Students Scrimmage at Columbia University : Published
October 2006 All Rights Reserved
Minutemen, Privileged Students Scrimmage at Columbia University
Marion D. S.
SPECIAL TO THINK & ASK
NEW YORK CITY
The Minutemen Project,
citizens from all across the United States, comprises of a group who
took it upon themselves to monitor the southwestern border and report
the flagrant incursions of huge numbers of Mexicans (and other Central
and South Americans) through the vast, shared Mexico/United States
border known for its bruising desert, its sand, its arid hard-scrabble
wasteland...and a few federal officials who enforce immigration policy.
Whether it is for economic reasons or from a government policy that
makes it difficult to train and station official personnel -- or some
as-yet-un-clarified reason, the number of border guards assigned to
this vast stretch (some 1,200 miles) remains inadequate to prevent
nightly mobs of motley fleet-footed non-citizens trying to breach
U.S.-shores and borders without documentation.
Why shouldn’t the United States throw-open its doors to millions of
unwanted and non-self-supporting undefined? No country in the
world permits the unfettered encroachment of the undocumented. Many
countries in the Middle East and Eastern Europe as well as across
Africa immediately incarcerate any hapless soul, tourist, insurgent, or
newcomer who enters without visa, express documentation or extensive
papers permitting entry and guaranteeing exit or full-time employment.
Though the official figure of
southern invaders into the United States
has been stated as 12 million, knowledgeable officials say the figure
is much closer to 20 million. In addition perhaps, to those working
illegally for contractors forbidden to officially hire them, these
millions bleed the country of illegitimate welfare, of medical
benefits—particularly emergency room services for which they pay
nothing -- they claim without right, massive educational services to
which they are not entitled, and city services in general.
"Another melee at Columbia
University where education used to be
now it is replaced by lack of decorum, hooliganism, public brawls, and
egg- throwing wannabe scrimmagers..."
- author Marion D.S. Dreyfus
Marion D. S. Dreyfus is a writer and poet who
can be found in caffeine-like mode, taking-on a range of subjects as
far afield as safari hunting to routinely inaccurate international
media. Dreyfus taught at four universities in the People's Republic of
China and hosted a radio show in the Hubei province. "Will edit for
chocolate," she says.
These illegals have come close to bankrupting the southwestern states
that have absorbed the majority of this incursion: Texas, Arizona, New
California. Within short order, neighboring states then
‘inherited’ the hordes of spill-overs, and conditions there have, in
deteriorated too. Senators and state representatives are seeking
governmental help to stem and halt the human tide that threatens to
unbalance the status of numerous states and federal politics.
Why do these desperate runners brave the starvation and thirst,
and possible death, to sneak into the sovereign country to their north?
Some come for fast, easy money not possible to find in [President]
Vicente Fox’s Mexico. Some come to leave disadvantageous living
conditions in several of the countries in the Central American isthmus.
Some come to sell drugs and to market other controlled substances. Some
reasons that warrant close examination from national security. But
that responsibility falls upon local police and municipalities that are
already stretched to the limit.
And some come for reasons not altogether clear, if not altogether
altruistic, occasioning headaches and high anxiety in a post-9/11 world.
Jim Gilchrist and Marvin Stewart and some hundreds of other volunteers
took it upon themselves to guard those desolate reaches where nightly
incursions have taken place.
These Minutemen sit in trucks along the border reaches using binoculars
to scan the horizon; they report hasty invaders who are ducking
under concertina wire or haphazard fencing to the authorities who then
send the trespasser back to country of origin.
For their trouble, the Minutemen have been called vigilantes -- a
misused term according to its convential Merriam-Webster meaning. Or
another term laughably irrelevant, again not in accord with how
Webster would define the term. There is nothing racist about
protecting one’s border against an illegal insurgency that comes in
waves without paying freight or applying for permits.
On the other side of the ledger, large United States agricultural
interests strive to encourage such crossing for one simple reason:
Money. Although contrary to law those who hire non-citizens, especially
in agribusinesses, employers pay sub-par wages to these brand-new hands
and feet. The undocumented gladly labor for substantially less than
American workers can afford. They work for far less than the minimum
wage, though obviously earn far more than they would earn in the
mismanaged shambles of Mexico’s economy.
