On Student Protestations

They protest on behalf of Gaza from afar—
Why won’t they do the same regarding Myanmar?

To speak of Falun Gong and China’s Muslim Uyghur
Will get you vacant stares—the understanding’s meager.

Sudan’s embroiled in civil war, but they don’t care—
When blacks kill other blacks, nothing to see there.

Armenian genocide is written off as fiction—
Ditto any victim who’s a white, oppressor Christian.

No one made a peep when Russia took Crimea,
But when it comes to Jews, it’s verbal diarrhea.

There’s neither call nor clamor for ceasefire in Ukraine—
No one seems to give a damn about their pain.

And what of Congo’s children, squat on their behinds,
Who toil like slaves—day in, day out—in cobalt mines?

They wear the mask to try and be anonymous,
But cannot hide their words and deeds copronymous!


copronymous: from Greek “copro” meaning dung



Cheryl Corey is a poet who lives in Connecticut. “Three Sisters,” her trio of poems about the sisters of Fate which were first published by the Society of Classical Poets, are featured in “Gods and Monsters,” an anthology of mythological poems (MacMillan Children’s Books, 2023).

NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets.

The Society of Classical Poets does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or commentary.

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22 Responses

  1. Brian A. Yapko

    This excellent poem couldn’t be more timely, Cheryl. Thank you for this. The rhymes are stellar but even better are the critical points you make regarding the antisemitism at play in these encampments. For some reason I have yet to fathom, Jew-hatred is acceptable when any other type of hatred of a minority would never be tolerated. DEI is the enemy of Jewish people, despite the fact that Jews should be protected as a tiny minority (less than 0.2 percent of the world) who have been sorely discriminated throughout history. There is a great deal of bullying at play. There are 2 billion Muslims in the world. There are a total of only 15,000,000 Jews in the entire world (mostly divided between Israel and New York.) 15 million is less than the population of New York and it represents a ratio of 133 Muslims to 1 Jew. It’s no wonder the Jewish voice is so easily drowned out. So who are the bullies here?

    • Cheryl Corey

      Ironic, isn’t it, Brian? And yet the Jewish people have been great champions for other oppressed minorities.

  2. Russel Winick

    As Brian said, this is timely and very poignant. I also love the shout-out to Paul Laurence Dunbar’s classic “We Wear the Mask.” Well done, Cheryl!

    • Cheryl Corey

      You know, Russel, I wasn’t even thinking about Dunbar’s poem, which I’ve read, but it’s an interesting tie-in.

  3. Roy Eugene Peterson

    Cheryl, this is a great poem that superbly points out the hypocrisy that is endemic in our nation and society today often with students lacking in the understanding of history and spreading hatred approved and applauded by teachers who themselves are irresponsible and blind to their own hypocrisy. Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots football team has withdrawn his massive monetary support of Columbia, his alma mater, and has committed his resources to Jewish causes like the one with the blue square. as a symbol of Jews and Christians working together.

    There once was a preacher on the radio out of Los Angeles who presented his theory of “British Israel” in which his proof included that Danmark (Denmark in English) was named for the lost Israeli tribe of Dan and that a large number of white people actually have ancient Jewish origins. By now this might have been disproved by DNA, but it is a fascinating thesis.

    • Cheryl Corey

      A large part of the problem, Roy, are the radical professors who are indoctrinating these students. They’re not classical liberals — they’re hardcore Marxists, and now the colleges reap what they’ve sown. I think it will take massive blowback from donors like Mr. Kraft, as well as federal defunding, to gradually turn things around.

      • Joseph S. Salemi

        Absolutely right. The professors are the actual source of the problem — students only do what they’ve been taught, and (in the case of these pro-Hamas demonstrations) what their fellow students are doing as a fashion statement. Once the big-name places like Harvard and Columbia had demonstrations, all the other schools had to join in the usual monkey-see-monkey-do manner of most undergraduates.

        The leftist takeover of academia began in the humanities departments, starting around 1975, though the schools were hotbeds of liberalism as far back as the 1940s. The science and engineering faculties stayed sane for the most part, and looked upon the phenomenon as something limited to literature, history, philosophy, political science, and similar fields. What a mistake! The STEM faculty didn’t realize that a psychological epidemic of great virulence was brewing, and that their fields would be swallowed up as well.

        One student leader at Columbia recently argued (publicly) that all Zionists should be killed. That in itself shows the level of fanaticism that has taken over, since his opinion calls for the killing of every single Jew living in Israel, and every single diaspora Jew who supports the Israeli state.

  4. Phil S. Rogers

    We can also blame the ignorance of younger people on the main stream media, which for its own liberal reasons ignores so many of the stories that Cheryl writes about.

    • Cheryl Corey

      Imagine, Phil, if the media paid even half as much attention to the stories I cite; and I’m sure there are more that I’m missing.

