How Were the Universities Lost?

Victor Davis Hanson
American Greatness

After October 7, the public was shocked at what they saw and heard on America’s campuses.

Americans knew previously they were intolerant, leftwing, and increasingly non-meritocratic.

But immediately after October 7—and even before the response of the Israeli Defense Forces—the sheer student delight on news of the mass murdering of Israeli victims seemed akin more to 1930s Germany than contemporary America.

Indeed, not a day goes by when a university professor or student group has not spouted anti-Semitic hatred. Often, they threaten and attack Jewish students, or engage in mass demonstrations calling for the extinction of Israel.

Why and how did purportedly enlightened universities become incubators of such primordial hatred?

After the George Floyd riots, reparatory admissions—the effort to admit diverse students beyond their numbers in the general population—increased.

Elite universities like Stanford and Yale boasted that their so-called “white” incoming student numbers had plunged to between 20 and 40 precent, despite whites making up 68-70 percent of the general population.

The abolition of the SAT requirement, and often the comparative ranking of high school grade point averages, have ended the ancient and time-proven idea of meritocracy. Brilliant high school transcripts and test scores no longer warrant admissions to so-called elite schools.

One result was that the number of Jews has nosedived from 20-30 percent of Ivy League student bodies during the 1970s and 1980s to 10-15 percent.

Jewish students are also currently stereotyped as “white” and “privileged”—and thus considered as fair game on campus.

At the same time, the number of foreign students, especially from the oil-rich Middle East, has soared on campuses. Most are subsidized by their homeland governments. They pay the full, non-discounted tuition rates to cash-hungry universities.

Huge numbers of students have entered universities, who would not have been admitted by the very standards universities until recently claimed were vital to ensure their own competitiveness and prestige.

Consequently, they are no longer the guarantors of topflight undergraduates and professionals from their graduate programs.

Faculty are faced with new lose/lose/lose choices of either diminishing their course requirements, or inflating their grades, or facing charges by Diversity/Equity/Inclusion commissars of systematic bias in their grading— or all three combined.

The net result is that there are now thousands of students from abroad, especially from the Middle East, far fewer Jewish students, and student bodies who demand radical changes in faculty standards and course work to accommodate their unease with past standards of expected student achievement.

And, presto, an epidemic of anti-Semitism naturally followed.

In such a vacuum, advocacy “-studies” classes proliferated, along with faculty to teach them.

“Gender, black, Latino, feminist, Asian, Queer, trans, peace, environmental, and green”-studies  courses demand far less from students, and arbitrarily select some as “oppressed” and others as “oppressors”.  The former “victims” are then given a blank check to engage in racist and anti-Semitic behavior without consequences.

Proving to be politically correct in these deductive gut-courses rather than pressed to express oneself coherently, inductively, and analytically from a repertoire of fact-based-knowledge explains why the public witnesses faculty and students who are simultaneously both arrogant and ignorant.

At some universities “blacklists” circulate warning “marginalized” students which professors they should avoid who still cling to supposedly outdated standards regarding exam-taking, deadlines, and absences.

All these radical changes explain the current spectacle of angry students citing grievances, and poorly educated graduates who have had little course work in traditional history, literature, philosophy, logic, or the traditional sciences.

Universities and students have plenty of money to continue the weaponization of the university, given their enormous tax-free endowment income. Nearly $2-trillion in government-subsidized student loans are issued without accountability or reasonable demands that they be repaid in timely fashion.

Exceptions and exemptions are the bible of terrified and careerist administrators.

Faced with an epidemic of anti-Semitism, university administrators now claim they can do little to curb the hatred. But privately they know should the targets of similar hatred be instead blacks, gays, Latinos, or women, then they would expel the haters in a nanosecond.

What is the ultimate result of once elite campuses giving 70-80 percent of their students As, becoming hotbeds of dangerous anti-Semitism, and watered-down curricula that cannot turn out educated students?

The Ivy league and their kindred so-called elite campuses may soon go the way of Disney and Bud Light.

They think such a crash in their reputations is impossible given centuries of accustomed stature.

But the erosion is already occurring—and accelerating.

At the present rate, a Stanford law degree, a Harvard political science major, or a Yale social science BA will soon scare off employers and the general public at large.

