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Victim LARPing and Other Progressive Fads

Antisemitism - Pro-hamas protesters at UC Berkley
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By: Kayla Bartsch – nationalreview.com – May 2, 2024

Real protest assumes real stakes.

For the few voices crying, “These kids might be dumb, but doesn’t anyone believe in freedom of speech anymore?!” — there is a stark contrast between a student rally and a days-long encampment that’s so disruptive it shuts down in-person classes, results in violent riots, and blocks Jewish students from accessing university buildings. The criteria of time, place, and manner remain.

I digress — despite the unfit means, the pro-terrorism “protests” on campus aren’t proper protests at all with regard to their content.

The students camping out on quads long to be part of an elite “activist class.” With this denomination come status, job opportunities, and funding — some are already paid for their activist efforts.


Unlike those who, say, marched for racial equality in America in the 1960s, the career and social standing of many of these students will only benefit by their participation in the jihadist charade.

In his “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Martin Luther King Jr. famously penned: “One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”

The “laws” (i.e., regulations) instituted by universities regarding the use of shared spaces are certainly just. While these students might imagine that they are protesting the “Zionist regime,” they are effectively protesting the just laws of their own universities.

By dint of their own actions — i.e., being a nuisance on campuses across the country — these students are challenging reasonable university policies and the existence of their universities’ endowments. (Keep in mind, these are the same students who yell that college should be free.)

These students will almost certainly graduate with inflated grades, go on to become DEI administrators or “grassroots organizers” or mainstream journalists, and do just fine for themselves within the protest–industrial complex. What they’re doing on campus currently is just an audition to lead a life of self-righteous, Soros-funded, megaphone-wielding “work.”

A real protest assumes real stakes — something that none of the “I need humanitarian-aid and a vegan bowl delivered or I will literally starve” students understand.

So, what does a real protest actually look like?

While students at Columbia are dancing for “decolonization,” women in Tehran are dancing for civilization.

In the spring of 2023, a troupe of Iranian women danced to a Selena Gomez song — with their hair down — in a public space. They were all promptly arrested. In Iran, women who partake in “synchronized movements” are criminals. Their official crime? Committing acts of “social defiance” and “norm-breaking.” (Besides dancing, freedom of assembly and freedom of speech are also banned in Iran.)

Since the fall of 2022, when 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died after being released from the custody of the Iranian police for an alleged head-scarf violation, several thousand people have been arrested for protesting the regime. At least nine of those protesters have been executed after sham trials.

I’m sure the keffiyeh-clad students imagine themselves in solidarity with the courageous women and men of Tehran who have — truly — risked their lives for freedom and equality. However, these students are actively aligned with the very regime that threatens the life and liberty of these Iranian women. (The supreme leader of Iran himself has voiced his great admiration of the pro-Hamas student movements in the U.S.)

All of the anti-Israel students on American campuses are cosplaying the suffering of a population that largely lives in extreme poverty (save, of course, their “wellness tents,” vapes, and boxed lunches). Their project is analogous to a wealthy person purchasing a pair of ripped jeans for $299 to feel like a member of the American working class. Ultimately, these campus “protests” have been a fashion statement to help self-hating rich kids feel better about themselves.

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Source: Victim-LARPing and other Progressive Fads | National Review