The Pink Guards on Campus

Red Guards in Beijing, 1966. (Jean Vincent/AFP/Getty)
The rise of the teacup totalitarian.

The Red Guards were the terrorist vanguard, mainly teenagers and people in their 20s, who helped Mao Tse-Tung execute the Cultural Revolution. Their first skirmishes were waged against the administrations of Tsinghua University and Peking University, which they accused of being blind to what we may as well go ahead and call “privilege,” though the language of the time was probably closer to “elitism” and “bourgeois” tendencies. They were fond of public-criticism sessions and reeducation programs, and the movement they helped launch would eventually persecute tens of millions of people and murder a million and a half. Among those were 23,000 members of minority groups, beaten to death after being judged insufficiently committed to the prevalent ideas of social justice based on their ethnic background.

The idiot children running amok on our college campuses right now aren’t exactly the Red Guards — they’re far too weak and wishy-washy for that. Call them the Pink Guards.

The Pink Guards have declared war on freedom of speech, demanding official retribution against those expressing even such innocuous sentiments as “all lives matter.” Indeed, they have declared complaints about the suppression of free speech to be a form of speech that must be suppressed, with students at the University of Missouri, the nation’s 103rd most prestigious institution of higher learning, demanding that students responsible for such counterrevolutionary activities be sent to reeducation camps (“required to attend extensive training for racial and cultural competency”). Protesters at Dartmouth physically assaulted students trying to study in the library and denounced them as “filthy white f***s.” At the University of Missouri, Professor Melissa Click physically assaulted a student journalist filming in a public space, and the university, which is run by feckless cowards, has taken no action against her.

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The obvious thing that university administrations should be doing — and the one thing they will not do — is to expel these students and take out restraining orders banning them from campus. College campuses are places of learning, and universities have the right to impose reasonable standards of conduct. Whatever you believe “reasonable standards of conduct” to be, surely they exclude criminal assault and the actual disruption of academic activity. If the universities cannot draw even that line in the sand, then the public ones should simply be defunded and shut down as useless.

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It isn’t just the universities, of course. In the summer of 2014 Senator Harry Reid led Senate Democrats in voting to repeal the First Amendment so that the power of the state could be used to suppress political speech they find inconvenient, up to and including locking up those who refuse to play by Democrats’ debate rules. In the state of New York, the office of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is attempting to prosecute Exxon for believing and saying the wrong things about global warming, and for providing financial support to groups that oppose policies such as the Kyoto protocols. That is part of a long campaign by the Left, from imbecilic writers for Gawker to tenured professors to Robert F. Kennedy Jr., to criminalize disagreement about global warming.

#share#To expect our progressive friends to appreciate this would be to expect them to operate beyond their intellectual capacities. Barack Obama ran for president — twice — as an opponent of gay marriage whose views on gay rights were, according to his own account, based on a message from God; at the same time, he accused those who disagreed with him of being backward religion fanatics. He and other Democrats wailed for months that Republicans had questioned their patriotism, and then went on to complain that George W. Bush was “not patriotic.” Those strands of hypocrisy have now been braided together in the matter of the Syrian-refugee question, in which a million Democrats scandalized by a voluntary prayer before a football game are imperiously claiming that none other than Christ Jesus Himself demands that we bow to their policy preferences in the matter of refugee settlement, and that opposition to their agenda is — President Obama’s words — “not American.”

Sounds like a job for the Un-American Activities Committee.

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#related#Every time some mentally unstable misfit shoots up a school or a shop, the Left demands that we gut the Bill of Rights, and the president himself has endorsed the federal seizure of the hundreds of millions of firearms in private hands in the United States. But when there is news that the Islamic State has infiltrated the refugee populations — and then used that infiltration to carry out a horrific massacre in Paris – the response is: “Well, let’s not overreact.” And what does “overreaction” mean in this instance? Nothing more than the suggestion that we should slow down and not do anything foolish and irreversible until we are more sure of what the right course of action is.

Remember that the creed of these so-called liberals, who are in no way liberal, has for a generation been: “You can’t legislate morality.” Apparently, you can legislate anything you please, Bill of Rights and everything else be damned.

The Pink Guards don’t have the guts that the Red Guards had. But they are no less totalitarian. They should be understood as such, and met with ridicule, mockery, and defeat at every turn.


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