In case you haven’t yet caught up with the Spring 2023 issue of UCLA’s online magazine, its feature story is “The Justice League” by journalist Ashraf Khalil: laudatory profiles of a handful of social justice alumni from a unique UCLA initiative called the Activist-in-Residence Program. Established in 2016 by the Luskin Institute on Inequality and Democracy, this Program “plugs activists into the power grid of resources offered by a top-tier research university” to empower these aspiring revolutionaries to overthrow the society they despise so deeply.
As described on its website, the Luskin Institute on Inequality and Democracy “advances radical democracy in an unequal world through research, critical thought, and alliances with social movements and racial justice activism.” By “radical democracy,” they don’t mean individual freedom without limits, but collectivism and enforced equity. Their methodology is almost a parody of woke buzzwords and phraseology such as “decolonizing the University”: “We root our work in abolitionist and decolonial traditions of thought that refuse extractive and exploitative research and instead build forms of knowledge accountable to movements and communities on the frontlines of struggle.”
The Luskin Institute’s Activist-in-Residence initiative grants residents a stipend and free rein of campus resources for five months to develop their varied missions and help educate the next generation of activists. “The UCLA Activist-in-Residence program’s objective is to “turn the university inside out” through “power-shifting scholarship and pedagogy focused on social change.”
“It was a way of shifting who is seen as a scholar, who is seen as a teacher at an elite research university like UCLA,” Professor Ananya Roy, the Luskin Institute’s founding director, told Ashraf Khalil. She added that she wants the program to expand to other universities across the country, envisioning this “shared terrain of scholarship across universities and movements… to be very fertile ground for making change.”
By making change, she means using the Establishment’s own resources to train subversives whose mission is to tear down the Establishment. Hence, the program’s foundational goal of “turning the university inside out” could more properly be expanded to read, “turning society inside out.”
Five former residents of the program are profiled in the UCLA Magazine piece. “Armed with passion, intellect and vision,” Khalil writes, “the bold crusaders of UCLA’s Activist-in-Residence Program are as trailblazing as the initiative itself.”
By the way, I was under the distinct impression that the word “crusaders” is a triggering no-no for woke activists because it evokes images of Islamophobic, 12th century Christian infidels getting all medieval on peaceful Muslims in the Holy Land. Pretty “bold” of journalist Khalil to appropriate it to describe far-Left activists.
Anyway, he goes on to gush about his subjects:
They come from everywhere — unapologetic revolutionaries and leading voices in causes ranging from social justice and climate change to housing rights, racial equity and protections for the most vulnerable among us. They seek resources and space to recharge, regroup and, often, to plan the next stage of their struggle — all while planting seeds to grow the next generation of activists.
These “unapologetic revolutionaries” profiled are: Nigerian-American playwright Funmiloa Fagbamila (year of residency: 2017), who has served as arts and culture director for the Los Angeles affiliate of the “mostly peaceful” domestic terror movement Black Lives Matter (her play The Intersection: Woke Black Folk, has drawn praise from none other than communist and domestic terror icon Angela Davis), and is currently a lecturer in Pan-African studies at Cal State Los Angeles; housing activist and podcaster Theo Henderson (2022), who is challenging the “government policy and popular sentiment” that “wants to make the existence of unhoused* people illegal”; Yvonne Yen Liu (2018), co-founder of the L.A.-based Solidarity Research Center, who has worked for years on what she calls “solidarity economies” based on “equity and inclusivity”; Jane Nguyen (2020), chief of staff to Los Angeles City Controller Kenneth Mejia and founder of KTown For All, which fought to protect unhoused individuals in L.A.’s Koreatown; and Micah White (2019), one of the co-creators of the Occupy Wall Street movement. White believes “protests and movements are the manifestation of social forces that push societies to change. Put simply, humanity needs protesters, because without protest there is social stagnation.”
Yes, because humanity is so much better off navigating the violent chaos and economic disruption of Occupy Wall Street riots than the relative stability of social “stagnation.” Besides, there’s big money to be made in protest movements, as the Black Lives Matter leadership can attest, and Micah White is nothing if not a wannabe one-percenter, as FrontPage Mag’s Daniel Greenfield noted in his profile of the Davos-cruising hypocrite.
The truth is that the Activists-in-Residence Program is not about caring visionaries building a new society. Its work is first and foremost about razing the existing society to the ground, because utopia can only be built upon the ashes and ruins of the civilization that these woke fanatics falsely perceive to be systemically oppressive. And the utopian engineering of society always ends in misery, corruption, and totalitarian control. Thus movements like Black Lives Matter and Occupy Wall Street have proven to be not creative and liberating but inherently destructive; they have been responsible for billions of dollars of property damage and untold numbers of destroyed businesses, ravaged neighborhoods, and even lives lost – mostly in the very communities they claim to support. But hey, you can’t make an omelet etc.
Subversive programs like UCLA’s Activists-in-Residence, which UCLA Film School alumnus Larry Jarvik described bluntly in an email as “a slush fund for Party apparatchiks,” are one of the reasons the David Horowitz Freedom Center is calling for the federal defunding of universities. As Shillman Fellow Daniel Greenfield noted last summer about UCLA specifically,
Despite UCLA’s growing extremism, its core budget in past years was funded at as much as a third by California taxpayers. In 2015, UCLA received $440 million from the state. And the nation’s taxpayers, through the federal government, provide a majority of its research grants amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars more in money flowing through the system.
As a public university, UCLA is a non-profit under 501(c)(3) even though it has long ceased to function as a non-partisan institution and has become an aggressive leftist political machine.
UCLA spends over $1 million on political lobbyists.
Its personnel rank as 47 out of 25,950 in political funding and have provided almost $1 million to the DNC, $400,947 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, $181,468 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and $151,650 to the House Majority PAC in the 2022 cycle alone. Even though Senator Raphael Warnock, a racist Georgia politician, is on the other side of the country, UCLA’s leftists still poured $124,881 into his campaign.
In 2020, UCLA personnel funded Biden to the tune of almost $4 million and nearly another million to Bernie Sanders, along with millions more to various leftist election PACs.
UCLA is no longer a serious academic institution. Its “woke” faculty are purging credible academic figures like Joseph H. Manson and others, while cultivating an atmosphere of hatred on campus and using a taxpayer-funded institution for political and anti-American activity.
It’s time for the IRS to pull UCLA’s non-profit status.
Indeed it is. UCLA and its Activist-in-Residence program are not apolitical educational institutions serving the community and the country, but moneyed engines of far-Left radicalism openly dedicated to dismantling the greatest civilization in history, and replacing it with the failed god of social justice. Pulling the plug on these “unapologetic revolutionaries” is a critical first step to taking our country back.
* “Unhoused” is the woke term for “homeless.”