Send in the Adults

These days on America's campuses, where they ought to be sending in some adults, they are instead sending in the clowns.

One of the strictest university rules at Princeton when I was studying there in the '50s was that incitement to or participation in a riot was sure and certain grounds for immediate expulsion.  The infraction ranked right up there with the rules against having a woman in your dorm room past a certain hour, cheating on exams, maintaining/driving a car on or near the campus, or "behavior unbecoming a gentleman and scholar."

Nevertheless, on one balmy evening in 1955, a riot did occur.  The rock movie Blackboard Jungle had just closed its run in the local cinema -- and that evening, precisely at 11:00, photograph loudspeakers in dormitory windows throughout the campus begin blaring at top volume the film's raucous theme song, "Rock Around The Clock."

Within a half-hour, thousands of students swarmed the campus lawns and walkways "releasing water hydrants, setting fires in ash cans, lobbing rolls of toilet paper into trees, and chanting 'go, go, daddy-o' on their march up campus."  Among them milled the small force of university "proctors."  These were plainclothes school security officials, many of them ex-policemen, always wearing a fedora and armed with pads and pencils.

A good portion of the student mob assembled in front of the iconic Nassau Hall chanting, according to the unsurprisingly erroneous press accounts, "We want God!"  Actually, the chant was "We Want Dodd" -- as in Harold Dodd, then president of the university.  They wanted him to come out and address the crowd.

What they got instead was an appearance of Dean Norman Moore, who announced over a loudspeaker that within a few minutes' deadline he would "officially declare this to be a riot," and the proctors would begin taking names of anyone who didn't return peaceably to the dorms.

The "riot" ended almost immediately; the students dispersed, and quiet returned to the campus.  Town police, who had hung out on the perimeter of the campus grounds, quietly left to resume their regular duties.

If any student had so much as verbally assaulted a proctor or town cop, or refused to follow instructions, he'd have been on a fast track to expulsion and a new career as a draftee in the U.S. armed services -- so nobody did any of that stuff.

That was then, and this is now.  The role of college administrators has turned to one of enablers and protectors of misbehavior.  The most egregious case in point is the current frenzy over the pepper-spraying of some miscreant immature students at UC Davis.  The story does not seem to be in dispute, and its unfolding is clearly visible on a video that's all over the internet: a group of students sat down across a campus walkway, blocking it, with arms linked.  They were repeatedly asked by police to stand up and move away, and they were warned of pepper spray if they refused to comply.  They didn't, and they were sprayed.  The leftist mainstream press portrays this a police brutality against a group of children who were "sitting down peacefully."

It's bad enough that the MSM spins this into case of "brutality" against dopey college kids who, in their view, weren't doing anything particularly wrong (other than blocking a passageway and refusing to obey the lawful directions of a peace officer).  But what about the college administrators?

In the Princeton of my day, and I daresay, at many other campuses, it would have been the college officials who really cracked down on the student miscreants.  Not so nowadays -- or for several past decades.  The administrators are on the side of lawlessness, disobedience, lawbreaking, and anarchy.

At UC Davis, which should have initiated disciplinary proceedings against the students, the proceedings are against the cops instead, as NPR sympathetically reported:

UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi described the video images as "chilling" and said she was forming a task force to investigate even as a faculty group called for her resignation because of the police action Friday.

* * *

"The use of the pepper spray as shown on the video is chilling to us all and raises many questions about how best to handle situations like this," Chancellor Linda Katehi said in a message posted on the school's website Saturday.

* * *

The UC Davis video images, which were circulated on YouTube and widely elsewhere online, prompted immediate outrage among faculty and students, with the Davis Faculty Association saying in a letter Saturday that Katehi should resign.

"The Chancellor's role is to enable open and free inquiry, not to suppress it," the faculty association said in its letter.

It called Katehi's authorization of police force a "gross failure of leadership."

So the Davis Dean would, perhaps, have preferred the cops to manhandle the errant students and pick them up and drag them way.  Or, perhaps, call in a front-loader to bulldoze them up into a waiting dump truck for a trip to the hoosegow?  Nah, not really.  Not only do today's college and university administrators tolerate confrontation with the police (which some professors actively encourage in their lecture halls), but they also always find the perpetrators innocent victims of police "brutality."

The story is similar on too many other campuses where the students exult in "expressing themselves" by defying law and order and interrupting civil society.

The real victims are we, society in general, who can no longer count on government to protect us from civic disturbances such as that which was allowed to go on for some two months in New York's Zuccotti Park.

The adults among us fully understand that when you harass or assault a cop, you can and should expect a reaction, and it may not be gentle.  The adults among us understand that when you continue to refuse the lawful orders of peace officers attempting to, say clear a public passage or roadway, you are causing an unavoidable escalation in the means available to the police to get the job done -- which will inevitably involve whatever level of force you make necessary.

But the clowns are in charge on the campuses and in the press, and they don't think that way at all.  It's anarchy and free expression all the way, with no rules and no restraints -- except that any official action to keep order is considered an assault on First Amendment rights and brutality against the bodies of the persons creating the chaos.

How much longer can we allow the infantile inmates to run the asylum before we demand that someone send in the adults?

