Roper: The Hamas/Israeli conflict exposed a horrible flaw in how we’re educating our own kids

by Rob Roper

Six years ago, following the incident in which a violent mob of Middlebury students chased author and social scientist Charles Murray off the stage, assaulting and injuring a faculty member in the process, I wrote an article titled, “Stop Calling Them Snowflakes.” The piece referenced the parallels between George Orwell’s Animal Farm, where Napoleon (the dictator pig) “educates” in isolation a litter of puppies before unleashing them as his obedient attack dogs, shouting down or viciously suppressing any opposition, and the students on college campuses of the day.

I concluded, “So, let’s stop referring to these students as ‘snowflakes,’ which implies fragility and a certain amount of insignificance, and recognize them for what they are – the isolated, brainwashed, fiercely loyal, and dangerous attack dogs of an aspiring totalitarian regime.”

Sadly, if things have changed at all since then, it’s only for the worse.  

What has become undeniably clear since October 7 and the Hamas attack on innocent civilian Israeli families and concert goers is that we are systematically raising a generation of young adults – at great taxpayer expense no less — who are perfectly willing to cheer on an antisemitic, anti-women’s rights, anti-gay rights, overtly genocidal, internationally recognized terrorist organization that is committing crimes against humanity on par with those of the sickest Nazis – Dr. Josef Mengele comes to mind – and they call it social justice!

When I took an introduction to ethics class in college, as well as, come to think of it, Psychology 101, and in several history and political science classes a question routinely came up: how could millions of otherwise normal German citizens simply go along with a plan to commit the industrialized genocide of every Jew in Europe and, presumably, that accomplished, the world? Answer: many were “educated” and propagandized into believing what they were doing was right and just and received the “social proof,” to steal a term from behavioral economics, from enough respected community leaders and authority figures to believe that this was indeed the case.

Nazis didn’t think of themselves as evil. Far from it. As Hitler proclaimed in Mein Kampf, “by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord [p. 60].” They rather saw themselves as oppressed victims who were standing up as the Social Justice Warriors of their day. Jews (in today’s vernacular maybe it would be called “Jew-supremacy”) for the Nazis was essentially what “white-supremacy,” or the “patriarchy,” or “systemic racism” is for today’s Woke: they represented the powerful economic and cultural institutions and conventions controlled by an oppressor class to victimize and exploit the innocent who, absent that corrupting presence, would thrive in peace. So, they justified a solution to this problem. A Final one. And almost everyone went along because everyone was going along.

Those who disagreed were frightened or brutalized into silence, or worse into complicity in the holocaust that sprung from this cancerous state of mind as it gained widespread and then total political power. Better, after all, to be putting others on the trains than to be put on the train yourself.

How all that happened was what we were never supposed to forget. But we are living and watching an alarmingly similar attitude develop today in America.

Our schools, through Critical Race Theory or DEI or Woke – whatever you want to call it – are indoctrinating young people into a dangerously tribalist, grievance dominated world view every bit as toxic as Aryan versus Jew in the 1930s. Be it anti-racist versus racist, white (and white-adjacent) versus BIPOC, or oppressor class versus marginalized class, the adults today are forcing the kids into camps and to choose sides and pick fights in a culture war. This is a twisted recipe for widespread mutual animosity if not outright group on group hatred. It’s the systematic “othering” of those superficially different from you.

Add to this dynamic a rewards structure that incentivizes students to exhibit the greatest amount of intolerance for the ostensibly intolerable “other”, and you can see why we have an increasing intensity toward theatrical and even violent reactions to every perceived offense. It’s what leads the so-assumed best and brightest of the upcoming generation to chant, “F— the Jews,” throughout the quads of our most elite universities, and parrot slogans for genocide with an enthusiasm that would make Joseph Goebbels proud. But this is how our schools, television, news media, and politicians have trained these young people to think and act. It’s not good!

If there is any silver lining to the war between Israel and Hamas, it is that the horrific reaction by these students has awakened (reWoke? unWoke?) at least some on the Left to the youthful monster that they have helped to create. Some are taking steps to reverse the damage by stopping their funding of universities, calling for the removal of teachers and administrators who spew this bile, and blackballing students who march for genocide from future employment.

Vermont’s leaders and parents and education taxpayers need to speak up as well. All of us do if we are to reverse this dangerous trend in education that starts in grade school. It was therefore extremely disheartening to read that amidst this turmoil the Essex-Westford School District released a policy stating, “This nation would not have evolved as it has without the genocide of the indigenous people, nor would the economic infrastructure exist as it does without the enslavement of native African people and their descendants. In an effort to recognize and undo the harm of centuries of systemic inequities and oppression, we begin with this lens and framework.”

This “lens and framework” is the same one that feeds the kind of hatred and justifies violence on the scale of flying in on paragliders and mowing down hundreds of innocent people peacefully dancing in a field because that’s what so-called decolonization looks like.

