One of the most unsettling experiences
I had while serving in Vietnam and Cambodia in 1970 was when one of the guys in my squad relayed the news that four Kent State students were killed and nine injured by the Ohio National Guard.
It was May 4th, and we were part of an invasion force meant to root out the North Vietnamese command headquarters. To a man we were shocked and disheartened.
Flash forward to 2023.
While no student deaths have been reported yet in the recent protests at college campuses, they have spurred waves of antisemitism and Islamophobia across the country.
The Israel-Hamas war has stirred free-speech battles lately that have seriously divided students in most of the elite colleges like Harvard.
Unlike the protests during the Vietnam conflict there is another more deadly element in play that wasn't available back in the day. Social media. Our enemies in the world have used it to stir violence and unrest in college campuses for years now. And it is just getting worse.
The Education Department sent out a warning last week reminding schools that they have a legal obligation to curb discrimination or risk losing federal funding.
Angry alumni are calling for presidents to step down and threatening to withhold sizable donations. Students have been arrested. Faculties are divided. It's that bad.
For good reason Jewish and Muslim families are alarmed at what they're seeing because of the ripple effect of the war is on top of recent antisemitism and Islamophobia movement being spread by political extremists from within and overseas.
Reported bias incidents are on the rise according to new data (released last week) from the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
The total number of bias crimes investigated by the NYPD Hate Crime Task Force increased by 124% (from 45 to 101) in October, led by a 214% spike in anti-Jewish incidents (from 22 to 69), according to a NYPD spokesman last Thursday.
This is not just a recent response to the Israeli/Hamas war. Reports of antisemitic incidents in the U.S. had reached an all-time high in 2022, according to the Jewish Defense League.
What we're seeing now on college campuses is chaos worse than the few years of the Vietnam protests on campuses because there doesn't appear to be an end in sight to the violence.
As it stands, I'm also concerned for possible future students who may not elect to go to college adding to the dumbing down of America.