Open Letter to Chancellor Katehi about Reaction to UCD Divestment Vote, and Swastikas

Share:

On Monday, the Sacramento Regional Coalition for Palestinian Rights sent the following message to University of California Davis Chancellor Katehi:

We write on behalf of 21 grassroots organizations plus numerous individuals united in the Sacramento Regional Coalition for Palestinian Rights, which includes Davis community members. Many of us have closely followed – and now welcome the success of – the three-year campaign by UCD students to achieve an ASUCD Senate resolution calling for UC divestment from certain corporations. These companies profit from and their actions support Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land, gross violation of human rights and international law amid escalating use of violence that has led to thousands of civilian deaths in recent years.

We understand, of course, that opinions on this subject vary among students, faculty and the general public. Moreover, we trust and appreciate that you and the rest of the UCD administration are determined to ensure that all sides are able to express their views on campus without violence or intimidation. But from our observation of events and from your letter in response to the divestment resolution, we are concerned that a double standard is in play.

The UCD administration surely does not express an opinion on every bill and resolution passed by the student Senate. Yet your letter pointedly rejects the students’ decision on a matter that was not even directed to the UCD administration. Along with similar resolutions passed now by seven UC student governments, Senate Bill 9 is addressed to the UC Board of Regents, which bears responsibility for university investments. Regardless of our opinion on the 2010 position taken by the regents (and we strongly disagree with their position that divestment should not be considered until the U.S. administration declares that genocide has occurred – at which time it is truly too late), your citing that policy and rejecting the resolution sends the wrong message to students who expressed their views in a painstakingly democratic and totally peaceful, inclusive process.

We do support your consistent call for “civility and decency” when exercising freedom of expression. And surely you heard from observers at the Senate hearing how all speakers in favor of the resolution maintained these standards impeccably, telling their stories while underlining that divestment was targeted not at anyone on campus but at severe violations of human rights in Israel and the occupied territories, again and again emphasizing their opposition to all racism and bigotry. Resolution opponents, on the other hand, frankly, aimed offensive invective and false accusations at the elected senators, crassly accused their fellow students of engaging in hatred, then led a walkout, sabotaging the chances of a civil dialogue on the actual topic at hand, which we had in fact witnessed during student government hearings in past years.

We also call to your attention that in far too many past instances at UCD and even more at other campuses around the country, it has been the critics of Israeli policy who have been unduly scrutinized, condemned and even punished by university authorities for exercising their rights to speak out. In an atmosphere where Arabs regardless of their religious identity, Muslims of all ethnicities and supporters of Palestinian rights, including Jews, Christians and people of other beliefs are often the objects of harassment and hate speech that sweepingly associate them with “terrorism,” such double standards in treatment have a strongly chilling effect on the rights of students and faculty associated with unpopular identities or views. We have heard from numerous such targeted students at UCD, as well as some faculty, that they are afraid to speak out and become active in causes dear to them out of fear for their academic standing or future employment possibilities.

Unfortunately, we must also mention the swastikas painted on a Jewish fraternity in Davis the day after the divestment vote. This hate crime should be denounced, as you appropriately have done in your letter on the subject, independently of any other debate or event. Along with you, we hope the perpetrators are found and punished. But two related phenomena disturb us:

First, while swastikas are symbols that epitomize evil in our society’s consciousness, other instances of defacement and hate graffiti can be as hurtful, especially when the targets are members of particularly vulnerable communities, such as those who identify as Arabs/Arab Americans, Palestinians or Muslims. Bigotry-tinged invective is frequently directed at them, orally and in writing; disgusting hate speech has been posted on the public UCD Facebook page this week. These should be dealt with as forcefully as spray-painted swastikas.

Second, fierce opponents of the divestment campaign on campus and in much of the media have attributed the swastika incident to the “atmosphere” created by the campaign, some even implying that it was actually committed by pro-divestment activists – who as noted, have been smeared again and again with the false label of anti-Semitism. Social media pages dedicated to defending Israel’s actions, no matter how egregious they have been, such as the attacks last summer on Gaza, have gone berserk, broadcasting, for instance, a partial image of the obviously satirical Facebook post by a UCD senator as if it constitutes support for “Hamas and Sharia law” taking over in Davis. Imagine the abuse and threats to which she is now being subjected.

You may be aware that a long list of student organizations, led by Students for Justice in Palestine, was among the first to strongly condemn the swastika incident in a public letter. We also note with satisfaction the Feb. 3 Sacramento Bee report that a spokesman for the affected fraternity has now backtracked from his initial linking of it to the divestment resolution. Some are wondering out loud whether the spray painting might have been perpetrated in a deliberate, twisted, effort to discredit the student government action. Unfortunately this kind of provocative action has occurred, including at George Washington University when a Jewish student reported swastikas and then was caught drawing them: http://www.gwhatchet.com/2007/11/05/freshman-who-reported-swastikas-drew-them-as-well.

Finally in this context, we urge you again to reconsider your public rejection of the ASUCD Senate resolution. It was clearly foreseeable that its avid opponents would make every effort to discredit the vote and malign its supporters. The university administration should not take sides on a matter of community debate, especially one that is not within its purview, and even more so when many of the students involved are particularly vulnerable due to their ethnicities, religious beliefs or points of view.

Share:

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

Related posts

92 thoughts on “Open Letter to Chancellor Katehi about Reaction to UCD Divestment Vote, and Swastikas”

  1. Tia Will

    while swastikas are symbols that epitomize evil in our society’s consciousness, other instances of defacement and hate graffiti can be as hurtful, especially when the targets are members of particularly vulnerable communities, such as those who identify as Arabs/Arab Americans, Palestinians or Muslims. Bigotry-tinged invective is frequently directed at them, orally and in writing; disgusting hate speech has been posted on the public UCD Facebook page this week. These should be dealt with as forcefully as spray-painted swastikas.”

    I can directly attest to this much of the article. My ex husband is a Turkish American. He steers clear of politics since he despises politics and politicians. However, based on his name and appearance he was the recipient of a fair amount of invective and hate comments based on the assumption that he was Muslim or Arabic or Palestinian or God only knows what since the assumptions were based on ignorance. Of course, judging only by the color of his skin, he was also accused of being a “wet back”and told to “go home”. To those who believe that racism is no longer with us in any meaningful manner……wrong.