Employers pay no benefits, provide the most wretched of shelter, and
concern themselves only with gathering the harvest of fruit,
vegetables, corn, cotton, and a host of often backbreaking work that
through its very nature would necessitate medical, vacation, and
These aliens usually speak no English, ask for nothing--and get
they are presumably satisfied with whatever rate is provided by their
new employers, and they don’t seek benefits. Some have payroll taxes
deducted from their pay packets, which end up in federal accounts.
Those deductions may not be returned at some future date, because the
workers do not have a tangible Social Security record in which to place
these presumed disbursements. Such deductions are, however, only a drop
in the bucket compared to the costs of supporting such unregistered
The Democratic Party, too, encourages this trafficking in humans for
partisan concerns. They assume the new migrants may become Democrats
upon becoming citizens. Many Democrats back these mass
migrations into the United States in order to boost their putative
numbers from the almost 50-50 split that represents U.S.-polity
today, as evidenced by recent elections, where winners win by a hair’s
Minutemen founder Gilchrist had been invited to speak at Columbia
University in Manhattan -- by the Columbia Republican Club,
headed by student Christopher Eric Kulawik. Several others,
supportive of the Minutemen, were on hand to speak to the SRO crowd at
Columbia’s Lerner Hall on W. 114th and Broadway. They barely got a
The crowd reached capacity, about 200 people, mostly students and a few
front-row representatives of the press, or some who chose to be
separated for whatever reason from the students sitting behind a slim
rope divide. I was sitting on the first row -- middle seat.
Screaming radicals interrupted the distinguished Minuteman Marvin
every second sentence. Interruption rose to such a crescendo that even
with his microphone the tall, African-American's speech could not be
heard. After his
presentation, in which he referred to the Constitution and the Bible
throughout his 50-minute address, the ferocious crowd of T-shirt
wearing and be-jeans-clad conforming non-conformists stood-up and
turned their backs on speaker Stewart.
About 40 percent of the audience stayed in their seats, decorous and
un-raucous, presumably those were campus members of the GOP club itself
and their supportive contingent. Many simply wanted to hear what the
speakers had to say.
Outside the building, demagogic rallying was taking place at the
sacrifice of truth and fact to expedient rabble-rousing sloganeers.
Inside the hall -- yelling rose to a painful decibel. These people
countered any attempt to shush-them with a snide "Or what? You gonna
Irony didn’t suit this screaming, invective-hurling, paper-tossing,
stage-grabbing, disrespectful, heedless, punch-throwing,
insult-flinging group of dissidents. The first reaction to anyone who
disagreed with them was...violence in various permutations, followed by
a faux-threat assumption that
the open-thinker might take a gun and
kill them. (Another case of the accuser being more likely to blame
innocents for what they themselves were perpetrating.)
I was appalled.
I asked "security" why they had not arrested these violent punks,
especially those who broke furniture and ripped-up the stage in an
attempt to attack the speakers. As everything was on videotape, why
would the university not suspend these miscreants, who demonstrated
more ignorance of sociopolitical realities than they did a delight in
thumping their own scrawny chests in loud tantrum mode? Their
mindless shouting avoided anything like fact, knowledge of history or
acknowledgment of the Constitution. It was a given that they had little
patience for citations from the Bible.
Security --paid for by the Republican club-- finally
managed to toddle up to the pandemonium onstage and only replied to my
questions by mumbling. Some inane responses included: "We aren't real
"We're just hired..." and "We really don't know anything about this..."
Yet, before the event, they were police enough to disallow
backpacks, confiscate trays of eggs, and almost refused to allow this
correspondent to attend even with my press and CUNY faculty
As the brawl continued onstage --with a counter-protest group
onstage to protect speakers Stewart and Gilchrist-- a small group of
some 10 people stood to the side of the shambles, and firmly held their
the stage, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
Following all components of action in the room became difficult, as so
much was going on, with factions and counter-factions swinging away, or
trying to defend freedom of speech, chairs falling, tables overturning,
curtains ringing down suddenly, and security deciding the time had come
to close the proceedings down.