These certificates will signify not proof of humility, knowledge, and decency, but rather undeserved self-importance, vacuousness, and fanaticism—and all to be avoided rather than courted.


Share This

93 thoughts on “How Were the Universities Lost?”

  1. Roberto Davalos

    Excellent as always, your comments are right on the spot: employers and people in general will be scared to hire these “trouble makers” they will hire only problems for the rest of the workers

    1. We will have to wait and see. I have prayers that a friend’s daughter who obtained her law degree from Stanford, will be a judge soon. It is my hope they did not radicalize her, and that she will remain consistent in her upbringing in the Church of Christ. I attended church with her family and in that community, personal responsibility and the ability to chart one’s own path was emphasized. “GET WISDOM”.

      1. religion: “the belief in and worship of a superhuman power or powers, especially a God or gods” –Oxford Dictionary.
        the key word here is “belief” … furthermore a belief that requires faith in the absence of proof (undeniable scientific proof)
        point being: the “law” should be impartial to race, religion, class, status, etc…when you say it is your hope that “they” will not radicalize her…you are essentially saying your family’s “belief” in Christ has more worth than their “belief” in radicalism. (whoever they are)
        I beg of you to please learn from History…religions and dogmas are the single most underlying cause of all war and death in the history of humans.
        you’ll find that if you base arguments that are divorced from these faculties…they have much greater effectiveness with less conflict

        1. Cory, you don’t think hatred like this, whether it be hatred of Jews, Latinos, gays, red-headed Irishmen or whoever, is not radical? That’s what’s being addressed here. For a person with faith – Christian, Muslim, Buddhist – that wants to pray about something is a natural thing. But it really doesn’t have anything to do with what is happening in our schools and universities. Others are involved also, but it’s basically the left-wing people in authority that are the cause of and stand behind what’s happening. You don’t have to be religious to be a good person. The 10 Commandments and the Golden Rule are simply good advice in how to conduct your life in most any situation.

        2. Cory, Read Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason sometime if you haven’t already. Empiricism and Rationalism are only two ways of knowing. Your epistemology is limited if your faith is only in the material. That’s a stunted reality. Your assertion that religion is the underlying cause of all war and death evokes a chuckle.

        3. scott fitzgerald

          Religion and dogmas are the most common reason? Are you sure? I’m no scholar but I thought competition for resources was the most common reason. Economics. Dogma is definitely used as a tool but it is not the primary reason recently anyway. Hamas however certainly uses dogma and cites land as the objective when conversely it is Islamic fundamentalism that prompts their radical thoughts. I don’t know, maybe you’re mostly right? I think it’s really a bit more complicated than religious doctrine and dogma frankly. We can agree those two things certainly haven’t helped the promotion of peace over the millennia despite religious doctrines saying they are all about peace. Peace as long as you agree with my religion.

    2. I agree that employers should be wary of these undereducated over-entitled students, but as a recently retired corporate manager I’ve seen so much D/E/I activity in corporate America that I’m not certain that will be the case. It seems that so many corporations are so committed to this agenda that they will gladly hire those with similar values.

  2. Dear VDH,

    A non-practicing Jewish friend with relatives in Israel recently recommended to me Raymond Ibrahim’s Sword and Scimitar. My friend had no idea I was a big fan of yours. How delightful it was to read your Intro to this book. It is a difficult read for what it is saying. Needless to say as a person with 2 graduate degrees albeit in other fields of study, these historical (Christendom v Muslim) facts need to be taught and taught often.

  3. Prof. Hanson’s point is completely valid, that a lack of trust in “a Stanford law degree, a Harvard political science major, or a Yale social science BA will soon scare off employers and the general public at large”.

    It’s going to take someone smarter than the current crop of Democrats to sort out this mess they’ve Left us in.

      1. That’s an insult to Equus Africanus Asinus, a species that has served mankind well throughout the ages. The same can’t be said of the radical left or it’s now hegemonic counterculture movement that has been eviscerating our institutions for the last sixty years.


    End all federal funding for all colleges and universities.
    Tax their endowments.
    Make them offer scholarships and other financial aid themselves, to their students.
    And if you have a kid who is a senior in high school, looking now at selecting a college, try independent schools like Hillsdale or Grove City.
    And if you have a business and are hiring, I’d count a diploma from the mainstream schools to be strike 1.