    I feel strongly about this because I believe that it is only too easy to see hatred when it is directed at those with whom we agree or sympathize, and very hard to see or very easy to minimize when directed against those with whom we have no ties.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      I think it would be a good idea to focus on the specific item of the divestiture vote, the swastikas, and the related factors, rather than launching off into one’s own personal mission.

      I can directly attest to be the recipient of hate comments based only on the color of my skin, including acts of violence and theft against myself and members of my family. Of course, judging only by the color of a relative’s skin, she was referred to as “white girl” by most in her Latino community, and other family members have been referred to as KKK or Nazi members based upon ignorance and hate. But these are tangents.

      I strongly disagree with your conclusion that we can’t sympathize with those whom we have “no ties”. We are all human beings, all brothers, so how is it not possible to have “ties”?

      There are countless acts of benevolence, charity, love and compassion that our fellow citizens display on a daily basis. Members of my family, including myself, have participated in numerous endeavors which frequently have benefited primarily “people of color”. I personally chose to spend time at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC, and to visit Auschwitz in Poland (a dreary town), to learn, understand, and show compassion. I personally drove one hour to meet friends at an Afghan restaurant after the 9/11 attacks, and the restaurant was overflowing with support and compassion for the Afghan-Americans. I believe we are all tied together.

      Please, let’s stay on topic.

      1. Tia Will

        TBD

        I strongly disagree with your conclusion that we can’t sympathize with those whom we have “no ties”. We are all human beings, all brothers, so how is it not possible to have “ties”?”

        Please note that I did not say that “we can’t”. I merely said that it is more difficult. If you don’t believe that, then I don’t believe that you have been reading the posts by those who hold the Israel’s completely innocent of any aggression, or those who state repeatedly that  opposition to the Israeli settlements are only a proxy for hatred of Israel ( I sincerely doubt that anyone would feel that way if it were their home that had been bulldozed to make way for a settlement), or that while the 9/11 hijackers were terrorists ( a true statement) but that our actions which have killed many more thousands of innocent Afghani civilians and civilians in Iraq were unfortunate collateral damage necessary for our own protection. I will stand my ground with regard to the difficulty in empathizing with the fates of our perceived enemies the same as our perceived friends.

        And I see nothing off topic about discussing my feeling that all people’s actions should be judged by the same moral yard stick and that their nationality, ethnic background or religion should have nothing at all to do with our basic respect for their humanity.

  2. LadyNewkBahm

    Much of this is self-victimization because they faced a backlash not just by Katehi, but by Jews who walked out. What bothers me in all of this is how Israel gets singled out as if its Arab neighbors are bastions of freedom, democracy, and civil rights. If ASUCD were not so politically selective as to whom they chose to single out, then its decision would be met with more sympathy. Now these people cry a river because their little political stunt backfired.

    1. Davis Progressive

      “What bothers me in all of this is how israel gets singled out as if its Arab neighbors are bastions of freedom, democracy, and civil rights. ”

      it seems to me that neither side is beyond reproach but each sides wants to act as though their stuff didn’t stink.

      1. Alan Miller

        “it seems to me that neither side is beyond reproach but each sides wants to act as though their stuff didn’t stink.”

        Not only that, each “side” continues to throw poo and claim it isn’t poo.

  3. zaqzaq

    The letter states, “broadcasting, for instance, a partial image of the obviously satirical Facebook post by a UCD senator as if it constitutes support for “Hamas and Sharia law” taking over in Davis. Imagine the abuse and threats to which she is now being subjected.”

    The authors adopt the ludicrous claim that the Facebook post was obviously satirical.  Clearly the vast majority of those who read or heard about it did not see it that way.  It was that post that resulted in the absurd amount of negative national publicity directed at UCD and the City of Davis.  They lose all credibility with me by making this claim.  Instead of criticizing the author of the post the criticize the audience for “not  getting it”.  Pathetic.

    Why haven’t the Students for Justice in Palestine called for divestment of those predominately Islamic countries who treat women as second class citizens?   The sexism in Islam is contrary to our principles of equality in this country.

    1. Barack Palin

      What zaqzaq said.  They claim the pro-Palsestinian student Senator’s Facebook posting was just satirical but in turn cite “disgusting hate speech has been posted on the public UCD Facebook page this week” posted against Palestinians and Muslims.  Maybe they were also just being “satirical”? 

      1. Alan Miller

        As I stated with my problem with Jewish alumi letter, don’t state the “hate” as obvious without specifying what you are talking about.  Site the actual things said — or better yet post the links — to what you have pre-judged for us as “hate” — so that it can be viewed in context — and we can decide for ourselves.

        All, on either “side”, who hold on to a singular “our truth” and see Israel/Palestine issues through “our truth”-colored glasses, you all disgust me.  You are all the problem.

    2. Frankly

      They have the freedom to ignore that and speak their mind in this country… unless they grow in numbers enough to exploit our democracy to inject Sharia law.  Then they will have ruined yet another bastion of freedom where they could speak their mind.

    3. Miwok

      Why haven’t the Students for Justice in Palestine called for divestment of those predominately Islamic countries who treat women as second class citizens?   The sexism in Islam is contrary to our principles of equality in this country.

      Where are the Men from this culture? Why are the women in America speaking out for their “values” if they are so bad? Or can they speak freely enough to show their true culture in America? And where are the families of these students? Are they just mouthy teens, going off the reservation, or truly representing and resenting the America they are here getting their education from?

  4. Alan Miller

    As I said previously:

    To fail to acknowledge the suffering of Palestinians due to politics and tensions in Israel/Palestine is a sickness.  To believe the destruction of Israel is a rational solution to this suffering is a sickness.

    ” . . . fierce opponents of the divestment campaign on campus and in much of the media have attributed the swastika incident to the “atmosphere” created by the campaign, some even implying that it was actually committed by pro-divestment activists”

    The letter from the UC Davis Jewish Alumni which stated, “This blatantly anti-Jewish fervor has grown so virulent and toxic that it culminated in the public desecration of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity house this past week” sickened me.  The Alumni gave no example of the “fervor”, something worth discussing, then used this undescribed “fervor” to imply a link to the spray painting of the swastika, a link which has not been proven.  That implies guilt, and fuels the hate.  Don’t speak for me, Jewish alumni (I am Jewish alumni).

