This just in: student activists have again sounded the alarm against Stanford, this time for alleged “complicity in State Violence.”
The allegation comes from SLAP — Students for the Liberation of All People — a deeply serious campus organization describing themselves primarily as “anti-racist” and “anti-capitalist” (to which I might add “anti-thought”).
SLAP is outraged that American technology companies, specifically our neighbor Palantir Technologies, are developing software for the U.S. government and ICE. The software powers ICE’s anti human trafficking and transnational crime division, as well as the detention of illegal immigrants. SLAP characterizes this as “social evil, violence, racism, xenophobia, imperialism.”
It was actually Barack Obama’s apparently evil, violent, xenophobic, imperialist administration that awarded Palantir the $50 million ICE contract in 2014. By pure coincidence, the fuss began when Trump renewed it this year.
Earlier this month, SLAP announced a “Day of Action” (read: Day of Arm-flailing) to promote their “Stop Coding for State Violence Campaign” and to “stand in solidarity as [they] challenge Stanford’s complicity.”
This time, Stanford’s “complicity” comes from the fact that Palantir (as well as Amazon, Microsoft, and Salesforce, also on SLAP’s naughty-list) pays to be part of the Computer Forum, the CS department’s recruitment operation.
SLAP demands that Palantir be removed from the forum, banished from campus, and that students pledge not to work for any company with security contracts.
And they don’t just restrict their job-seeking guidelines to technology companies. SLAP also complains that the Marine Corps is allowed to recruit on campus — oh, the humanity!
It’s one thing to oppose specific government policies, which is a problem with a democratic solution. But to argue that U.S. companies should not provide technology to policymakers to execute the democratic will is wrong. That doing so warrants their abolition from the campus of America’s premier research university? Crazy.
U.S. security is not a social evil, and neither is working for it.
But, for CS majors looking for employment that avoids “complicity,” furthers social justice, and weakens America, look no further than these three Chinese companies who are also recruiting students at the Computer Forum.
So grab your resumes and your little red books — and happy hunting!
Are you committed to dismantling colonial capitalism? China Mobile is a state-run telecommunications corporation, which frees it from the corrupt capitalist motives of its American counterparts like AT&T.
Hate speech isn’t free speech!
Does the 1st Amendment seem problematic to you? If you thought what Ben Shapiro said was bad, wait until you hear what certain alt-right Chinese are saying — proto-fascist dog whistles like “Remember Tiananmen,” “Freedom for Hong Kong,” and “Democracy.”
At Tencent, you’ll help to build WeChat, one of the world’s largest messaging applications, which uses a highly inclusive Artificial Intelligence to surveil what the world’s largest population is saying. In a matter of days, bigoted opinions and violent ideas can be corrected. If Persis Drell had such good reflexes, SCR would have been sent to Siberia long ago!
Anti-racism and community organizing
At Tencent, turn your anti-racism into results. You can build community for marginalized Uighur Muslims by helping the CCP monitor their WeChat activity and providing them with a safe space at
re-education religious community and concentration ethnic-theme camps.
Offended by the neo-colonialism of Western countries seeking digital sovereignty? By helping to build Huawei’s 5-G infrastructure in Europe, you will help spread the liberation and progress that come with China taking control of wireless communication and the internet.
Diversity and Global Citizenship
Huawei also works to incorporate diverse perspectives and stolen Intellectual Property into its CS + social good programs. You’ll get an international perspective lacking from the Stanford bubble, helping support Chinese digital espionage and subvert democracy all around the world.
Like your choices?
In their documents full of Marxist mumbo-jumbo, my comrades at SLAP lambast America, Stanford, the West, etc. They express their outrage and sympathy for the thousands of Chinese workers that built Leland Stanford’s railroad. As for the 1.5 billion people currently living as slaves to the Chinese Communist Party: not a word.
Students for the Liberation of All People? Evidently not.
The United States is itself a project of liberation, but the continuity of free society demands that our best minds and best technology be put to its defense. America without Silicon Valley is weakened as we face new threats at home and abroad.
Luckily, most of our most powerful companies are for now on America’s side, powering our 21st century defense. They haven’t yet been shamed out of defending American sovereignty, and neither should you.
Save the Shire!
Disclaimer: Though Palantir was founded by Review alumni, no company representatives were contacted prior to publishing this piece