    1. Right on. Hillsdale and Grove City, being non-beholding to the federal government and not bound by its rules, provide education in the classical sense, free and untrammeled discourse about ideas, and produce broadly educated and functionally literate graduates. They should be models for higher education, not outliers.

      1. Indeed, the Federal bureaucrats have no business being involved in any civil activity. Biden is crying about inflation and price gouging. Pure B.S (yes from a bovine) They (he) have no business even commenting on our FREE marks. Supply down prices go up to incentivize producers to make/ship more goods. No doubt, but he government idiots (have no skin in the game) are playing to their parties. So much for the original idea of free market capitalism.

        Different thought: Would Hamas attacked if Israel had a 2nd Amendment? Tojo thought about it in WWIIj j

    2. ronald david pichan

      Good morning,, I read your reply to the Victor Davis Hanson article “How Were the Universities Lost?” Being a Hillsdale graduate, I appreciated the shout -out. I completely agree with VDH and the reply’s generated. I was wondering about the “ and just digging up a little more info on the organization. However, good luck and keep up your diligence on such an issue. Thanks, Ron

    3. Since even the engineering colleges (eg. Cooper Union) are descending into the morass, what choice does a serious STEM-major aspirant to do? I recall one “liberal arts” college dean – who was still out of said morass – boasting that when a student graduates his institution he will have read over 200 books (including Shakespeare and Marx) as well as how to solve a partial differential equation.

      Now that almost my kind of university! Sorry, I can’t recall which college that was.

      And yes, if I were hiring now I would toss any resume of a recent Harvard, Yale, or Stanford graduate. Even a STEM major.

    4. I have one question: why is it that all these Ivy League schools of higher learning (take that higher any way you like) are provided so much federal funding. It would seem to me that this should be equivalent to “separation of church and state”.

  5. Well put professor. I have taught Business Law in an MBA program for 33 years and only recently have I seen a tinge of “woke” in these otherwise serious 30 to 40 year old students. I think their Human Resource Departments are contaminating them.

    Keep up the good work

  6. Marius Donnelly

    Add to this litany of terribles, that now having trained these underachievers to claim victimhood, what better way to keep them as your supporters than by eliminating the burden of their 20 year old debts incurred to gain their careers & professional status!
    We have permitted Pres Biden & Dem Party to issue retainers to over 3.6Million college educated voters to the tune of $40,000 (average mind you, assuming much higher and many lower)
    Top segment of Never TRUMP Voters – College Educated Professional
    Top segment of Pro Trump Voters – Lunchbox workers
    The Dem Party Organized Biden Campaign Thanks You For Your Continued Support! $132Billion to 3.6Million, match that GOP / Mr Trump

    1. I guess I got lucky, had my degree in hand before 9/11. I do think you underestimate the education level of many Trump supporters. While the majority may be blue collar, compared to the blue collar support of FDR, a populist President, those workers have a high school education and probably are literate.
      The last 20 years, secondary education is hit or miss, depending on where you live. The dumbing down effect started in public education, maybe on purpose. I am seeing more and more FUNCTIONAL ILLITERACY from high school AND COLLEGE GRADS.
      Instead of treating public schools as pipelines to college, maybe we need to refocus on guaranteeing every graduate can read, write, do algebra and geometry, and balance a checkbook, to equip them to BE ADULTS at age 18. Maybe we need to treat HighSchool as a social finishing course in civics and civility.

      1. Pamala, I couldn’t agree more with your final paragraph! I’m a small business owner who struggles daily to find few quality applicants regardless of the desired education level I’m seeking. Many graduates of high school, trade school or a four-year college have never worked. Often, they don’t even know how to work.
        My wife just retired after 25 years teaching middle and high school students. The number of kids who are 3 to 4 grades behind on reading and math skills grows exponentially every year. Plus, it’s always the teachers fault for the kids problems, rarely the student!

    2. Well-educated and literate people with an understanding of American history should find it very difficult to vote for Trump. He’s advocated “termination” of the “rules” in the Constitution. He’s said he wants to be a “Dictator” “only on day one”, but there have been few dictators who willingly threw down their mantles. He has undermined faith in US elections by his constant lying about “election fraud.” As a retired military officer, I believe that anyone who has taken the oath “to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic” and subsequently votes for Trump has dishonored both his oath and himself.

