Don’t be fooled by safe spaces and demands for fairness. Jonathan Last of the Weekly Standard explains what the campus protests are really about.

It’s All About ‘Muscle’

The Obama administration—easily the most ideologically progressive in modern American history—has been accompanied by both liberal triumphalism and liberal outrage.

Three major protest movements have marked the Obama era: Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, and the as-yet-unnamed campus protests that began at the University of Missouri and Yale and have now spread across the country. The Occupy movement failed utterly. The Black Lives Matter movement has been on a fast track to irrelevance, its only success having been to discipline Democratic presidential candidates to deny that “all” lives matter, while insisting that “black” lives do.

The campus protests are different. At one school after another, protesters have achieved the resignation and/or humiliation of high officials. They have extorted a great deal of money. They have tried to establish new conventions for the behavior of the media and have even intensified what may prove to be a serious debate about the future of the First Amendment. And in all of this it has become clear that the campus protests aren’t about race or privilege or safe spaces. They’re about power.

Seen from a certain angle, the campus protests are anomalous—the result of a freakishly improbable chain of events. If Michael Brown had not been shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014, there would be no Black Lives Matter movement. The Concerned Student 1950 protests that grew out of Black Lives Matter this fall could not have happened at any school other than the University of Missouri, because while Ferguson was national news, it was also an intensely local story. And the Mizzou campus is a two-hour drive from Ferguson.

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It's All About 'Muscle' (The Weekly Standard)