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Yale Rewards Student Thugs, Bullies

James Kirchick reports the jaw-dropping news in Tablet [1] that Yale University has given an award for improving race relations on campus to Alexandra Zina Barlowe and Abdul-Razak Zachariah, two leaders of the 2015 mob that bullied Prof. Nicholas Christakis over his wife’s suggestion that Yale shouldn’t try to police Halloween costumes. Excerpts:

But Nicholas Christakis was doing more than just defending the honor of his wife that afternoon in the Silliman courtyard. As video of the several hours-long ordeal revealed, Christakis was defending the most fundamental principle of higher education: that the university should serve as a place of free inquiry where individuals can respectfully engage with one another in the pursuit of knowledge.

At least, that’s what places like Yale claim to stand for. Not anymore.

Of the 100 or so students who confronted Christakis that day, a young woman who called him “disgusting” and shouted “who the fuck hired you?” before storming off in tears became the most infamous, thanks to an 81-second YouTube clip that went viral. (The video also—thanks to its promotion by various right-wing websites—brought this student a torrent of anonymous harassment). The videos that Tablet exclusively posted last year, which showed a further 25 minutes of what was ultimately an hours-long confrontation, depicted a procession of students berating Christakis. In one clip, a male student strides up to Christakis and, standing mere inches from his face, orders the professor to “look at me.” Assuming this position of physical intimidation, the student then proceeds to declare that Christakis is incapable of understanding what he and his classmates are feeling because Christakis is white, and, ipso facto, cannot be a victim of racism. In another clip, a female student accuses Christakis of “strip[ping] people of their humanity” and “creat[ing] a space for violence to happen,” a line later mocked in an episode of The Simpsons. In the videos, Howard, the dean who wrote the costume provisions, can be seen lurking along the periphery of the mob.


The Orwellian veneration of racial agitators as racial conciliators is the logical conclusion of Yale’s craven capitulation to the hard left forces of identitarian groupthink. From the very beginning of this ordeal, the Yale administration refused to state some simple but necessary truths: that the missive Erika Christakis wrote was entirely appropriate; that the “demands” issued by protesting students (such as an “ethnic studies distributional requirement”) were ridiculous; and, most important of all, that the rude and insubordinate treatment to which Nicholas Christakis was subjected rose to the level of a disciplinary offense. (It was not so long ago that mobbing a professor, physically threatening him, and screaming in his face, for hours, would result in expulsion).

But Yale’s spineless leaders were never willing to say these things.

Read the whole thing. [1] Nicholas Christakis stepped down as master of Silliman College in the wake of the controversy, and his wife Erika resigned her position at the university.

Here’s a 12-minute documentary on the event that reveals the kind of man Yale allowed bratty students to intimidate. What you reward, you’ll get more of:

In November 2015, I wrote in this space: [2]

If the Yale administration gives a single inch to these people, they will have disgraced themselves. Mark my words, though: these young left-wing, anti-liberal tyrants will move into elite positions in the American establishment, because Yale is a gateway to that kind of privilege. And when they do, they will exercise that power against anybody who doesn’t bow down to their radicalism.

Now Yale has honored two of the leaders of the mob for … leading the mob. This is what Yale University, one of this country’s most elite and influential institutions of higher education, values. Please take note of it.

71 Comments (Open | Close)

71 Comments To "Yale Rewards Student Thugs, Bullies"

#1 Comment By Dave Taggart On May 28, 2017 @ 4:46 pm

“Alex, I’ll take THINGS THAT DON’T SURPRISE ME for $100.”

#2 Comment By Ken’ichi On May 28, 2017 @ 5:07 pm

Wasn’t Yale founded as a “Puritan” seminary? Isn’t it just returning to this core function, now as a seminary for the new post-Christian, unofficial official religion? One just as “Puritanical”, with adherents as fanatical?

#3 Comment By Phillip On May 28, 2017 @ 6:43 pm

Just watched the video.


I so rarely see things that convince me that I simply haven’t been paranoid enough.

#4 Comment By PaoloP On May 28, 2017 @ 8:46 pm

Theodore Dalrymple (Anthony Daniels), the British essayist and physician, once observed that he realized, after visiting a number of communist countries, that the real purpose of state ideological propaganda was not to convince, but to humiliate. It’s a power play, where a mafioso group is being built and you have to prove your fidelity to the group itself by the passion you show in following the party line, even and especially in the most absurd occasions.
Abdul-Razak Zachariah publicly stood for the lie that his group is persecuted and then has the moral right to power: the fact that he is honored shows in what hands Yale is – and with Yale great part of the elite system in the USA.

