“We don’t need no education.”
It’s ironic, and telling, that the author of that 1979 Pink Floyd lyric was Roger Waters. Waters is a musician, but he is also one of the most notorious Jew-haters on the planet.
He dresses up in Nazi-style uniforms for shows, he refuses to eat what he calls “Jew food,” he’s been quoted going on about “dirty kikes,” and he says “the Jewish lobby” controls the music industry. Among other things.
And, as he wrote for his band, “we don’t need no education.” It was deliberately ungrammatical (perhaps) and meant to be ironic (probably). But, these days, it rings true, although not in the way the anti-Semite Roger Waters meant it.
How else to react to the presidents of some of the world’s most prestigious universities – Harvard, M.I.T. – shrugging about anti-Semitism on their campuses, and refusing to say that promoting genocide against Jews isn’t against the rules?
How else to read about the rape crisis centre at the University of Alberta denying that Israeli women and girls were the victims of sexual violence on October 7 and thereafter? Or police being needed to escort Jewish students at McGill University – or more security being secured for Jews at UBC, Simon Fraser and U Vic?
How else to regard attacks on Jewish students at Concordia University in Montreal, and a Concordia “humanities” professor screaming at a Jewish student that she was “a whore” – and telling her to “go back to Poland” (a slur that was shouted at Jews at a counter-protest in Toronto on the long weekend)?
How else to react to the case of teacher Javier Davila, who continues to be employed by Canada’s largest school board, even after promoting the work of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a listed terror group in Canada?
Says lawyer and human rights advocate Michael Teper, who has complained to Ontario’s teacher college about Davila: “Ontario’s public classrooms are for learning and building critical thinking skills, not for propaganda. Staff members such as Javier Davila, who abuse their positions and public resources to tout their own beliefs, should be shown the door.”
And so on, and so on. Our places of higher learning, increasingly, have become seen as places of ignorance and hate. A recent poll conducted for The Economist magazine, for example, came up with some shocking results:
• Twenty per cent of American respondents age 18 to 29 think that the Holocaust is a myth
• Thirty per cent of the same age group said they “do not know” if the Holocaust is a myth
• Nearly 30 per cent of young Americans think “Jews wield too much power” – five times what those who are 65 and older believe
Those results reinforce what this writer has reported weeks ago: a Fall poll conducted by Harvard University found that more than 50 per cent of Americans between 18 and 24 believe Hamas’ pogroms were “justified.”
Holocaust denial and wide support for Jew-hating homicidal maniacs: are the universities solely to blame? Perhaps not, says The Economist: “In our poll, the proportion of respondents who believe the Holocaust its a myth is similar across all levels of education.”
The main culprit, it seems, is social media – specifically TikTok, which is the number one search engine for Generation Z.
The Pew Research Center has found that the under-thirty generation trusts social media more than mainstream media – and that a third of them actually get all their news from TikTok. Meanwhile, the data-intelligence firm Generation Lab has concluded that those who use TikTok are much more likely to hold anti-Semitic views.
It can’t be disputed that educational institutions – from a school board in Toronto, to Harvard in the U.S. – have been largely indifferent to the growth of hateful ideologies in and out of the classroom. It’s also accepted that the promoters of ancient hatreds have sought, and obtained, employment as teachers and professors.
But educational institutions, it seems, are not solely to blame. Social media generally – and China’s TikTok, in particular – have made a bad situation far, far worse.
“We don’t need no education,” sure.
But, more than that, we don’t need no TikTok, either.