My appearance on the Mark Reardon Show about antisemitism on campuses: “Jews end up becoming a proxy for everything that these groups hate about our own society. So if you did one of Kamala Harris’s Venn diagrams and you had things that were over overlapping … anti-American, anti-Capitalist, anti-Israel, there is a huge overlap.”
I appeared on the Mark Reardon radio show on December 7, 2023, to talk about my column Hatred of Western Civilization Stokes the Campus Antisemitism Crisis.
Transcript (auto-generated, may contain transcription errors)
… There have been so many really, really important pieces that have been written and published here since October 7th. And I found another one from William Jacobson, who is a clinical professor of law at Cornell Law School, founder and president of a group called The Legal Insurrection Foundation. And the headline of this piece was Hatred of Western Civilization Stokes the Campus Antisemitism Crisis Campus – Mobs would Destroy Israel First, then America. I’ve made the case here over the last few weeks that this is really, a lot of this is about our way of life. It’s about western civilization. And William, welcome to the show. I think you did an exceptional job of painting the picture in a very appropriate way. How are you this afternoon?
Great. Thanks for having me on.
I’ve covered a lot of the atrocities and we’ve talked about these professors and the things that they’ve said this week. But let me kind of skip ahead to the question that you ask here and your answers and your question is, why did American campuses erupt with expressions of hatred for Israel and Jewish students? What could possibly motivate college students to act in such an inhumane, deplorable way? And we’re still seeing this on full display. So you go back a little bit to the 1980s, right? So explain your perspective on this.
Sure. Well, I was there when what we now call critical race theory and critical theories and intersectionality and all those racialized ideologies were in their formative stages at Harvard Law School in the early 1980s. And nobody really paid attention to them then. But what they were doing is they were beginning, even back then, to cast the Israeli Arab dispute in very racial terms, that they would build coalitions of non-white student groups against Israel. Now, it wasn’t as strong, it wasn’t as big as it is on campuses now, but you can see how over 30, 40 years that became institutionalized in colleges.
And now everything in colleges is about race. I know, because I teach on a college campus, at Cornell. So every dispute is now in terms of white oppressor versus non-white oppressed. And that is how the Israeli Arab dispute or Israeli-Palestinian dispute is portrayed relentlessly on campuses.
And what happens is that Jews end up becoming a proxy for everything that these groups hate about our own society. So if you did one of Kamala Harris’s Venn diagrams and you had things that were over overlapping, you know, anti-American, anti-Capitalist, anti-Israel, there is a huge overlap. It’s not one circle, it’s still three. So Kamala can restat her mind on that, but it’s a huge overlap. The anti-American activists are the anti-capitalist activists are the anti-Israel activists on campuses.
Israel becomes a very useful target because they tap into very deep strains of antisemitism in the Black Lives Matter movement and in the Black Panther movement, Louis Farrakhan movement. And so that’s what happens. They use Israel as a punching bag.
And what do you know, most Jewish students, although you may not know it from looking at the media, the overwhelming majority of Jewish students support Israel. So what you have on campuses is Jewish students being demonized as white oppressors, and now it’s playing itself out.
Yeah, and you know, one thing that I’ve said, and look, you’re talking to someone here who has tried to expose some of this nonsense and certainly has talked about CRT and intersectionality and all those things for a long time, well before October 7th. And one of the things that’s interesting to me is now, as you point out, this is being amplified as this oppressed versus the oppressor. I mean, you hear it in the soundbites from these kids on the campuses, and this, as you point out, professor has been building for, well, for decades. I guess the thing that pisses me off, I mean, there’s a lot, but as you point out here, you have these college students, these young kids, many of whom, you know, let’s face it, they didn’t grow up in poverty. They have trust funds, et cetera. They’re at these Ivy League schools. They have no perspective on how fortunate they are to live in this country and the freedoms that they enjoy, and they don’t ever think about it in other terms. And that’s, I don’t know how you change that.
I think people are living in an unreality. Anybody who knows what happens when communism takes over could not be in favor of it. And so they have no historical perspective, they have no historical perspective on our own country. The United States on campuses is portrayed as uniquely evil. Like we were the only country in the entire globe who ever had slavery. They’re not told that at the time we had slavery, and I’m certainly not excusing it, it was a worldwide phenomenon. We were the ones who ended it. We one of the first, if not the first to end it.
