Campus leftists disrupted a Yale University conference on free speech and terrorized attendees Saturday as part of a lingering protest against school administrators' allegedly permissive attitude toward culturally insensitive Halloween costumes.
Attendees at the “Fifth Annual Conference on the Future of Free Speech: Threats in Higher Education and Beyond,” sponsored by the school's William F. Buckley Jr. Program, were given an unscheduled demonstration of the threat that college students pose to higher education today as they were harassed and spat upon by protesters.
This is the same campus that conservative icon Buckley, one of its most famous alumni, savaged in his seminal 1951 jeremiad, God and Man at Yale. The campus was the site of a war between "Christianity and atheism" and "the struggle between individualism and collectivism [which] is the same struggle reproduced on another level."
The groundwork for this student eruption was laid about two weeks earlier when Yale’s Intercultural Affairs Committee emailed students urging them to avoid Halloween costumes that could be perceived as having racial overtones. Halloween is "a time when the normal thoughtfulness and sensitivity of most Yale students can sometimes be forgotten and some poor decisions can be made including wearing feathered headdresses, turbans, wearing ‘war paint’ or modifying skin tone or wearing black face or red face,” the email stated.
Lecturer Erika Christakis, associate master of Yale's Silliman College and spouse of Silliman College Master Nicholas Christakis—sent out an email to students and administrators of that college urging them to lighten up.
“I know that many decent people have proposed guidelines on Halloween costumes from a spirit of avoiding hurt and offense. I laud those goals, in theory, as most of us do,” she wrote.
But "even if we could agree on how to avoid offense---and I’ll note that no one around campus seems overly concerned about the offense taken by religiously conservative folks to skin-revealing costumes -- I wonder, and I am not trying to be provocative: Is there no room anymore for a child or young person to be a little bit obnoxious … a little bit inappropriate or provocative or, yes, offensive? American universities were once a safe space not only for maturation but also for a certain regressive, or even transgressive, experience; increasingly, it seems, they have become places of censure and prohibition.”
Paraphrasing her husband, she wrote, “if you don’t like a costume someone is wearing, look away, or tell them you are offended. Talk to each other. Free speech and the ability to tolerate offense are the hallmarks of a free and open society.”
Soon after, all hell broke loose in New Haven.
A video found its way onto the Internet showing a barely coherent young black woman hysterically shrieking at Nicholas Christakis in a campus courtyard while a large crowd of students watched.
She accuses him of creating an “unsafe space” at the university.
“I did not,” Christakis replies before the woman shouts, "be quiet!" She says it was his "job to create a place of comfort and home for the students who live in Silliman.”
Christakis responds, “No, I don’t agree with that,” and the woman loudly heaps abuse on him. “Then why the fuck did you accept the position? Who the fuck hired you?” she screams.
“You should step down! If that is what you think of being headmaster, you should step down! It is not about creating an intellectual space! It is not!” she cried out.
Fast-forward to this past Saturday, when a Buckley program panelist, Greg Lukianoff, quipped about the costume controversy, "Given the reaction to Erika Christakis’s email, you would have thought she burned down an Indian village."
One video shows students gathered in a hallway chanting "genocide is not a joke," apparently in reaction to Lukianoff's joke, as conference attendees escape the event. Another video shows a student yelling at an event speaker and resisting being forcibly removed from a meeting place.
The Yale Daily News reports that one Buckley event participant "said he was spat on and called a racist. Another, who is a minority himself, said he has been labeled a 'traitor' by several fellow minority students. Both asked to remain anonymous because they were afraid of attracting backlash."
Meanwhile, Yale's Divinity School is now home to Black Lives Matter movement agitator DeRay Mckesson who was awarded a sinecure to promote the violent racist movement.
“Looting for me isn’t violent, it’s an expression of anger,” the guest lecturer recently preached to students. “The act of looting is political. Another way to dissolve consent. Pressing you to no longer keep me out of this space, by destroying it.”
