The Left's Ideological Mullet: DEI in the Front, 'Anti-Zionist' in the Back

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

Reading this story on the new campus litmus test really brought home for me the absolutely hypocrisy of leftist students on campus. They are simultaneously the biggest supporters of of DEI (emphasis on inclusion) and also the most extreme proponents of shunning people they consider beyond the pale, especially those who support the existence of Israel. 

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It's like that old description of a mullet as business in the front and party in the back. Campus leftists are DEI in the front and anti-Zionist in the back. If you've seen the campus occupiers in action then you've already seen some of this.

Through chants, statements and sometimes physical obstruction, many protesters have made clear they don’t want to share space with people they consider Zionists — and indeed, that they find the ideology unacceptable. At the University of California, Los Angeles, pro-Palestinian students blocked peers who identified themselves as Zionists from parts of campus. Given that a large majority of American Jews say caring about Israel is an important part of their Jewish identity, these instances of exclusion have led to a debate over whether the encampments are de facto antisemitic.

But the article offers a long list of personal interactions that show that, even away from the heated confrontations over tents on campus, pro-Palestinian protesters are shunning and bullying those who dare to disagree.

Some Jewish students on campus believe these dynamics amount to a kind of litmus test: If you support Palestine, you’re in. If you support the existence of or aren’t ready to denounce Israel, you’re out. And they say this is not limited to pro-Palestine protests. It is, instead, merely the most pointed form of a new social pressure that has started to drip down from the public square onto the fabric of everyday campus life, seeping into spaces that would seem to have little to do with Middle East politics: club sports, casual friendships, dance troupes...

At Rice University, a freshman named Michael Busch said he felt unwelcome at a campus L.G.B.T.Q. group, after he was heckled in an associated group chat for saying that he was in favor of a two-state solution and that he believed Israel accepted queer people more than other Middle Eastern countries.

“If that makes me a Zionist, I’m a Zionist,” he said. “That was the initial litmus test. From there, I found myself shut out of a lot of communities.”...

And at Columbia University, a senior named Dessa Gerger — who says she is often “put off” by peers who are quick to label anti-Zionism as antisemitism and feels that “the story about Jewish students feeling unsafe on campus is overplayed” — decided not to continue her participation in college radio after a member of the station’s board expressed ambivalence about the idea of a program that featured Israeli music.

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At Northwestern University the coach of a campus ultimate frisbee team decided to hold a meeting specifically focused on the war in Gaza. The meeting was optional and one of the team captains chose not to attend. Afterwards the coach pulled him aside.

According to the student — who identifies as a liberal Zionist — Ms. Wu told him that she respected him as a Frisbee player, but that his pro-Israel attitude was wrong, and that it could be an obstacle in the future as he sought to make friends and get a job.

Of course I don't know that all of these students are proponents of DEI but I'd be willing to bet they are. A hint comes from this statement given by a grad student at the University of Chicago: "I think anyone who subscribes to the Zionist ideology should be viewed as you would view one who proclaims to be a white supremacist." In other words, this is the standard woke mindset which sees white supremacy as the root of all evil. They have simply grafted pro-Israel Jews into whiteness to create a new villain.

Some of the commenters get it.

This is what happens when a society becomes fixated on individual identity. The Identity Movement set up the board for this decades back by focusing attention on skin color, race, ethnicity, religion, sex/gender, and every other possible intersectional variable that can be imagined.

And now it turns out that some of these identities don't play well together. Which is, of course, why most of us older people were encouraged, while growing up, not to focus on the features that separate us but rather on those that we share.

I guess some lessons have to be learned the hard way.

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This one nails it.

How ironic that the same groups who stood so strongly for diversity, equity and inclusion are now the ones promoting insularity and exclusion.  I guess diversity and inclusion are good only if you agree with their narrative?

I think we can all see the connection between the current hostility and the ideology that has rolled through these universities over the past decade.

Unfortunately a significant part of the academic world, particularly in the humanities and areas such as ethnic studies, is inflaming the passions and in/out group mentality of the students based on emotions, rather than teaching them to critically consider these complex issues. 

I think it is a significant failure of academia. The universities have unthinkingly accepted progressive activist agenda and are now struggling with their own mission in this difficult world.

You won't see a decline in anti-Semitism or anti-Zionism until there is a similar decline in DEI ideology.

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Jazz Shaw 10:00 PM | June 12, 2024
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