Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Antisemitism at the Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Department at University of California Santa Cruz

Like Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies is another trendy idea gone bad

April 12, 2024 - Faculty groups supporting the rights of Palestine have proliferated on college campuses, with nine University of California campuses each having a chapter of Faculty for Justice in Palestine (FJP)and yet more chapters in nearly 100 other campuses across the country. These groups support the right of those called Palestinians with no regard for the rights of Israelis - and particularly of Jewish Israelis, who they call "colonists."

More than 60 percent of the Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Department (CRES) at UC Santa Cruz are also members of FJP. Their bias against Israel and, by extension, students who support Israel, is not hidden. On their home page, the department, that is supposed to be regulated by UC policy prohibiting political activism, invites faculty to join them in their mission for "justice in Palestine." Clicking on the invitation brings the reader to various statements accusing Israel of "genocidal violence," "state-sponsored settler violence," and "imprisonment and torture of Palestinians."

The CRES at UCSC also released a letter on October 17, ten days after the brutal attack on Israel by Hamas invading from the Gaza strip. In it, they wrote "the root cause of the brutal violence we are witnessing is Israel's 75-year regime of settler-colonialism and apartheid." They also expressed their "horror" at the "the ubiquity of messaging from our university administrations that has expressed empathy for Israeli life..."

Ethnic Studies. Isn't this a department that purports to teach students about various ethnicities with an implication this will be done in any sort of equitable way, with tolerance and understanding of different cultures?

Apparently not.

Apparenty, "critical race" studies is exactly what all those fringe-y right-wingers warned you it was - and what the discipline says of itself. It's a study of humanity through the lens of oppressor versus oppressed. Ethnic studies appears to follow the same route. And Jews are oppressors.

In 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB101, which mandates every high school student must take an ethnic studies course in order to graduate. These courses must be offered in every California school starting next year.

Jewish advocacy groups, like AMCHA Initiative, warned that the curriculum proposed, even modified as it was from an earlier bill, would easily lead to antisemitic indoctrination and a demonization of the Jewish state of Israel. Unfortunately, curricula are available for sale to California school districts that do not abide by the alleged guardrails against antisemitism embedded in the state law. These curricula have been developed by Critical Race and Ethnic Studies departments, the same actors who believe the violence of Hamas was caused by Israeli apartheid. In other words, it's all the the fault of the Jews.

Oh, and as an aside, the study of the Holocaust does not fall under the rubric of ethnic studies.


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