It appears that the anti-Jewish pendulum in the United States is definitely swinging toward the unthinkable.
Case in point:
What do you imagine would happen if a group of college students created a public display that dredged up some good, old-fashioned racist cartoons, and called it art? What if they held rallies on campus where the rhetoric resembled that of the Ku Klux Klan?
Does anyone think for a second that this wouldn’t be stopped and the organizers brought up on charges?
Well, it seems as though, in this country (and in most of Europe and the entire Muslim world) if the target of the racist ranting is Israel or Jews, this type of behavior is perfectly OK.
We now know this is officially so in the U.S., because the federal government recently dismissed allegations that three University of California campuses failed to effectively respond to claims of anti-Semitism.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights reportedly said in letters sent last week to leaders at UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz and UC Irvine “that the pro-Palestinian events that gave rise to the claims didn’t constitute harassment of Jewish students.”
That’s funny, because I personally know people who have been to rallies like this on campuses and they report the atmosphere is distinctly threatening to anyone identifiable as Jewish or even as sympathetic to Israel.
What our government – parts of which, we must remember, have been found recently to target pro-Israel organizations – said in its letters earlier this month, is “that college campuses foster debate and students shouldn’t be surprised if some of the ideas they hear are personally offensive.”
The problem, here, is that the kinds of things these Jewish students find “personally offensive” have historically been used in the past to foster the type of mindset that percolates and erupts into anti-Semitic violence. Thinking people know this, and that’s why, when similar stuff comes up in public forums targeting other groups like African Americans or Latinos, they are immediately and widely condemned and dismantled.
The Associated Press story notes that students were interviewed and surveyed as part of the investigation, which has some scary implications, considering the investigation’s outcome.
This tells me that a majority of students are anti-Semitic, or at least acquiescent to an anti-Semitic point of view. My guess is that just before Kristalnacht, a survey of students in German universities would have had similar results.
This doesn’t make me feel any better.
I would suggest that as a test of my theory, someone erect a display of old-fashioned racist cartoons like those that ran in newspapers here in the past, and hold a white supremacist rally around it on campus, and let’s see if the authorities say the African American students need to get over it — that they “should not be surprised if some of the ideas they hear are personally offensive.”
Or, more to the point, let’s hold an anti-Muslim rally, with cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad with a bomb as a turban, and see what happens… but, make sure you have plenty of fire extinguishers handy.
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