The oldest scholarly group studying U.S. history and culture is getting sued for “covertly pack[ing]” its organization with anti-Israel professors.
Before 2012, no candidate chosen to head the American Studies Association had been associated with the Israeli boycott movement, according to The College Fix. For the past five years, ALL nominees were vocal supporters of the movement.
Some of the defendants in the case have a well-documented history of anti-Israel remarks. One of them, Steven Salaita, had a job offer rescinded after the discovery of these tweets:
“Zionists, take responsibility: if your dream of an ethnocratic Israel is worth the murder of children, just f***ing own it already,” said the professor. In another tweet, Salaita said “at this point, if Netanyahu appeared on TV with a necklace made from the teeth of Palestinian children, would anybody be surprised?
Salaita sued the University of Illinois for retracting his job offer, getting $600,000 out of the settlement.
Another defendant, Rutgers University women’s studies professor Jasbir Puar, is accused of making sure that “only signed supporters of USACBI [which advocates for both the academic and cultural boycott of Israel] were nominated for American Studies Association President.”
Alex Lubin, an American University professor whom Puar nominated for ASA’s national council, apparently wrote in one of the released emails that “we were nominated in order to build momentum for BDS even though the question of BDS in American Studies Association may or may not emerge while we’re on the council.”
Puar accused Israel of committing “field assassinations of young Palestinian men,” and then invoked the anti-Semitic trope that “the bodies were mined for organs for scientific research.”
But not every ASA member knew about the collusion between the group and the anti-Israel lobby. Puar allegedly kept it hidden from the organization’s general membership. John Stephens, executive director of the ASA, denied knowing about it, but then did a simple Internet search and discovered for himself that the names on an anti-Israel boycott proposal matched up with the names of several ASA officers who passed the group’s 2013 boycott of all Israeli schools, which ⅔ of the ASA’s voting members approved.
But the ASA did receive backlash for this decision. In just a month, over 80 US colleges condemned the vote and several colleges withdrew from the organization entirely. Israel does not seem to be the only issue on which the ASA is biased. Its current president, Kandice Chuh, “teaches courses in critical theory, aesthetics, race and intersectionality, queer theory, and decolonial studies,” subjects typically associated with the political left. Elizabeth Duggan and David Roediger, ASA presidents from 2014 to 2016, are apparently interested in and/or have authored books on “whiteness.”
Student Gov. Tries To Impeach Student Who Said ‘Illegal Alien’
Kansas Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach lost the gubernatorial race last week to Democrat Laura Kelly and now Michaela Todd, one of his supporters on campus, may be losing her seat as vice president of Emporia State University’s student government. Michaela posted about Kobach’s stance on taxes, abortion, welfare and immigration, saying “Put Kansas first, not illegal aliens….The millions of dollars spent on public welfare for illegal aliens in Kansas hurts Kansas taxpayers every single day,” according to Campus Reform.
Pretty mild take, right? A nation’s own people before everyone else? But the school’s Multicultural Greek Council, as well as some students/former students, weren’t too pleased.
She called using the term “illegal aliens” “dehumanizing” and suggested it went against the student government oath of office. But here’s the thing: “illegal alien” is a term used in federal law. It’s used in Section 1252(c) of the “Aliens and Nationality” part of the US Code and Section 1365: “Reimbursement of States for costs of incarcerating illegal aliens and certain Cuban nationals.”
This is federal law — we’re not in Kansas anymore, Kayla. The Supreme Court has used “illegal alien” in at least two different cases, De Canas v. Bica, which concerned the hiring of “illegal aliens,” and Arizona v. U.S., which addressed Arizona’s immigration law. And as we all know, President Donald Trump is a yuge fan of the term. That’s the third branch of government so yeah I think we’re PRETTY covered in terms of precedent.
Get this: Michaela removed “illegal alien” from her post and apologized for using it, but the student government tried to impeach her. It was unsuccessful, but the group’s diversity and inclusion committee has called for her to resign. Michaela’s not willing, but they may just make her. Such are the wages of not using the most current version of the Newspeak dictionary.
Christian Student Senator Refuses To Resign
Isabella Chow was the only UC Berkeley student senator not to vote “yes” on a resolution condemning Trump’s proposal to change Title IX so that gender is the same as biological sex, according to Campus Reform.
She didn’t vote against the resolution, but simply abstained from voting, saying “I cannot vote for this bill without compromising my values and my responsibility to the community that elected me to represent them. As a Christian, I personally do believe that certain acts and lifestyles conflict with what is good, right and true.”
Now Isabella said she opposed discrimination and harassment and, provided that’s true, this seems to be a case of actions speak louder than words because think about it: what exactly is the proposed Title IX change going to do? Cut down bureaucracy. The government typically only keeps track of people’s immutable characteristics or things that can be objectively determined, like race, age, income, etc. Biological sex is one of those; you’re either a man or a woman. Asking the government to account for self-determined gender identity is kind of like asking it to account for personality: it’s messy and open to interpretation.
But back to Berkeley. Isabella’s own party, the Student Action group at UC Berkeley, wasn’t too pleased with the student’s choice to sit that vote out. It said “as a party, we are committed to ensuring that the rights and dignity of the Queer and Trans community on this campus are guaranteed. As a party, we are committed to establishing and defending access to reproductive health services….That is why we, as a party have resolved to part ways with ASUC Senator Isabella Chow.”
There have been calls for Isabella to resign from student government. The student senator refused and tried to submit an op-ed to the campus paper to explain her point of view. But The Daily Californian said her piece “utilized rhetoric that is homophobic and transphobic by the Daily Cal’s standards.” When Isabella asked how she could modify it, the paper said that “the submission as a whole doesn’t meet the newspaper’s editorial standards.”
You know, standards like providing a platform only to progressive orthodoxy.
Georgia TA Bashes ‘Crappy White People’
Irami Osei-Frimpong, a philosophy PhD student and teaching assistant at the University of Georgia said “we can talk about voter suppression. We can talk about ID laws. But all of this begins and ends with the fact that we make crappy White people. So if we are serious, we have to dismantle the institutions that make crappy white people. Their churches, their schools, their families,” according to Campus Reform.
How are you going to “dismantle” white people’s churches, schools, and families, Irami? That sounds pretty insidious to me. You know, while they tend not to have the most luck getting jobs, I thought philosophy scholars were at least deep, nuanced thinkers. But Irami seems more inclined to think in terms of shallow and untrue generalizations.
He said “So, Georgia, are we finished with the illusion that White Georgians don’t vote to protect the perks of White Supremacy?” “Democrats need to go to war on the White electorate,” and “Respectability Democrats, Black and White, are worthless.”
“Go to war on the white electorate”…why are calls for a race war completely OK if they come from a certain side of the spectrum? And “respectability Democrats”…hmmmm…something tells me Irami isn’t the biggest fan of civility. I wonder if he’s taken a trip to the DC area recently to harass Ted Cruz during dinner or knock on Tucker Carlson’s door.
Irami’s previously said “there is a way in which White people in the South learn manners as a series of behaviors the way autistic kids learn to read social cues for behaviors. Except since these guys and gals aren’t autistic, I just feel like I’m around a bunch of sociopaths.”
Wow, yeah, if you’re a white southerner with a knack for philosophy, you might not want to take a class at the University of Georgia.
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