Thursday, October 05, 2006

The crenellated ivory tower

Got this in the email regarding an incident at Columbia University.

On October 4, 2006 the founder of the Minuteman Project was assaulted moments after he began speaking. Students stormed the stage, brandishing a banner, as a further wave of student protesters rushed the speaker in a pre-meditated and coordinated attack. Within moments, the entire room erupted with the speaker's entourage rushing to protect him while Columbia Public Safety stood idly by. After fifteen chaotic minutes, the limited security presence finally gained control and terminated the event.

A Youtube video showing the incident is included below.


Commentary

Calm, reasoned, academic discourse ain't what it used to be.

52 Comments:

Blogger Cybrludite said...

Makes you wonder if the next Democrat National Convention will feature Deutschland Über Alles for the anthem and "Triumph of the Will" for the video feature. Or perhaps new versions of "The Inheritance", "Victims Of The Past", and "Existance Without Life" applied towards Republicans as well as other Untermenschen.

10/05/2006 03:15:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

I studied this clip three times. I paid close attention to the thugs that were the culprits and those enjoying the spectacle. I would wager that 90% if not all are on some form of affirmative action, tuition and scholarship support and subsidy. Welcome to the United States of entitled victimhood and the modern university system of diversity and the multi-cultural urban and intellectual experience. It is a pity that ingrates just aren't as grateful as they never were.

10/05/2006 03:28:00 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

Does anyone know what that chant is? I couldn't make it out.

10/05/2006 03:33:00 AM  
Blogger Cybrludite said...

Matt,

I couldn't make it through more than about a third of it before shutting it off. Otherwise I'd have put my fist through my monitor here at work.

10/05/2006 03:43:00 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

I'm curious because I'm often finding that there is a blurring of the distinction between being anti-immigrant and being anti-illegal-immigrant. The chant sounded Spanish to me, but I honestly can't make it out very well. Perhaps it's just a muddled English chant.

Identifying who it is creating the disturbance I think can be more easily determined by listening to what they're actually saying.

Are they against the Minutemen? Against free speech? Against Americans? Are they immigrants themselves? Illegal immigrants? Democrats? Bored students?

10/05/2006 03:59:00 AM  
Blogger sandestin said...

They are saying "Si se pudo" which could mean something like "Yes, we did it".

10/05/2006 04:42:00 AM  
Blogger Brother D-Day said...

Useful idiocy on full display.

10/05/2006 04:42:00 AM  
Blogger sandestin said...

I just see it as a bunch of extremly rich white kids venting their anger out.

10/05/2006 04:48:00 AM  
Blogger Cybrludite said...

More Barcolounger Bolshiveks with delusions of relevance...

10/05/2006 04:51:00 AM  
Blogger sandestin said...

http://www.economist.com/world/na/displaystory.cfm?story_id=7945858

Poison Ivy

Sep 21st 2006
From The Economist print edition
Not so much palaces of learning as bastions of privilege and hypocrisy

AMERICAN universities like to think of themselves as engines of social justice, thronging with “diversity”. But how much truth is there in this flattering self-image? Over the past few years Daniel Golden has written a series of coruscating stories in the Wall Street Journal about the admissions practices of America's elite universities, suggesting that they are not so much engines of social justice as bastions of privilege. Now he has produced a book—“The Price of Admission: How America's Ruling Class Buys Its Way into Elite Colleges—and Who Gets Left Outside the Gates”—that deserves to become a classic.

10/05/2006 04:54:00 AM  
Blogger sandestin said...

Anyone want to talk about how Columbia is forcing out (mostly hispanic) business owners in an effort to expand their campus north into Harlem?

If you take the 1 train (between 137th street and 116th when the train is above ground) you can see the huge banners on the side of the apartment buildings pleading for help to stop CU from taking over their property in English and Spanish.

10/05/2006 04:59:00 AM  
Blogger The Edge said...

The Minuteman Project (MMP) is a citizens' Vigilance Operation monitoring immigration, business, and government.

10/05/2006 06:07:00 AM  
Blogger P. Froward said...

Matt,

I'm often finding that there is a blurring of the distinction between being anti-immigrant and being anti-illegal-immigrant.

"Often"? "Blur"? From what I've seen, the pro-illegal side, and much of the media, are simply describing this as pro-/anti- immigrant, full stop. They're not blurring the distinction, they're obliterating it. And not by accident, I would imagine: If you tell the truth about it, the other side is obviously right, by the standards of most Americans.

10/05/2006 07:44:00 AM  
Blogger Robert Schwartz said...