    The statement from the Anti-Defamation League which stated, “BDS activists have been known to employ Holocaust imagery” was appalling and shameful, because it implied the guilt of BDS activists without proof.  If you are going to make such accusations in the name of representing me as a Jew, ADL, go F— yourselves.  The ADL can state that by giving proven examples in a wider context, but to implying it in this local situation where the perpetrators have not been identified — that adds to the hate.

    “Social media pages . . .  have gone berserk, broadcasting . . . a partial image of the obviously satirical Facebook post by a UCD senator as if it constitutes support for ‘Hamas and Sharia law’ taking over in Davis.”

    The posting by the UCD Senator was profoundly stupid, offensive, destructive to their own cause, and not “obviously satirical”.  Perhaps it was obvious to the poster and writer, but not to the wider community.  Antisemitism and the stirring of anger leading to threats to Jewish people is no joke.  I hope the UCD Senator enjoys being watched by the FBI/CIA for the rest of her life.

    1. Frankly

      “Antisemitism and the stirring of anger leading to threats to Jewish people is no joke.  I hope the UCD Senator enjoys being watched by the FBI/CIA for the rest of her life.”

      What Alan Miller said.

      “The Alumni gave no example of the “fervor”, something worth discussing, then used this undescribed “fervor” to imply a link to the spray painting of the swastika, a link which has not been proven.  That implies guilt, and fuels the hate.”

      While I generally agree here that no specific evidence was provided and so the claim is problematic, there is conflict with this and the previous statement.  Might we agree that zero tolerance is justified given the historical evidence of the slippery slope of Antisemitism and the atrocities done to Jews before the ignorant world woke up and recognized its error?

      1. Alan Miller

        It is only conflict if the measure is taking a “side” on the issue.  The Israel/Palestine issue is so complex that taking a singlar “our truth” leads to irrational oversimplification.

        The measure here for either “side” is placing blame or fueling hate with rhetoric before guilt has been proven.

        Similar for the Davis race reaction-aries who imply a hate in Davis from the noose incident.  The crime should be investigated with fervor because it might be motivated by racial hate, as might be the swastika.  Until we have caught the perps there is no evidence of actual racial hate, only the use of racial hate symbolism, and thus placing blame prematurely throws a mass fuel on what may be a very small fire.

        1. Davis Progressive

          “Similar for the Davis race reaction-aries who imply a hate in Davis from the noose incident.  The crime should be investigated with fervor because it might be motivated by racial hate, as mightbe the swastika.  Until we have caught the perps there is no evidence of actual racial hate, only the use of racial hate symbolism, and thus placing blame prematurely throws a mass fuel on what may be a very small fire.”

          i have a very different view on that.  i think it’s a good thing to in a sense over-react to these kinds of incident.  it was not long ago that they got swept under the rug.  it was not long ago, within my lifetime, that they were accepted.  it was not long ago, within my lifetime that politicians made their career based on the opposition to change in this arena.  so if we respond strongly and yell “never again” perhaps we do so because we do in fact mean, “never again”

        2. Frankly

          That is the slippery-slope argument.  And it exists for Israel and Jews given the percentage of Israel and Jew-haters in the world and their funding and weapons.   It does not exist for US race relations.

          There are real slippery-slopes, and there are those derived from fantasy and falsehoods only to prop-up a worldview.

        3. Alan Miller

          I agree it is good to keep alive in an educational sense what these symbols stand for, so new generations understand the meaning.

          To imply they are fueled by hate before being proven, or to use as “evidence” to back an agenda that “Davis (or UC Davis) is a racist place” adds fuel to the fire.

  5. Frankly

    What really pisses me off about all of this is the lack of discussion and acknowledgement that the Palestinian people elected a well known murderous terrorist group to govern them.   And this group consistently and routinely demands that Israel cease to exist and looks for every opportunity to kill as many innocent Israelis as possible.   As far as I am concerned the Palestinian people are deserving of their oppression in light of this.  Until and unless they embrace peace by electing true peaceful leadership, they should have zero voice in criticism of Israel.

    And the settlements complaint is simply a proxy for their hatred of Israel and Jews in general.  Jews occupied the lands prior to the failed Arab offensive, and the lands had never been part of any Palestinian claim during previous peace accord discussions.   Previously the claim had been “occupation of Gaza” and so Israel pulled out.  And what did Israel get for compliance with the demands of the Palestinians and their screwed up ignorant western supporters?  Rockets, death and a new set of compliance goal posts.

    Let’s be clear here… based on recent history the world would be a better place with Palestine wiped off the map, not with Israel wiped off the map.  Until and unless the Palestinians embrace the same peace that they claim to demand of Israel, those claims should be routinely and soundly rejected.

    1. Don Shor

      As far as I am concerned the Palestinian people are deserving of their oppression in light of this

      It wasn’t exactly a sweeping victory at 44.5% of the vote. Also note the public opinion polls of Palestinian voters:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_legislative_election,_2006#Exit_polls
      By your logic, I’m responsible for the policies and actions of the Bush-Cheney administration.
      Given a choice between the corrupt Fatah and the alternative of Hamas, they chose Hamas. I wouldn’t be surprised if they would choose another party if they had the option and if elections could be held under reasonably secure conditions. Note the ways in which the government of Israel intervened in the Palestinian election in 2006: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_legislative_election,_2006#Israeli_obstruction
      Nobody should have “zero voice” in their own future. Neither the Palestinians nor the Israelis are being well served by their present governments with respect to peace right now. But those are the states as they exist, and that is what diplomats in the region, and Secretary Kerry, have to work with. The behavior of the American Republican Party is presently not helpful to the peace process, either.

    2. Frankly

      By your logic, I’m responsible for the policies and actions of the Bush-Cheney administration.

      That is a nonsensical and irrational comparison.

      What you should have written:

      “By your logic the American people are responsible for the actions and non-actions the the Bush-Cheney Administration just as they are also responsible for the actions and non-actions Obama-Biden Administration.”

      And you would be correct.

      So here is a comparison challenge for you.  An angry and frustrated anti-social kid is rejected for membership into the clubs he wants to participate in and he brings a gun and kills a bunch of kids and teachers of the school to bring attention to his misery.  So, based on your logic the murdering kid is the victim.

