A new survey has exposed the extent of the moral rot that America’s universities and K-12 schools have wrought on society.

According to a recent Harvard-Harris poll, a large majority of young Americans think that white people and Jews are “oppressors” and that the mass killing and kidnapping of civilians can be politically justified.

When asked about their views on “an ideology that white people are oppressors and nonwhite people and people of certain groups have been oppressed” (i.e., critical race theory, or CRT), and that members of the latter groups “should be favored today at universities and for employment,” two-thirds of Americans appropriately rejected this racist ideology.

That figure includes three-quarters of Americans aged 55 to 64 and more than four-fifths of those aged 65 and over.

But young Americans overwhelmingly embraced this racist ideology. Nearly 80% of Americans aged 18 to 24 agreed that white people are “oppressors,” and that the American ideal of a colorblind society should be jettisoned in favor of racial preferences in university admissions and employment.

(Source: Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll, Dec. 13-14, 2023, https://harvardharrispoll.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/HHP_Dec23_KeyResults.pdf)

A follow-up question asked whether respondents think “that Jews as a class are oppressors and should be treated as oppressors.” Nearly three-quarters of Americans rejected that absurd notion, including 85% and 91% of Americans aged 55 to 64 and 65+, respectively.

But shockingly, two-thirds of Americans aged 18 to 24 said they think Jews are “oppressors.”

(Source: Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll, Dec. 13-14, 2023, https://harvardharrispoll.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/HHP_Dec23_KeyResults.pdf)

These are the fruits of a noxious ideology that radicals are implanting in America’s youth. Universities and K­-12 schools are pushing a Marxist worldview that divides everyone into two categories: “oppressors” and the “oppressed.”

CRT teaches that America is structurally racist, and therefore, any individual or group that is successful in America is the beneficiary of racism and “white privilege.”

It’s easy to see how CRT primes its adherents to adopt antisemitic beliefs. Instead of celebrating the success of minority groups, CRT treats any success as inherently suspicious. As Ellie Krasne-Cohen has explained, according to CRT, “success is possible, but only if one joins the system that critical race theorists believe oppresses people of color. Thus, if an oppressed individual achieves success, he or she becomes an oppressor, regardless of their identity.”

In other words, if Jews are disproportionately successful, they must be disproportionately oppressive. Krasne-Cohen continues:

By the theory’s perverse logic, Jews are first and foremost members of the oppressor class, bearing guilt for any wrong done to any nonwhite group by any white people.

Simply put, critical race theory repeatedly casts Jews as having outsized economic success, even relative to other white people, and this supposed success makes them the worst of the capitalist oppressors.

This is the perverse ideology that leads people like American Federation for Teachers President Randi Weingarten to say things like “American Jews are now part of the ownership class” and that those “who are in the ownership class now want to take that ladder of opportunity away from those who do not have it.”

Recently, Congress grilled university presidents over their failure to address antisemitism on campus. In response, some proposed including Jews in their campuses’ diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

That’s a trap.

First, it’s telling that DEI offices were not already being “inclusiveof Jewish students. But more importantly, DEI is merely the bureaucratic manifestation of CRT, which is why DEI is a significant contributor to antisemitism.

The problem isn’t that Jews are being inappropriately coded as white oppressors instead of being among the nonwhite oppressed. The problem is that people are being divided into “oppressor” or “oppressed” categories and are treated differently, based solely on immutable characteristics, such as skin color.

Jews and other Americans shouldn’t seek to join the DEI hierarchy of the oppressed. Instead, they should seek to eliminate the DEI commissariat in its entirety.

Some have argued that the Harvard-Harris survey results should be taken with a grain of salt. Ilya Somin at The Volokh Conspiracy is surely right that some of the questions are “badly designed,” particularly the compound questions that can “easily confuse respondents who don’t read it carefully.”

But the gaps between younger and older Americans are not easily explained by greater confusion among younger Americans. Indeed, recent surveys by Pew and Yahoo/YouGov also found large gaps between the youngest cohort of American adults and older Americans regarding their views of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Moreover, there is nothing ambiguous about the Harvard-Harris poll’s question about whether Hamas’ terrorism is justified: “Do you think the Hamas killing of 1,200 Israeli civilians and the kidnapping of another 250 civilians can be justified by the grievances of Palestinians, or is it not justified?”

Young Americans are also more likely to think that terrorism against civilians can be justified. Whereas between 60% and 91% of Americans over the age of 35 think that “the killing of 1,200 Israeli civilians and the kidnapping of another 250 civilians” is not justified by Palestinian grievances, 60% of Americans aged 18 to 24 said it is justified.

Likewise, whereas 81% of Americans side with Israel over Hamas, including 96% of Americans over 65, Americans aged 18 to 24 were evenly divided. Most disturbingly, more than half of young Americans think that Israel should be “ended and given to Hamas and the Palestinians.”

(Source: Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll, Dec. 13-14, 2023, https://harvardharrispoll.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/HHP_Dec23_KeyResults.pdf)

Even more astounding is that 66% of the youngest cohort agreed that Hamas’ attacks on Israel were genocidal, meaning that at least 15% of Americans aged 18 to 24 think that Hamas is genocidal, yet still support Hamas and think Hamas should take over Israel.

As Philip Klein observed regarding an earlier version of the same poll: “There are two ways to interpret this finding. One is to think there are millions of Americans who are okay with genocide against the Jews. Another explanation is that there are millions of people who don’t know what ‘genocidal’ means.”

Whether a disturbingly large number of young Americans are ideologically blinkered or merely ignorant, one fact is clear: America’s education system is failing to produce the morally serious and educated citizenry necessary for self-government.

Major reforms are needed, and time is of the essence. Eliminating CRT and DEI would be a good start.

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