Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Truest statement of the week II

Many people, including me, vehemently denounce anti-Semitism, one of the oldest and most vile, perverse hatreds in history. Any reasonable person should pause and reflect before concluding that a mostly political cohort of far right wing politicians that conducted the hearings was genuinely interested in protecting Jewish students’ well-being when two of its primary voices included Representative Elise Stefanik, a Republican from New York, who has avidly touted White nationalist conspiracy theories, and Representative Rick Allen, a right-wing Republican congressman from Georgia, who routinely quoted Bible verses as a vehicle for dictating policy at a religiously diverse, pluralistic, secular university. Rather, the purpose of this supposed “genuine inquiry” was to attack higher education as bastions of critical thinking.

Mind you, these are the same individuals who went on the warpath to curtail holistic learning by disparaging and disrupting K-12 education across the country, prohibiting books by Black, LGBTQIA+, and Jewish authors, and pushing their sinister agenda by making debilitating and devastating incursions into public universities in more than a few states where it is no longer permissible to teach with intellectual truth and honesty about complex subjects such as slavery, race, and gender. However, in Florida you can make the case that “slavery was positive in that it provided ‘workers’ acquired skills that  benefited them during their lives.” It is important to note that workers receive compensation for their labor, whereas slaves did not. Now the House committee is attacking private universities as well.

The campaign against the independence of higher education has now found incendiary fuel from a new ally: a long-standing, well-organized movement of right-wing billionaires hell-bent on stifling, if not, outright eradicating non-White curricula and culture in art spaces, literary venues, public schools, and the larger society in general. For decades, this effort has relied on the false premise that any intense expression of a diverse, multi-religious, multicultural narrative is an attack on Judeo-Christian culture. Such a perverse notion is intellectually dishonest and absurd.

-- Elwood Watson, "Campus Student Protests" (THE BLACK COMMENTATOR).



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