The first amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America defends her citizens from a governmental restriction on the freedom of religion, free speech and a free press, among others. It needs to be remembered that the constitution does not even claim to grant Americans these rights. The Constitution says these rights are ours already by God's grace. The Bill of Rights rather prohibits the government from infringing on them.
We are currently seeing a dark and frightening place where a blatant new wave of racism and anti-Semitism intersects with these very rights; speech, religion and the press. We are at a sad place when racist and anti-Semitic speech, protected by the constitution, is not reported, called what it is and denounced in the strongest possible terms by a free press, a press which is likewise protected by the constitution.
A tragic percentage of the main line news organizations, while claiming not to be anti-Semitic, are so limp in reporting anti-Jewish, anti-Israel speech as to be complicit. I know that is a strong accusation, but it needs to be made.
Rep. Henry "Hank" Johnson (D) from Georgia recently labeled Jewish Israeli settlers "termites." Using subhuman descriptions for the Jewish people has always been a favorite rhetorical tactic of anti-Semites. Hitler and his propagandists used words such as rats, vermin, parasites, blood suckers and lice. Rep. Johnson's "termites" falls in the same reprehensible category. We are at a dangerous place in this country when a United States Congressman can use the language of Neo-Nazi skin heads and the press can shrug it off.
Likewise, Orwellian language such as "safe spaces" and "micro-aggressions" are being tossed about by blatant racists while a complicit press acts as if these words and phrases actually made sense. One college in California announced it was opening dorms exclusively for black students. When questioned, the administration has gone silent and the reality of the situation there remains unclear at this point. The point is, they never should have gotten to this point.
The very fact that such dorms were even considered is reprehensible. That they were demanded by black students is incomprehensible at best and blatantly racist at worst. Dr. Martin Luther King would spin in his grave to see black college students seeking to undo everything he lived and died for.
The term micro-aggression is not just nonsense, which it is, but it is worse. It is dangerous nonsense. "Micro-aggression" can be used to describe any inferred slight or verbal wound, real or imagined. By calling them “aggressions," aggressive responses can be justified. Also a "safe space" is now viewed as a sensible demand. College students too fragile to hear anything good about America's founding fathers can claim that lauding George Washington, even at all, is an act of "aggression" too grievous to bear.
Now, here is the real joker in the deck; the press. Too weak-kneed to call such jabberwocky what it is, the contemporary press corps, to a huge extent, goes along with this absurd game of emperor's new clothes. Many in the press have become hardly more than propagandists for such contemporary word whacking.
When pro-Palestinian thugs threaten to riot if Israeli speakers are brought on campus, where is the noble, fearless press? Who dares call it what it is? Anti-Semitism. When students of color demand exclusive dormitories and "safe spaces" where they will not be forced to hear any idea which they, in their sensitive little hearts cannot bear to listen to; who in the press rises to call it what it is? Racism.
As a university president I was once petitioned by a white girl, an incoming freshman from a small town in the South, to be moved out of her dorm room because her computer-assigned room mate was a black girl from New Jersey. When I absolutely refused, she became hysterical. Her parents arrived with an attorney in tow. They threatened to sue the university and me personally if I would not move the little thing. Again I steadfastly refused. They said she felt threatened and unsafe but could produce not one shred of evidence that the African American girl had shown any sign of aggression.
I assured the family that it would be an educational experience for her to room with a person of another race and cultural background. I also assured the lawyer that were he to sue, I would take them and him to the Supreme Court and that I would use the word racist as often as I could in every press conference. I told her parents she needed to grow up, toughen up and Christian-up. I didn't make a dent. They dropped the threat of a law suit but they withdrew their fragile flower; I believe to her detriment.
I would do it again in a flash. In fact, if the races were reversed I would do it. Racism regardless of the color, is what it is; racism. The Naziesque use of subhuman language for Jewish people is what it is; anti-Semitism. My question is not what racism and anti-Semitism are. I know what those are. We all do. Even those who refuse to admit it know what they are. My question is different. Haters have the God-given right to free speech. I agree. My question is, where is the press? Where are campus leaders capable of fearless, unfettered thought and who have the backbone to call such wicked, hateful things what they are?