It has been disheartening to watch the leaders of major universities dither over whether they should condemn Hamas for its terror attack in Israel. Imagine if the KKK attempted to hold a rally on a university campus. The university leaders would rightfully condemn the KKK and its message.
Juxtapose that response with the nuanced response that university leaders have expressed after Hamas tortured and killed babies, women, grandmothers and children.
Leah Beilock, President of Dartmouth, said she “watched with growing horror the Hamas attack on Israel, the escalating violence, and the devastating loss of life, especially among civilians.” Beilock was attempting to be neutral in her response.
Ben Sasse, President of the University of Florida, did not mince words when he addressed the Hamas attack. Sasse stated, “I will not tiptoe around this simple fact: what Hamas did was evil and there is no defense for terrorism. This shouldn’t be hard. Sadly, too many people in elite academia have been so weakened by their moral confusion that, when they see videos of raped women, hear of a beheaded baby, or learn of a grandmother murdered in her home, the first reaction of some is to ‘provide context’ and try to blame the raped women, beheaded baby, or the murdered grandmother.”
Sasse went on to say that this type of response “is beneath people called to educate our next generation of Americans.” Sasse also noted that the University of Florida would “protect (the) students and will protect free speech.”
Sasse’s response is perfect. We will allow students to espouse views we disagree with but when necessary we will strongly condemn the ideas.
The wokeness that has taken over many elite universities has led to a dangerous double-standard. Colleges will condemn and cancel conservative thoughts and ideas but will ignore evil ideas espoused by leftists.
Ben Sasse is no partisan hack. When he was a Republican senator he was clear who he blamed for the January 6th riot. Sasse said he first placed blame on the violent mob that stormed the Capitol “and then on the President of the United States as well, who was pouring gasoline on the fires of division.”
Higher education needs more leaders like Sasse who will not cower before the mobs of the left, the terrorists who kill, or the demagogues of the right like Trump.
Come to think of it, America could use a leader like Sasse.