        1. Frankly

          Cognitive dissonance on prime-time display here.

          Democracy is democracy.  You shift-turn to individual victim mentality, and then group persecution, when it suits your world views.  You would generate more credibility if you were at least consistent.

          Do you think your excusing of the terrorism, violence and malice that comes from the Palestinians because something less than 50% voted for it actually does anything to correct it?  Quite the opposite… your position actually helps prop it up and perpetuate it.

          1. Don Shor

            Here’s Palestinian public opinion at the time Hamas was elected:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_legislative_election,_2006#Exit_polls

            An exit poll conducted by Near East Consulting on 15 February 2006 on voters participating in the 2006 PA elections revealed the following responses to major concerns:

            Support for a Peace Agreement with Israel: 79.5% in support; 15.5% in opposition
            Should Hamas change its policies regarding Israel: Yes – 75.2%; No – 24.8%
            Under Hamas corruption will decrease: Yes – 78.1%; No – 21.9%
            Under Hamas internal security will improve: Yes – 67.8%; No – 32.2%
            Hamas government priorities: 1) Combatting corruption; 2) Ending security chaos; 3) Solving poverty/unemployment
            Support for Hamas’ impact on the national interest: Positive – 66.7&; Negative – 28.5%
            Support for a national unity government?: Yes – 81.4%; no – 18.6%
            Rejection of Fatah’s decision not to join a national unity government: Yes – 72.5%; No – 27.5%
            Satisfaction with election results: 64.2% satisfied; 35.8% dissatisfied[28]

          2. Don Shor

            your excusing of the terrorism…your position actually helps prop it up and perpetuate it.

            Amazing how quick you are to personalize discussions. It’s pretty counterproductive to the goal of achieving a reasonable discourse.

        2. Frankly

          What I meant with “your” was “liberal”.

          My point was that until liberals join in the demand that terrorism be eradicated from the Palestinian policy and government, there can be no joint progress made on the equality challenge.

          Hamas is a known militant Islamist organization that has primarily waged war on Israel since its founding in 1987.   So the Palestinian voters were either too stupid to know this, or believed that electing a terrorist organization to lead them would result in these expectations you list.  You and I both know it was the latter.

          So, they voted in support of terrorism.

          Are there moderate Palestinians?  Absolutely!   So how best do we support them?  Certainly not with anti-Israel policies in light of the acts of terrorism coming from Palestine and Lebanon… both controlled by Hamas.

          1. Don Shor

            I see. Well, I’m not a liberal.
            Hamas was also a functioning party that was providing social services. Fatah was corrupt and was not providing those services. Hamas was much like Hezbollah in Lebanon, which is now a part of the government there. And we interact with that government, even though we officially deem Hezbollah to be a terrorist organization. You deal with the elected government.
            It would be great to see more moderate factions gain electoral strength in the Palestinian territories. Elections have been repeatedly postponed due to disputes between Fatah and Hamas. At the moment, those are the main choices the voters have. I don’t know when elections are scheduled.

    3. Tia Will

      Let’s be clear here… based on recent history the world would be a better place with Palestine wiped off the map, not with Israel wiped off the map.  Until and unless the Palestinians embrace the same peace that they claim to demand of Israel, those claims should be routinely and soundly rejected.”

      Well, I guess I can rest my case that it is much easier to empathize with those with whom we agree than with those with whom we disagree. I don’t think that I could possibly come up with a clearer example than this.

      Do you believe that the Palestinian child who is killed by an Israeli bomb is any more culpable than an Israeli child killed by a Palestinian mortar ?  Maybe some of you do…..I clearly do not.

      1. Frankly

        It has been said, and it is true, that the day Palestinian mothers care as much about their children’s’ lives as do Israeli mothers care about their children’s lives, peace is possible.

        It depends on the age of the child and what that child was doing, because Palestinian children are known to participate in terrorism.

        The Palestinian child killed by any weapon fired by an Israeli was not targeted by Israel unless that child was participating in trying to kill Israelis.  Contrast that to the innocent Israeli child killed by Palestinian bomb, rocket or mortar… that child is usually a bonus target for the Palestinian that fired it.

        1. Don Shor

          The Palestinian child killed by any weapon fired by an Israeli was not targeted by Israel unless that child was participating in trying to kill Israelis

          What a curiously phrased statement. There were plenty of civilian casualties, including children, in the recent military actions by Israel against Gaza.

        2. Tia Will

          Frankly

          It has been said, and it is true, that the day Palestinian mothers care as much about their children’s’ lives as do Israeli mothers care about their children’s lives, peace is possible.”

          Talk about doubling down. Now you are making the assertion that Palestinian mothers ( as a group ) care less about their children than do Israeli mothers. Talk about demonstrating how very much harder it is to empathize with those with whom we do not agree politically. For the sake of argument let’s draw the line at five. Would you agree that the 5 and under crowd are equally as innocent whether or not they are Palestinian or Israeli ?  Bear in mind before you answer that children of this age have not yet developed a concept of death.

          Also, talk about the misuse of collective guilt. I assume that since you are attributing to every Palestinian, even those too young to understand the words, the collective guilt for favoring the destruction of Israel. Using this collective guilt philosophy, for political views that you do not favor, the inhabitants of the twin towers would have been, in the eyes of the terrorists just “collateral damage” since the target was the symbol of American power and hegemony and the victims were citizens of a country that in their eyes votes for people who continue to support their enemy.

          As long as humans continue to not care whether or not innocents are killed when they attack their enemies these atrocities will continue on all sides. Either side can “say” that they are not targeting innocents. If innocents are killed the results are the same regardless of the euphemisms used to justify.

    1. Alan Miller

      Alright people . . . . . WAKE UP!

      Can anyone confirm that this was actually posted by the UC Senator?

      If it was, I cannot fathom why the previous thing about Hamas taking over UCD, a stupid and obviously incorrect statement, is what is being focused on.

      Saying “Israel will fall, God willing” is no joke . . . and it can’t be passed off as satire.

      Even if you can convince yourself calling for the destruction of a country full of Jews (and many others) is not antisemitic (note:  that is antisemitic), consider the outcome of what would happen were Israel to “fall”.

      How is it that statement was brought up and the thread ended there?

