The double standard on campus speech

The media and the rest of the Left believe that calling for the murder of Jews is free speech while calling another student ‘Lizzo’ isn’t.

By Daniel Greenfield, Frontpage Magazine

After weeks in which college students at campuses from Columbia to Harvard to UCLA celebrated murders and rapes, waved the flags of Islamic terrorist organizations and assaulted Jewish people, one student has finally been held accountable.

The student, a frat brother at University of Mississippi, was a counterprotester who allegedly mocked a pro-terror student as “Lizzo” and made sounds some thought resembled a monkey.

While no amount of calls for the destruction of America or assaults on Jewish students led to any outrage in the media or actual consequences (including Khymani James, a leader of the Columbia University encampment who talked to university officials about killing Jews), the incident at a decidedly non-Ivy school has actually generated outrage and consequences.

Knocking a Jewish female UCLA student unconscious didn’t do it. Barring Jewish students from being able to go to their classes didn’t do it. Assaulting staff members and faculty at universities didn’t do it.

But call a fat black female activist Lizzo” and it’s an instant nationwide outrage.

The Biden administration personally condemned it. The New York Times, USA Today, The Daily Beast, NBC News, CNN, and Newsweek all covered this urgent story.

None of them condemned or addressed a Jewish girl being knocked unconscious at UCLA. Or other specific assaults.

What the ‘Ole Miss’ story really tells us is that the sudden concern for free speech on campuses is a hoax. The media and the rest of the Left believe that calling for the murder of Jews is free speech while calling another student “Lizzo” isn’t. Just as they believe that non-Mexican students wearing sombreros is a punishable offense but cheering for Hamas isn’t.

In 2019, Harvard rescinded admission to Kyle Kashuv, a conservative survivor of the Parkland massacre, because of racial slurs in a text message from 2016.

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According to Harvard, a student can be retroactively denied admission because of something stupid he texted when he was 16, but Hamas supporters can’t be disciplined when they promote violence and antisemitism because of a highly selective commitment to “free speech”.

Harvard kicked out incoming freshmen over old memes, accusing them of a lack of “maturity and moral character”.

Supporting the massacre of Jews however doesn’t raise any issues of “moral character”.

If free speech on campuses meant the right to air any views, no matter how abhorrent, to hurl any insult, that would at least be fair.

In reality though campuses closely police speech they don’t like while defending their inaction against leftist terrorism and violence as “free speech”.

Universities don’t believe in free speech. Neither does the media. What they do believe is that calling a fat black girl “Lizzo” is unacceptable but chanting “Intifada”, “Glory to Our Martyrs” or “Yemen, Yemen, make us proud, turn another ship around!” in support of the Houthi Jihadis attacking civilian ships near Yemen are legitimate and even praiseworthy forms of speech.

At Brown, “hundreds of students on the Main Green chanted” in support of a terrorist group fighting the US Navy under the motto, “Allahu Akbar, Death to America, Death to Israel, a Curse on the Jews and Victory for Islam.” But at least Lizzo didn’t come up.

(That’s the same university whose commitment to anti-racism is so wholehearted that it barred white students from one of its classes in violation of both state and federal law.)

No university would tolerate a KKK rally on its premises. When racists marched at the University of Virginia, it was a national outrage, but when UVA recently cleared an encampment of Hamas supporters, the president felt the need to offer multiple apologies to the terrorist supporters.

The terrorist rallies are not protected because of free speech, but because the Left backs them.

Even while defending the Hamas encampments, universities and the media have taken every opportunity to criminalize and punish opponents and counter-protesters.

Whether it was assistant professor Shai Davidai being banned from the Columbia campus, Yale spending a year investigating Evan Morris, a Jewish engineering professor, for signing a letter condemning campus antisemitism, or blaming UCLA Jewish counterprotesters for fighting back against violent assaults by Hamas supporters or the Ole Miss incident, there’s a consistent pattern of harassing, penalizing and demonizing anyone who gets in the way of the Hamas supporters.

That’s not free speech either.

The double standard is not a new problem. In 2020, the same political systems that ruthlessly suppressed anti-lockdown protesters with violent arrests, widespread censorship and, at the furthest extreme in Canada, martial law, not only tolerated the BLM race riots, but punished the mildest forms of dissent against it with firings, cancel culture and even criminal prosecution.

The same political system that permitted tearing down and vandalizing statues also prosecuted drivers driving over BLM graffiti on streets.

Tearing down a Columbus statue was “in the finest tradition of political protest”, but swerving over a giant yellow BLM was a hate crime.

While the double standards were defended at the time as a response to an oppressed minority, the Hamas campus riots pit two minority groups against each other with revealing results.

The system is no longer just picking and choosing between a minority group and a nameless class of targets for its violence, but between two groups both protected by civil rights law.

What made universities and the media choose one group, Muslims, over another, Jews?

Islamists have become part of the larger leftist coalition. The atrocities of Oct 7 have been rebranded as a liberation movement.

After months of rallies, the position initially adopted by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and the Muslim Students Association (MSA) which openly endorsed the crimes of Hamas, has become widespread across the Left.

Rather than honestly address that the media has once again taken to lying about the riots, as it did in 2020 with CNN’s infamous “’fiery but mostly peaceful protest’ being reported on with flames in the background, depicting the violence as the work of a handful of fringe figures, suggesting that the only reason protests became violent were the police arrests, and falsely portraying the views of the protesters as moderates seeking an end to the fighting.

The media, eager for any distraction from the violent racist criminality of its cause, chose to make a woman who called the cops after getting into an argument in a park into a national villain, while looking away from the worst kinds of violence and looting across the country.

Now the unfortunate former frat brother at ‘Ole Miss’ is the latest national villain because it allows the media to distort the conflict between Jewish students and Hamas supporters in the Ivies into a more familiar story about a showdown between Southern racists and black people.

While the story of the frat brother was covered by every major national media outlet, the story of Eleanor Saghian, a Jewish UCLA student who was knocked unconscious, only appeared on FOX News.

Milagro Jones, a formerly homeless non-Jewish UCLA student who was mistakenly assaulted by Hamas supporters, was likewise only able to tell his story to FOX News.

The perpetrators of the assaults have not been suspended or expelled from campus.

If Hamas supporters violently assault students, the national media will boycott the story, but if a counterprotester insults a Hamas supporter, the media will make sure it’s front page news.