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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

David Brooks, "The Campus Crusaders": No One Defends the Jews

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "The Campus Crusaders," David Brooks tackles a new college campus "moral movement" that seeks "to police social norms so that hurtful comments are no longer tolerated and so that real bigotry is given no tacit support." Providing examples of the collateral damage caused by this movement to students and faculty, Brooks concludes:

"We’re now in a position in which the students and the professors and peers they target are talking past each other. The students feeling others don’t understand the trauma they’ve survived; the professors feeling as though they are victims in a modern Salem witch trial. Everybody walks on egg shells.

There will always be moral fervor on campus. Right now that moral fervor is structured by those who seek the innocent purity of the vulnerable victim. Another and more mature moral fervor would be structured by the classic ideal of the worldly philosopher, by the desire to confront not hide from what you fear, but to engage the complexity of the world, and to know that sometimes the way to wisdom involves hurt feelings, tolerating difference and facing hard truths."

Everybody is walking on egg shells? Well not exactly. You see, anti-Semitism is on the rise on American college campuses. In a March 19, 2015 Daily Beast article entitled "Berkeley’s Swastika Problem: Are America’s Liberal Colleges Breeding Anti-Semitism?," Emily Shire writes:

"A majority of Jewish college students, 54 percent, reported being subjected to or witness to anti-Semitism on campus during a six-month period, according to a 2014 survey published by the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law and Trinity College. Not only was this survey undertaken before the violent summer conflict in Gaza, which researchers Barry A. Kosmin and Ariela Keysar said led to a 'worldwide flare-up in anti-Semitism,' but they also noted that the 'data suggest there is an under-reporting of anti-Semitism through the normal campus channels.'

Even more disturbingly, students reported that they often felt universities did not take their concerns about anti-Semitism seriously. 'The response of many university faculty and administrators to Jewish complaints and outrage often shows that their threshold for the definition of the existence of the crime of anti-Semitism is set ridiculously high,' write Kosmin and Keysar.

At schools where students strive to protect the rights of ethnic and racial minorities, stomp out sexual and gender discrimination, and regularly remind people to 'check their privilege,' hate speech against the Jewish community has become a pernicious problem."

But why should we be surprised? Welcome to the new anti-Semitism of the left, often disguised as enmity toward Israel, which has also infected Brooks's own newspaper, as evidenced by a plethora of opinion pieces attacking the Jewish state.

1 comment:

  1. In the brave new world of the Democratic Party Identity Politics, American Jews are deemed ok only when they shut their mouths and write that check, or marry a Kennedy or Clinton.

    as for the college campus? Antisemitism is now far more acceptable than it was in the 70's, but not in the former Confederacy, e.g., the College of Charleston is building a kosher cafeteria to attract Jewish students.

    My textbook for the "History of Education", 2004 at [Herbert] Lehman College stated that immigrant Jews 1880-1920 all were prosperous. It took two of us to get the professor to acknowledge maybe that was false.
    Not that the textbook ever changed...