      If this is real, I’d like that brought up as a Vanguard article, so a full discussion on those words can take place.

    1. Frankly

      Everyone should ready Jonathan Haidt’s book “The Righteous Mind“.

      Haidt did extensive world-wide studies and compiled a catalog of six fundamental ideas that commonly undergird moral systems: care, fairness, liberty, loyalty, authority and sanctity.  And he also found six related themes that carry moral weight: divinity, community, hierarchy, tradition, sin and degradation.

      Haidt then tested both liberals and conservatives for their guiding emphasis on these things.  What he found is that liberals tended to filter primarily on equality and fairness so strongly that the other moral considerations and themes that support them receive scant consideration.

      Conservatives tended to give more equal weight to all moral considerations.  And because of that liberals tend to view conservatives as not concerned enough about equality and not caring enough.

      Looking at the Palestinian situation, liberals respond to the low social and economic existence of the people and that drives their response.  Conservatives give more weight to other moral considerations like the actual behavior of the Palestinian people.  For example, conservatives will decide it is immoral to kill innocent people on purpose to pursue a political agenda; while it is not immoral to use military strength in defense even if innocent people are killed… as long as reasonable precautions are taken to minimize harm to innocent people.   Liberals will decide that Israel is strong and the Palestinians are weak, and hence accept the bad behavior of the Palestinians and demand much greater behavior from Israel.  In other words, liberals will actually rationalize the Palestinian killing of Israelis as a result of the inequity they see between Palestine and Israel.

      Because equality and fairness is the stronger and dominant moral impulse of politically left-leaning people, they possess a moral hazard if given absolute power to act on it.  Likewise, if politically right-leaning people are given absolute power, they would too often discount the importance of real inequity and fairness, and then suffer the emotionally-charged impacts of a growing population of people feeling they are treated unfairly or lacking equality.

      Understanding these differences, I think, is a key to cooperative problem-solving in a more politically-polarized world.  Ironically, Europe seems more evolved in this.  There are more moderates in charge and it tends to flatten the extremes of liberals pursuing equality at the expense of everything else, and conservatives ignoring the social harm from the existence of inequality.

      The challenge for the Palestinians though is that they cannot win help for greater equality through violence.  Liberals are wrong to ignore this even if as a practical, tactical consideration.  If western liberals want greater equality for the Palestinian people, they would demand that Palestinian people law down their arms and stop with the malice toward Israel.

      1. Biddlin

        “And because of that liberals tend to view conservatives as not concerned enough about equality and not caring enough.”

        “I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there.” Mitt Romney Feb. 1, 2012

        “…rape is  really rare, because if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

        Todd Akin August 19, 2012

        “I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And, I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.” Richard Lugar Oct. 23, 2012.

        Yeah, Frankly, that’s why.

        Always fascinated by your extensive knowledge of liberal’s positions and motives..

        ROFLMAO

        ;>)/

         

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          And Hillary Clinton defended a violent rapist who brutalized a 12-year-old girl in 1975. Here she laughs about some of her over-the-top ways she helped get her “client” off with a slap on the wrist.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2f13f2awK4

          Romney gives way more to charity than the Clinton’s or Al Gore. The Clinton’s are actually feathering the bed of Chelsea. So much for helping the poor.

          George Bush Jr. saved millions of lives in Africa with his massive increase in AIDS spending.

        2. Davis Progressive

          i’m not fan of hilary, but in fairness, wasn’t she a public defender at the time?  would you like a list of “bad” people i defended?  that’s how our system works.

        3. TrueBlueDevil

          I believe she may have volunteered for this case. Everyone deserves legal representation, but there are a number of items that draw concern here.

          1. Laughing while discussing the legal moves she used during the case. It was the brutal rape of a 12-year-old child by two men, one 42 years old.

          2. Did her defense go too far?

          3. In suggesting in one of her pleading papers (I think that’s the term) that the victim was attracted to older men and may have been flirtatious, goes over the line for me.

          4. Laughing about an inaccurate lie detector test used to get off a brutal child rapist.

          5. If she is a woman and child advocate, why not pass on the brutal rape of a child?

          6. Why the fake southern accent? Goes to the questions about her authenticity, or lack thereof.

          7. While this CNN clip (see below) tries to spin the tape to defend Hillary, one of the legal “experts” makes a good point. He claims that lawyers that work in this area tend to not talk about their cases, bad form?

          8. The victim herself thought the defense and laughing was highly offensive, and shook her.

          I’m not a lawyer, I’m sure there’s more, but this smells to high heaven to me.

          Notice also that the national press tried to smear Mitt Romney over a prank / haircut given to a fellow classmate in junior high or high school; yet few of them even cover this major story concerning very troubling, violent felonies!

          Hypocrisy on both parts?

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akO1mCpg4w8

        4. Davis Progressive

          i personally think you are making too much out something that not only happened 40 years ago but two years after she got out of law school.  the ‘laugh’ as i read it seemed more about the fact that she didn’t believe her client and when he passed the lie detector it convinced of her its fallibility rather than her laughing because he got off.

          again, i don’t like hillary.  but you’re hitting a bit close to my home with this one in terms of lawyers.

        5. Davis Progressive

          “5. If she is a woman and child advocate, why not pass on the brutal rape of a child?”

          i consider myself to be both a woman’s advocate and a child advocate, i wouldn’t have passed on the case.  why?  because the system doesn’t work unless lawyers are willing to advocate for the lowest of the low.  and you never know at the end of the day when the client you work for and is accused of horrible things is completely innocent.

          let someone else do it?  if not me, then who?

          you’re not a lawyer, i wouldn’t expect you to understand.  just as i can’t understand other people’s passions.

        6. Barack Palin

          I guess Hillary was just being “satirical”.
          Yeah yeah, you aren’t a Democrat and you don’t like Obama or Hillary but it seems like you’re always defending them.

        7. TrueBlueDevil

          I guess I shouldn’t be surprised as she stood by Bill Clinton’s side as he had over 8-10 allegations of sexual attack / rape hurled at him. She circled the wagon like a good hypocrite, and called the women’s accusations “bimbo eruptions”.

          How is Bill Clinton any better than Bill Cosby? Clinton gets a pass, and Cosby doesn’t. White privilege?