  7. John Allison Humphries

    Yes it is the unfortunate state of affairs at most colleges and universities today. These three were most likely hired by a DEI focused Board of Trustees and they are doing what they were directed to do. Their unfortunate situation is that the hidden antisemitic racist’s posture is now reveled for all to see and the consequences will soon be realized. Meritocratic higher learning disappeared several years ago but was well hidden by university administrations. It is time for a recalibration of all public and private colleges and universities.

  8. For those of us who have not attended an Ivy League school but have observed some of the graduates in action, the recent events of antisemitism, arrogance, and incompetence are not surprising. For years, it has been known that admission is the last hurdle before graduation. As long as the horrendous tuition has been paid your presence will be tolerated indefinitely. And the products of this education system have never been uniformly excellent but are what would be expected from the selection criteria of high merit and, in some cases, low motivation to study. In other words, smart, hard working, capable people will retain those characteristics despite the biases induced by institutions run amok.

  9. It won’t scare off the major corporations that are now full blown communist entities, the same with our gov’t institutions. The communist street scum graduating from so-called “elite” universities is exactly what the corporations are looking for.

    1. That’s because they know that if these gullible indoctrinated ignorant and arrogant students fell for what the colleges taught them, then they know they can do the same in the board room.

    2. The curtain of silence falls to unveil that academia is as corrupt as our government . . . both fueled by financial greed.

  10. The money sloshing around the Ivy League is astonishing, and has grown rapidly at tax-payers expense recently with especially generous schemes during the pandemic. Alumni can withdraw donation, donors can sit on their hands, but it will not be enough to force any change of course. Only one third of students at the Ivy League are American. That in itself is remarkable. Donations from abroad amount to billions. Some most unpleasant regimes indeed. Money talks.

    Something though is beginning to drive change. A qualification can be measured and weighted. The added-value can be assessed, and it is not pretty for many. Rank bad value often. The Ivy League used to be above all this, but poor value is beginning to nibble even here. That is before you make any assessment of the desirability of any graduate in numerous other ways.

    1. Very informative post. Can you share how one would get demographic information like what you posted; that a third of Ivy League students are not Americans? The amounts of donations? Thank you for all of that research. People don’t seem to understand how important demographics are. Hence they post and believe false information.

  11. Claudia B Lawrence

    Well stated. Back up by Heather MacDonald ‘s book, Diversity Delusian, a must read for any parent considering colleges for their children.

  12. Good one, VDH.

    So you are telling me that if I were a young man I could get student loans that I would never have to pay for. Moreover, I could major in vacuousness, self-importance, and fanaticism and have a decent chance of getting a job with an outfit that values my degree and all that it represents.

    On top of all that, I could employ hate speech to my heart’s delight as long as it centered on Jews.

    And if I chose my classes carefully, I would get mostly A’s without doing much work. All the while, I could enjoy the life of a “student” with no real personal responsibilities. Just go along with the crowd and enjoy the life!

    This sounds like a deal that is too good to be true.

    To sum this up: if you want more of something, have the government pay for it.

    That’s how we got to this place.

    The government fosters this exact behavior. Until we change our incentive structure, this will only get worse.

    We are, in essence, paying for our own destruction.

    Every black/brown/indian/gender/queer/women studies curriculum has the same purpose: discover every possible way that these “marginalized” groups have been wronged by white males.

    If you are a social justice hammer, everything looks like a nail.

  13. Michael Krumbein

    Thank you for the very (as usual) enlightening explanation. I plan to quote it.

    I do need to point out that anti-semitism at universities is not “the new normal”, but the “old normal”. Close your eyes and listen to the President of Harvard – could she not be a WASP university president of a century ago, working on limiting the number of Jewish students while publicly denying that a quota exists?

    Even more so, they have achieved the long-term dream of being more like universities in Europe. From the HEP-HEP riots of the nineteenth century to the eastern European universities of the interwar period – all the way back to the Padua medical school centuries ago – raving mobs of university students attacking Jews is well within European Western tradition.

    We are not losing Western civilization – far from it. What we are losing, is American Exceptionalism.

  14. When the President of Stanford issued his manifesto after the Oct 7 massacre, I was disappointed but not surprised. There was a total lack of moral clarity in those documents., but a lot of fence sitting. I took advantage of the respond link and called the University out for its lack of clarity and courage. I told them I no longer related to my alma mater and would not attend my 70th reunion.

