Universities in Freefall: VDH Analyzes the Unraveling of Academic Integrity and Enlightenment

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VDH: How Were the Universities Lost?

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 antisemitic 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?

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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.

I don’t know about that — you may not be interested in the Gleichschaltung, but many corporatist CEOs and their human resources departments will be for some time to come.

Related: ‘I Am Sorry:’ Harvard President Claudine Gay Addresses Backlash Over Congressional Testimony on Antisemitism.

As the backlash grew into an uproar, Gay issued a statement through Harvard’s official social media channels on Wednesday in an attempt to clarify her response to Stefanik’s line of questioning.

“There are some who have confused a right to free expression with the idea that Harvard will condone calls for violence against Jewish students,” Gay said. “Let me be clear: Calls for violence or genocide against the Jewish community, or any religious or ethnic group are vile, they have no place at Harvard, and those who threaten our Jewish students will be held to account.”

But the damage had been done, an error Gay acknowledged on Thursday as the fallout continued. The House Committee on Education and the Workforce announced an official congressional investigation into antisemitism at Harvard. Hours later, Rabbi David Wolpe resigned from an advisory group to combat antisemitism on campus that Gay established only weeks earlier, citing her congressional testimony.

“I got caught up in what had become at that point, an extended, combative exchange about policies and procedures,” Gay said in the interview. “What I should have had the presence of mind to do in that moment was return to my guiding truth, which is that calls for violence against our Jewish community — threats to our Jewish students — have no place at Harvard, and will never go unchallenged.”

“Substantively, I failed to convey what is my truth,” Gay added.

“My truth,” huh? As Mark Steyn wrote in 2005 after then-NJ Gov. Jim McGreevey first brought that phrase into national prominence:

When Governor Jim McGreevey announced last year he was stepping down, he told the people of New Jersey something very modern. He said, “My truth is that I am a gay American.” That’s a very contemporary formulation: “my” truth. To John Paul II, there was only “the” truth. To the moral relativists, everyone’s entitled to his own – or, as the Governor continued, warming to his theme, “one has to look deeply into the mirror of one’s soul and decide one’s unique truth in the world.” That sappy narcissism is what the New York Times boilerplate boils down to: “abortion, homosexuality and contraception” is an alternative Holy Trinity for the church of the self.

In any case, it’s a nice tell by Gay that Harvard’s postmodernism, and its related syndromes, postcolonialism and postnationalism, aren’t going to change anytime too soon:

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