College Campuses on Fire

Published 12:00 pm Sunday, May 12, 2024

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I strive to write pleasant columns, but there are times when the activities going on in my beloved United States of America call for a different response. What is going on these days and weeks in our nation is sad and disturbing. And alarming. We’ve not been down this road before.

            It’s not the protests, themselves. I am old enough to remember the Civil Rights protests of the middle 1960’s and the protests against the Vietnam War a few years later. Whether you agreed or disagreed with these causes did not prevent another from freedom of speech or gathering. That’s called the First Amendment.

            In other words this is a free country, but an individual’s rights stop when they infringe upon the rights of others. Or, as the high school civics teacher said, “Your right to swing your fist stops at the end of my nose.”

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            It costs almost $70,000 dollars to attend Columbia University for one year. If one is able to attend and get an undergraduate degree in four years, that’s over a quarter of a million dollars that has been spent on that piece of parchment.

            Because of the sustained protest on that New York City campus, Columbia has just canceled their Graduation Ceremonies. A quarter of a million dollars and didn’t even get to walk across the stage.

It has been proved that the protests were not spontaneously combusted. The New York Police Department has researched the participants and determined that a very large percentage of protestors had nothing to do with Columbia.

            It’s the same all over the nation. Students are being led down a dangerous road by professional agitators who travel the nation and world seeking to foment discord. They take advantage of young people who, even with expensive college degrees, don’t know what day it is.

It’s like these professionals have put rings in the noses of these students and they are being led around like a bull or cow.

Meanwhile, when the rubber meets the road and the police move in, the outsiders, who haven’t spent $70,000 per year, are nowhere to be seen or found. They move on to another college campus or another cause, like a political convention in Chicago in August. They really are good for nothing!

The protests on the Columbia campus began April 17 and are now almost a month old. The President and Administration, initially, tried to negotiate with the perpetrators. If there ever was a time to invoke the old Barney Fife meme, “nip it in the bud,” this was it.

Negotiations? For what? The President of Columbia, who should resign, could have said, “When you take down those illegal tents that all look alike and tell me who is paying for all of this uproar, then we’ll talk. But until then, you’re fired!”

Here’s another meme that’s appropriate. “Follow the money.” When the money was followed the usual suspects were discovered. Names that have dirtied our laundry for decades came to the forefront. Billionaires and old-timers from the sixties who have dedicated their lives to the destruction of this beautiful nation. They ought to be tarred and feathered.

We’re at a serious crossroads. Who knows who we have let enter our nation in the past few years? Are the real chickens coming home to roost? If we are at a serious crossroads, and we are, it’s time to become serious about these threats to the United States.

It won’t be easy because leadership is lacking. I believe that the vast majority of our citizens do not like what’s happening. One more symbolic question. It’s batter-up time. Who’s going to step up? You and I have something to say and do about that.