They show up, are cloister in an exclusionary dorm, provided an exclusionary study hall/library section, provided exclusionary In I’ve backed clubs/groups.

It’s no wonder that these antisemitic attacks, protests against Israel which more and more include direct calls for violence v Jews exist. They Universities import these views then make the deliberate choice to provide exclusionary ‘safe.spaces’ to incubate radicalism. The faculty at many Universities supports this crap as part of their own woke, lefty, progressive ideology and actively reprimand, disfavor and discourage anyone who pushes back.

On another forum, I had predicted that the parents would deny their son had any culpability in his own actions—and I was correct. They maintain that he was deeply “depressed”, on medication and essentially side-stepped the issues of his upbringing and socialization in his admission to the authorities that he was indeed responsible for making the threats.

Their denials are certainly common parental reactions. To the extent that the environment of Cornell is a different matter. From what I could infer, the parents seem to place a lot of the blame on Cornell’s handling of their son. Not saying it’s not possible, however if you take a kid that is basically a depressed loner and put him/her into a campus like Cornell (you could easily substitute any large higher education institution here), where he is forced to go along to get along, and their mind becomes like Silly Putty to be exploited by the combination of whackademics, looney tunes fellow students and the miscellaneous leftist garbage that infests campuses nationwide. In the end, this kid is responsible for his own actions. Whatever the circumstances, he’s slipped off his rails.

Perhaps they should start with CCP influence and people like Jinhua Zhao. He appears to be brilliant but initially educated at CCP state funded university. Falls perfectly into China’s well planned and documented manifesto. Nobody like this just slips away without a return.