  15. VDH, you asked “Why and how did purportedly enlightened universities become incubators of such primordial hatred?”

    The answer is of course (as you later alluded to) is huge amounts of money flowing into the university coffers from the oil rich Middle East Muslim countries.

    If Jewish bigotry is to end, this Middle East money flow must stop. Period!

    Prior to October 7th, if one even hinted that even half the level of Muslim driven bigotry against Jewish students on our elite American university campuses existed (that we subsequently observed in all its shame) one would be labeled by the legacy media as Islamaphobic.

    This country does not have a problem with Islamaphobia. It has a problem with Wokiphilia (I think I just “coined” a new word.)

  16. Rather hard for me to understand this given the strong ‘in loco parentis’ policy in force back when I went to college. All students were given attention and protection. But that was well before the current societal issues. When I emerged from the child raising bubble decades later and went back to college, I did see some evidence of anti-Semitism. This was in the early ’90s, and I was clueless as to current events. I took a class that had some international aspects and when the prof. asked my opinion on some issue between the Palis and Israel, I sided with Israel because that seemed to me to be logical from the information given. I had no idea that there was a conflict between them. It was a large college, and I had no idea it had Arab students. But after I gave my answer, Arabs seemed to be everywhere. They were opening the doors when I went into and out of buildings. They even biked past my off campus residence. I later learned Jewish students were being harassed and not getting a lot of help. Jews gained acceptance for the most part, in modern America after the fifties. I think this was due to just being law abiding, decent citizens. Now it’s as though we’ve devolved back into the Dark Ages.

  17. Haley and others spoke well last night against the moral fog/cowardice of even our elite university presidents. . . . incisive analysis of the trend . . . will the voices strengthen/cowards resign/fog attenuate in time?

  18. Dear VDH, Thank you for the solid article. I am an employer needing graduates with engineering degrees with an emphasis in hydraulics. When DEI was introduced, I said I would not hire anyone from these particular universities. Now with the students reactions to Oct, 7, 2023, I will not hire any students from any of these universities. My company starts employees at six figures.

    1. The decline in college rigor is an old story. In the 1980 many of the graduate students in engineering and math were from the Middle East and Asia. That story is not over. The education in the USA in the lower levels is so bad that it is beyond woke. High schoolers who cannot multiply or read.

  19. Thank you for a comprehensive analysis. Is this creating an opportunity for existing or newly chartered colleges and universities to recruit excellent, beleaguered faculty away from these institutions and eventually replace them as places of truly higher education? Also, it would be a great service if someone published a list of schools that educate rather than brainwash.

  20. From a university of “hardknocks” graduate it sounds to like we should be content.
    It will fix itself mentally. Haven’t we been doing this with government? Look at the mess were in because of “it’ll fix it self” mentality.
    I pray this will turn around soon. I recommend we no longer accept foreign students for starters. dag

  21. My employer just elected a CEO of color who has declared “DEI & Balonging” his #1 priority. They are also implementing training on pronouns and bragged they are the winner of some inclusivity award. White workers are being systematically replaced with POC. They criticized a Nazi walk downtown, but not a word was uttered about Oct. 7. I am quietly looking and hope to find a new opportunity via RedBalloon. Crossing fingers. I no longer feel safe or secure at work.

  22. I say let these universities reap what they sew because they’ve allowed the propaganda of what is taking down this country take them down with it. I dare not would want to be in their shoes when they get the clue of what they’ve done to themselves and then try to point the finger at the propagandists who will shoot them in the foot claiming and being right about letting the bloodsucker in at their own hand.

  23. Jack Swertfager

    The reason why universites go “liberal”, “progressive” and/or “woke” is pretty simple:
    Those who can, DO. Those who can’t, TEACH.

  24. Michael Campbell

    Far too many non-white and/or non-white identifying immigrant students and second-generation immigrant students sympathize with “victimhood.” Also, the teaching of “settler/colonialism” conjures up U.S. history; thus, students are very comfortable attacking the shrinking white U.S. majority as “the invader”… just as the anti-Prop 187 agitators in 1994 referred to the California voting public as “…the last gasp of white America in California…” and that although minorities might “…riot in the streets, the whites riot at the ballot box…” as well as the Latino activitsts who refer(red) to California and the Southwest as “…our Palestine.” It helps one to better understand Eric Hoffer’s 1960s prophecy that Israel’s fate would be the fate of the United States.

