Rabbi Dov Fischer in The American Spectator: The Blessing of the College Riots
May 3, 2024

by Rabbi Dov Fischer in The American Spectator

The glorious eight-day festival of Pesach (Passover) ended Tuesday night. It coincided with the end of a challenging four-week recovery period from a surgery that was followed by severe post-op complications. I am 80 percent recovered, and I finally now can write. The enforced separation from the outside world and everyday activity allowed me time to cogitate. I now am bursting with thoughts about the campus riots, and I have prepared a five-part series that offers specific and unique proposals to take back our universities and stop the rot.

Why do I write and propose if I know that Biden and Kamala will not implement these proposals? Because, maybe, if G-d smiles on America and if America is worthy, there will be a change in government in only six more months. And even if not — G-d forbid — maybe brave and courageous governors like Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott will consider creating state equivalents to these federal proposals I offer.

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I begin with a bit of background. I graduated from Columbia University in 1976 with a B.A. in political science. During my last two years, I had the extraordinary honor to be elected by the entire undergraduate body — thousands of freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors — to represent all of them, the entire college student body, as their chosen representative in the University Senate, Columbia’s highest deliberative body. Why would a left-wing student body elect one of the most right-wing students in the college? Because I was known campus wide as a fighter who does not take “no.” My primary cause then was freedom from communism for Soviet Jewry, but the concern of the collegiates was rising tuition. I campaigned on a promise to fight tuition hikes as I fought for Soviet Jewry, and I won. And, wow, did I ever fight as one voice among more than 100 University Senators to stop or at least reduce tuition hikes.

So I know Columbia University. I met my first wife, a Barnard student, on campus. I sent children to Columbia University. My first wife earned her doctorate at Columbia University.

I also know UCLA. I attended for law school, and I have wonderful law school memories. I was selected by my peers to be the No. 2 on law review, chief articles editor. I later was told in confidence by two of those who had been in the inside circle that voted that I had lost by a single vote in the decision to name the editor-in-chief because three of those voting expressed doubt that an Orthodox Jew with four children could do the job effectively while taking off one day every week to observe the Sabbath. So, I came in second and became chief articles editor. I loved my role, and it has stood me well even these 30 years later.

In four years at Columbia, I never once met a professor with conservative values. They all were leftist, many outright communist, or at best apolitical. I majored in political science and never heard of William F. Buckley Jr. or Ayn Rand. I took an introductory course in economics and never heard of Adam Smith or Milton Friedman. I took a course on the History of Judaism, and it was taught by an atheist who devoted the entire term to propounding his theories that the Torah is not the word of G-d but a compilation of texts written by nomads. I once challenged him in class respectfully with a compelling question. After class, he told me not to do that again, or he would reduce my grade.

At UCLA School of Law, each and every professor was a leftist except for two blessed souls: Wesley Liebler, who taught mergers and acquisitions, and Grant Nelson, who taught real estate and property law. It was non-stop leftist indoctrination, like a Mao Zedong reeducation camp. Class after class, term after term, year after year.

In the past 30 years in particular, these and all the other universities like them have become cesspools of intellectual toxicity and rot. Students are presented with only one distorted worldview. Each professor professes the same. They literally tell students how to vote: vote for McGovern over Nixon, vote for Carter over Ford, vote for Carter over Reagan, vote for Mondale over Reagan, vote for Dukakis over Bush I, vote for Clinton over Bush I, vote for Clinton over Dole, vote for Gore over Bush II, vote for Kerry over Bush II, vote for Obama over McCain, vote for Obama over Romney, vote for Hillary over Trump, vote for Biden over Trump. They indoctrinate and hammer the lesson in.

To seal the deal, they create curricula, syllabi, and reading lists that seem scholarly enough. But they all are of one perspective. There is no balance. Students spend 15 or so weeks each semester reading Marx and Engels and Fanon, and they never read anything else. So, as naïve innocents out of high school, they think they now are gaining a broad-spectrum education, but they are not. They are being indoctrinated. They are being brainwashed.