          And Bill Clinton is close friends with the financier from New York who is being sued by a young woman who says she was kept as an underage sex slave on the island he owns in the Bahamas. Clinton was a guest at this island on several occasions.

          Don’t worry, I am sure he was accompanied by Chelsea or Hillary. Not.

          Hypocrisy?

        8. hpierce

          To DP, re: your 4:17 post:  “…. just as i can’t understand other people’s passions.”  In my personal opinion, if your statement is true, you are patently unfit to practice law.

        9. Frankly

          Biddlin – my musical brother from another mother… you seem to like the DNC and liberal media talking points.  I would like for stronger examples to make your point.  These are really significantly weak.

          But thanks for at least confirming this point…

          Conservatives tended to give more equal weight to all moral considerations.  And because of that liberals tend to view conservatives as not concerned enough about equality and not caring enough.

          And…

          It turns out that the old Bushism about “compassionate conservatism” may not be a myth after all. In a new analysis of Internal Revenue Service tax records, the Chronicle of Philanthropy on Monday ranked U.S. cities and states by how much money their residents give to charity. The bottom line? People in red states are more generous with their green.

  6. Anon

    We have heard from numerous such targeted students at UCD, as well as some faculty, that they are afraid to speak out and become active in causes dear to them out of fear for their academic standing or future employment possibilities.”

    Welcome to the real world.  You live and die by what you say and do.  If you are not willing to take the heat for what you say and do, then stay out of the kitchen.  It is just dawning on the ASUCD students who voted for the divesture resolution that there are consequences to taking controversial stands that make people “mad”.  This is going to become a defining moment for them, or not!  Either they are going to continue to behave badly, by defending all their actions, e.g. making stupid self-serving statements such as “it was only meant as satire”, or they are going to learn from their mistakes, and realize perhaps this was not their finest hour, and a divestiture vote was not the best way to address their concerns about what is going on in the middle east.  I suspect these same ASUCD students who voted for divestiture would have gotten a lot more respect, not endangered their employment opportunities or academic standing, had they held a forum on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, inviting knowledgeable speakers to add context, and asked local reporters to cover the event.  Much more productive than a divisive resolution that has stirred up a hornet’s nest, ugly feelings, “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”.  Is this what the ASUCD students who voted for divesture wanted?  Seems from this article NOT!  Then maybe, just maybe, there was a better way to get their point across, because these students have certainly not generated sympathy for their cause!

    1. Davis Progressive

      is your real world lesson a good one?  wasn’t just last week you were lamenting that college campuses were not bastions of free speech.  now you seem alright with that fact when it’s an issue that bumps in your direction.

      1. Anon

        Un un, not going there.  Two separate issues.  If these students want to be stupid and say and do what they did, I would lay down my life for their right to do so.  That is completely different from the issue of being wise about what you say and do.  It is no different than the following analogy:  You have a perfect right to go down a street in a bad neighborhood in the middle of the night, but if you get mugged, then you weren’t being very smart, were you?  These students could have expressed themselves in a 100 different ways that would have been far more productive.  How you say something is just as important as what you say.

    2. Alan Miller

      “Welcome to the real world.  You live and die by what you say and do.  If you are not willing to take the heat for what you say and do, then stay out of the kitchen.”

      Ironically stated  by an anonymous poster.

      I will live and die by what I say and do.  I am real.

      No one knows who you are.  Must be nice to say whatever you want, and take from it no heat because there is no kitchen, because your world is not real, and you do not exist, because you are anonymous.

      1. Barack Palin

        The whole anonymous thing is getting really boring.  Haven’t we been through this multiple times?  The anonymous posters have their reasons.  For me it’s because my wife is a school teacher in a very liberal town and she has asked me to stay anonymous because she doesn’t want any possible feedback from her parents.

      2. Anon

        To Alan Miller: Yes I live in a virtual reality and I like it just fine there, thank you very much.  And apparently it is permitted by the Vanguard protocols, the reasons for which have been discussed ad nauseum.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      DP, how so? I know there are sometimes differences because of class and geography, and their are anecdotes, but generally speaking, I’d say most people are treated as equal. There are small differences, we historically try to protect women and children, we don’t register women for the draft, men do the majority of the dangerous work, but generally speaking, I’d say people are treated equally in a democracy.

       

  7. Alan Miller

    BP has confirmed a source for the second Fayyaz statement, the CalAggie editorial today:

    http://www.theaggie.org/2015/02/10/editorial-board-reflects-on-actions-of-asucd-senator-azka-fayyaz/

    I cannot fathom why the previous statement about Hamas taking over UCD, a stupid and obviously incorrect statement, is what is being focused on.

    Saying “Israel will fall, God willing” is no joke . . . and it can’t be passed off as satire.

    I agree with the Aggie editorial wholeheartedly, except the last paragraph, which seemed to be a necessary PC thing for the paper to have to say:  “We hope that Fayyaz can remedy her wrongs, as it is not becoming of an elected official to not offer an apology that empathizes more with the students she hurt and represents.”

    I would rewrite this as:  “No matter what she says now, we know what she really thinks, because she told us.  Do not be blinded by any upcoming apology she makes.”

    I hope David could reprint the Aggie Editorial tomorrow morning in its entirety, Insha’Allah.

     

    1. Anon

      I actually strongly agree with the Aggie editorial.  It should be remembered these are young adults, it is their first time away from home for most, and they have been given complete freedom to say what they will.  Some students go a bit crazy and do very stupid things.  They make mistakes.  I cannot believe we have not all been there a time or two.  My hope is that Fayyaz does realize her words were ill chosen, she should apologize, and rethink how she does things in the future.  I think it is within the realm of possibility for her to be truly contrite.  Whether she will or not is another story.  As I said before, this is definitely a defining moment for students like Fayyaz.

  8. Tia Will

    I am fully with Anon on this one. Who amongst us has not taken a stand, or made a comment or generalization that we later regreted, especially in the days of our youth. Even our seasoned politicians frequently back track and either apologize or attempt to re frame their less diplomatic statements. I would certainly hope that this young woman will be able to reconsider her harsher positions and to develop a more collaborative world view.

  9. Alan Miller

    Apologist Statement #1:  “Some students go a bit crazy and do very stupid things.  They make mistakes.  I cannot believe we have not all been there a time or two.”