I was not hurt. But the noise level was deafening. The diffident
student next to me confided: "I am ashamed that I go to Columbia." She
said that, "As a California girl," she "was used to this," but when the
sloppy campus Stalinists stormed the stage and started ripping things
up, slamming the podium and ripping off the microphones of speakers,
her mouth fell open and she shook her head in disbelief.
This observer thought the
banners in English, Spanish, and Arabic were telling. What does Arabic
have to do with this skirmish and Minutemen watch-dogging?
what did the Arabic segment of the banner really mean?
Someone told a few of us that the Arabic portion of the banner did not
read, "There are no illegals," but "The Holocaust never happened." If
that was the case, another note was added to the complexity of the
event: A chilling note of Jihadism, whose latest meretricious plaint,
given voice most recently by autocrat and Iranian dictator Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad, was that "The Holocaust probably didn’t happen." If the
translation was about the Holocaust and not immigration, the brazen
Stalinist rioters are involved with large-scale student leftist and
fascistic intent far removed from just this issue alone.
And this gives one even more reason to pause: How knowledgeable are the
dissonant rabbles about the underpinnings of their own sponsors? Where
does the money come from? Who is backing these strange protests, which
are thousands of miles, and dozens of job ladders, away from the lives
of these privileged few at Columbia?
Perhaps the Arabic scrawl did not translate into the disreputable
and inciting slogan that was communicated to us.
These were anarchists, the same crowd who come in to most of these
one-time peaceful protests and squirt violence over everything and
everyone. At rock concerts, I always wear ear packing. But for this
informational talk, I was not prepared for the din and roar of these
squalling delinquents throughout the entire presentation of the two
After the ugly scatology, nonstop insults and turning their backs on
the speaker, these infants of papa's income were annoyed that the next
speaker, the decorated border soldier, Gilchrist, had the cajones
to call them tyrants and petty despots.
The term ayatollahs, is
superior--they don't listen; they only destroy.
Gilchrist barely got onto the stage. After no more than a minute on the
microphone, he was assaulted by the surge of the Stalinists onto the
stage. Their raised arms, flailing fists, yellow banners, and scruffy
vandal mindset was sustained by toothless, constipated security guards.
Columbia’s president Lee Bollinger failed to provide security to fit
the need, and he has stonewalled when approached by news media and
students who ask him why he failed to guard the speakers.
Questions for these students:
- What makes these
trouble-stirrers so hysterical and self-righteous?
- Why should they be so sold on
the illegitimate goals of illegals?
- What makes them so worthy of
- Why do they have no
- Is it all for the foule a folie?
I was, frankly, puzzled, except for their backgrounds as children of
privilege, and maybe some on scholarship (i.e., not very scholarly and
in by the skin of their diversity teeth) students, some diversity's
little step-siblings. Are they are acting the part of an
(exciting) mob -- to be part of the "Oh yeah, we really cut-it-up when
we went to school" crowd?
One woman I told to "shut the hell up,” was screaming at the top of her
lungs "Wrap it up! You don't know nothin'!" She demanded to know if
I was going "to shoot" her. I was interested in these violent thugs
being so quick to ask me -- respectfully silent in the front--
if I would shoot them, when they were throwing articles and destroying
the stage in attempt to silence the two speakers.
What kind of
hooligan, non-education is Columbia promoting? Other respected colleges
in New York City are not like these Columbia fester flingers.
People departed at the descent of the curtain and the impotent
corralling of the useless campus comedy relief. Several people heard my
reaction to some Delta minuses uttering idiocies in the general
neighborhood with my earshot, and stuck microphones in my face. Several
Schmoo creatures tried to argue with me, but were clearly outclassed by
speed of response, facts, untrammeled articulateness and furious
righteousness. They slunk away, making excuses.
Now I fully understand why friends and colleagues of "other"
persuasions are so concerned that claques of supporters come when they
address these academic-slug-fests.
Where is our First Amendment?
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