In a stunning example of indoctrination found at the nation's universities, five activists destroyed a tribute to the victims of 9/11 at Middlebury College in Vermont, citing "America's imperialism."
Kyle Finck of the Middlebury Campus, a weekly student newspaper, reported on Sept. 11 that
"A 2,977 flag memorial was ripped out of the ground in front of Mead Memorial Chapel shortly before 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 11 by a group of five protestors..."
The memorial has become an annual tradition at the school, and is a joint effort between College Republicans and College Democrats.
Ben Kinney, president of the College Republicans spent two hours, along with five other students, placing the flags in front of the school's Mead Chapel. He happened to walked by "just as they were taking the very last of them out of the ground and putting them in piles," he said. Kinney said the students told him they were "'confiscating' the flags in protest of 'America's imperialism.'"
Yesterday, Zach Despart of the Addison Independent reported that the co-president of the College Republicans also spoke with the vandals, who declared that "You're commemorating the wrong deaths," and told him,
"This monument stands for American imperialism and we're confiscating it."
The "wrong deaths"....some innocent lives taken are more important than others, it seems.
Several students were also given the unlikely explanation that the memorial was on Abenaki Indian burial grounds. But when student Julia Madden suggested that "the memorial be relocated as a compromise to both parties," they "refused."
Of course the protesters refused. As one commenter on the Middlebury Campus piece observes,
"Liberal fascists believe wholeheartedly that their freedom of speech includes the power to - at their whim - censor and deny freedom of speech to anyone they disagree with..."
Madden said, "I felt angry and offended." She continued,
"It was surprising to me that on a campus that's supposed to foster discussion about different points of view, someone would think their cause is better than another."
Don Stevens, chief of the Nulhegan Abenaki Tribe, by the way, "called the vandalism 'disgusting,' and believes the protesters were acting to promote their own political beliefs." He said he has no knowledge of one of their burial sites being on the Middlebury campus. Stevens, a new personal hero, said that even if the flags were inadvertently put on his tribe's burial ground,
"Putting flags in the earth to honor bravery would not be disrespectful."
Student Anna Shireman-Grabowski and Amanda Lickers admitted to the vandalism. Despart describes Shireman-Grabowski's history of activism. She is a member of "Rising Tide Vermont," which "is committed to dismantling systems of oppression and domination- such as sexism, racism and colonialism..."
Gregory Woolston posted their responses in an update to the Middlebury Campus piece.
Shireman-Grabowski replied in part,
"My intention was not to cause pain but to visibilize the necessity of honoring all human life and to help a friend heal from the violence of genocide that she [Lickers] carries with her on a daily basis as an indigenous person.... Three thousand flags is a lot, but the campus is not big enough to hold a marker for every life sacrificed in the history of American conquest and colonialism."
Amanda Lickers, who initiated the vandalism wrote, said that she is not a student but was "invited to middlebury college to facilitate a workshop on settler responsibility and decolonization" as posted on Climate Connections. She said,
"i walked across this campus whose stone wall structures weigh heavy on the landscape. the history of eugenics, genocide and colonial violence permeate that space so fully like a ghost everywhere descending. it was my understanding that this site is occupying an abenaki burial ground; a sacred site."
When Lickers saw the flags, she said that her "natural disdain for the occupying colonial state came to surface," and impulsively decided to remove the flags, with the help of "4 non-natives." While they were involved in their important work of desecrating the memorial, Lickers writes that she
"was confronted by a nationalistic-settler, a young white boy who attends the college demanding i relinquish the flags to him. i held my ground and confiscated them. i did not want to cave to his support of the occupying, settler-colonial, imperalist state, and the endorsing of the genocide of indigenous peoples across the world."
It is difficult to comprehend Licker's rage, but it is also not surprising. Her reflections are shared by radical leftists, who seek to keep wounds fresh, while actively rewriting history to suit their own agenda. Many of Licker's ilk claim to want to move "forward" yet obsessively reflect on cherry-picked ancestral wrongs. Many stories have surfaced recently in reference to this type of indoctrination, which is also evident in the racist idea of "white privilege."
Hearteningly, Despart noted that "dozens of students returned to the site of the vandalism to reconstruct the memorial."
Image Source: middleburycampus