#5 Comment By John Mark On May 28, 2017 @ 10:09 pm

One wonders what must be done to receive even the mildest rebuke,let alone be disciplined or expelled today from most universities

#6 Comment By Eric Mader On May 29, 2017 @ 4:22 am

It is time for the creation of an independent rating organization. It would be made up of scholars with a principled dedication to free speech and they would rate our universities on how well they foster free speech and debate on campus. The organization should have a clear platform and detailed list of things that constitute offenses, as well as a clear manifesto against no platforming and the usual SJW tactics.

I’m overseas, and besides not a professional scholar, but I’ve long thought it well past time for this kind of initiative. If there is much of anything left to save.

#7 Comment By Gromaticus On May 29, 2017 @ 6:47 am

Why Trump won.

This, but probably not the way you meant it.

From SJWs shutting down speech they don’t agree with, to congressmen being lionized for assaulting some “liberal pajama boy journalist, to electing a man to the office one held by Washington and Jefferson who’s entire campaign (and governance, if you can call) strategy was/is to insult and belittle his opponents, to drone jockeys safe in the Nevada desert launching drones at wedding parties in Baluchist…ad infinitum.

Heck that great political philosopher of the early twenty first century, Toby Keith, summed it up in one line “we’ll put a boot in your ass, it’s the American way”. What the followers Mr. Keith (I suspect one day political scientists will be comparing Straussian and Keithian conservativism) it that the boot works on both feet. Bullies and thugs, power, sticking it to those who hold opinions that differ from yours (left, right, or center)…this is what America values. Please take note of this.

#8 Comment By VikingLS On May 29, 2017 @ 7:23 am

A few points to address:

1.) You need to look at where most of the people who wield real power in this country come from. In those mobs may be future senators or even a president.

2) Even if this was just kids being kids, what Rod was writing about was how Yale actually rewarded these bullies.

3) “But Trump!” is only relevant if you think that he is such a threat to society that we should ignore everything else on Earth and focus all our energies into dealing with him. Some of you DO seem to think that, but if a person doesn’t share your belief, then this story is still worthy of our attention.

#9 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On May 29, 2017 @ 8:08 am

I don’t know that this moblet is in principle any different from the Yale students who loved to take a week off to be vigilantes and strike-breakers, taking great glee in bashing striking workers heads with clubs. And Yale is being indulgent, as always. I may nominate Christakis for the IWW Free Speech Movement Memorial Award.

But I think its time to recognize that the Christakises were enablers as well as targets. When people are being paranoid or psychotic or acting out neuroses, it is appropriate to be compassionate and therapeutic rather than simply blow them away or lock them up. Still one cannot simply indulge their fantasies.

I offer as a model no less than A.S. Neill, the author and headmaster of Summerhill. He has a reputation for letting kids do anything they want, but his book does inclued an account of a young students who was threatening class mates and staff with a ballpeen hammer. Neill says he walked into the room and told him “Hey little man, we’re not afraid of you.” The boy dropped the hammer, ran over, and started kicking him. Neill said, every time you kick me, I’m going to hit you back. And did. No doubt after he was under control, the little man get some helpful counseling or whatever. But the point was brought home that he wasn’t in charge.

Now, one half-size boy is not a mob of twenty somethings. So the analogy is only approximate. But as I recall earlier accounts, the Christakises indulged the mob and even offered apologies for unwittingly offending them… which may have seemed an appropriate olive branch at the time, but with 20/20 hindsight, simply enabled them all.

A good response to “Who the ___ hired you?” might be, “Look it up — Yale hiring is a matter of public record.” A possible follow up would, “none of you makes hiring or firing decisions.”

More important would be something like this: “You really don’t have any idea why you’re here do you? After corporate executives a major stockholders, you are one of the most pampered and privileged classes in America. You are legal adults, but get to spend four years or more doing no useful work that contributes to anything or anyone. Why? Its not so you can show off to the world how much you know. Its so you can learn a whole lot of things you DON’T know yet.

“One of the things Yale’s teachers are supposed to be able to teach you is how to analyze facts, arrive at a rational solution, and present it in convincing language that can persuade others who may not have noticed or may even had started with an opinion opposite to yours. At this, you are manifest failures. All you’ve shown me here is how you can flaunt a great deal of passion without ever engaging your brains to look at what you are saying, or why. If you want to make even a small political point, you’re going to have to learn to do better.

“And don’t try to run the number that white people are rational, black people are passionate… That’s a racist lie, I could show you hundreds of black lives that show its a lie, and if you offer that argument, its nothing but a cop-out for your own laziness and incompetence. But don’t worry, study hard and you could get much better.”

It is true, the little moblet would likely have shouted him down, engaged in a few chants, but when a pack of hounds no longer smells blood, they give up the chase. In this case, the blood is the possibility of either abject surrender or prevailing by force of arms.