I lived near Columbia in the early 80s, although I have no affiliation with, nor any particular respect for, the institution. Harlem was abandoned in the 1970s. Since then it has existed only as a Potemkin village and rotten burough for race victim politicians.

Columbia was the academic home of Palestinian appologist, and PoMo academic terrorist, Edward Sa'id. Its Middle East Studies department continues to be a nest of anti-Semitism.

It will take a generation to muck out the academic swamp.

10/05/2006 07:56:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

How long until YouTube yanks the video? I would start looking for plan b & c video hosting.

The vid is offensive. Its offensive what happened to the speakers. Freedom of speech for me but not for thee.

10/05/2006 08:15:00 AM  
Blogger Starling David Hunter said...

Wretchard said: Calm, reasoned, academic discourse ain't what it used to be.

2164th said: Welcome to the United States of entitled victimhood and the modern university system of diversity and the multi-cultural urban and intellectual experience.

Robert Schwartz said: Columbia was the academic home of Palestinian apologist, and PoMo academic terrorist, Edward Sa'id. Its Middle East Studies department continues to be a nest of anti-Semitism.

It seems that under Said's tenure, Middle Eastern studies became a unicultural turban and anti-intellectual experience. What remains unclear (at least to me) is whether this was a cause, effect, or contributing factor to the shameful display of incivility and the violent rejection of reasoned academic discourse by the protesting students.

10/05/2006 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger John C. Wright said...

We are seeing another sign of culture in a deep decline. The parallels between the current age and Rome as its fall neared are not encouraging.

10/05/2006 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Ah my alma mater does it again.

I love the part about the signs being unfurled in English and Arabic.

Having wreaked havoc onstage, the students unrolled a banner that read, in both Arabic and English, "No one is ever illegal."

Ya gotta laugh.

The best way you can describe it is to appriate a term used to attack string theory. The term is "not even wrong." Meaning the proposition is not even on the playing field.(Some of the biggest proponents of string theory are at columbia u. The guy who wrote the book and runs a blog "not even wrong" that attacks string theory--is an untenured professor at cu.) http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/

10/05/2006 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger Mr. K said...

I am proud to say that I turned down an opportunity to attend Columbia...

10/05/2006 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger fred said...

We were a lot more intellectual and civil back during the late seventies and early eighties when I was in college. And I was a LEFTIST then! But, I was not much into activist events. When I wasn't studying economics, I was buried in philosophy books. These kids do not look very scholarly to me. This is the riffraff we are accepting into our elite universities now?

10/05/2006 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger reddog said...

This guy didn't pick his venue very well. Did he actually think college students would behave themselves for him?

I remember in 1968, shortly before Kent State, Barry Goldwater came to my campus. He spoke and had an open forum with questions, in front of thousands of students. Barry understood young people and charmed the crowd. The whole thing was as orderly and polite as a church picnic.

A few weeks later Ronald Reagan, then Governor, emboldened by Barry's success, decided to come to campus and do the same thing. Ronny may have been the Great Communicator, but he was never good with young people. His bodyguards had to hustle him out after less than ten minutes on the podium. His visit triggered a series of riots that shut down the school for two weeks.

Goldwater was more conservative than Reagan. It's the man they react to, not necessarily the text of the message. Goldwater spoke to the students as an equal among equals. Reagan spoke as a scolding father would.

The results were self evident.

10/05/2006 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger Tom in LA said...

reddog,

So you're saying it's the speakers fault? Pitiful.

10/05/2006 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger raymondshaw said...

Kent State shootings was 1970.
Reagan was CA gov from '66 to '72. When & where was this campus talk?

10/05/2006 11:40:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

Anyone want to talk about how Columbia is forcing out (mostly hispanic) business owners in an effort to expand their campus north into Harlem?

It's for the greater good, to increase the capacity for more professors like Ward Churchill and his ilk. Its a lot like the $875,000 dollar sacrifice the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club made to keep Air America on the airwaves.

10/05/2006 11:50:00 AM  
Blogger El_Heffe said...

reddog said...

"It's the man they react to, not necessarily the text of the message."

This video seems to show a disruption that was premeditated. I'm pretty sure that they knew in advance what "the message" was going to be. They rejected it in advance, and prepared their reaction - in advance.

I don't think that it would have mattered who "the man" at the mike was... their advance preparation makes it pretty obvious that they were reacting to "the text of the message."

Marcus Aurelius said...

"How long until YouTube yanks the video?...

The vid is offensive."


I don't find the video offensive. The actions of those in the video are obviously out of line, but I think that its important that things like this be documented. It's not like this is porn or a decapitation video.

