A mob of pro-Palestine students at a Queens high school who screamed for retribution against a Jewish teacher with the gall to attend a pro-Israel rally is another warning siren that America is devolving quickly into chaos reminiscent of the French Revolution.
The response so far to this disturbing incident from New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat, has been nothing less than reprehensible and cowardly.
Here’s what happened: After a photo of a health teacher at Hillcrest High School in Queens was shared in a TikTok video, showing the teacher holding an “I Stand With Israel” sign, students organized a protest Nov. 20 outside her classroom door, demanding that the school fire her.
The protest, like so many others associated with social “justice,” quickly whipped into a riotous frenzy. Students screamed and attempted to enter the teacher’s room for over two hours.
Students admitted to vandalizing the school during this riot, including ripping a water fountain from a wall and shattering tiles in a boys’ restroom.
After two hours of terror, the New York Police Department finally responded, including its counterterrorism bureau, to investigate possible threats “against the school,” according to New York City Council member James Gennaro, D-Queens.
The 23-year veteran teacher, whose name was omitted by the New York Post from its coverage for her safety, told the Post that she was “shaken to [her] core by the calls to violence against [her] that occurred online and outside [her] classroom last week.”
Adams announced that New York City Public Schools had begun an investigation into the origins of the riot. The mayor then wrote that “Project Pivot teams” from a diversity, equity, and inclusion organization would lecture students on why such behavior is “unacceptable.”
It’s obvious to any individual with a modicum of common sense that students who threaten the lives of others should be suspended or expelled. This used to be the case nationwide, but teachers unions and leftist professors deemed consequences “inequitable.”
It should be noted that those teachers unions, which claim to protect teachers, have been awkwardly silent following this attack on a teacher.
Social justice, the bastardization of true justice which suggests vigilantism against perceived disparities is virtuous, has been a religion preached under names such as “diversity, equity, and inclusion” for over a decade in America’s grade schools and the teacher-education programs that staff them.
So why should we be surprised when it becomes commonplace for posts on the social media app TikTok to trend by romanticizing an open letter from Osama bin Laden justifying the 9/11 attacks slaughtering U.S. civilians; violence against those who look Asian, Jewish, or white; and mobs of students vandalizing and destroying property?
Why should a farmer be surprised when he plants corn and then harvests corn months later?
This certainly isn’t the first time that populist views of perceived wrongs to a social group resulted in violent attacks. The French Revolution was a chaotic slaughter of anyone deemed friendly with the oppressive aristocracy, until Robespierre himself was beheaded. Soviet purges slaughtered millions with less premise than rumors and thin accusations.
The most horrific populist lashings-out in the past few centuries didn’t start with Holocaust-like slaughter, either. Germany’s blame of the Jews for the loss of World War I resulted in night after night of Jewish businesses being vandalized, Jews being marked in public and followed around, and substituting their ethnicity for a political label.
In the 1930s, Germany labeled Jews “communists.” Now, pro-Hamas factions label Jews “Zionists.”
Any group—political, religious, economic, or national—that lays the blame of its woes at the feet of an ethnic group always lashes out animalistically in reprisal. These reprisals are laden with social “virtue,” promising that the offended group was driven to violence after watching its brothers and sisters downtrodden by “the white man,” “the Jews,” “the capitalist,” etc., for so long.
The liberal “woke” call to arms over some deep-seated, systemic ghost in all “oppressive” groups that must be constantly confronted is no different. Many, like Adams, have tut-tutted about racial violence and crime for years because social justice claims that these attacks are nuanced and virtuous.
Jay Greene, a senior research fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Education Policy, likens Adams’ feeble response to the treatment of Jews in imperial Russia:
In Russia, Jews were chased by angry mobs in pogroms, which the czar either fomented or failed to prevent. In New York City Public Schools, we are witnessing modern pogroms of angry mobs chasing Jews fomented by the Squad, The New York Times, and university intellectuals. We’ll see if Mayor Adams is willing to do more than the czar to put a stop to this. The czar may not have pursued restorative justice and trust circles as a remedy, as NYC Public Schools do, but it would have accomplished no more than what the czar actually did.
(The Daily Signal is the multimedia news organization of The Heritage Foundation)
What saddens me most, as a former teacher and administrator in public schools, is Americans’ abysmal lack of knowledge of this history, which so many around them still know far too intimately. It’s no longer just a group of ignorant and stubborn children under the pained tutelage of teachers who must attempt to shine light on the darkness of mankind.
Today, many teachers, administrators, and professors have cast aside these essential lessons from our bloody history, which cost so great a price. Authors such as Nikole Hannah-Jones and Howard Zinn created fantasy worlds wherein liberals dress up mob violence as justice, equity, and progress, while teachers funnel these poisonous hallucinogens to students in their honors history courses.
I would beg each and every one of you to exchange the silly pseudoscience of “social studies” with the tried-and-true lessons of world history, as many in the school choice and classical education movements are attempting to do. But harvest time is already here.
An entire generation has embraced “social justice” at the expense of any person foolish enough to stand, no matter how passively, in the way of “progress.”
Teachers will be watched (and mobbed) by their students and parents by their children. Survivors of the brutal Stasi regime in East Germany be damned.
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