These days on America's campuses, where they ought to be sending in some adults, they are instead sending in the clowns.

One of the strictest university rules at Princeton when I was studying there in the '50s was that incitement to or participation in a riot was sure and certain grounds for immediate expulsion.  The infraction ranked right up there with the rules against having a woman in your dorm room past a certain hour, cheating on exams, maintaining/driving a car on or near the campus, or "behavior unbecoming a gentleman and scholar."

Nevertheless, on one balmy evening in 1955, a riot did occur.  The rock movie Blackboard Jungle had just closed its run in the local cinema -- and that evening, precisely at 11:00, photograph loudspeakers in dormitory windows throughout the campus begin blaring at top volume the film's raucous theme song, "Rock Around The Clock."

Within a half-hour, thousands of students swarmed the campus lawns and walkways "releasing water hydrants, setting fires in ash cans, lobbing rolls of toilet paper into trees, and chanting 'go, go, daddy-o' on their march up campus."  Among them milled the small force of university "proctors."  These were plainclothes school security officials, many of them ex-policemen, always wearing a fedora and armed with pads and pencils.

A good portion of the student mob assembled in front of the iconic Nassau Hall chanting, according to the unsurprisingly erroneous press accounts, "We want God!"  Actually, the chant was "We Want Dodd" -- as in Harold Dodd, then president of the university.  They wanted him to come out and address the crowd.

What they got instead was an appearance of Dean Norman Moore, who announced over a loudspeaker that within a few minutes' deadline he would "officially declare this to be a riot," and the proctors would begin taking names of anyone who didn't return peaceably to the dorms.

The "riot" ended almost immediately; the students dispersed, and quiet returned to the campus.  Town police, who had hung out on the perimeter of the campus grounds, quietly left to resume their regular duties.

If any student had so much as verbally assaulted a proctor or town cop, or refused to follow instructions, he'd have been on a fast track to expulsion and a new career as a draftee in the U.S. armed services -- so nobody did any of that stuff.

That was then, and this is now.  The role of college administrators has turned to one of enablers and protectors of misbehavior.  The most egregious case in point is the current frenzy over the pepper-spraying of some miscreant immature students at UC Davis.  The story does not seem to be in dispute, and its unfolding is clearly visible on a video that's all over the internet: a group of students sat down across a campus walkway, blocking it, with arms linked.  They were repeatedly asked by police to stand up and move away, and they were warned of pepper spray if they refused to comply.  They didn't, and they were sprayed.  The leftist mainstream press portrays this a police brutality against a group of children who were "sitting down peacefully."

It's bad enough that the MSM spins this into case of "brutality" against dopey college kids who, in their view, weren't doing anything particularly wrong (other than blocking a passageway and refusing to obey the lawful directions of a peace officer).  But what about the college administrators?

In the Princeton of my day, and I daresay, at many other campuses, it would have been the college officials who really cracked down on the student miscreants.  Not so nowadays -- or for several past decades.  The administrators are on the side of lawlessness, disobedience, lawbreaking, and anarchy.

At UC Davis, which should have initiated disciplinary proceedings against the students, the proceedings are against the cops instead, as NPR sympathetically reported:

UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi described the video images as "chilling" and said she was forming a task force to investigate even as a faculty group called for her resignation because of the police action Friday.

* * *

"The use of the pepper spray as shown on the video is chilling to us all and raises many questions about how best to handle situations like this," Chancellor Linda Katehi said in a message posted on the school's website Saturday.

* * *

The UC Davis video images, which were circulated on YouTube and widely elsewhere online, prompted immediate outrage among faculty and students, with the Davis Faculty Association saying in a letter Saturday that Katehi should resign.

"The Chancellor's role is to enable open and free inquiry, not to suppress it," the faculty association said in its letter.

It called Katehi's authorization of police force a "gross failure of leadership."

So the Davis Dean would, perhaps, have preferred the cops to manhandle the errant students and pick them up and drag them way.  Or, perhaps, call in a front-loader to bulldoze them up into a waiting dump truck for a trip to the hoosegow?  Nah, not really.  Not only do today's college and university administrators tolerate confrontation with the police (which some professors actively encourage in their lecture halls), but they also always find the perpetrators innocent victims of police "brutality."

The story is similar on too many other campuses where the students exult in "expressing themselves" by defying law and order and interrupting civil society.

The real victims are we, society in general, who can no longer count on government to protect us from civic disturbances such as that which was allowed to go on for some two months in New York's Zuccotti Park.

The adults among us fully understand that when you harass or assault a cop, you can and should expect a reaction, and it may not be gentle.  The adults among us understand that when you continue to refuse the lawful orders of peace officers attempting to, say clear a public passage or roadway, you are causing an unavoidable escalation in the means available to the police to get the job done -- which will inevitably involve whatever level of force you make necessary.

But the clowns are in charge on the campuses and in the press, and they don't think that way at all.  It's anarchy and free expression all the way, with no rules and no restraints -- except that any official action to keep order is considered an assault on First Amendment rights and brutality against the bodies of the persons creating the chaos.

How much longer can we allow the infantile inmates to run the asylum before we demand that someone send in the adults?