The ‘Silent Majority’ of Keyboard Warriors on Fizz, Let’s Face the Facts.

April 15, 2024
4 mins read


So everyone wants to talk anonymously? Let’s talk anonymously. The community reaction on social platform Fizz to the students who were arrested in Alexander Hall on April 5 was a bigger surprise to me than Gabi Starr’s response to the protest. 

Fizz is an unreliable social site, and I doubt the accuracy of upvotes, but the sentiment expressed toward the protest, especially in the first five or so hours, was shocking. So, here’s my similarly anonymous response to some of the top posts … since y’all will downvote any posts otherwise. 

“I don’t speak for everyone but I think most people support Palestine but not this performative”

Do I think that some of the people who were arrested will enjoy wearing this as a badge of honor? Yes. Do I think they are being performative or virtue signaling? No. There is a distinction between being performative and performing in the name of justice. I feel that the protesters who were arrested on April 5 were doing the latter. They put their academic and legal status on the line to make a point to Pomona College; I wouldn’t call that performative.

I truly think that the people who were there, protesting for hours into that cold night, care about furthering the cause. Or, what is the issue if they did it to virtue signal? At least they’re doing something.

“student protestors throwing the word ‘privilege’ around as if they arent attending some of the top liberal arts schools in the country with incredibly lenient and forgiving faculty… its beyond me”

This is not speaking to people who can’t afford or aren’t in a position to protest (e.g. if you have scholarships, like me, that can be taken away or if you are a student of color and fear police violence). Many posts profiled the protesters as white, upper-class students who wanted to virtue signal. However, it should also be noted that at the protest, I definitely saw more students of color than any typical 5C class. Many of the leaders in SJP, Pomona Divest Apartheid, and other social justice organizations are students of color, low-income, etc. Not that they have no privilege, of nationality, ability, etc., but just to say that I don’t think this characterization is correct. 

Not to mention that an Instagram post by @pomonadivestapartheid alerted that “we have a disproportionate number of institutionally vulnerable folks INSIDE,” referring to the students inside of Alexander Hall and asking that “if you are in a privileged position, PLEASE come INSIDE Alexander Hall.” I’m not asking you to take everything as fact, as they don’t have statistics on the demographics of students inside (it was a very chaotic and ever-changing environment), but they were calling privileged students to the protest. Then, we blame them for having privileged students there. Or do we have a problem with @pomonadivestapartheid highlighting that privileged students should come to the protest to protect others?

“Protest this arrests that…Caitlin Clark and Paige bueckers are literally giving us an all time matchup rn”

Not much to say about this other than I’m disappointed in the NCAA gays. And listen to these Noname lyrics from the song “namesake”: 

“The same gun that shot Lil Terry
Out west the same gun that shot some Samir in the West Bank
We all think the Super Bowl’s the best thing.”

“Honestly, you guys need to start putting your money where your mouth is. 

The kid in Gaza who is suffering doesn’t give AF about your protest, he needs money food, clothes, etc.”


“In the past 24 hours so much has happened, but the sad part is nothing has happened for the innocent people in the war itself.

The protesters believe they have done so much, but no change for the innocents in either country.

Yall should be ashamed! Ashamed that you’ve spent all this energy on virtue signaling, when it could have been spent 1000 different ways to actually make a true difference. 

Also, assuming pomona divested, even, assume the 5cs divested, that wouldn’t change shitttt.

It will just be for yall to be able to tell your friends and family that ‘our school isn’t racist/supporting the war’ thats it. No benefit whatsoever for the people that are dealing with the war directly. SMH.” 

Recently, Israel has blocked aid and resources (like the money, food, and clothes Anonymous speak of) from reaching Gaza. And let us not forget the bombing of World Central Kitchen employees providing aid to Gaza. So, what feasible way can students make a difference on the ground? Alternatively, they could advocate for divestment, a proven form of activism on college campuses since the 1960s, that cuts off funds to weapons manufacturers and other firms or institutions that aid Israel’s genocidal acts. In doing so, we create a financial incentive for Israel to stop starving Gazans. 

Not to mention that a goal of divestment is to take our endowment out of US weapons manufacturers who actively profit off of the destruction in Gaza. A majority of Israel’s weapons imports from 2013-22 are from the United States, so divestment could also encourage the United States and these weapons manufacturers, like Lockheed Martin, to cease their supply of weapons to Israel. 

Yes, Pomona or even the 5Cs divesting wouldn’t end the oppression of Gazans, but starting divestment in college institutions will influence more institutions to divest as well. In 1987, Barclays Bank divested from South Africa due to pressure from students. Perhaps if we weren’t condemning students for protesting and calling them virtue signalers, we could redirect “all this energy” into pushing for divesting. The unified call from students everywhere for divestment is more powerful than dividing our campus. 

To close, I encourage people to chew on this quote from Alice Walker:

“It is justice and respect that I want the world to dust off and put — without delay, and with tenderness — back on the head of the Palestinian child. It will be imperfect justice and respect because the injustice and disrespect have been so severe. But I believe we are right to try.”

If we adopted this mindset toward the protesters at Pomona, we would be in a better place.

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