Hillsdale College welcomed Noah Rothman to campus on Feb. 19 to speak to students about his new book, “Unjust: Social Justice Warriors and the Unmaking of America.”
Rothman is the associate editor at Commentary magazine and an NBC/MSNBC contributor. Rothman has risen to prominence recently as a frequent guest on shows such as Morning Joe where he has clashed with progressive commentators and guests.
After being introduced by senior Shadrach Strehle, Rothman gave an overview of social justice and how it has devolved over the course of the last few years.
“On a basic level, social justice is an idea that is inherently American. It has noble origins,” Rothman said. “Modern social justice is identity politics. It is antithetical to the American ideal.”
Rothman argued that the modern idea of social justice has resulted in reverse discrimination and resulted in the reemergence of numerous regressive ideas.
“Humans are susceptible to biases,” Rothman said. “But social justice advocates attempt to reconcile biases with discrimination. Modern social justice attempts to fight prejudice with more prejudice.”
Rothman argued that the current social justice movement has led to the reemergence of racial and religious segregation in the United States, safe spaces as one example.
“Social justice activists on the left may be surprised that most white supremacists share their views on issues of separatism,” Rothman said.
Rothman analyzed the legal and political ramifications of the modern social justice movement. Addressing the controversy of the Kavanaugh hearings, Rothman argued that Kavanaugh was dubbed guilty almost immediately upon being accused as a result of him being a white male.
“People were judging Brett Kavanaugh as an avatar for horrible things that have happened to them in the past,” Rothman said.
Rothman criticized the abandonment of due process on sexual assault and harassment on college campus. Rothman claimed that universities are rushing to judgment on accusations of sexual harassment or assault. He asserted that verdicts from college campuses, when reviewed in actual courts, repeatedly violated the legal rights of the accused.
The speech concluded with a Q&A session with students. One student asked how Hillsdale students should navigate and face the new era of social justice warriors.
“It’s difficult to say how to navigate that world as it is so new,” Rothman answered. “In terms of going out and combating this phenomenon, hopefully the ideas will help isolate and stigmatize the philosophy. These ideas are rooted in noble and just philosophies and are attractive to good people. One must approach these ideas not as bad ideas but dangerous ideas.”