University of Pennsylvania affiliates face McCarthy-style treatment

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Two issues are present here: Campus speech policing and anti-Semitism vs criticism of Israel.

As to policing speech on campus, in the last 20 years there has been a lot of that. The only question is who does the controlling and what speech is being controlled. The details differ, certainly, but there were a ton of attempts to shut down alt-right and racist speech. Those same students, flush with the virtue of having done that, are now appalled that they might feel limitations themselves.

As for anti-Semitism, of course criticism of Israel and questioning of the world order that gave rise to it does not make one an anti-Semite. On the other hand, if one did have anti-Semitic tendencies, than Israel’s actions would seem very particularly arresting and horrifying and one would make all sorts of excuses (to the point of denial) for Hamas or for suicide bombing. Other bad actors, such as Russia’s and China’s colonization of its neighbors in the name of revanchism and irredentism, Morocco’s occupation of the Western Sahara, not to mention the genocides in Myanmar, South Sudan, Ethiopia and so many other terrible things would just seem, well, boring and lackluster. One would not feel driven to block the 110 for the Rohingya. Yawn!

It’s worth interrogating oneself. Think of how you react when your uncle at Thanksgiving goes on and on about “black on black violence.” Sure the crime statistics are real, but why is he so obsessed about that to the exclusion of other crime? He’s a racist, clearly, or he would also be obsessed with mass shootings, an overwhelmingly White crime. He should ask himself why he obsesses over one and not the other.

By all means, criticize Israel, fight for the rights of Gazans (though if you heroize Hamas, you might want to take a look at that), oppose the Likud and the right-wing Israeli parties. But also take a look at the Uighurs, the Rohingya, (what’s left of) the Tutsis, and others. If they seem uninteresting or not worth demonstrating for, I don’t know, there may be some sort of bias going on. Maybe not! Nobody can tell except you.

Also: remember that hyperbole and minimization are rhetorical techniques. If you start using them, interrogate.

Finally, I recommend the substack and podcast, Wisdom of Crowds by (among others) Shadi Hamid, a Palestinian writer.


What makes you think they are the same students? This may shock you, but students frequently number in the tens of thousands, with wildly diverse views on every topic imaginable. Why, you might even say that a college is a place for people to learn about new ideas and points of view!

It is lazy in the extreme to set two distinct groups of students up as the same straw man, then suggest they are in some way hypocritical because the second group of students does not like to be censored.

For that matter, do you imagine that the students who were protesting people like Milos Yiannopolis 20 years ago are the same students currently attending college?


You’re absolutely right that they are different students. Would the current crop tolerate a right-wing douche like Yannapolis on campus, in the name of free speech? We may well be testing that again within a year or so.

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Wasn’t that like… 5 years ago? Or more like 7 or 8 years ago?

yeah… I mean… it FEELS like 20 years ago, but it was more recently…

That tells me that you really don’t understand the protest movements on these issues, and only know what the media tells you. People absolutely have addressed other atrocities, but they just don’t get covered by the media.

Fascist should ALWAYS be met with protests, because fuck them. They aren’t there discussing issues good faith, they are there they spread lies, conspiracy theories, and disinformation. Treating them like they have anything other than that to offer and giving them space to spew their hate isn’t particularly helpful. But it’s telling that you think we should back fascists, but ban protests against the genocide in Gaza…


Also, you aren’t going to be hearing from Yiannopoulos any time soon, because the fascists who were funding him finally got sick of his pederastic-endorsing bullshit, and he has discovered that they were never his friends after all, he was just the “hey, look, fag– gay people can be fascists too” puppet of the movement, only ever tolerated for as long as he was useful.

When it started to be obvious even to him that they had no need for a token gay man any more, he declared that he was heterosexual now, and his husband had been “demoted to housemate”. He’s now raising money for Gay Conversion centers, because of course he is.

Oh, and apparently Kanye sacked Nick Fuentes in order to hire Milo as his campaign manager for his presidential run.

So my prediction that you aren’t going to hear from Yiannopoulos still stands.


Bullshit. Not providing a platform and shutting down speech are two very different things.


I feel like I’ve been despising that guy since at least 2004, but whatever. Not super relevant to my point.


No, that seems completely reasonable - allowing unchecked bigotries against students make schools exclusive and inequitable - the problem is, that’s not what’s actually going on here. The investigation has nothing to do with anti-Semitism; they’ve arbitrarily decided to redefine a thing they don’t like as anti-Semitism so that they can hijack a legitimate effort to protect students. Which ironically creates the situation where a bunch of evangelical Christians in Congress are telling some Jewish students that they’re anti-Semites.

Edit: I was misunderstanding who was highlighting whose use of the term - that’s actually completely insane - and blatantly ironic - that Congresscritters are claiming that discussion of “equity and inclusion” is evidence that there is a lack of, well, equity and inclusion.

The thing is, American anti-Semites are mostly Christians who a) hate Muslims even more, and b) are themselves Zionists who want a state of Israel to fulfill Biblical end-times prophecy and/or so that Jews will leave America and move to Israel where they eventually will be converted and/or murdered.

We’ve got anti-Semitic Christian nationalists like Andy Ogles, in response to a question about the deaths of Gazan children, responding:

Who now are suddenly interested in “anti-Semitism” in colleges…


no. only in so much as “white on white crime” is also real, meaning therefore it’s not a thing at all.

there’s a far greater correlation of crime to things like poverty than something like race – even accounting for a policing and justice system tilted heavily in favor of white supremacy – so please don’t try to sneak in racist talking points into some broader argument about “free speech.”


Citation needed.

You mean protests? Because those are also free speech. Or are you talking about college students shunning someone for saying something racist? Because that’s also free speech.

Who: State legislatures in many red states.
What: Any mention of race or gender.

And that’s real policing, enforced by the power of the state. It is not at all the same as student activists telling fascists to fuck off, which I must repeat: is free speech.


I’m not actually sure that’s particularly true. Anti-semites who aren’t coming to it from a Middle Eastern background don’t tend to value Muslims either. So while they may pretend to be horrified because it give them an excuse, this particular atrocity probably leaves them cold.


This is actions by the authorities, tax dollars, the popo and all that, not students protesting. I don’t think these students are saying racist Zionists aren’t allowed to protest in support of ethnic cleansing and the destruction of Palestine.

I found what you wrote quite slippy and I can’t see beyond dishonesty.


I think that you misunderstood. The allegation is that the university is investigating academics who write about DEI on the basis that interest in the subject is potential evidence of antisemitism.


Insufficient idolatrous syncophacy for the Zionist state.

Yes, I did. Ooof - I assumed that Congress was using those keyword as part of their justification for the witchhunt for (fake) anti-Semitism. This is substantially more insane - and ironic - than I could comprehend.


Start with yourself.

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But if we deny a platform to people trying to incite violence, how can we object to silencing of people trying to prevent it? :roll_eyes:


Maybe Hell not only exists, but also has an especially hot corner for people who cite frozen peaches as their gold standard, while keeping an ever-ready trigger finger on the gun that shoots the silencing bullet of spurious charges of antisemitism. :crossed_fingers:


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