    Apologist Statement #2:  “Who amongst us has not taken a stand, or made a comment or generalization that we later regreted (sic), especially in the days of our youth.”

    This reminds me of a bit on the David Letterman show about 15 years when David said, “Paul, how was your Thanksgiving?”, and Paul Schaffer replied:  “It was good Dave.  Although I did turn to my mom to ask her to pass the salt and somehow it came out, ‘You bitch, you ruined my life!!!‘”.

    In this case, according the antisemitic-apologist view, Fayyaz apparently meant to say something like, “Israel policies in the West Bank are hurting the Palestinian people, and Palestinian and Jews alike should unite to speak out and pressure Israel for change and human rights”, and somehow it came out, “Drive the Jews into the Sea, Israel will burn, God willing!

    Antisemitic statements calling for mass killing of Jews — and have no doubt, writing “Israel will Fall, God Willing” is a tacit approval of the mass murder of Jews — do not just happen by accident and cannot be excused as youthful naivety or even youthful stupidity.

    Would a college senator be so excused by Davis race reaction-aries if they had been caught placing a noose in a Davis schoolyard?

    What if a UC senator had accidentally blurted out, “The n***ers and g**ks and k**es will be driven out of our cities and off our campuses, white people rule, whites have taken over the UCD Campus!  God is on our side!”  Would that be a youthful indiscretion?  Would you apologize for them?  Would an apology after the fact be enough for you?  Would you then trust them because it was just a youthful indiscretion and they learned their lesson?

    I would see them as cut from the cloth of hate.

    Perhaps you believe racism only cuts one way, as many do.  That only the lower economic class groups can be the victims.  Let me remind all that much of the 1930’s-1940’s European antisemitism movement that lead to the genocide of Jews began by fueling envy.  While Germany collapsed economically, some Jews continued to prosper as bankers and business owners.  They were targeted by the Nazi government as the cause of the collapse, the flames were fanned by class envy and further transmogrified into race hate.  The masses of poor Jews in Germany and Eastern Europe were swept up in the wave of antisemitism, and the hate didn’t stop there with gypsies and homosexuals and many other groups demonized and murdered en masse to create a multi-group genocide.  And then they came for me because there was no one left to speak for me . . .

    My mother was so angered by the Jewish stereotype of the rich Jews in control of the money.  Her family was from a dirt-poor Jewish neighborhood just outside Boston.  The family experienced business failures in the depression, and her father disappeared for several years — decades later she learned he had been running moonshine to support the family and had been jailed for it.  Some Jews are super good with money and they stand out and thus the stereotype I suppose, but a lot of Jewish families come from much more modest backgrounds.  It’s about as meaningful a stereotype as saying all blacks are good basketball players.

    My point is, envy is not an excuse for racism and genocide.  I can certainly understand when a people are oppressed and have little money they can become angry and desperate.  I am empathetic to the plight of the Palestinians and have been listening, but when someone calls for the fall of Israel, they have lost me, and caused great destruction to their cause, and especially in bringing in Jews to their cause, probably the people they need the most if pressure is to be brought on Israel to change policies.

    Of course if your real goal is for Israel to fall . . .

    As Taylor Swift says, “Haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate”.

    Apologists for haters, however, are who allow hate to grow.

    1. South of Davis

      Alan wrote:

      > Perhaps you believe racism only cuts one way, as many do.  

      Did you just move to Davis?  It is not just “many” in this town it is “most” people here (and in the Bay Area) that will say:

      Hating all Blacks and people from Latin America is “racist” and makes you guilty of a “hate” crime…

      Hating all Whites and people from Israel is “progressive” and makes you a “good” person for standing up for the oppressed…

      P.S. Most people in Davis (and the Bay Area) are also in favor of making a White or Asian A student go to a JC so a Black or Latino B student can take their place at UC Davis (or Cal)…

       

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        SOD, you slipping.

        “Hating all Blacks and people from Latin America is “racist” and makes you guilty of a “hate” crime…”

        Having a numerical representation in any decent job or major below the numeric representation in society is seen as racist.

        Not agreeing de facto with most everything they say is racist.

        Having a different viewpoint is seen as racist.

        Voting GOP / conservative is seen as racist, even though the GOP was the party of Lincoln and abolition!

        Voting for George Bush Jr. is seen as proof that you are dumb, racist, or a potential KKK member… even though Bush saved millions of lives in Africa by his AIDS initiative.

        The police and fire and even liberal teachers start from a point of being racist, and have to prove they are not.

         

         

        1. hpierce

          Agreed with most of your post, but did not understand this, given the context of your other remarks:  “… liberal ” teachers start from a point of being racist.”  Clarification?  Perhaps I parsed it wrong.

    2. hpierce

      Many good points that Alan makes.

      Ones I’d like to make:  “Semite” is not equal to “Jewish”.  “Semite ” is a term defining race, not religion.  There are Muslim, Jewish, Christian (several flavors), agnostic, atheist, “semites”.  Israel is a political entity. Many races, many religions are represented (not necessarily, political representation) in the Israeli population. “Zionism” is a somewhat ‘zealot’ sub-group of people.  “Funny” (but not very) how some people equate terms.  If someone criticizes mis-use of the political and economic power exerted by the government of Israel, and equates it with Zionism, Semitism, Judaism, they are, in my opinion, fools.  Same for those who criticize the criticism of Israel’s political actions.  They can be labelled “Jew-haters”, “anti-semites”.  A pox on them as well.

      ISIL (ISIS, depending on your preference) is not equal to Muslim (Moslem, if you prefer), or “Arab” (nor, ‘middle-easterner’).  It is very similar to the Nazi regime.  It is “fundamentally” not religious group, even if it masks itself as promoting ‘Muslim fundamentalism’.  They’re thugs (or, if you prefer, a form of excrement).

      Be wary of people who like to label people narrowly.  Hate is wrong.  It is a cancer.  It is pernicious and should be excised.  I’m not sure how, seeing as I find myself ‘hating’  “haters”.  Think I could find a place to “love my enemies” (in the Christian texts, there is reference to the doing of this “heaps live coals upon their heads” – I like that).  But look at the contradiction in that.  I also ‘hate’ people who LIKE to hate others.  I’d like to understand the mental illness that causes people to think that others are evil, stupid, inferior etc., in order to feel better about themselves.  But I may have the same ‘disease’, so I can’t.

