Bravo: In Blistering Statement, University President Rips Anti-Police Agitators Over Menacing 'Protests'

Posted: Oct 23, 2020 1:30 PM

From time to time, I write about the wild excesses of the woke Left at my alma mater, Northwestern University. Recent examples include this embarrassing episode, which was infuriating to many fellow alumni of the journalism program (the school somewhat redeemed itself), and this crazy manifesto from NU's Panhellenic Association calling for the abolishment of Greek life on campus. The latest episode involves a group of left-wing students and outside agitators engaging in destructive and appalling "protests" across campus and the wider community last weekend, which included intimidation, threats, and criminal acts:

The offending fools posted triumphant photos of their acts, gloating over their tactics:

In response, Northwestern president Morty Schapiro issued a scorching statement, blasting this conduct in no uncertain terms and vowing accountability. An excerpt:

While the University has every intention to continue improving NUPD, we have absolutely no intention to abolish it...Northwestern firmly supports vigorous debate and the free expression of ideas — abiding principles that are fundamental for our University. We encourage members of our community to find meaningful ways to get involved and advocate for causes they believe in — and to do so safely and peacefully. The University protects the right to protest, but we do not condone breaking the law...I condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the overstepping of the protesters. They have no right to menace members of our academic and surrounding communities. When students and other participants are vandalizing property, lighting fires and spray-painting phrases such as “kill the pigs,” we have moved well past legitimate forms of free speech.

I want to offer a personal illustration of the pain these protesters have caused. Many gathered outside my home this weekend into the early hours of the morning, chanting “f--- you Morty” and “piggy Morty.” The latter comes dangerously close to a longstanding trope against observant Jews like myself. Whether it was done out of ignorance or out of anti-Semitism, it is completely unacceptable, and I ask them to consider how their parents and siblings would feel if a group came to their homes in the middle of the night to wake up their families with such vile and personal attacks. To those protesters and their supporters who justify such actions, I ask you to take a long hard look in the mirror and realize that this isn’t actually “speaking truth to power” or furthering your cause. It is an abomination and you should be ashamed of yourselves...

An essential aspect of education is the discernment of actions and consequences. If you, as a member of the Northwestern community, violate rules and laws, I am making it abundantly clear that you will be held accountable. If you haven’t yet gotten my point, I am disgusted by those who chose to disgrace this University in such a fashion. I especially condemn the effect of their actions on our friends, neighbors and other members of our community who are trying to sustain viable businesses, raise families, study and do research, while facing a global pandemic and the injustices of the world without losing their sense of humanity. I remain as open and willing as ever to speak to any member of the Northwestern family who has concerns about the safety of this campus and everyone who is part of it. But I refuse to engage with individuals who continue to use the tactics of intimidation and violence.

Excellent. This is an adult, speaking clearly to petulant, unhinged children. I am glad that this was not a milquetoast reply, filled with groveling and coddling. I'm glad that consequences were promised and I hope the administration makes good on this vow. Their juvenile, imbecilic response was very on-brand:

This is the last sentence of their new cringe-inducing, callow manifesto (which I won't link): "If violence is the only language Northwestern University responds to, we will no longer be silent." Their slogan is "disarm, defund, disband." Mine is, "identify, expel, charge." Parting thought: Imagine if various mayors and elected officials around the country had the courage to speak to violent rioters the way Schapiro spoke to this horde. But follow-through is crucial.

Recommended Townhall Video