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Student activism has met a new low. On Monday night, a Change.org petition began circulating around Rutgers groups calling for journalist Lisa Daftari’s talk on Oct. 16 to be cancelled due to her perceived Islamophobia. By Tuesday afternoon, this dishonest petition had more than 1,000 signatures. Daftari, an accomplished foreign policy analyst who has spent her career covering ISIS and counter-terrorism, is far from an Islamophobe — her work is incredibly important to the lives of the countless Muslims who fall prey to ISIS. Student activists’ attempts to take her quotes out of context are shameful, dishonest and contrary to the purpose of a university, which is to educate and expose students to new ideas.
The conservative woman is an enigma that radical feminists like to pretend does not exist — but when they do, many radical feminists make the same gender-based attacks against these women that they accuse the patriarchy of doing. With conservative women, we have a group that is considered a traitor to its sex because it wants to preserve the customs and institutions that society has while shrinking the size of a government due to recognition that superfluous investment in social services does not equate to a happier society. And because conservative women have these "horrid, oppressive beliefs," modern feminists find it acceptable to attack them in the sexist ways that they usually complain about, particularly by targeting them for being women and using their femininity against them.
Earlier this week, political commentator and notorious Facebook celebrity Tomi Lahren was suspended by The Blaze after she had appeared on The View and said she was pro-choice. Lahren, who has become famous for taking part in four-minute long rants on Facebook in which she complains and yells about various current events, most famously about Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the pledge of allegiance, was discussing politics on The View. When the topic of abortion came up, Lahren said that it was hypocritical to support limited government and be pro-life, stating that “I’m someone that is for limited government, so I can’t sit here and be a hypocrite and say … that I think that the government should decide what women do with their bodies.” This was shocking — not just that someone on Glenn Beck’s payroll would sit at a panel with Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar and validate their views on abortion, but especially that Lahren would make this dramatic shift in opinion, after Lahren had called the pro-choice movement “baby killers” in a previous video three months earlier. After making these comments, Lahren was been suspended for a week by The Blaze and her Facebook show remains temporarily inactive. It is unclear how long Lahren will stay at The Blaze and although it was never explicitly stated why she was suspended, it is obvious why.
Last Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony was full of political moments — whether it was when Lin-Manuel Miranda wore a ribbon for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), or when Emma Stone wore a pin for Planned Parenthood, or when the winner of the Best Foreign Language Film skipped the ceremony to make a statement against President Donald J. Trump’s travel ban, viewers at home were reminded again of Hollywood’s politics. But the most unexpected, and unplanned, political moment was when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway accidentally announced the musical "La La Land" as the Best Picture winner, when it was actually "Moonlight," a drama about a black man struggling with his sexuality. On a night that was supposed to belong to "La La Land," a movie that had tied with "All About Eve" and "Titanic" for the most nominations in Oscars history and was predicted to win Best Picture, "Moonlight" took its rightful prize after a few minutes of chaos and confusion.
Politics has a way of bringing out the hypocrisy in people. The same Democrats who shook their heads at the thought of President Donald J. Trump running for office — a man with no public service record but a lot of money — are fawning over Philip Murphy, a former Goldman Sachs executive who has never held an elected office but is seeking the highest public position in New Jersey under the Democratic ticket. When he did not work at Goldman Sachs, Murphy served as U.S. ambassador to Germany from 2009-2013. It’s unclear how serving as an ambassador in Germany qualifies one to be governor of New Jersey. Murphy does not appear to have done a particularly good job as ambassador either — German-U.S. relations were soured after Wikileaks published documents that showed Murphy calling Chancellor Angela Merkel “insecure” and “risk averse and rarely creative.” In other words, Murphy did exactly what an ambassador should not do, which is criticize the leader of the country he was assigned to conduct diplomacy with. But Democrats don’t seem to care about this, and they have thrown their support behind Murphy over other potential Democratic candidates like Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-N.J.) and Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-N.J). By the way, Angela Merkel didn’t think Murphy was qualified either. In 2009, she asked former President Barack Obama to reconsider his nomination for ambassador to Germany. When he didn’t, she accepted it begrudgingly.
One might not expect that administrative officials at a public university would make their political views known and openly endorse specific legislation, but apparently, this is normal at Rutgers. Within the past two weeks, University President Robert L. Barchi has sent three distinctly political emails concerning the uncertainty of undocumented students during President Donald J. Trump’s first few weeks in office. Not only that, but Barchi also gave a speech at Tuesday’s #NoBanNoWall protest in front of a thousand students in response to Trump’s executive order suspending the entry of refugees and immigrants from certain Middle Eastern countries temporarily — and he is not a fan of Trump’s policy.
