The narrative on Monday’s Ohio State University attack couldn’t have changed any quicker. In what was initially reported as a shooting (that a number of liberals quickly jumped on to push for gun control), it later turned out the only victim of gun violence here was the perpetrator. The attack had begun when suspect Abdul Razak Ali Artan, a Somali-born refugee, attempted to run students over with his car, before attacking them with a knife.
The attack combined elements we’ve seen in prior ISIS-motivated or perpetrated attacks. In Nice, France, there was an ISIS attack involving a truck, and ISIS had released propaganda encouraging knife attacks in the West just weeks before the OSU stabbing. ISIS later claimed responsibility for inspiring the attack, and they were right to do so. Artan’s social media showed he had been influenced by radical American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki (who had also corresponded with the Fort Hood shooter), and had viewed ISIS propaganda. Ironically, an interview Artan gave with OSU’s student newspaper turned up, and he had complained about Muslims being unfairly portrayed as terrorists in the media.
Adding to the irony is a particular class Artan had been taking prior to the attack. As it turns out, social justice indoctrination doesn’t always work as intended. As Reason Magazine reported: Before he was shot dead while attempting to murder a bunch of people with a car and a butcher’s knife, Ohio State University student Abdul Artan—a Somali-born Pakistani immigrant who reportedly became radicalized after learning about injustices committed against fellow Muslims—was enrolled in a class called “Crossing Identity Boundaries.”
In fact, he had a group project on “microaggressions” due later this week. The assignment, worth 15 percent of his grade, required students to find a dozen examples of microaggressions on social media and explain which identity groups were the victims, according to the syllabus.
The purpose of the class is to promote “intercultural leadership” and transform students into “actively engaged, socially just global citizen/leaders.” It seems to go well beyond merely educating students, though—it actually requires them to become social justice activists.
One of Artan’s classmates who was part of his microaggressions group tweeted a screenshot of the assignment and the names of her group’s members, which included Artan. None of these students responded to a request for comment.
According to the syllabus, the point of the microaggressions project is to make students “recognize the role of social diversity” and “demonstrate an appreciation for other points of view and cultures.”
In all fairness, there were no microaggressions committed during the attack. Abdul never once stopped during the attack to ask someone where they were *really* from, use a person’s incorrect gender pronoun, claim that hard work can help you get ahead in America, or even try to imply that Islam has a radicalization problem!
There were, on the other hand, quite a number of macroaggressions committed.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]