Patterico's Pontifications

3/28/2024

Fun Story: Vanderbilt vs. the Anti-Israel Kiddie Brigade

Filed under: General — JVW @ 6:16 am



[guest post by JVW]

Oh man, I’m now a big van of Vanderbilt University! I’ve been on that campus a couple of times in recent years and have always enjoyed it (I’m a huge fan of Nashville too), but I had sort of assumed that they are your typical insufferable child-coddling left-wing romper room.

Not so.

This story by Suzie Weiss at The Free Press is gold. To begin with, it has an outstanding title: “Tale of a Tampon.” She bases her piece on, and gives full credit to, a series of Tweets, from Steve McGuire of the American Council of Trustees, and it tells a fantastic and compelling tale. I will use Ms. Weiss’s narrative in recounting it, but I will try to provide links to the supporting Tweets from Mr. McGuire. Here we go:

On Tuesday morning, a group of campus activists pushed past a security guard and forced their way into Kirkland Hall on the Vanderbilt campus, which I take it is a main administrative building. Once ensconced within the hallowed halls, they occupied the waiting area outside of the chancellor’s office doors to protest the administration’s cancellation of a student referendum regarding campus divestment from Israel. The students would remain there for the next twenty-one and one-half hours, watched carefully by campus police to prevent them from breaking in to the chancellor’s office. The protesters were joined by fellow students who gathered outside Kirkland (campus police no longer letting anyone inside the building) in support of their comrades inside. Naturally, the mostly white protesters couldn’t help but taunt the black Vanderbilt police officers, accusing them — you guessed it! — of being “puppets” of the administration. The administration responded by ordering meals from Panera to be delivered to the officers on duty, but not to the bratty students who were told that if they left the protest area to eat, drink, pee, or whatever that they would not be allowed back in.

At this point allow me pause and point out that the videos show a majority of students wearing face coverings. Not keffiyehs or Guy Fawkes masks like the cool terrorist kids wear, but COVID-era sanitary masks, what high-strung little snowflakes who were frightened into compliance during the pandemic are still sporting lo these forty post-vaccine months later.

Back to the narrative, because this is where it gets awesome. Since I’m just some oafish old dude, I had better let Ms. Weiss take over this part of the story:

Here’s what went down: during one of those 21.5 hours of the protest, probably at an ungodly one, a few of the student demonstrators decided to call 911. That’s because their friend, who was part of the sit-in, had to change her tampon.

Specifically, she was “being denied the right to change her tampon that has been in for multiple hours, which leads to an increased risk of toxic shock syndrome.”

The frankly Zen-like 911 operator, who deserves a raise, was understandably confused. “Ma’am, do you have an emergency?”

Um, yes?! The student on the phone requests urgent medical assistance.

“You’re telling me your friend in Kirkland needs an ambulance. Is that what you’re telling me?”

Then in another video, one of the protesters—in a keffiyeh and a mask—approaches the police and an administrator, who was indeed in a sweater vest, demanding to know WHAT. WILL. HAPPEN. to her friend, should she leave the sit-in to change the tampon in question. The adults calmly explain that she won’t be arrested if she leaves the building. But can they confirm that she will never be arrested, ever?!

“She does not feel safe,” someone says off-screen, punctuating it with claps.

Comedy gold, though I am sure that if I had to be face-to-face with these entitled nonsense transmitters, I would not have found it nearly as amusing. In any case, Ms. Weiss reports that the student eventually removed her, uh, lady accessory, though not in the bathroom, leading one of her sisters in the struggle to describe it as “the most depraved shit I’ve seen in my entire life.” And how!

So by now you’re probably thinking to yourself, “Yeah, this all sounds swell, but we know how it always ends: the Vanderbilt Administration caved and let the students walk free after they bored themselves with their little hissy fit.” Nope! The little dopes were arrested and hauled out of there. I might have preferred a little more indiscriminate use of the billy club (or any at all for that matter), but the officers were instead professional and actually quite polite (“Sir, I’ll need you to come along with me please,” said gently to some dumb miscreant whose nutsack probably hasn’t yet dropped). The morning boxscore shows sixteen students suspended from campus and three — the ones who bum-rushed the campus security officer to break into the building — arrested and hopefully soon charged with battery on a peace officer.

What bothers me the most while reading Ms. Weiss’s fine recounting of this protest and watching the videos which accompanies it isn’t so much the misplaced idealism or the dipstick support of utterly stupid goals. That’s been a hallmark of campus activism forever. Nor am I too riled up about general college mischief and mayhem, having been no stranger to that sort of thing (or to the business practices of the campus police, for that matter) in my day. No, what really galls me about all of this is listening to the grandiose sense of entitlement, the demand for “safe” spaces, the whiny pleas of the Karens-in-training, the nasally voices of these young men who probably never fell off of the monkey bars during recess or got slugged in the arm by an upperclassman, the inability of these whelps to see beyond their own myopic self-regard along with the clear sense that they have been coddled their entire lives and truly believe they are righteous and good people.

Despite the jaundiced tone of my posts, I really do try to find things to admire in today’s college generation such as their skill with technology, their general affability, their devotion to their own friend circles, and their yearning for altruism. But the sheltered, entitled, overweening brats on display here are exactly what sends me into a paroxysm of lawn defense. I am all for forgiveness, especially during Holy Week, knowing that I am desperate need of it myself, so I hope these kids serve a well-deserved suspension but are given the opportunity to return to the good graces of Vanderbilt University whose very motto, crescere aude, is Latin for “dare to grow.” Meanwhile, I would like to think they have learned at least one lesson that might cause them to question their own moral infallibility. Cheers to Vanderbilt for showing them tough love.