Does YouTube have a reputation for yanking controversial material, or pushing a particular political point of view?

10/05/2006 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger ploome said...

regarding

sandestin said...
Anyone want to talk about how Columbia is forcing out (mostly hispanic) business owners in an effort to expand their campus north into Harlem?

If you take the 1 train (between 137th street and 116th when the train is above ground) you can see the huge banners on the side of the apartment buildings pleading for help to stop CU from taking over their property in English and Spanish.


how is Colunmbia 'taking over' their property?

eminent domain?

are these AMERICAN business owners beign forced to sell their property? or does their property belong to someone else, like the site of my business

and the owner of the property sells it, to new owners who want to occupy it themselves?

Losing as lease or not having a lease renewed is not oppression, seems to me, its part of our economic system

10/05/2006 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

The Foley biz takes a funny turn. Rush Limbaugh was speculating about this earlier in the day now the drudge report comes out with this.
FILTHY FOLEY ONLINE MESSAGES WERE PAGE PRANK GONE AWRY

10/05/2006 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

el_heffe, in a word yes. Check out Michelle Malkin on the present row that she has with You Tube concerning one of her short clips.

10/05/2006 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger ploome said...

el hefe;

Fjordman at LGF addressed your point here

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=22842#c0014

There is a reason why some of the largest Islamic organizations in the USA came out in support of the rallies in major cities in support of illegal immigrants. Muslims see this as a way of weakening the Great Satan. And they are right. Americans need to understand just how much is at stake here. We are probably, as President Bush himself has hinted at, in the early stages of a world war with Islam. Muslims are working to get nuclear weapons and are openly calling for the physical destruction of the West. Your enemies are watching the way you are handling the illegal situation, and they are not impressed. Do you think the North Koreans or the Iranians are scared of a country that allows itself to be intimidated and held hostage by a bunch of Mexicans who shouldn’t even be in the country in the first place?.........etc

10/05/2006 12:16:00 PM  
Blogger ploome said...

sandestin said...
I just see it as a bunch of extremly rich white kids venting their anger out.

10/05/2006 04:48:02 AM


thats a joke, right?

watch that video again

10/05/2006 12:21:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

More details on the foley story

10/05/2006 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

Nothing new here.

Back in the 1920's, in Germany, the Communists were trying to gain power. One tactic was to crash speeches of speakers they didn't like, and disrupt the meeting or speech.

Finally somebody came along who organized having his own guys standing by to bust the heads of any disrupters so he could have his say. The middle class had gotten so tired of Leftist thugs that they admired finally having somebody who would stand up to the Leftists. They voted him into office

And they didn't mind his silly little mustache

10/05/2006 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger Gudovac April 1941 said...

1) Columbia owns the buildings in question - virtually all of the land slated for the Campus expansion in Morningside Heights has long been owned by Columbia. The only significant parcel of additional land Columbia wants to acquire is a Bus Depot owned by the City.

2) One should praise Columbia for bringing the Minutemen to campus at all. Which other Ivy League would even allow Minutemen on campus ?

3) A week or so ago - Columbia canceled a public 'speech' by the Iranian Prez. because the guy was so anti-American.

Don't lump Columbia in with other elites.

10/05/2006 01:28:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

In memory of 1,000 Mogadishus and more:

O Columbia! the lemming into the ocean,
The home of the brickbats and the fray,
The shrine of each activist's promotion,
One worldview offers a haj to your way;
The dictates won't let conservatives assemble,
When the Left's form looms in view;
Thy protest banners make non-Progressives tremble,
When shorn of the red, white and blue,
When borne by the Reds, whites and slew,
With scorn to the bled, bright and true,
Thy banners help students dissemble,
When suborning the red, white, and blue.

10/05/2006 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger Mr. Spog said...

I'm not too familiar with the technology, but isn't it possible to post valuable video records on filesharing networks, rather than on Youtube where they are apparently liable to get yanked off the air?

10/05/2006 02:14:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/05/2006 05:13:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

papa bear:

Sad, but true.

10/05/2006 05:15:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

The Columbia altercation and the bullying of YouTube are illustrative.

The same people who whine about mythical 'stifling dissent' or 'digital brownshirts' when someone criticizes or disagrees with them (or declines to buy their CDs), the same ones who insist, unmolested during protest marches and rallies, that George Bush is running a police state, apparently have no problem with heckling speakers off the stage, interfering with the assembly rights of others, and applauding the strong-arming of media outlets (YouTube).

