The Campus Police and the Anti-Semitic Speaker

Letters to the Editor: What Stanford’s anti-Jewish bias looked like on campus in the 1950s December 13, 2012 When California State University hosted a speaker who made anti-Semitic remarks, the campus community responded on…

The Campus Police and the Anti-Semitic Speaker

Letters to the Editor: What Stanford’s anti-Jewish bias looked like on campus in the 1950s

December 13, 2012

When California State University hosted a speaker who made anti-Semitic remarks, the campus community responded on its own, but that response would have looked very different in the 1950s. That is because Jews were not free to express their views as they pleased, but were subject to the limits of the university authorities.

It is worth remembering that Jewish students at the time were not the only ones being criticized on the campuses of the 60s, 70s and 80s. There was criticism even on Harvard University’s campus over the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic statements of the radical left communist professor, David Barsamian; and on Berkeley University, the campus of the anti-Semitic Richard J. Solomon.

There are only two possible explanations for why anti-Semitic remarks were not only accepted on campuses, but became the norm. One is that anti-Semitism is in the genes of society that is anti-Semitic, or that some aspect of Jewishness is inherently anti-Semitic. Another is that the Jews at the time were under some form of institutional compulsion not to express anti-Semitism because Jewish people and institutions are not free to express views that they like.

Let us recall the day when the anti-Semitic remarks of the speaker at California State University were first aired on campus. It took three days for authorities to deal with the incident, during which time, two Jewish students were driven away from campus and another was beaten by the campus police.

Another day, there was another incident when a Jewish student was harassed by a campus police officer because he was wearing a sign that said “Jude” on it.

The incident at UC Davis campus that made headlines last week in a different way, because of a similar incident on campus, was an attempted robbery that was thwarted by the students at the time. I doubt that the campus authorities were involved in that.

All along, students and the campus authorities were not free to speak their minds as they pleased. They were restrained by the rules imposed by the administration. That is why Jews on campus and in society at large were subjected to discrimination and persecution, and that is why campus authorities had a vested interest in silencing opposition to their policies.

During the time the campus authorities were enforcing their

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