  5. Margaret Coats

    Cheryl, the logic of your brief poem points directly to the lack of authentic motivation in these “protestations.” Joe Salemi is correct to point to faculty as the most important source, and to notice the spread of the phenomenon from high-status schools, most likely through professional organizers in contact with one another and with potential student recruits. “Status envy” operates like a virus promising status to participants and supporters at every level, with status gained through media and commentary and self-congratulation. Not to discount easily aroused antisemitism, displays of which also earn the desired status, especially in the face of counter-protests on behalf of Israel. You, Cheryl, undercut the events with your final word describing the foul worth of such irrationally motivated words and deeds.

    • Gary Krauss

      Margaret, nicely worded analysis. I would add that “status envy” can sometimes morph into faculty proposing new weakly supported theories explaining the latest fashionable thinking.

      • Margaret Coats

        Agreed, Gary. That’s one way for them to participate and polish their status.

    • Cheryl Corey

      Yes, Margaret. There’s a lot of phony virtue signaling going on to show that they’re down with the cause du jour. Could there be a profound psychological aspect to this as well? Many people, especially the young, felt very isolated during the pandemic. Drummed up causes give them something to rally around, to give them a sense of belonging.

  6. Yael

    Thank you for eloquently exposing the utter hypocrisy taking place on college campuses lately Cheryl. I wonder how many of the student protesters could quickly locate Gaza on a map of the world if their lives depended on it?

  7. Warren Burt Bonham

    There are so many people with dirty hands here. I’d put weak school administrators towards the top of the list. Watching Ivy League Presidents testify on Capitol Hill has shown that they do the will of the loudest screeching voices rather than having any interest in doing what is right. It will be interesting to see if any of the kids involved in these protests end up being granted degrees despite the fact they’ve missed half of the school term.

    • Cheryl Corey

      Interesting that colleges in red states – Florida and Texas come to mind – are putting up with any of this crap while the poison ivies coddle a bunch of brats. Having woke radicals on their board doesn’t help either. At least some corporate leaders are taking note and plan to look more toward so-called second tier universities for new hires.

  8. Lannie David Brockstein

    On April 28th, 2024, Roy Eugene Peterson wrote:
    >>> “…the hypocrisy that is endemic in our nation and society today often with students lacking in the understanding of history and spreading hatred approved and applauded by teachers who themselves are irresponsible and blind to their own hypocrisy. ”

    On April 28th, 2024, Cheryl Corey wrote:
    >>> “I think it will take massive blowback from donors like Mr. Kraft, as well as federal defunding, to gradually turn things around.”

    On April 28th, 2024, Joseph S. Salemi wrote:
    >>> “The professors are the actual source of the problem — students only do what they’ve been taught, and (in the case of these pro-Hamas demonstrations) what their fellow students are doing as a fashion statement.”


    Cheryl, Roy, and Joseph, to expand upon those comments that each of you posted, another elephant in the room regarding the question of why there are so many atheistic Woke university professors and their students who mindlessly hate Israel, the Jewish people, the Christian people, and the West, is the problem of Muslim supremacism, because their universities have been funded for decades by the Muslim supremacist countries.

    FOXBusiness (November 14th, 2023) – “Funding from Arab countries to US universities raises questions: ‘Almost always come with strings attached’”: https://www.foxbusiness.com/media/funding-from-arab-countries-us-universities-raises-questions-almost-always-come-strings-attached

    Furthermore, the massive hate rallies by the hordes of zealous anti-Zionist zombies at many universities and on the streets of many cities, are also being funded and organized by the Muslim supremacist countries.

    A solution to the problem of Woke university professors and their students having stubbornly decided to behave like mindlessly hateful robots that are programmed by the Muslim supremacist countries, is for them to be replaced by artificially intelligent robots.

    From Lannie.

    • Cheryl Corey

      Lannie, you are so over the target! In addition to the influence that China seeks to exert, Qatar in particular has been a major Islamic funder.

  9. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Cheryl, how you get right to the stinking core of this copronymous (I love this word!) issue. I am sure we are all now well aware that there is a hierarchy of victimhood and only those our overlords assign victimhood status to are the ones we must stand in support of. It’s a cruel game that causes division, hatred, and the sound of crickets or insults every time the plights of those you mention are highlighted. The trouble is, we fall for it every time. Instead of drawing attention to those who cause this hatred and division and calling them out, we tear lumps out of each other… handing the iron-fisted power seekers the power they crave on a silver platter. Thank you for this well-crafted poem that should be read by all.

  10. Joshua C. Frank

    Why don’t we just call a spade a spade (which apparently you can’t say anymore because “spade” is a racist word, not that anyone uses it in this way anymore) and admit that their motive of supposed sympathy for Gaza is hatred towards Jews? Can you imagine anyone having that kind of sympathy towards history’s most famous Jew-haters, the Nazis?

    As a Christian, I believe the left hates Jews for the same reason they hate Christians: because it’s really God they hate.


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