By warping children’s perceptions of their world by filtering it through this dark and dystopian “lens and framework” we are not really undoing any harm committed in the past, but we are very much sowing the seeds of harms that will be committed in our future, and in many places, our present.

So, let’s get back to teaching kids through a “lens and framework” that we are all created equal, and should be treated so under the law. That each of us has inalienable rights, including those to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. We all have and should respect each other’s rights to free speech, religion, and association. This country, the United States, was founded upon these principles at a time in history when none of them was “self-evident.” That they are today is testimony to how far we have come in living up to those principles, even if we don’t always do so perfectly.

The exceptional ideas that gave birth to this nation are what have attracted people of all races, religions and cultures and allowed us live side by side not just in peace, but to build together the most prosperous and successful nation ever in the history of humanity. It’s an incredibly optimistic story! A bumpy road at times, for sure, but there is much more to be proud of than ashamed. So be proud. Learn from our history and look forward to doing your part to make the next chapter of our nation “more perfect” than the last.

Categories: Commentary, Education

11 replies »

  1. Well said. The hateful rhetoric in the recently released manifesto written by the indoctrinated trans woman who killed six people, including three children at the Christian school in Nashville corroborates Mr. Roper’s assessment. Her rampage was on the microcosm level, now we’re seeing it en masse.

    As one person wrote in response to the manifesto’s release: “This is why the DOJ suppressed the Nashville Manifesto. It shows how Leftist ideology radicalized a Trans shooter to murder Christian children. This was political terrorism & the Biden regime tried to cover it up We will not be silent after these children were slaughtered.”

    This ideology is not only supported by the federal government but also by the State of Vermont in the resolutions on so called diversity and inclusion. It is well past time we restore the founding principals of our country. Equality NOT equity.

  2. Our wonderful world of head up our butt inclusion really needs a bit of exclusionary elements ( my apologies to those who may be sensitive among us). Least wise we will be swallowed up by those that are not as nearly enlightened as one would hope.

    At some point in time, we may come to the conclusion that there are those that really want us dead and we should take the appropriate precautions with that in mind.

    This maybe a wake-up call to those who are inviting the wolves into our home. My guess is that this may be missed and the wolves will feast.

  3. Absolutely. I’ve been quite troubled by the extremist rhetoric and ideology present at most colleges in recent years. The Oct 7 massacre and the subsequent support Hamas has received as well as the extreme levels of antisemitism emanating out of what appears to be most colleges is horrific. To think that these are our future professionals, professors and government leaders? And our future parents? We have definitely gone astray. While we were fiddling Rome was burning.

    • Exactly, that is the purpose of Social, Emotional, and Learning. It is well documented that UNESCO is using SEL programs to circumvent the cultural barriers of each nations. Money is being invested my the World Bank to build out the infrastructure. OECD is building out a global database to track individual behaviors, a gradel to grave approach. This is why they want children in kindergarten because SEL programs work better on really young children. They are on record saying that they are moving away from math, reading and science, to meet the needs of jobs that haven’t been created yet. Jobs that require creativity and teamwork. All these new jobs are relative to the green economy of the future. The data is for the economic and political management of the population.

  4. I was so surprised watching how many useful idiots our education system has secretly produced. It was like watching the SOUND OF MUSIC scene where they are discovered by Rolf, and the captain says to him, you are not one of them. Then Rolf calls for the Nazi gang to come and help get them. You were then awakened to the reality of the Nazi programming. NO WAY can what happened on Oct 7 ever be justified. Anyone associated with, or knew about it, is a war criminal and should be executed, or at the minimal, in prison for life. Anyone not agreeing with that, or supports the Palestinian savages, also need to be removed from polite society, they are too far gone to the dark side for rehabilitation.

    • I think the term is “crimes against humanity”, and no excuse exists for whether doing it under color of authority or in the cause of religious bigotry.

  5. We are now seeing before our eyes the tragic ramifications of “…are doomed to repeat it.”

    Excellent article. Thank you, Rob Roper.

  6. I was one of that “violent mob” and wrote a letter which was published here in VT Daily.

  7. German citizens were propagandized into believing they were “victims” of a Jewish takeover or “occupation” of their banking system and other businesses…does the word “occupied” sound familiar? Our current leftist-run public education system has deliberately dumbed down and oversimplified the thinking of their charges into believing that the world is made up of only 2 kinds of people: the oppressors and the oppressed. They have then defined the oppressors as those who are well-educated and financially successful, and to their credit, both are statistical hallmarks of Jewish persons living in the US and Israel. The public education establishment have convinced their brainwashed minions that we must always support the oppressed, and have then defined “Palestinians” as oppressed.
    Leftists often accuse their ideological opponents of “oversimplifying” arguments but see how much damage has been caused by their oversimplification utilizing the “oppressed vs oppressor” mentality? They must figure that it worked so well for Hitler and Goebbels, so why mess with success? Liberalism is a mental disorder.