Monday, December 7, 2015

Campus Anti-Racism Protests Are Ignoring the Jewish Students

Hat tip JTA

My friend and colleague, Tammi Rossman-Benjamin has written a thoughtful op-ed for JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) explaining why Jewish students have been overlooked in the rush to protest racism on college campuses. In some cases, Jews are linked with the great privileged white boogey man due to the fact that the Palestinian-driven anti-Israel movement has linked up with the protests.

Swastikas or not, the protesters do not care about the anti-Semitism problem-which just happens to be the most serious bias issue in academia. Sadly, college administrators don't seem to care either given the lack of interest they have devoted to complaints. Part of the problem is that Jews (and Israelis) are (often erroneously) perceived to be white and "privileged".

Recently at UC Irvine, the vice chancellor for student affairs issued a statement announcing the concessions being given to black students on campus in response to demands. One concession was that the university would no longer refer to cases of racism or racial insensitivity on campus as "rare or isolated" (which they are in my opinion). On the other hand, UCI proudly announced a few years ago that the school had been "cleared" by the Dept. of Education's Office of Civil Rights of charges of anti-Semitism made over several years by Jewish students. The finding by OCR was a whitewash in my view.

The University of California needs to awaken to the fact that cases of anti-Semitism on their campuses are not "rare and isolated".

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