Anti-Americanism is not only alive and well in New Haven: it has been institutionalized on campus. Project Veritas caught officials at Yale, Cornell, and Syracuse universities on hidden camera badmouthing the U.S. Constitution and destroying copies of it.
After being told the Constitution offended and “triggered” some students, Jason Killheffer, Academic Integrity Programs director at Yale, said he would be "happy to take it and shred [a copy of the Constitution] in my office.” Instead, he ripped it apart with his bare hands outside while being interviewed. Title IX officers Elizabeth McGrath of Cornell and Sheila Johnson-Willis of Syracuse also shredded the Constitution when given the chance.
“Using a shredder, scissors, and bare hands to destroy the U.S. Constitution, makes you stop and think: where did we go wrong?” said Project Veritas founder and ACORN-slayer James O’Keefe III.
Notably, Cornell praises PC, claiming it "doesn't crush creativity and fuels idea sharing," and an undergraduate student claimed "political correctness is an incredibly awkward but necessary way to foster inclusion in public spaces.” Syracuse is the home of Reimagining America, a Marxist, anti-American propaganda clearinghouse founded in 1999 by then-First Lady Hillary Clinton.
Meanwhile, a lynch mob at the University of Missouri took out president Tim Wolfe who criticized and denounced himself Chinese Cultural Revolution-style yesterday for not doing enough to combat alleged racism on campus. It is entirely possible some of the events complained of -- largely name-calling -- were fabricated or staged by the activists themselves.
Wolfe took "full responsibility for this frustration" and said he hoped his resignation would help to "heal" whatever it was he did. A few hours later, R. Bowen Loftin, the similarly embattled chancellor, said he would resign at year's end. A month ago Loftin announced mandatory "diversity and inclusion" brainwashing for students, faculty, and staff.
Student activists including boycott-threatening football players, who are also trying to get a statue of Thomas Jefferson banished from campus, complained Wolfe didn't do enough about dubious allegedly racist incidents. In one case a swastika was drawn in feces in a campus bathroom. Why neo-Nazis would show such disrespect for a symbol they consider sacred has never been explained.
One campus group had been demanding that Wolfe write "a handwritten apology" to demonstrators and read it aloud at a press conference. They also demanded he "acknowledge his white male privilege [and] recognize that systems of oppression exist[.]" Among other demands were the hiring of more black people, increasing funding for "social justice centers on campus," and devising a "strategic 10-year plan that will increase retention rates for marginalized students, sustain diversity curriculum and training, and promote a more safe and inclusive campus." (Of course, marginalized is likely a euphemism for failing.)
As unrest built at Mizzou, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) pandered to the mob, just as he did during the Michael Brown saga in Ferguson last year. Without citing any examples, he said Sunday that “racism and intolerance have no place at the University of Missouri or anywhere in our state." Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) joined in on CNN saying that "there is systemic racism" on the Mizzou campus.
Mass hysteria and racial hypersensitivity: this is what President Obama has wrought with his incessant race-baiting. Instead of clearing the way for some kind of racial rapprochement, in the Obama era American culture has gone crazy, jumping the shark over racism, whether real or imagined.
The media continues to lie, portraying the killings of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown as motivated by anti-black racism while pretending the country doesn't have a black crime problem. It promotes Black Lives Matter as if it were a legitimate protest movement.
Those who don't toe the politically correct line get destroyed. The extremist activism on campus bleeds over to the culture in general. Go ask L.A. Clippers former owner Donald Sterling who was forced to forfeit his professional basketball team over privately expressed racially tinged remarks. Sterling's insensitive remarks were worth millions of dollars per word.
Of course it is difficult to feel sorry for university administrators who are now being hoisted on their own petard by a racism-obsessed cultural monster of their own making.
But that schadenfreude needs to be tempered because when the current crop of college students graduates, they'll be coming after whatever remains of America in the post-Obama era.