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Sorry, New York Times, but current campus protesters ARE idiots

Proof: Just listen to them

The New York Times has a long history of elitism and thinking average, middle Americans are just a bunch of lunkheads, and last week’s piece by Elizabeth Spiers certainly added to it.

Her title didn’t help matters: “Dear Boomers, the Student Protesters Are Not Idiots.”

Even David French and Taylor Lorenz (!!) in previous Times articles noted the insolence of those who use “boomer” to make a, er, “point” (as did yours truly).

In typical big blue city arrogance, Spiers (pictured), the founding editor of Gawker who teaches “innovation in media at NYU’s Graduate School of Journalism (and thought Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter was a disaster for minorities and women), claims she knows contemporary student activists aren’t dumb — because she teaches them.

She also contests Hillary Clinton’s assertion that today’s students “don’t know very much at all about the history of the Middle East or frankly about history in many areas of the world, including in our own country.”

Yep, that’s right — Hillary Clinton.

“College students of this generation have far more knowledge about complex world events than mine or Ms. Clinton’s did,” Spiers says, “thanks to the availability of the internet and a 24/7 news cycle fire-hosed directly into their phones.”

She also claims students are “more likely to triangulate among different sources to see if something is true.”

Really? Is this triangulation why half of the country said recently that they think climate change will “devastate the earth during their lifetime“?

Maybe it’s more likely they’ll watch an “educational” TikTok video and take it at face value — like this one.

Virtually no allegedly technologically inept boomers think the Holocaust is a myth, but one-in-five 18-29 year-olds do. Forty percent of college-aged Americans also think Israel is “deliberately” attempting to eradicate the Palestinian population.

MORE: Princeton anti-Israel hunger strikers: University ‘forced’ us to do this

How do these far-more-knowledgeable activist students believe this given the number of Palestinians has grown from 1.3 million to seven million since Israel’s founding? Why would these far-more-knowledgable activists scream that Israel is committing a “genocide”?

Student protesters also have been yammering lately about the “Nakba,” the so-called “disaster” of Palestinians’ displacement in 1948. But when you press them on why the Palestinians were displaced you’ll get a lot of “uh, uhs” and/or ridiculously stupid responses.

The answer, of course, is that the Palestinians and their Arab neighbors attacked the fledgling Israel — and lost. Then Egypt and (Trans)Jordan gobbled up Gaza and the West Bank for themselves, respectively.

How is it none of these far-more-knowledgable student activists ask why Egypt and Jordan did not give these territories to the Palestinians for their state?

Students’ claims that Palestinian actions like October 7’s assault against Israel which killed the equivalent of over 40,000 Americans are merely “resistance” and “liberatory” is even more inane than saying the Confederacy seceded only out of concern for states rights.

“But what of it?” asks Jeffrey Blehar of National Review. Does Spiers really believe people have to “privilege the sincerity” of these student activists’ interpretation of history — which is based on a “settler-colonialism analytical framework for applied social justice”?

I suspect, is yes: Mere sincerity of conviction really does seem to sanctify the kids and their protest, regardless of their ignorance or the vileness of whatever their beliefs are. “I am exhilarated to see students using protest. . . . It allows them to stand up for their values, invest in what’s happening in the world and hold decision makers accountable, even if it means putting themselves at risk.”

Except that they’re not putting themselves at risk. Their “hunger strikes” quickly peter out when they experience the slightest discomfort. They also whine interminably about even the slightest disciplinary measure taken against them (often with faculty assistance).

In fact, they sound a lot like Spiers. Which makes sense, after all — she teaches ’em.

MORE: Rutgers administration buckles to anti-Israel activists’ demands

IMAGE: Chisel Wright/Flickr.com; Godwin Meter/X

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 20 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.