I am a rabbi of more than 40 years and am engaged in the broader society. Thus, I am close not only to Jews but also to Christians. I hear the same plaint over and over again: “Rabbi Fischer, we reared our child to be a good, honest, decent kid. She never opened a mouth, never uttered a curse word, and none were spoken around her at home. She attended church with us every Sunday and loved it. Sometimes, if we awoke lazily, she pressed us to hurry to get to church on time. We recited grace at the table before eating. Our home was wholesome. Her friends were wholesome. She attended a Catholic parochial school (or a Protestant church Sunday school, or a yeshiva), loved G-d, loved America. We invested 12 years educating her at the finest schools through high school. And then we sent her to XYZ College because we wanted the best for her: to gain a broad worldly education to make her competitive in the modern world and to expand her horizons and make her even brighter and more interesting.

“And she came back destroyed. We don’t recognize her. Rabbi, we literally don’t recognize her. Everything we did from the day she was born through age 18 was destroyed in a mere four years at college. Now she sleeps with boys. She mocks religion. Won’t go to church. Hates America. Criticizes us as vapid materialistic ogres. She went to a campus therapist who convinced her that her mother had been a monster and that her father had engaged in ‘emotional incest,’ whatever that means. The therapist told her she must never again communicate with her father. She has tattoos all over her body. A small ring on her tongue. Rabbi, where did we go wrong?”

I have been writing in these pages throughout the eight years I have had this column about the peril to our young people posed by most of America’s colleges and universities. (There are a few discrete exceptions.) People read my words and warnings, nod their heads in agreement, and shrug that there is nothing that can be done about it. That as long as ego-driven billionaires keep donating to see their names on buildings or endowed professorial chairs, the rot cannot be stopped.

That is the hidden blessing in this month’s campus riots. Forget about the fiction of “Palestine.” There never was an “Arab Palestine,” and there never — ever — will be. And don’t worry about Israel. There will not be a third Churban (“catastrophe,” as with the Babylonian destruction of the First Holy Temple in 586 B.C.E. and the Roman destruction of the second in 70 C.E.). Long after Columbia and UCLA are torn and turned to ashes, Israel will stand strong with brides and grooms dancing and singing in the cities of Judea and the outskirts of Jerusalem. So forget about the cause du jour, the excuse of the day to riot.

Here is the blessing. Finally — finally, finally — all of America is taking notice that the colleges and universities have gotten out of hand. It is no longer about the ideological brainwashing of kids but about insurrection. Thank G-d! Thank G-d people finally are talking about what must be done.

I am not a prophet of G-d, and I very well may be wrong, but I expect the riots to end in one month, even if nothing is done to stop them. We now are in May, the last weeks of the spring term. Final exams are coming soon, and term paper deadlines are due. Either the schools will close down and cancel finals and term papers, or they won’t. But the campuses will empty in four weeks. I may be wrong, but remember you heard it here first. And, honestly, when was the last time I was wrong these past eight years on a prediction?

As the spring term ends, the rich New York kids will return to their wealthy parents’ lavish estates in Long Island, Longer Island, Longest Island, and Great Neck, Greater Neck, and Greatest Neck, where they will denounce their parents’ materialism, even as they expect their African American maids to pick up their socks and launder their dirty underwear, while they await their Hispanic gardeners and pool cleaners to clean up after them.

And the dreck on campus from Malaysia and Indonesia and Pakistan and Saudi Arabia will return to the dirt holes they come from to ride camels and mash garbanzo beans into hummus.

And what of the others? The ones without rich estates and Arab Muslim dictatorships to go home to? They will regather on TikTok, on Facebook and X (Twitter), and will reunite shortly in Chicago for the Democrat National Convention to fight with the Chicago police and chant, “The Whole World Is Watching! The Whole World Is Watching!” as they get clubbed in their heads. It will be 1968 all over again. That one made heroes of Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, and Tom Hayden — and elected Richard M. Nixon. So may it be again.

All a blessing.

Originally published in The American Spectator

Photo Credit: Matt Hrkac on Flickr

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