      See also, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semitic_people#Origin

       

  10. Frankly

    Perhaps you believe racism only cuts one way, as many do.  That only the lower economic class groups can be the victims.  Let me remind all that much of the 1930’s-1940’s European antisemitism movement that lead to the genocide of Jews began by fueling envy.

    Apologists for haters, however, are who allow hate to grow.

    This is a point I try to make over and over again (although not as well as you).  I think some people really don’t get this.  They subscribe to a victim mentality… that people belonging to certain groups are victims and therefore are beyond reproach, or absolved of responsibility… sort of a back-door affirmative action program.

    And then the converse… people belonging to groups perceived to be more powerful are more highly criticized and denigrated.

    In one respect this type of thing makes some sense from a perspective of human nature.  We tend to root for the underdog.  We don’t like it when power is absolute and we want everyone to have a chance to win at the game of life.

    But it is wrong and destructive.  People are people.  Classism, groupism… these are destructive to a society regardless if they are top-down cultural artifacts like the Indian cast system, or modern “enlightened” constructs of intellectual politicos.

    From my point of view the real problem is the lack of rational assessment of behavior.   It really should all be about behavior.   And the common behavior of groups as well as the behavior of the individual.

    It is wrong to assign unequal expectations for behavior.  It is the soft bigotry of low expectations of those perceived as victims… and the hard bigotry of excessive expectations for those perceived as the powerful… that is the root of this reoccurring problem of group division… and can lead to awful outcomes like genocide.

    I urge everyone to demand for progress toward greater equality… and this should include equality for expected behavior.

  11. Anon

    Alan Miller: “In this case, according the antisemitic-apologist view, Fayyaz apparently meant to say something like, “Israel policies in the West Bank are hurting the Palestinian people, and Palestinian and Jews alike should unite to speak out and pressure Israel for change and human rights”, and somehow it came out, “Drive the Jews into the Sea, Israel will burn, God willing!…”

    Would a college senator be so excused by Davis race reaction-aries if they had been caught placing a noose in a Davis schoolyard?

    I was not aware that Fayyaz said “Drive the Jews into the Sea, Israel will burn, God willing!”  That statement, if said exactly like that, is beyond egregious, for certain.  And in my opinion, for the things she has said and done besides a disgusting statement like that, Fayyaz is not deserving of a position as a representative of ASUCD.  That being said, suppose this girl, a month from now, engages in some deep introspection, and deeply regrets what she said, and profusely apologizes.  Are you willing to forgive her?  I would, if she were truly repentant, assuming one can tell if one is truly repentant!  I consider most college students “half-baked”, not fully formed adults yet.  Oh heck, I feel like I am still growing up, and I’m in my 60’s!  LOL

    1. Davis Progressive

      “Are you willing to forgive her?  I would, if she were truly repentant, assuming one can tell if one is truly repentant!  I consider most college students “half-baked”, not fully formed adults yet.  Oh heck, I feel like I am still growing up, and I’m in my 60’s!  LOL”

      your comment has a nice touch at the end which i appreciate very much.  my thought is that she had no idea that her comment and facebook page would generate so much attention.  i mean how often does something we say – i’m in my sixties too! – in our everyday life essential go viral and get repeated across the country?  she’s young and inexperienced, so i think we need to take that into account.

      1. Alan Miller

        “i mean how often does something we say – i’m in my sixties too! – in our everyday life essential go viral and get repeated across the country?”

        This is not “something we say”, it’s “something we post”.  The idea is you post it so that it will be seen by lots of people.  Facebook is not “everyday life”, it is a means of having our thoughts seen by lots of people.  When making a political statement, you want it to be seen, you want it to go viral; that is not “everyday life”, and it’s not an accident.

    2. Don Shor

      I was not aware that Fayyaz said “Drive the Jews into the Sea, Israel will burn, God willing!” That statement, if said exactly like that, is beyond egregious, for certain.

      She didn’t say those things. I don’t know why Alan Miller posted that. Here’s her Facebook page, as posted at the National Review:
      http://davismerchants.org/vanguard/Azka-Fayyaz-Facebook-2(1).jpg

    3. Alan Miller

      She did not say exactly that, nor did I say she did say that exactly; had I, I would apologize.  “Israel will fall, God willing” has severe implications, and that is why I extrapolated the statement; calling for Israel to fall:  consider what that would actually look like — a country with millions of Jews, Muslims, Christians, fallen.  In the Middle East.  Imagine.  That is why I carried her words a step further.

      “That being said, suppose this girl, a month from now, engages in some deep introspection, and deeply regrets what she said, and profusely apologizes.  Are you willing to forgive her?”

      Forgive?  Maybe; honestly . . . doubtful, I’d have to be pretty damn convinced . . . it could be a political ploy . . . maybe.   Trust her?  No.

      I would never call her a “girl”.  Nor do I consider college students, “half baked”.

       

       

  12. Alan Miller

    “She didn’t say those things. I don’t know why Alan Miller posted that.”

    My post may have been stronger had I left the “extrapolated” words out, certainly less open to tomato throwing by those that oppose.  I did not mean to imply she said those things.  I was paralleling the Paul Shaffer joke, with the light to the very dark.  If she meant a two-state solution she should have said that.  If she meant Israel will change its policies she should have said that.  Making end-of-Israel jokes isn’t funny.

    Words mean things.  Phrases mean things.  “Israel will fall” means something.

    Perhaps in the falling of Israel she honestly believes a new country, perhaps Isristine or Palreal, will arise accommodating everyone peacefully, or perhaps something along the lines of “all the Jews will be peacefully accommodated in other countries”.  The reality of the situation is probably something much closer to genocide:  a “million man mass slaughter” (plus women and children) is likely how it will go down.

    Meanwhile, I ran across a posting of hers in which she apologies for the Hamas and Sharia Law comments.  I found those comments less offensive and more ridiculous (certainly not “satire” — by her standard “intelligent” people should be able to tell it’s satire.) than the “Israel will fall” statement.  Well, as I read it she apologizes to those in her movement who have supported her, not to those she may have offended.  You decide:

    http://tinyurl.com/pe9cpje

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for