We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Yesterday it came out that at the City University of New York City College's (CCNY) graduation ceremony, the Palestinian flag will be hoisted among those flags of UN members, although it is not a UN member. This singular honor speaks volumes about the moral and political rot within CUNY.
Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, who’s been at the center of the Kushner controversy, said that the flag issue seemed to point to a double-standard at the university.
“I would think if we were going to fly the flags of aspiring nations, then we should certainly those of aspiring nations that have been in the mix even longer, like Tibet, like Kurdistan,” Wiesenfeld said. “In other words, whatever the policy is, it should be based on a consistency, but not a fashion of the moment.”
One City College faculty member said it reflected a deeper problem in academia....
Flying the Palestinian flag is not a problem in itself. But flying it alongside the flags of UN member countries, at a public university, makes a particular statement. It says that CUNY’s City College is recognizing the state of Palestine, and its quest for UN member status, regardless of the outcome of the peace process. The college is free to argue that this has “nothing to do with foreign policy,” but the reality speaks for itself.
If CUNY really wants to speak up for repressed peoples -- many really ruthlessly oppressed -- it might raise the banner for these members of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), which are not UN members. The UNPO is accredited by the UN as an NGO.
What distinguishes these peoples from the one honored by CUNY's City College is that: 1) they are not favored or in most cases even paid attention to by liberal elites -- or others (several years ago I asked the leader of a major refugees NGO why it paid no attention to the Hmong; he answered that the NGO had other prorities.); and 2) The Palestinians would not subscribe to the Covenant of the UNPO, which includes:
Convinced that the principles, methodology, and practice of Gandhian nonviolence and nonviolent civil-resistance are the most effective means of pursuing and enforcing both collective and individual rights, we, the undersigned Nations and Peoples, reaffirm our unreserved commitment to such principles, rejecting in the process terrorism, extremism, and violence in all its forms;
[T]he New York cultural elite, which may be caricatured in this case as an interlocking directorate of playwright, pundits, and professors, the presumption of impunity is absolute. Academia, in particular, has a "sacred mission," to be defined solely by the faculty and under no circumstances to be questioned. That the faculties themselves tend to be monolithic in their political and ideological orientation may help to explain their wild overreaction in the present instance and others like it. Delusions of infallibility combined with well-deserved insecurity and profound authoritarianism make for a potent brew.
Yesterday, CUNY's Vice President for Communications said:
“The City College flies all of the flags that are flown at the United Nations,” the Vice President for Communications Mary Lou Edmondson told me. “It has nothing to do with foreign policy.”
CUNY's Vice-President for Communications today digs deeper.
CUNY’s City College VP of communications Mary Lou Edmondson emails this response: “I regret that I misspoke about the flags flown at the United Nations."
So, CUNY's CCNY chooses to fly the flag of its "chosen" people, the Palestinians. Need I say more?
These old flower children have a spirit of rebellion in their souls. They can no longer occupy the administration office in protest because they are the administration. So they must find some violent cause against "the man" to satisfy their need for rebellion and to pretend to occupy the moral high ground. Non-violent causes will not do; nor those between minorities; nor those that do not make headlines; these kinds do raise the passions and the moral indignation. They must be seen to be engaged on the world scene. They don't have to have solutions, the rebellion is all in all. Blick