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Commentary By Christopher F. Rufo

Ideological Growth of a Poison Ivy: Columbia’s Journey from Scholarship to Activism

Education Higher Ed

The images of the recent protests at Columbia University have grabbed the attention of the American public: students chanting for a Palestinian state, “from the river to the sea”; activists setting up a mass tent encampment on the campus lawn; masked occupiers seizing control of Hamilton Hall. 

For some, it was a sign that ancient antisemitism had established itself in the heart of the Ivy League. For others, it was déjà vu of 1968, when mass demonstrations last roiled campus.

Columbia president Minouche Shafik feigned surprise. In a statement to students, she expressed “deep sadness” about the campus chaos. 

But to anyone who has observed Columbia in recent decades, the upheaval should not come as a surprise. 

Columbia for decades has cultivated the precise conditions that allowed the pro-Hamas protests to flourish. The university built massive departments to advance “postcolonialism,” spent hundreds of millions of dollars on “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” and glorified New Left–style student activism as the telos of university life.

Continue reading the entire piece here at the New York Post


Christopher F. Rufo is a senior fellow and director of the Initiative on Critical Race Theory at the Manhattan Institute and contributing editor of City Journal. Adapted from City Journal online.

Photo by KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images