  25. That our colleges and universities are deemed “non-profits” by the IRS is a scam. They should be taxes (how many billions is Harvard endowment?). That might make them more appreciative of our system, as well as have some skin in the game.

  26. Just finished VDH’s piece on how the Palestinians seem to have rejoiced on Oct 7 before Israel fought back. I commented that humanity seems to have been lost on the Palestians, closing by questioning what are we to think about those in the USA who support Hamas. Seems appropriate for this post as well.

    I truly enjoy VDH’s articles and podcasts but the comments to his articles are priceless. Thanks to all who take the time to read and comment.

  27. The seed of this cancer has been placed by liberals and haters of “the Great Satan” in the universities, and now it is coming to fruition…

  28. Thanks for the great read… I say all schools, and I mean each and everyone. From kindergarten to Harvard should demolished. Tear them b!tches down and imprison all the teachers and professors. With the exception of a handful of teachers.

  29. Not if, but when, graduates from these DEI (I prefer DIE) factories start to affect the bottom line where they work and these semi-literate graduates can’t compete in the world then maybe Stanford/Harvard/Anywhereward will start to reform themselves.

  30. A fundamental error is assuming that academic achievement, such as a PhD, equates to intelligence and common sense. They do not.

    Academic skill is a craft, what Aristotle called a “technique” or a “knack,” much like plumbing and carpentry. No one would assume that a “master carpenter,” e.g., was super-intelligent. Neither should we assume that a knack for academic work means intelligent common sense.

    1. It’s so sad to see the deterioration of our society. Clearly, there’s nothing that we can do about it individually. It seems that these forces are much smarter than we traditionalist.

    2. I once was employed by an individual who was a graduate of one of the elite universities in America and I had decided to retire and informed him of my decision. I requested that he consider a severance package with my resignation. His answer to me was astonishing, he stated to me “ why would you be given a severance package, you have done a good job for me. “. I was so angry that I couldn’t even respond to him. That is why big business has become the disaster that it is today. Normalcy and rationality are gone.

  31. Professor Hansen, I remain in awe of your tenacity to remain true to your convictions. We have watched both political and moral leaders fold their respective tents and climb onto the WOKE wagon, moving forward into eventual oblivion for our Nation. Thank you and may God Bless and give you guidance and light on the truth you seek for all of us.

  32. it is an insult to donkeys to equate them with the destruction caused by democrats; the donkey was the king of the beast of burden and helped bring specialization to civilization; as such, they deserve honor and NOT association with the thrashers of civilization: deranged democrats.

  33. It’s time to overhaul our higher education system. Defund schools that prevent free speech. Eliminate tenure. Conservative or open minded professors need to start new courses studying the negative impact of DEI/CRT and “advocacy” studies. So how about an advocacy study which studies advocacy studies and shines a light on them and shows their anti-American and marxist themes.

  34. At the beginning of the keynote speech during my wife’s graduation from a top 20 research university, the speaker asked the candidates to raise their hands if their parents were born in another country….about 1/2 raised their hands. He then asked the candidates to raise their hands if they were born in another country….about 1/3 raised their hands. This was in 1995. So the “pay to play” by foreign students AND GOVERNMENTS paying for students tuition has been going on for a long time. Meritocracy at the university level? Get serious.

  35. Appreciate all you said. Universities are quilt filled. But, would suggest it begins in grammar school by the time that student reaches higher education they are well versed. All things run on money and donors, and exemptions. Dry up funds things will reverse it always has and will.

  36. Just spend one minute to Google “arab and muslim countries donations to US universities?” or “Arab countries’ funding of American Universities in last decades” and right away you’ll (surprisingly?, suddenly?) see what billions they injected in the top – and not only top – universities in US.
    After that will be no more questions like “How Were the Universities Lost?”……

  37. You fail to mention that these campuses have an Ashoka U designation.
    The Ashoka (McKinsey) designation ignites the growth of ‘Changemakers’ on campus and grooms them to change the world!
    There are approximately 3500 Ashoka ‘fellows’ in the world who have created organizations (with the assistance of funding from questionable foundations like the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs) that are built on various identity grievances, which obviously brings about significant division on campus and across the world.

