Nazis on the Left?
Riley Gaines is a former NCAA female swimmer who has spoken out against the so-called right of males to compete as females. In response, she has been attacked, verbally and physically, by transgender activists and their supporters. Recently, after speaking at San Francisco State University, she was forced to barricade herself in a room while she was assaulted by a mob of transgender rights protesters. According to Gaines, police in San Francisco "failed miserably" to defend her and stated, according to Gaines, that "it was not ideal for them to be seen as anything other than an ally to this community."
Gaines was attacked simply for describing the injustice of having to compete against a male swimmer and to share a locker room with a male. Those are commonsense statements that most Americans agree with: 20 states now block males from competing against females in sports, and in recent polling, only 30% of Americans supported the "right" of transgenders to compete in women's sports at the high school and college levels.
The Riley Gaines protest is just the latest example of the left's resorting to violence in place of peaceful discussion. Violent attacks on conservatives and on anyone who stands in their way have become commonplace, and these attacks are a grave danger to our democracy.
Now the Supreme Court has ruled against racial preferences in college admissions. Immediately, former president Obama condemned the ruling, stating that his heart was "broken" by the opportunity to be denied minority students. What about the opportunity denied white and Asian students with better credentials?
As I write, Biden is speaking out against the ruling as well, adding fuel to the flames. When the Court struck down Roe v. Wade in 2022, justices were berated and physically threatened by mobs that gathered at their homes. This time around, the protests may be even more violent.
For many years, blacks, gays, transgenders, and other identity groups have protested, for the most part peacefully, but now their protests have become something else. Leftists always believed they were right and others wrong, but now they seem to think others must be silenced. This is just one step away from the final stage, which is the belief that others have no right to live.
Riley Gaines was not by any means the only victim of violent left-wing protest. An anti-Israel protest in January 2022 at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor was equally disturbing. That protest was a blatant, insensitive call for "Intifada" and, indeed, genocide, stressing as it did the purported "solution" to the "evil" of Israel, as many on the left now see it. The use of the word "solution" by protesters was chilling since it echoed Hitler's "final solution": the extermination of Jews and others including Slavs, gypsies, and the disabled.
And the use of that term "solution" raises the question of how far the left is willing to go. Is it just Jews living in Israel or those who question transgender "rights" or those who wish to end affirmative action or all those who voted for or supported Trump? Does it also include those who support the police, those who defend the Second Amendment, and all who practice Christianity? Every communist takeover, whether in Russia, China, Cuba, or Cambodia, has carried out deadly reprisals against ideological opponents. Recent events in the U.S. are in line with this history.
Many commentators called the demonstrations at the University of Michigan "disgusting," as indeed they were, but many things are disgusting. "Disgusting" is an understatement: as I see it, the protests at Ann Arbor were murderous in intent, as was the attack on Riley Gaines. That is another level altogether, and it is becoming more frequent.
The message at Ann Arbor was "death to Israel," which is to say death to the 9 million people of Israel. Chanting "from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free" implies, at the very least, a political takeover by Palestinians, but it can be taken to mean much more. Repeating the chant "Intifada! Revolution!" is a call to more bloodshed and the death of more Jews.
The U.M. demonstration was also aimed at U.S. policy toward Israel, particularly since it took place near the building where V.P. Kamala Harris happened to be speaking. "Not another nickel, not another dime! No more money for Israel's crimes" was another sentiment repeated at the anti-Israel demonstration. The U.S. provides Israel with about $3.8 billion in military aid annually. It's fair to question whether that money is well spent, but then one must also question the wisdom of spending more than $500 million on "humanitarian assistance" to the Palestinians. Why is the U.S. spending any money at all on foreign aid, in the Middle East or elsewhere? I think it should be left in the pockets of American taxpayers.
No reasonable person can deny that the U.M. demonstration was an incitement of violence. What of the faculty and administration that approved the demonstration and perhaps even encouraged others to attend? What of those who, after the fact, refused to condemn it? So far I have read no apology from U.M. administrators and no statements condemning the protests from U.M. faculty.
We're left to believe that the anti-Israel demonstration that took place on January 12 represented the sentiment of the university at large, and indeed, according to recent polling, substantially less than half of U.S. Millennials sympathize with Israel. The percentage on American campuses is even less. Anti-Israel events are not limited to U.M., MIT, or Temple University; they are commonplace now on U.S. campuses. And they are not just driven by sympathy, however misplaced, for the "underdog" Palestinians. They are the product of organized efforts by leftist and communist groups that seek to sow division in America in order to destabilize our democracy.
Riley Gaines, Jewish students at many universities, and Supreme Court justices are just a few of the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have been attacked, physically or verbally, for innocently expressing their opinions. The left realizes that it cannot prevail by peaceful debate, so it is resorting to violence. It hopes to silence opposition and intimidate those who legislate and enforce our laws.
Conservatives must not respond to violence with more of the same. Our response is to continue arguing our case and exercising our right to vote. The left has become violent and will probably become more so. Leftists' violence only strengthens our resolve to support reasonable, commonsense, and peaceful positions. Women should not have to compete against males; Jews and all other groups should enjoy the same rights as other Americans; and justices, judges, and lawmakers should not fear being attacked.
America is not the land of mob rule. It is, and has always been, the home of liberty and the land of the free.
Jeffrey Folks is the author of many books and articles on American culture including Heartland of the Imagination (2011).