NICOLE RUSSELL: Conservatives tried to warn America that 'social justice' meant violence and hate

As war rages in Israel, it’s been sad and clarifying to see that much of the American Left has been unable to collectively denounce Hamas. The progressive mindset, which has advanced social justice issues above all else, moving from the faculty lounge to the heart of the Democratic party, has brought the left to this point. Conservatives tried to point out the fallacies of this mindset but were often ignored or labeled bigots.

The world has watched in horror as the terrorist group Hamas slayed elderly Jews, raped women, and beheaded babies before our eyes — and gloated about it, too. They’re still holding hundreds hostage even as Israel prepared to launch a counter attack that would minimize the loss of civilian Palestinians. It’s going to get worse before it gets better.

Still, that hasn’t stopped American liberals, young and old, from ignoring the atrocities or even siding with Hamas. Cornell University Professor Russell Rickford gave a speech in New York insinuating that the Hamas terrorist attacks and the deaths of Jews “energized” and “exhilarated” him. Massive pro-Palestine protests, seemingly unbothered by Hamas’ destruction of Israeli civilians, have broken out in Dearborn, Michigan, Dallas, Texas, and other places.

For decades now, conservatives and others have watched as the left slowly allied themselves with a bevy of social justice issues at the expense of truth, reality, and facts. When Black Lives Matter riots broke out in 2020, actual riots that cost $350 million worth of damage to my hometown of Minneapolis, few on the Left condemned them. They were often deemed “mostly peaceful,” an observation that both ignores reality and minimizes violence. This hypocrisy extended to other issues.

For many on the Left, the transgender issue, which is already fraught with controversy, presented another avenue of hypocrisy. Misgendering someone or “deadnaming” someone who had embraced a transgender lifestyle  — mere words  — were tantamount to real violence. Yet this has created its own dichotomy too. The stance that words are violence has led to the unequivocal support for Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip. Rather than simply being a demand for more inclusive language, rather than making the case that words are supposed to be a substitute for violence, it seems to now be a rationalization for more actual violence. Leftists are now trying to muddy the waters on the difference because, essentially, they want to be violent whenever they feel like it so long as the cause feels “just.”

As Marc Rowan, chair of Wharton’s board of advisors said CNBC’s Squawk Box, Oct. 12,  “Microaggressions are condemned with extreme moral outrage and yet violence against Jews seems to have found a place of tolerance on campus. It's unfortunately the environment we live in on campus.”

Now, it appears, no one was paying attention when kids started crying over the wrong pronouns. No one else thought it was an issue that adults were upset when a Christian baker refused to be forced to bake a cake to celebrate an event with which he disagreed. No one else thought that perhaps the inability to weather the differences of others, to acknowledge the rights and beliefs of Christians, or to claim that everything in the world they didn’t like hurt their feelings and required a lawsuit, would lead to being wholly incapable of calling out actual moral failures or violence? There was always, only, good versus evil. The Left just wanted to make everything morally relative, and so they did. Now American universities are living with this gray, crippled, reality they helped create.

The hypocrisy that words are violent but also some violence is okay as long as it targets Jews has exposed the Left for who they really are: In 10 days they have proven that they are far more bigoted, anti-Semitic, and ignorant than we thought. The entire time young generations were incubating at Ivy Leagues universities, the world thought they were getting a stellar education, but really they were just being fed progressive talking points that are so muddled they can’t call out a fight between good and evil when they see it — either because they lack the courage or they can’t actually see it.

Finally, billionaire donors are waking up to the anti-Semitism, bigotry, and power struggle the left has been courting for years. The Wexner Foundation announced it was cutting ties with Harard over “the dismal failure of Harvard’s leadership to take a clear and unequivocal stand against the barbaric murders of innocent Israeli civilians by terrorists last Saturday.” Cital CEO Ken Griffin recently said the failure of Harvard students to denounce Hamas is “unforgivable,” and he won’t hire them. New York mayor Eric Adams gave an incredible, moving speech about how he is “not alright” when he sees his fellow Jewish community in pain and Isrealis slaughtered. There is some hope.

But many on the left, especially young people, have told us who they really are. In many ways, conservatives have known this and tried to expose it, but we were repeatedly told we were bigoted, uncaring, and untruthful. Now, the world has watched as real horror has unfolded. While some have condemned it and stand by Israel, too many American progressives have been distracted and numbed by social justice issues and microaggressions to find the courage to denounce evil when they see it. That is a travesty.
 

Image: Title: Eric Adams
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