  38. My daughter went to Portland State University, as a sound independent student. Four years later she came out full blown communist. She hated everything, Men, America, White everything (she’s white), Our history, the Constitution, Second Amendment, Oil, meat, everything! She embarrassed unfettered abortion. The list went on. She was constantly encouraged to have lesbian relationships by her lesbian professors (something she regrets everyday of her life). The Women’s Resource Center sold clothing items that read, ‘I Heart My C$#T. After the second year of this indoctrination I refused to pay another dine. I was told by the faculty that she would hate me for the rest of my life if I didn’t cough up more money. I still refused. Now it’s been many years later and she is finally seeing the light now that her decisions and dystopian opinions have lead her to a miserable place of constant regret.

  39. When its all said and done, people have right to their emotions, their speech (in most cases), their opinions. If I want to hate a certian group, giving it a name such as racist or anti semitic doesn’t make my moral decision worse or automatically put me in jail…its my actions that count…that can restrain me or jail me or even end my life. I’m so surprised that recent suppression of conservative views on campus has been met with outrage by conservatives as suppression or anti free speech. And now we have it seems a media minute and all we seem to push for is suppression of hatefull speech. Remember a hate crime must first be a crime. Opinions/speech although of a hatefull nature are not hate crimes.


    Another masterpiece of logical presentation of evidences with veritable common sense conclusions by VDH. Commentor Jay Smith summed it all up in one brilliant word choice…. Contraversities. Sadly, entirely true.

  41. We’re supposed to be shocked by the vast numbers of American college students (and university personnel) who support the terrorists of Hamas. Yet, I can remember when American college students were calling for the deaths of our servicemen and chanting Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh”.
    And that was prior to half a century of anti-American leftist indoctrination in our education system. Students are now so filled with leftist rhetoric by professors who were the students of that earlier day that they would support those who would kill or subjugate them as long as such support is counter to the benefit of the American republic.

    1. So true. I know because in my mis-spent youth I was one of them. That’s why the phrase that was popularized by Abbie Hoffman : ‘Don’t trust anyone over 30″ – What I think now – in my maturity – is ‘Don’t trust anyone under 30’. That’s what happens if you’re lucky : sadly I know of some people of that/ my gen who are still rattling the same rhetoric as if they’re trapped in amber. Well, the world turns and moves on and if you don’t grow with it that’s what you’re left with: slugs in amber. Maybe that’s true for every gen from time immemorial: as we mature we change our pt of view but it seems like in this one it was particularly vivid. The war in Vietnam was tragically the vector e.g. the Beatles singing ‘All you need is love’ . Right. as a grunt slogged his way in the rice paddies and the VC shot at him from the tree line. Spread the word is all we can do.

  42. Joseph Bernstein

    What an amazing article. You accurately describe the anti-semitism metasticising on college campuses, especially in The Poison Ivy League.

  43. As a NYT subscriber and frequent commenter – I’m getting more and more aggravated when a comment is not published bec it doesn’t follow the party line – & it’s far beyond ‘comments are moderated for civility’ – bah humbug. It’s censorship by any other name & something you would expect from commissars in the ex-Soviet Union. I’m not kidding or even exaggerating. ‘course, If you look at the new breed of columnists your eyes will tell you who is behind this outrage. (in case you can’t figure that out POC’s have gained in number.) So when the ‘paper of record’ succumbs to that kind of ideology what can you expect from international students coming from countries that are our enemies. Victor Davis Hanson (for Prez). But just like Trump he would be tied down by the brainwashed in Congress. And it’s these kinds of feelings that make me cynical about the electoral process bec minorities are becoming blocks which any politician must court. One possibility is by making voting far from a universal right (that includes felons) but a literacy test given so that ‘low information’ voters are barred. When did voting become a universal right? Bad mistake. And as VDH says, an exit exam from universities should be given so that the wheat can be separated from the chaff which is making degrees from these universities worthless. (I graduated from Univ @ Buffalo w/a Magna Cum Laude Degree & felt not only guilty but its worth lessened – bec 1 prof (& only 1) gave out all A’s.