They either truly believe that classifying what they don't wish to hear as 'hate speech' gives them license to participate in or support such thuggery, or they believe this tactic will keep their targets on the defensive. I suspect that for participants and true believers, it's the former, while for organizers, it's the latter.

Indeed, the behavior of the Left often mirrors the array of charges it levels against the West -- intolerance, bigotry, etc.

Similarly, free speech is, apparently, a one-way street.

10/05/2006 05:18:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

My comment contained more than a touch of sarcasm.

I set up an account for myself to comment on the Clinton meltdown but it was a pain in the post, and the comment never made it on.

So I am going on what I have read. YouTube has a reader settable offensive flag (it seem much akin to Blogger's) and if enough readers set the flag the video gets yanked. Three yanks on an account and the account is terminated. It sounds like groups out there are attacking videos they don't like in an organized fashion. The JawaReport had a vid on YouTube about the infamous ambulance and that was yanked. A YouTube conservative user community has also been flagged as potentially offensive as well.

Yes, it is just another file one can put on any fileserver however, how many of us have those?

Well, I don't find what the vid is purported to show offensive either. However, some leftoids may have their feelings hurt that a video out there showing the left for what it is rather than what they hallucinate it to be. We wouldn't want that now, would we?

10/05/2006 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

P.S. When I look back on all the vicious hatred spewed by some speakers at anti-war protests during the past few years -- brought to my living room by c-span, of course -- I try to imagine the reaction or the press coverage should anyone have tried to disrupt these events in a similar fashion.

Like trying to imagine a press conference from the Beijing office of a human rights organization (hah1) concerning the conditions of lao gai prisoners. Or Guantanamo-style tours of lao gai facilities for journalists.

Where is the outrage, indeed?

10/05/2006 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

Similarly, free speech is, apparently, a one-way street.

The Constitution forbids Congress from stifling speech, not YouTube.

10/05/2006 05:36:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

The mob made the speaker's case;why we don't need third world riffraff in our country;even moreso why our tax dollars don't need to subsidize their entry into universities where they dumb down discourse.
Interestingly,it was in the Roone Arledge Auditorium.Didn't he coin the phrase,"The Thrill of Victory,The Agony of Defeat"?How about the thrill of watching idiots expound their worldview and the agony of knowing they really are that stupid.

10/05/2006 05:55:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

The war at home/the war overseas.We recognize the stormtroopers in headscarves(at least some of us do).
But what about our domestic enemies?Is this mob just some college students doing a prank like goldfish swallowing or is it something more ominous?Take a mix of overheated lefties,undocumented aliens,radicalized ghetto ex-cons and what do you get?
In an entirely unrelated incident the campaign manager for the Republican candidate for governor in New Mexico had her tire slashed.When she stopped to fix it,an assailant beat her severely in the head with a tire iron.Keep your powder dry.

10/05/2006 06:25:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

Teresita,

You are correct about YouTube being able to restrict any speech it wants to for any reason. However, it is clear YouTube's offensive flagging system is being abused by Jihadists trying to whitewash their sins, and YouTube is allwoing themselves to be used a Jihadi tool.

However, what went on at Columbia University is a completely different story. That is what seems to be Cosmo's primary target.

10/05/2006 06:28:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

Thank you, Marcus.

Teresita is correct, in the strictest sense, but missed the point I was trying to make about silencing those with whom one disagrees and, in particular, the uncivilized tactics used to do so.

10/05/2006 06:46:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

I would have loved for Ann Coulter to have close-lined the moron who pied her.

At some point people will not put up with this any more and the gloves will come off.

At that point the the most shocked people will be the bullies who get the bloody noses.

10/05/2006 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

I see violence...the violence of the weak driven by ego and stupidity.

10/05/2006 08:47:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

low-rent tyrants

10/05/2006 08:59:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

There was panel discussion at the National Press Club involving Pajamas Media with a panel mulling over he question of "How Partisan Is Too Partisan?" And some guys argued that the worst partisanship is that which masquerades as magisterial fairness.

But there was broad agreement that in the context of the last hundred years at least, we are at an apex of partisanship. Mark Halperin and John Harris in another podcast argued that the only salvation from irrevocable partisan strife lay in the resuscitation of the refereee the Mainstream Media. Only the Olympian impartiality of a Walter Cronkite could save us from everlasting damnation. I think Halperin and Harris are sincere, but I don't buy their argument.

For better or worse we are in a debate. And a debate about important things. Partisanship has this to recommend it: let the best man win. If you asked an Islamist what his strength was he might reply -- Faith. Yet if you asked a Man of the West, he might answer: Doubt. Partisanship is instititutionalized Doubt.

