I tend to agree. I view the "tempest in a teapot" protests that go after some academic functionary in the same light as I view most of the animal rights protesters--deeply hypocritical.
You don't see these college students go after someone with actual power just like you don't see the animal rights advocates throw paint on Hell's Angels for wearing leather.
Protest is good--until you you might actually face consequences for your protest. Sorry, protest without consequences isn't a real protest.
If the Yale students want to protest, we have an oversupply of things that need to be protested--feel free to join us. But, these might upset people with real power, they might get arrested, they might wind up with a criminal record like the plebeians and that might upset their getting that cushy Goldman-Sachs position in a couple years.
This is a strange example of inconsequential protest, as the movement against furs was highly successful.
If the fur protesters want to make a big impact they should protest leather, but you don’t see that. Instead they took their smaller symbolic victory because the meaningful fight is too hard and too risky.
Btw, I’m not an animal rights protester, I eat meat and have leather furniture. I’m just backing up the top level argument that Yale students aren’t protesting the big stuff.
The main focus of animal rights protesters consequently are industrial meat production and animal cruelty, not the fucking Hell’s Angels. That’s absurdity to the highest degree.
What would the critics have said, if they had done just that?
Probably something among the lines of: ”see, this proofs they are unreasonable lunatics! Nobody in their right mind would protest against the Hells Angels. How does that even further thwir goals? They should go against $TARGET”
The key to understanding a lot of criticism is that it happens often in defense of the critics sense of superiority and is therefore not necessarily an rational argument against a certain movement, but a justifiction from the critics why they aren’t part of it. And the answer equates usually roughly: ”because they don’t go far enough, are not brave enough, not clever enough, not efficient enough, not radical enough, not consequent enough, taking on the wrong target, ...”
The interesting aspect: this kind of criticism rarely brings to light any valid argument against the underlying motivations of the movement. So as an example you rarely see critics go: “The idea that we shouldn’t wear fur is wrong - we totally should for the following reasons ...” ¹
This makes clear that the critics realize they can’t make a moral argument here — yet they want to maintain a feeling of superiority over those who question the status quo and so they aim for the character of those they criticize.
Critic: ”If only I were part of that movement, I would protest even more than they do, by going for the dangerous Hells Angels.”
B: ”Yeah but you aren’t. As it stands now you do less than those who you criticise for not doing enough — what does that make you?”
Critic: ”I am still better than them because ...”
If I ever feel I need to criticise a movement for not doing enough, I stop and think about what I am in the process of doing and whether I am really in the position to phrase that criticism.
¹: Usual arguments like “We always did it like that and it was no problem” just proof the critic didn’t really think about the topic.
What a bizarre claim.
Protesting their own college administration, and getting arrested for it: https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2019/05/08/arrests-...
Hunger strike, football team strike, and many other protests resulting in university president resignation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015%E2%80%9316_University_of_...
Protesting the CIA director, who I hope counts as someone "with actual power" - https://upennstatesman.org/2016/04/01/violent-protests-end-t...
I imagine almost every college in the country has had protests against the president: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2016/11/0...
Arrested protesting at their state government: https://www.concordmonitor.com/UNH-students-protesting-votin...
Arrested protesting ICE: https://middleburycampus.com/45615/news/two-midd-students-ar...
Yale students arrested protesting their administration: https://www.nhregister.com/news/article/Yale-students-arrest...
Arrested protesting Israel occupation: https://www.jta.org/quick-reads/15-jewish-college-students-a...
You can find many more examples with ~5 minutes of research.