Over at The Weekly Standard, Irwin Stelzer is seriously making the argument that leftists (read: college students) are basically no better than the slavery-defending Confederates whose statues they want removed from campuses (“The American Left Discovers Its Inner George Wallace,” The Weekly Standard, 3/12/2017):
Who would have imagined that it would come to this? Leftish activists are campaigning to have the Confederate flag removed from statehouses, statutes of southern statesmen removed from campuses and public spaces, and the names of campus buildings changed to remove any they deem racist.
Gotta love that wording. Any Confederate flag or southern statesmen they ‘deem’ racist. The Confederate flag can’t itself be a symbol of slavery—it has to be deemed so. One of those campus buildings whose name is being changed is Calhoun College at Yale University, now being renamed for Grace Murray Hopper, a computer scientist and rear admiral in the US Navy. But who’s this Calhoun fella? Just your run-of-the-mill slavery defender who has had his name on the building since 1933. From the Yale President Peter Salovey:
In making this change, we must be vigilant not to erase the past,” said Salovey. “To that end, we will not remove symbols of Calhoun from elsewhere on our campus, and we will develop a plan to memorialize the fact that Calhoun was a residential college name for 86 years. Furthermore, alumni of the college may continue to associate themselves with the name Calhoun College or they may choose to claim Grace Hopper College as their own. As the Witt report states, ‘A university ought not erase the historical record. But a great university will rightly decide what to commemorate and what to honor, subject always to the obligation not to efface the history that informs the world in which we live.’
Stelzer’s argument rests on the assumption that ‘leftish activists’ (not left-ist activists, left-ish activists, so not real leftists but apparently an incredible simulation) and, more generally, ‘liberal governors and mayors’ are using the doctrine of interposition, first written by James Madison in 1798 in order to give states the right to defy unconstitutional actions by the federal government, to try and prevent ICE agents from arresting illegal immigrants. One of those mayors is Rahm Emanuel of Chicago. Of course, Chicago’s sanctuary status isn’t a magical shield:
But being a sanctuary city offers limited protection to unauthorized immigrants; Chicago can’t prevent immigration agents from raiding businesses in search of workers or detaining immigrants at their homes.
However, Stelzer sees this kind of disobedience as akin to Arkansas Governor Orval Faubas’s refusal to desegregate schools, or George Wallace (whom Stelzer gleefully points out was a Democrat—though is remiss to mention his obvious conservatism and that, guess what, he ran for president on a ‘law and order’ campaign; sound familiar?) when he “planted himself in a schoolhouse door.”
The comparison doesn’t work, mostly because Faubas really did try to prevent schools from being desegregated, which resulted in Eisenhower’s mobilization of the National Guard to make sure it happened—not to mention that resistance to desegregation and resistance to arresting and deporting people aren’t the same. In fact, the Trump administration’s appointment of Betsy DeVos indicates that they agree with Faubas that schools should be segregated—DeVos just calls it ‘school choice.’ But despite Stelzer’s complaints, Chicago police, for example, are making arrests left and right:
Chicago police discuss overnight raids, 81 arrested
The Chicago Police made 81 arrests in overnight raids in a second of a series of operations.
There were 122 targets in this planned operation, Supt. Eddie Johnson and Chief Tony Riccio said at a press conference on Friday. They continue to locate and arrest about 40 others. There will be more raids in the coming weeks.
So what’s Stelzer’s solution to this compliant non-compliance? Use of force!
Ike [Eisenhower] was famous for his grin, Jack [Kennedy] for his cool. But both understood a challenge to federal authority when they saw it, and didn’t hesitate to use the threat of force to face down challenges to that authority. Your move, Donald.
Seems like this neocon is eager to redirect his interventionist foreign policy to cities right here at home. It looks like Trump has at least one tacit endorsement to invade Chicago.