I’ve mentioned before a 1979 book making a “liberal” case against hand gun control. One of the more persuasive chapters was written by a veteran of the civil rights movement, who pointed out that if a pack of Klansmen catch you unarmed, all you can do is run and hope to outrun them. But if you are armed, you head for the nearest trees, turn, and fire, because they have no intention of risking their lives, they’re looking for easy quarry.

Further “Someone is paying $50,000 a year for you to go here. If its not your families, its a lot of working families chipping in, because as Leona Helmsley said, “Only little people pay taxes.” If this is the best you can do, they’re not getting their money’s worth. To the very real extent that some of Yale’s endowment was financed by exploitation of slave labor, and some undoubtedly was, those laborers deserve a lot better from you than this.”

Its possible that this moblet would have gone as far as actual battery, but I think it is likely that in such a setting, they would have stopped short once their sense of righteous invulnerability was punctured. If they did actually throw a punch, of course the police should have been called — not campus security, 9-1-1.

As for the “look at me” dude, the proper response is “Don’t try to give orders young man, you’re not in a position of authority here, you’re just expressing an opinion, and doing a damn poor job of it at that.”

In the 60’s there was a saying among people on the hard Left* “The issue is not the issue, the issue is the revolution”.

The “hard left” wasn’t on campus. It never was. The “hard left” of that era are now making six figure incomes in various capacities, and are for the most part parasites supported by the exploitation of the working class.

The Conservatives hunted down and drove out the RINOs and then used a you are with us or against us to silence dissent and force a unified party. They used this successfully to take over much of the American government.

This is of course another side of the same coin. And this generation at Yale now… they grew up in the era where the faux “conservatives” were consolidating their own lofty temper tantrums in the GOP. But Democrats are simply not skilled at running the same play book, and the results will not be beneficial if it could be done.

Yeah, those went over well… not a single red mark of editing, no corrections or suggestions, but a D every time.

I didn’t whine, yell, grafitti, curse, threaten

Well then, you’re an enabler. You should have, in a dignified, mature sort of way, pressed formal appeals or even a lawsuit. I say that knowing there is a fine line here. A great deal of what professors do is discretionary. But as I learned when advocating for people denied discretionary parole, there are legal standards for the exercise of discretion. It is not merely an exercise of will. The fact that the professor provided no empirical criticism, just wrote a D on the paper, makes her vunerable to a focused appeal.

#10 Comment By David J. White On May 29, 2017 @ 9:53 am

One wonders what must be done to receive even the mildest rebuke,let alone be disciplined or expelled today from most universities

That’s easy — be “intolerant,” as the Left defines intolerance.

It’s interesting that DW Griffith made “Intolerance” in response to critics of “Birth of a Nation.”

#11 Comment By Janwaar Bibi On May 29, 2017 @ 10:37 am

Admittedly it was a long letter for busy people, but I was surprised to receive no reply.

A few months ago, a professor at Georgetown named Jonathan Brown gave a talk in which he defended the institution of slavery in Islam by asserting that it was not really “slavery” as we understand that word in the US, and that it could actually be a wonderful career opportunity for kaffirs.

An African-American Muslim student who attended his talk was horrified, and he posted an account of the talk on his website. The talk attracted a lot of attention on conservative sites like this one but then interest quickly faded away.

I wrote to the President of Georgetown, telling him:

(i) Professor Brown’s views on slavery incompatible with 21st century norms,
(ii) millions of my fellow Indians were enslaved by Muslims during Islamic rule, and it is deeply offensive to me personally to tell me that my fellow Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains and others should have regarded this as a joyful career opportunity,
(iii) it is obscene to promote Islamic slavery in the US at a time when Yazidi women and children are being raped and sold as sexual slaves by Muslims, and finally,
(iv) if Professor Brown, his fellow Muslims and the administration of Georgetown think Islamic slavery is OK, they are welcome to send their wives and daughters to my house as slaves where I promise to treat them according to Islamic norms.

I did not get a reply either.

Had a white Southern professor promoted slavery in the Confederacy using arguments similar to those made by Jonathan Brown, he would be ostracized and fired by now. Obviously these norms do not apply to Muslims, who are now top-dogs in the Multikulti Victim Hierarchy.

#12 Comment By Deplorable Me On May 29, 2017 @ 11:12 am

Now that we are all leashed to various devices, here’s the cord distribution I’ve found helpful: for each device, one in your purse, backpack, briefcase, diaper bag, or totebag, whatever carry-all always goes with you; one in each vehicle you have; one in the bug-out bag; and one + a spare in the house, because they always quit working when most stores are closed.

