As the volume of students walking through the halls of universities increases, so does the role of academia in policy making.
Essentially, what's easily the most energetic and effortlessly mobilized demographic in the world -- young, educated, passionate, compassionate, ambitious, and idealistic students -- are constantly under the watchful eye of professors that have an ability to dictate what students hear, and why they care.
There's no other conceivable demographic that can create movements remotely comparable in size and meaning to the anti-war protests of the seventies and the anti-apartheid movement of the sixties.
I am a student, part of this demographic, and this is my futile letter to academia.
I am recognizing defeat.
It's futile because this will likely not be read by most of my fellow students. At best I will simply be viewed as a rebellious 20-year-old who thinks he knows the world he lives in.
But academia, you should know that you have failed us; you have failed now for the same reasons you succeeded in the past. You have let down entire generations, and even though this letter may be futile -- I am angry.
When, in your name, a panel of professors at the University of Minnesota actively promotes the delegitimization and annihilation of the country in which I was born -- I am angry.
When they call her a pariah and demonize her citizens in the same panel, in your name, and hide behind the freedom that you provide them -- I am angry.
When Professor Keya Ganguly who teaches "cultural studies" hosts a "teach-in" in which she explicitly pushes to boycott the culture of my people -- you have failed.
When in your name, geography professor and Board of Regents representative, Damien Carriere convinces the student government to deny an Israeli student employment, because he founded a Pro-Israel organization -- my blood is boiling.
When professors -- who lack major publications from the last decade on Israel -- such as geography professor Bruce Braun, are the ones that are condemning, criminalizing and explicitly silencing those that do -- something is wrong.
On the night before the anniversary of the massacre of Babi-Yar, a tragic incident where nearly 34,000 Jewish lives were taken in one Nazi operation, English professor Timothy Brennan had my people condemned as "European colonialists," as "imperialists," as "seekers of genocide" and as repeat offenders of the Holocaust -- all in your name.
He and the others are silencing your fellow members -- academia -- while being protected by the freedom that you offer. They have used your name to speak, yet have called my fellow students a "disgrace" for speaking up against this bigotry.
The despicable Jew-hating natures of your claims -- academia -- are summed up by the words of African-American civil rights activist, Chloe Valdary.
"There is a type of Palestinian-Arab privilege which exists today that makes anti-Semitism 'okay,' acceptable in academic discourse and even politically correct." Valdary said, "It enables college students of the anti-Israel persuasion to question a Jew's very identity, to reduce him or her to a monolithic creature which exists solely for the purpose of living in a dejected, victimized, dehumanized state. It divorces them from their past in their native land, and thus strips them of their history, and therefore allows them no future."
See -- academia -- not only have you let me down in my school, but you have let down a generation of students who suffer at the hands of what you have created. Not just Israelis, not just Jews, not just Christians, Muslims, white, black or Hispanic -- but entire communities of students that want better.
You have failed.
At Northeastern University, when professor of economics, Shahid Alam said that accusations of anti-Semitism are a sign of distinction -- I can assure you that they are not.
At California State University in Long Beach, Professor Kevin McDonald said that Jew hatred and Nazism are a rational response to Jews because we are a "hostile elite" -- I can assure you, they are not.
At Lincoln University, Professor Kaukab Siddique organized a campus-wide rally urging Muslims to rise up against "the genocidal, terrorist, hydra-headed monster which calls itself Zionism."
In what world do you help disguise such Jew hatred under your freedom?
When I read that Jewish scholars should be stopped due to their excessive amount of influence in the decision-making process of academia, I thought I was reading an excerpt from when humanity was at its lowest point.
I was wrong.
It was from Professor Alessio Lero of Temple University.
You are now at your lowest academia, and I want you back to brilliance.
I, and the world, deeply cherished the freedom that you provide, but the moment that hiding behind your freedom gives people a shield to support your disgraces, you have failed.
We all have failed.
In reality, I hope this letter isn't futile.
Academia has provided the world with too many successes, too many brilliant minds, too many challengers of Marxism, capitalism, social structures, colonialism, democracy, theocracy, racism and welfare.
What we forgot is that we do have the power to challenge the bigotry of those that preach hate, and force them out of their shelter of "academic freedom."
Until we do this, we will see more swastikas drawn on Jewish fraternities, as we've recently seen from the University of California, Davis, and more Jews being told to "burn in an oven" and more Jews being violently physically attacked when they challenge bigotry.
These are not isolated incidences and this behavior is leaving the confines of campus.
Now is the time to fight, because injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
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