Shame on Columbia

Responding to Columbia University administration's stance against student protesters

Published by Eric Gondella, Date: April 22, 2024

The shocking scenes coming out of Columbia University this past weekend demand the attention of both university administrators and student activists across the country.

Columbia President Minouche Shafik’s decision last Thursday to authorize the New York Police Department to forcefully remove, detain and brutalize peaceful student protesters on their own campus is despicable and anti-Democratic. Despite claims of protecting students’ safety, administrators have only worsened the situation by bringing police onto university grounds. 

If Shafik believed that her decision was genuinely aimed at safeguarding students (which I highly doubt), she was clearly mistaken. This escalation, which drew even more attention to Columbia University, encouraged extremist agitators onto their campus, many of whom hurled antisemitic insults at Jewish students—ironically, many of those arrested were Jewish themselves. 

Antisemitism is indeed a problem on our college campuses and is a scourge on our humanity, like all forms of bigotry. The videos circulating from the incidents over the weekend do not represent the Gaza Solidarity Encampment but rather the actions of hateful individuals exploiting a legitimate human rights issue. 

In its fight against education and “woke” universities, the right wing has become an enemy to academic freedom, peaceful protest and progressive speech. The crisis at Columbia University is yet another capitulation to our lawmakers and their campaign to suppress pro-Palestinian student movements. Shafik and others like her would rather throw their students under the bus to save face than engage in meaningful dialogue on the merits of the students’ demands. 

The continued demonization and mocking of young, progressive pro-Palestinian activists by the Biden administration and members of Congress further alienates young voters and inches us closer to a second Trump presidency. 

I stand in solidarity with the brave students at Columbia University and across the country. The writing is on the wall – we, the young people, and the movement for the end of the atrocities in Gaza and Palestine are not going anywhere.  



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