One day, in the far future, historians may characterize this period as the war between Faith and Doubt. Or rather between Faith and Faith. For we doubt whether God will rebuke us for asking a question. God is our Father. He never asks that we accept what doesn't make sense. And therefore as men of Faith we embrace Doubt. For if God lives then all our fears -- and all our questions -- are at a rest.

10/06/2006 04:57:00 AM  
Blogger BoneUSA said...

A step back from Wretchard's erudite last comment, but I wanted to share a memory that the Columbia incident triggered. I was an undergrad there in the mid-1990s and at one point, for about a week or so, students occupied one of the academic buildings to protest the lack of an "Ethnic Studies" department -- apparently, the school's failure to offer majors in things like Latino Studies was an act of oppression against its minority students, causing permanent damage to their self esteem and ethnic pride. The point of this is that apart from a few hard-core activists, most of the occupiers were there for the thrill of it. I knew plenty of them, and many were fairly dumb and/or never went to class, so it was doubtful that they were really all that riled up about the lack of courses in Nicaraguan-American poetry and the like. I have a feeling a lot of those idiots at the Minuteman speech fall into the same category.

10/06/2006 08:33:00 AM  
Blogger Gudovac April 1941 said...

Update: Columbia's Admins are cracking down very hard on the guilty in this incident.


FYI: Up until the 1960's Columbia was a very conservative place. (some even described it as 'Tory') Even during the 1968 foolishness, we shouldn't forget that a majority of students actively tried to stop the leftists.

10/06/2006 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger Gudovac April 1941 said...

Columbia's Offical Position in email I just got (evidently sent to alumni)
------------------------------------


Dear Columbian,
As you may have heard, last Wednesday night, disruption by student protestors resulted in the termination of an event organized by the Columbia College Republicans in Lerner Hall. The incident quickly received broad media attention.
In order to keep you and other University alumni informed, I have included below a letter President Bollinger sent to the campus community on October 6, 2006. As the letter notes, the administration is investigating the incident and those found responsible for any violations of campus norms of conduct will be held fully accountable. Most importantly, President Bollinger affirms an unwavering commitment to free speech across the political spectrum as one of our core values as a community.
We will be posting updated information as it becomes available at alumni.columbia.edu.
Regards,
Eric J. Furda
Vice President for Alumni Relations



PRESIDENT BOLLINGER'S LETTER:
Dear fellow members of the Columbia community,
Columbia University has always been, and will always be, a place where students and faculty engage directly with important public issues. We are justifiably proud of the traditions here of intellectual inquiry and vigorous debate. The disruption on Wednesday night that resulted in the termination of an event organized by the Columbia College Republicans in Lerner Hall represents, in my judgment, one of the most serious breaches of academic faith that can occur in a university such as ours.
Of course, the University is thoroughly investigating the incident, and it is critically important not to prejudge the outcome of that inquiry with respect to individuals. But, as we made clear in our University statements on both Wednesday night and Thursday, we must speak out to deplore a disruption that threatens the central principle to which we are institutionally dedicated, namely to respect the rights of others to express their views.
This is not complicated: Students and faculty have rights to invite speakers to the campus. Others have rights to hear them. Those who wish to protest have rights to do so. No one, however, shall have the right or the power to use the cover of protest to silence speakers. This is a sacrosanct and inviolable principle.
It is unacceptable to seek to deprive another person of his or her right of expression through actions such as taking a stage and interrupting a speech. We rightly have a visceral rejection of this behavior, because we all sense how easy it is to slide from our collective commitment to the hard work of intellectual confrontation to the easy path of physical brutishness. When the latter happens, we know instinctively we are all threatened.
We have extensive University policies governing the actions of members of this community with respect to free speech and the conduct of campus events. Administrators began identifying those involved in the incident as it transpired and continue to investigate specific violations of University policies to ensure full accountability by those found to be responsible.
University personnel are also evaluating event management practices that are specifically intended to help event organizers, participants, and protestors maintain a safe environment in which to engage in meaningful and sometimes contentious debate across the spectrum of academic and political issues. These are some of the many steps we intend to take in the weeks ahead to address this matter in our community.
Let me reaffirm: In a society committed to free speech, there will inevitably be times when speakers use words that anger, provoke, and even cause pain. Then, more than ever, we are called on to maintain our courage to confront bad words with better words. That is the hallmark of a university and of our democratic society. It is also one of our central safeguards against the impulses of intolerance that always threaten to engulf our commitment to proper respect for every person.
Sincerely,
Lee C. Bollinger

10/09/2006 01:50:00 PM  

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