– JVW

19 Responses to “Fun Story: Vanderbilt vs. the Anti-Israel Kiddie Brigade”

  1. JVW, echoes of this bizarreness are on my campus, too.

    It’s why I am retiring. I went through this in the 70s and I am too old for the slogan shouting and hypocrisy again.

    https://youtu.be/UDfAdHBtK_Q?si=AyLXLxn728pFAdi2

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  2. Back in the (early) 70’s they had far more cause. Then they were protesting a War that could get them drafted (or at least if they flunked out). Now they’ve internalized things that do not affect them, and are demanding actions that will not affect the things they protest.

    While JVW suggests a “wood shampoo” is in order, I think that Vanderbilt’s cold reception to their demands is about right. With suspensions and potential expulsions, I expect that they will not have a lot of follow-on activity. They will probably get some increased donations, too. If I were a parent looking for a place to send my child, they’d be moving up the list as well.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  3. Where is S.I. Hayakawa when you need him?

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  4. Vanderbilt University? Man, Gloria musta had some smarts! 😉

    qdpsteve again (a68d2a)

  5. First, I blame weenie parents, and second, I fault left-tilting schools, all the way from elementary to college. I’ll bet many Vanderbilt professors were in favor of this action by the students. Thank goodness the administration had some balls.

    norcal (5b1dfa)

  6. College prolongs childhood.

    nk (b38a00)

  7. Accusing the black officers of being “puppets” of the administration implies that they are without agency or decision-making capabilities, and frankly that they are, well, just “yes sir” dolts. The height of bigotry and racism: “I’m a privileged white kid who knows more than you so I will tell you where you are wrong and let me lead you to being free of this demeaning job”.

    Dana (47f157)

  8. Exactly, Dana.

    These students should examine their own puppet status before accusing others.

    norcal (1b8f4e)

  9. They are the future leaders of their generation. The anti-war protesters of the 1960’s put save the whales bumper stickers on their BMW’s. They now have the most influence in society. The progressives have just about taken over the democrat party that started with allard k. lowenstein and the dump johnson movement in the late 1960’s. Along with Gene McCarthy and the children’s crusade.

    asset (9b1d54)

  10. I know a guy who was relieved of duties over something similar. I like him personally although I find the following distasteful. He and his wife would organize stuff like having students stand up and walk out on speakers, stand and face away from speakers and the Provost said we aren’t having that anymore. When he was let go, the wife who had tenure quit, so for the institution, it was a two for one. Tenure is a double edged sword. Tenure kept my dad from being fired, sure the Chancellor put him in the basement office where the previous person had been shot and killed (the walls were cinder block, so they just painted over the pock marks) but she couldn’t fire him. On the other hand, tenure facilitates hive mind as tenured vote in only the like minded.

    Back to the first example and institution, the Provost and President made the decision that the behavior was antithetical. It was also a business decision. You can send your children anywhere to be taught to label (or mislabel), turn their backs, walk out, shout down. There are thousands of institutions to choose from that will give you that, and very few that won’t allow it.

    steveg (c1ddc4)

  11. I blame it on Sesame Street. Information about the world around us is presented in the form of advertisements. The primary goal is to grab attention and if this requires truncation of detail, context and nuance then what you get is bumper stickers. If a bomb explodes in the Ukraine and thirty adults and four children die, there’s only space and time to mention the children because that’s what will grab attention. The fact that Israeli children were killed, raped and held hostage was only good for a few days and was quickly replaced by reports of a bombed hospital.

    Children who get to attend college have been bombarded with advertising for all their lives and it has left them cynical and unquestioning. This doesn’t happen by accident – it happens by design. When these children are presented with a horrific situation, be it Gaza or Haiti, the response is a knee-jerk. The analysis of Charles Mackay in 1841 (Extraordinary Delusions and the Madness of Crowds) has been continually revalidated. The claim by educators that “critical thinking” skills are in any way emphasized in our education system is shown to be hollow by an evening watching MSNBC and Fox News.

    Vanderbilt is properly lauded for its response to nonsense. The fact that the response is newsworthy is one that should concern us.

    John Boddie (dcf99c)

  12. I’m gonna assume Dana has the day off from presenting another Weekend Open Thread due to it being Good Friday.

    Hoping everyone has a joyful Easter weekend/holiday.

    qdpsteve again (3ccf23)

  13. An insightful comment, John Boddie

    norcal (8cdb63)

  14. College prolongs childhood.

    I went to college during the Reagan Administration. We use to call college a 4 year vacation from the real world. Also nobody protested anything. The invasion of Grenada was over before a lot of people figured where it was.

    Mattsky (c83d34)

  15. Update:

    Anti-Israel students explaining just how much they suffered during their 20 hour sit in protest at Vanderbilt University yesterday:

    “We were deprived of medical attention, we were deprived of sleep, we were deprived of food, water and our right to rest”

    These people will be in charge some day. We’re so screwed.

    Dana (8e902f)

  16. Update:

    Anti-Israel students explaining just how much they suffered during their 20 hour sit in protest at Vanderbilt University yesterday:

    “We were deprived of medical attention, we were deprived of sleep, we were deprived of food, water and our right to rest”

    These people will be in charge some day. We’re so screwed.

    Dana (8e902f)

  17. Link.

    Dana (8e902f)

  18. “We were deprived of medical attention, we were deprived of sleep, we were deprived of food, water and our right to rest”

    They almost sound as whiny as Trump.

    norcal (16bb88)

  19. @15 This was also said of the vietnam war generation. We will evolve.

    asset (7cf724)

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