To stem anti-Semitism on California campuses, the state’s Assembly passed H.R. 35, which calls upon institutions to increase their efforts to condemn acts of anti-Semitism on their campuses and to develop ways to combat anti-Jewish sentiment.
As a Jewish student at UCSD I feel threatened both physically and emotionally by the continuous efforts by a few organizations to single out my community. This sentiment has become so prevalent among Jewish students in California that the California State Assembly passed HR 35, which proposed to define anti-Semitism in a way in which these provocateurs would be labeled as such.
In turn, the University of California Student Association passed a resolution without the input of its Jewish constituents that not only states its opposition to HR 35, but also even goes as far to support the very same efforts that prompted the resolution in the first place.
The most showing sign of the UCSA’s hypocrisy is looking at these past two months side by side with the aftermath of a very similar series of events that happened about two years ago when a whirlwind of offensive things targeted black students on campus.
In response to these events, a UCSD Guardian article from March 30, 2010 expresses that UCSA president Victor Sanchez worked closely with the Black Student Union to “pass legislation banning hate speech on public college campuses in California.” Furthermore, Sanchez and other representatives met with UC President Mark Yudof specifically to discuss the banning of hate speech on UC campuses.
Now turn the tables slightly, switch underrepresented minority one with underrepresented minority two, and now we have some true hypocrisy! In the case of hate speech two years ago, the UCSA was up in arms to the point that the President helped write legislation to limit free speech. Compare this to two months ago where the UCSA condemned a resolution helping ban anti-Semitism that, had it been introduced two years prior with a different underrepresented minority as the subject, would have been warmly embraced!
But why doesn’t UCSA feel the pain that my community feels? I could take the easy way out and say that they are anti-Semites, but I don’t think that’s true. I think that UCSA is so caught up with standing up for the rights of the traditional minorities that the institution and those that run it have forgotten that Jews are also a minority. Based off our community’s successes we are oftentimes seen as a privileged group, but in reality we face many of the same challenges that other minorities face.
The UCSA owes the wider UC Jewish community an apology for its discrimination against us and a retraction of its support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. We will not back down until UCSA is even handed with its handling of all instances of hate speech regardless of the affected community.