So they’re not taught that everything, that the United States is uniquely evil, and they’re taught the same things about Israel, that Israel is uniquely evil, because they have a religion that dominates the country. Well, there are 50 plus Muslim majority countries who incorporate Islam into their laws and their privileges, that’s never called aparteid. So you have this demonization of the United States. You have the demonization of Israel as the useful tool, and you have essentially the paradigm that you have from the Iranian mullahs, which is the US is the Great Satan, and Israel is the Little Satan,
But Professor Jacobson, he’s a clinical professor of law at Cornell, you know that the indoctrinated live amongst you, right? These are the professors and the administrators. I give you credit, usually it’s people that write things like this that are, you know, professor emeritus, if you will, not necessarily active. So it, it’s unbelievable to me, and I’ll give you credit for that by the way, that that’s that indoctrination. We’ve heard from many of these people, we’ve seen them rip down posters on video, right? That’s what’s happened. And these are the people that are there. Andagain, I don’t know what you can really do about it at this point.
Well, the faculty is a huge problem. It is a one-sided portrayal of the conflict. It is something that does not reflect American general opinion on things. And Israel is demonized relentlessly.
A lot of people are aware that conservatives are not hired at universities or if they are hired, they’re eventually driven out. Same is true for pro-Israel professors. It’s very hard to find, even on a campus like Cornell, which is not bad compared to some of the others, it’s got its problems. But you’d find very few pro-Israel professors. Talk to any professor who’s, or any PhD student who’s looking to go into academia. They hide any pro-Israel activity they’ve ever had because they know they won’t get hired.
And so you have, just like you have a disproportionate, unnatural imbalance between far left and left, professors versus professors who are moderate or conservative. You have the same imbalance. I would say it’s probably even worse, between anti-Israel professors and professors who are at least neutral or pro-Israel. There are several thousand professors around the country who have signed onto the boycott of Israel. There are multiple faculty, large faculty professional organizations like American Studies Association, who have signed onto the boycott of Israel.
The professors are an enormous part of the problem on the campuses, and it’s one that no administration is willing to address.
You know, I think about this lately. I’ve been thinking about this in terms of what’s gonna happen here in a couple years in the semi quincentennial, I was 11 years old in 1976, and we’re gonna get very close to the 250th birthday of this country, 2026. And I feel like half the country, certainly these younger people, they won’t care about that. And they don’t love this country. And I don’t even know if they wanna be here. So I, where does that leave us as a country?
Well, it’s what’s very frightening, and we’re already seeing the signs of this because a lot of the people who were raised in this culture on campuses have now moved on to big tech and high tech and positions of power. And that’s a problem. And I think it’s only going get worse.
I’ve said for many years that what’s happening on campuses is a threat to our country’s survival because they’re balkanizing the country. They’re setting groups against each other based on race and ethnicity and religion. And if you wanted to destroy our country, what would you do any differently than what is happening now on campuses?
Well, that’s a very valid question, and I certainly have appreciation for that. Before I let you go, and I don’t have time to get into this, but I’m very curious because you have a website that’s called criticalrace.org, and I’m ashamed that I don’t know about that, but tell me a little bit about that.
Sure. CriticalRace.org is a website where we have compiled, through interactive maps by schools. We now have over 700 colleges and universities and medical schools and business schools in it. How deeply critical race theory or its offshoots like diversity, equity, inclusion, anti-racism, intersectionality have penetrated into higher education. And we have compiled that beyond anybody else. Nobody else has this resource. We’ve had hundreds of thousands of people use the website performing millions of actions on it. And so if anybody is interested in what’s going on at colleges, we don’t have all 2000 plus colleges, but we’ve got almost 700 at this point. You can go there, you hover over the map, pick your state, have a dropdown menu, pick your school. We think it’s a really useful resource for people.
Well, I think it’s awesome. I’m gonna check it out for sure. It’s criticalrace.org. Professor, thank you so much. Keep up the fight. We need more like you and I really appreciate coming on, on here on 97.1 FM talk in St. Louis.
Great. Thanks so much.
“The idea is to appeal to people who know nothing.”
In this New Yorker piece on Students for Justice in Palestine, a member of the national steering committee says their model is to attract ignorant kids and indoctrinate them into Marxism (https://t.co/QGXnV0VCeT): pic.twitter.com/CClysyP5RZ
— Steve McGuire (@sfmcguire79) December 16, 2023
In the new Harvard/Harris poll, 67% of respondents aged 18-24 agree that "Jews as a class are oppressors and should be treated as oppressors."
— Will Saletan (wsaletan on Threads) (@saletan) December 16, 2023
A generation brought up on bulls**t. https://t.co/97RaqrRnb9
— Brit Hume (@brithume) December 17, 2023
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