I’m not a feminist. It’s not something that I like to throw at people, because I’m wholly accepting of most feminists and admire their concern for social issues, but when someone speaks to me with the assumption that my gender requires me to be a feminist, I feel inclined to burst that bubble and deviate a bit. Especially considering that the group behind tomorrow’s Women’s March on Washington retracted a partnership with a pro-life feminist group, proving that mainstream feminists would rather turn away women who disagree with them on a few issues than show solidarity against a president-elect who is being accused of sexual assault.
About a week ago, a conservative organization named Turning Point USA released a “professor watchlist,” which aggregates and lists the so-called most liberal professors in America. The general reactions ranged from people calling the list a threat to academic freedom to others laughing at the concept. It has always been known that academia leans left, but an attempt to quantify the most liberal professors in the country into a single list was rather novel. And there is a reason why it has barely been done before — because the results are extremely inaccurate. Five Rutgers professors were listed, and I can say from experience that one of them (William Field, a professor in the Department of Political Science) is not even close to the most liberal professor I have taken and never struck me as biased, even as a right-leaning student. In fact, most of the professors across the country were listed for doing rather mild things — criticizing the NRA or teaching their students the concept of privilege — which may be considered “radical” in other parts of the country, but certainly not in New Jersey.
For many students on campus, Hillary Clinton’s shocking defeat to Donald Trump on Tuesday was the first time they had to deal with their political party losing a presidential election. Not knowing how depressing and demoralizing losing an election is, students haven’t been able to cope with the defeat. They blame Trump’s victory on dozens of different variables, including sexism and racism, but in reality liberals have no one to blame but themselves.
After Polina Goryunova’s "response” to my article last week (the word response necessitates quotation marks, because, although it was addressed to me, it didn’t address any of the points I made), I’ve made it a personal goal to make as many communists as angry as possible. Little does Goryunova know that satire is my favorite genre of literature, and since her column imitated it so well, I’m going to keep “perpetuating Cold War myths” like saying that Joseph Stalin killed people and that the state-sanctioned killing of people is bad — I can only imagine how shocking that statement is to Marxists on campus. When student leftists have gone beyond progressivism, have gone beyond socialism, have even gone beyond theoretical Marxism and have become apologists for full-fledged communism, it’s worth noting why capitalism isn’t that bad of a system after all.
I will preface this column by asserting that genocide is bad. Columbus, by both intentionally and unintentionally killing the Lucayan, Taíno, and Arawak and Cigüayo tribes, ruined their societies. Native American citizens in the United States today have had to endure systematic injustices for centuries because Europeans decided to intrude on their land, extract their resources and enslave their populations. I see this as unjust because, as a libertarian, autonomy is one of my most fundamental beliefs — but I’m also a history major, and so I find some of this week’s criticisms of Columbus less valid than others.
If one thing were true in this world, it’s that Rutgers loves Paul Robeson: He’s featured on Rutgers' promotional posters across campus, there's a cultural center named after him and last semester they even revealed plans to have a memorial in honor of him across from Old Queens. While getting off the bus at the Student Activities Center, it’s impossible to miss the giant “Revolutionary for 250 Years” advertisement hanging on Hardenbergh Hall, featuring an image of Robeson.
What does this Rutgers University sophomore have in common with Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson? We both didn’t know what Aleppo was until last week. This is quite embarrassing for me, who only knew that the capital of Syria was Damascus (unlike The New York Times, ironically), but it was a massive blow to Gary Johnson’s campaign and the Libertarian movement in general.
Chancellor Richard L. Edwards’s Feb. 12 email didn’t seem to make anyone happy. His accusation of “incivility” at the Milo Yiannopoulos event on Feb. 9 was very vague, and protesters felt, once again, victimized. It’s safe to say they were the “uncivil” ones, after smearing fake blood on themselves, flipping off people and embarrassing Rutgers on national news. And let’s not beat around the bush: The actions of the protesters were abhorrent. Protests don’t have to be, and the reasonable protesters suffered due to the theatrics of others.
During the application process, incoming first-year students decide what their future alma mater will be based on personal criteria. Some will choose to value a school’s name and reputation, while others base their choices on how well they enjoy the campus. Some take pride in their school’s diversity (sound familiar?), and others proudly flaunt their school’s acceptance rate or their U.S. News and World Report ranking. I chose Rutgers for all of the above (although the U.S. News ranking could be more generous), but also for something slightly odd. I chose Rutgers because Milton Friedman went here.