The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion Ivy League crybullies vs. survivor of a Soviet labor camp; guess who needs ’emotional support’?

It’s hard to tell parody from real life on certain college campuses these days, but I’m pretty sure this article is serious. The article, from the Brown Daily Herald, discusses how Brown students’ emotional and academic well-being is suffering because they are so busy fulfilling their “social justice responsibilities” as student activists. (And here I thought that if my parents were paying $60K a year for me to go to school, my first responsibility would be to study!)

What I found especially of interest is that both this and a previous story in the Herald suggest that one incident that took an emotional toll on activists was protesting an appearance on campus by Natan Sharansky and Michael Douglas, who were there to discuss their perspectives on Judaism, Israel and current-day anti-Semitism. Students for Justice in Palestine decided that this would be a dandy occasion to engage in a loud, disruptive anti-Israel protest. An assistant dean was on hand, in part to provide “academic and emotional support” to the protesters, according to the Herald.

So there you have it; a group of Ivy League crybullies worn out from the emotional toll of protesting Natan Sharansky, a former dissident and survivor of years of confinement, including solitary confinement, in harsh Soviet prison camps. Is there a better indication of the decline of American higher-ed culture than a bunch of Ivy Leaguers at risk of emotional breakdown due to the presence of one of the great, stoic heroes of the Cold War on their campus?

(Sharansky, by the way, not only managed to weather the protests without needing “emotional support,” but took questions, including hostile ones, from the audience, and even tried to have a conversation with the protesters, who responded by shouting slogans at him.)