If you are not familiar with the bug-out bag, look it up and begin to assemble one. If your house catches fire, or the National Guard knocks on the door at oh-dark-thirty and says there’s been a chemical spill, you’ll thank God for your bug-out bag.

And don’t forget to add the dog’s medicine to the bag. ?

#13 Comment By Lex Lindsey On May 29, 2017 @ 5:26 pm

Elihu Yale himself was an unregenerate slave trader, yet I am aware of no demands to change the name of the university. In fact, Jeremiah Dummer had far more to do with the founding of the university (and even convinced Yale to donate to it), but was not a slaver. Dummer University would be an entirely appropriate new name.

#14 Comment By Cash On May 29, 2017 @ 6:31 pm

So the far left and the far right are each pushing at the center. It’s time for moderates and centrists in each party to push back.

America needs to copy California’s primary elections. The top two vote-getters in the primary, no matter their party, face each other in the general. It gets rid of oddballs who capture a major party nomination where that’s enough to win the general election.

Ten years ago California was ungovernable. Complete gridlock because ideologues in each party could snarl legislation. Now California functions. Yes the Democrats rule but the crazies are gone.

America needs to elect politicians who can operate across the aisle. Moderates who can make deals with the other party’s moderates.

Democracy is fragile. Most Americans want a government that functions and addresses our concerns, not those of the alt-right and the SJWs.

#15 Comment By MichaelGC On May 29, 2017 @ 7:12 pm

Siarlys Jenkins says on May 29, 2017 at 8:08 am

Its possible that this moblet would have gone as far as actual battery, but I think it is likely that in such a setting, they would have stopped short once their sense of righteous invulnerability was punctured. If they did actually throw a punch, of course the police should have been called — not campus security, 9-1-1.

I would like to think that, but considering what has already happened at Berkeley and elsewhere (i.e. [3]) it seems like the police are becoming municipal para-military units who are told to stand down and let the mobs have their way when it suits the purposes of those in power, public safety be damned.

#16 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On May 29, 2017 @ 9:13 pm

Some police officers would have us believe that either they have carte blanche to crack heads, or, they are required by their top dogs to stand down and be wusses. These are not the only choices. We need some push back that carefully calibrates,

a) We need an effective police department to maintain order and protect the safety, security, and legal rights of all citizens,

b) Police need to do their job with a sense of professionalism,

c) When confronted by violence, police are right to respond with measured force.

If the police don’t act, there are steps to put further pressure on. First, there will be a police report, second, the news media can be called, third, a formal written request to the district attorney can be made. There are even some legal processes for a citizen to make a formal complaint and ask for legal charges, when the police have declined to make an arrest.

There are times and places and circumstances when resistance to illegitimate authority has a certain moral sanction — although even then you may go to jail for it. Question authority is not a universal paradigm. Quo Warranto — by what authority do you act, is a more legitimate question.

#17 Comment By Blaze Sekovski On May 29, 2017 @ 11:44 pm

Yet again, I am embarrassed to be a Yale grad. Yale recently requested alums to fill out a survey and send the results to the mother ship . It was quite a cathartic experience. But the administration does not care, and will not until fundraising is affected.

#18 Comment By Dale Matson On May 30, 2017 @ 7:44 am

“Ten years ago California was ungovernable. Complete gridlock because ideologues in each party could snarl legislation. Now California functions. Yes the Democrats rule but the crazies are gone.” I live in the Central Valley of California. Most of us don’t see it that way but our views don’t count.

#19 Comment By Elly On May 30, 2017 @ 12:00 pm

It’s hard not imagine that universities have long or always been corrupt. That Yale chose to reward the bullies that attacked one of their own is either because they’re too chicken to discipline black students, or they wanted to be rid of the professor and his wife.
I have often seen a new manager’s first assignment be to fire a colleague.
After the first taste of blood a hunting dog is ruined for retrieving, but makes an excellent attack dog.

#20 Comment By the om(pronounced ohm)budsman On May 30, 2017 @ 5:41 pm

I don’t know the totality of the culture at Yale. I was surprised when Tom Woods a libertarian, Catholic historian did a Oxford style debate for the Yale Political Union on the topic of secession (Woods was pro). It was very Oxford like. My guess is the students that go these types of things are “real” nerds and not the cool kids who shout down professors. Here is the horrible audio podcast of the event. [4]

#21 Comment By Cari On June 15, 2017 @ 11:15 am

Unfortunately, this is happening all over our country. Evergreen College actually imposed a “Day of Absence” where white faculty and students were barred from coming to campus. The double standard is beyond incredible, and we have to start calling this for what it is – STUPIDITY – plain and simple. The apologist will say what they will but the truth is the truth.