Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Wisdom from Jay Nordlinger and V-Day thoughts

On the corruption of academia and education by foreign state-supported flacks and "believers". Too much to quote all its points, so read it all: An Area of Darkness.

Here's a sample, but there's plenty more:
When I was young, I was quite the little Arabist — cocksure, arrogant, wholly misguided. I grew up in Ann Arbor, Mich., and there were many Arab students — most of them Palestinian — in my high school. I befriended them, loved them. Was intensely interested in them. Some wore keys around their necks, and they claimed that these were the keys to the homes back in Palestine their families had been forced to abandon. I was mightily impressed. Later on, I knew to doubt the authenticity of those keys...

In the row in which I was sitting were several Arab students — older ones, graduate students — and one of them, in front of everybody, stood up and said words I will never forget. I won’t forget the words, or his face, or his relatively quiet, determined tone. He said: “I will kill you.” (This was directed at the woman who had asked the question.) His buddies got him to sit down.

But that’s not the important part — what he said is not the important part. The important part is, no one said a word. No one reacted. We all sort of coughed, and looked away, nervously. We all pretended that what had just occurred had not, in fact, occurred — or that it was normal, acceptable. We simply ignored it.

Eventually, I took another path, both at the university and in my own thought. I could never be convinced that America and its influence were evil. I could not be convinced that Israel was illegitimate. And I could not accept the “I will kill you” and our complete cowardice, or complicity, in the face of it.

Those who live under the threat of totalitarianism often must stay silent in the face of evil. To benefit, they may join in themselves, and to salve their conscience that they are "doing the right thing", change themselves to believe in it.

What is our excuse? We may have to stay quiet in the face of biased teachers and professors, men and women who have the power to destroy our careers if we fail to toe the line. Or maybe spectators mad enough to hunt us down and kill us.

So we, and by extension the media, can't "speak truth to power" without fear. Very well, but let us frankly admit that fear in ourselves. The least we can do is whisper the truth to our children and engage a circle of like-minded friends to maybe work together to make the world a better place in secret, if we fear to do so openly. When we have run the gauntlet and immune to oppression then we may be able to change things - if we don't lose our souls first.

America's Founding Fathers plotted against the tyranny of King George III before they could act to regain American liberty. Their dream of liberty with freedom from tyranny became something men are willing to fight for - men we honor on this Veterans' Day.

Doubtless everyone who has ever compromised themselves in the face of evil should feel ashamed to be standing in the shadow of these men. I urge everyone to meet that shame not with a narcissistic rejection of America - the fashionable response of many a self-centered Westerner today - but a quiet determination to better themselves and their community in the tradition of great men, men who so often chose valor over immediate self-interest.

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