On the surface, a health equity class at the UCLA medical school has nothing to do with protests roiling the campuses of elite universities this week. Beneath the surface, however, it’s a major part of the problem, getting at the roots.

As Aaron Sibarium reported in the Washington Free Beacon, the mandatory class introduces students to radical ideas about health. These include the idea that obesity is a concept used by oppressors “to exact violence on fat people” and the notion that disabled people suffer from “able-bodied supremacy.”

“The histories of white supremacy and ableism are inextricably entwined, both forged in the crucible of colonial conquest and capitalist domination,” one reading in the curriculum asserts.

As Sibarium wrote on X, “The course is littered with the lingo of progressive activism — ‘intersectionality’ is a core value of the class, according to slides from the first session — and states outright that it is training doctors to become activists.”

If we are shocked by what UCLA med students are being taught, well, we shouldn’t be, since this is the sort of language that has been percolating in some elite universities for more than a decade, and it’s not just UCLA turning out activists that are waving Hamas flags and being arrested right now.

In January, Bill Ackman wrote for The Free Press that antisemitism is not the root cause of the protests; rather, he wrote, antisemitism is the canary in the coal mine signaling another problem: the poisonous worldview that divides us, without nuance, into oppressors and the oppressed.

This makes sense because, despite inflammatory rhetoric to the contrary, not everyone taking part in pro-Palestine rallies harbors malice against Jewish people.

But many young Americans do see Israel as an oppressor and Palestinians as oppressed because they’ve been taught to view the world through these malign goggles. Young adults who’ve been fed an ideological diet like this register no horror when they go to the National Students for Justice in Palestine website and see North America — their home — described as “occupied Turtle Island.” They’ve been conjugating this ideology in lockstep with their teachers and slouching toward socialism under their tutelage.

On X, Mark Meckler called the student protesters “terrorists” and was amused when police in Georgia fired rubber bullets into a crowd at Emory University. In City Journal, Liel Leibovitz called American campuses “national security threats.”

The talk that parents need to have with their college students right now

There are deeply disturbing reports coming out of the protests, and I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say, as some have, that radicalized students who cheer Hamas today might join their cause and try to execute the kind of horror we saw on Oct. 7 on American soil. Christopher Wray says the FBI isn’t monitoring the protests, and if true, that might be a mistake.

But it’s important to remember that a minority of students are involved in the protests that Benjamin Netanyahu compared to Germany in 1930s. Look at videos online, and you mostly see students holding up cell phones trying to record what’s going on, perhaps in hopes of going viral. When interviewed by reporters, some students are hard-pressed to explain why they’re even there. Some students are weeping as they are arrested, seemingly not having been made aware of the real-world consequences of trespassing and defacement of property, and that mugshots live forever on the internet. They will have problems to solve, not just stemming from their education, but the lack thereof.

As will the nation, because these protests — and the ideology that has led to them — reveal the America that’s coming when the baby boomers finally exit the stage and the millennials and zoomers have the place to themselves. If TikTok is a leading indicator, it won’t be pretty. As Adam Guillette of Accuracy in Media told Laura Ingraham Wednesday, “These are the people who are going to be running our country in a few years. And this is literally what corporate America is going to look like in 10 years.”

What’s happening right now with the campus protests is not a small-scale temblor of the “Occupy Wall Street” variety. It feels like significant plates are colliding under our feet, affecting not just higher education, but families and American foreign policy. As Ruth Marcus wrote for The Washington Post, even in Jewish families, “the younger you are, the less supportive of Israel,” making her fear for Israel’s future.

Not everyone involved in the protests are students; some are even being paid, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal, and possibly they are the ones responsible for the worst of the behavior.

But the students who are involved in the protests know something about disruption, thanks to COVID-19. They also know about equity and oppression and colonialism. If Bill Ackman is right, and we are just now seeing the first fruits of DEI, buckle up.