  44. It is becoming clear that colleges and universities will continue to turn out ignorant, angry students. This system, like much of America’s institutions is broken. The future appears bleak to say the least….

  45. Academic freedom never was and shouldn’t be or become the right to espouse bigotry, hatred or partisanship on any humanities issue. Academic freedom once meant, and should now mean, presentation of facts, data, options and critical thinking to evaluate them. Regardless of student origins, professors should be disciplined ethically and legally to follow a neutral path in the subject disciplines.
    It may be that foreign students do not have American mores and principles, but they can be taught and insisted upon in American colleges and universities. It may even be that American students have not come from public schools where the objectives are to produce good citizenship and vocational objective standards. We have unaccountable charter schools, biased home schooling and even public/private educated teachers without good standards. So administrators and school boards must be more accountable to public and press for inducing better classroom practices. Maybe this is the reason we have a movement of millions toward authoritarianism, not democracy.
    So ultimately it is the quality of teaching and subject matter presentation that governs campus civility. I don’t believe the world is becoming more degenerate or less interested in common humanistic themes like peaceful interaction, cohabitation and justice for all. But where’s the leadership?

  46. Mr. Hanson, have you considered that much of the so-called anti-Semitism on college campuses is a byproduct of the war and is based on humanist values? There is empathy and compassion for people deemed to be presently suffering and innocent, meaning the civilians in Gaza. I believe many informed non-Jewish college students think of them as the underdogs. Many young people understand the roots of this tragic situation dates at least to political decisions after World War I concerning a defeated people; and without a resolution resulting in peace since then. Meanwhile, there are many innocents in Israel, yet their nation is seen as the top dog. And there are many innocent Jewish students at college. It is tragic that they carry the wounds of multi-generational trauma that makes certain free speak painful. Is it not possible that a peaceful resolution in the Middle East will diminish anti-Semitism on campuses and elsewhere?

    Meanwhile, do we not value free expression of speech, unless it incites violence? Freely expressed speech should not be punished, such as like Socrates, who was forced to commit suicide by poisoning for corrupting the youth by his teachings. We should be careful whom is punished and why. Do humanist values matter?

    1. Robert T, I like the sound of a voice of reason. BTW, I respect VDH’s intelligence and overall knowledge, but the predictable partisanship bothers me. Alas, it is true that to get clicks or sponsors, one apparently has to come down on one side or the other, and “historians” are not immune to said phenomena, but one can always dream. To me, history continually moves on, going through a lot if stuff, much of it able to be foreseen, but there is always a new combination of what seems to be good and seems to be bad. Then our feeeelings and beleeeeefs, come into play. So it goes.

    2. I understand your sentiment. One would hope that it is as you say a byproduct of their humanism and empathy for the plight of suffering human beings. However, in the past 20 years 5.6 million people died in Chad as a result of conflict, 400,000 in Yemen, 600,000 civilians in Ethiopias Forgotten War, then there is Mali, Somalia, Myanmar etc. It begs the question why do they care only for the thousands in the Israel/Palestinian conflict and not the millions of civilians elsewhere? Do they have empathy and compassion for the victims of other conflicts? Do these “humanists” care about the millions of children in Africa and Asia who have died of Malaria because they don’t have simple mosquito netting? I don’t see or hear of a lot of protests in support of these causes.

  47. Hamas and the Palestinians are from the seed of Satan, and since God’s chosen people were the Jews it makes sense that Hamas and the Palestinians would want to destroy Israel and the Jews of the world. And since God’s only Son, Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners and offered a way to Heaven to the Gentiles, Satan’s army wanys to destroy us as well.

  48. Antisemitism, any/all racism is troubling/sad in itself. It is terrifying to consider that there is a new generation of voting citizens being produced by the educational system in this country who have been indoctrinated in racist, Marxist ideologies of Woke, CRT, and DEI to see the world solely and simplistically through a (skin) colored lens of oppressor/victim. That they are blind to the hypocrisy of adopting racism as a response to racism, and cancel culture as an expression of (inclusive) free speech, demonstrates the failure of our Universities in their most important mission; to develop the balanced, open minded, critical thinking in their students necessary for successful citizens of a diverse, inclusive, accepting, robust and productive society.

  49. They deconstruct now instead of instruct. Sadly just like the democrats who once stood up for Americans, now they want to cut their throats. Make America great again.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *