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Excellent. I am a FAIR associate in Ontario Canada and am really happy that FAIR exists and will work to make it grow. As for the three Ivy League presidents, and how they failed, the issue wasn't about context or nuance per se, it was really about the fact they have presided over the killing of nuance on their campuses ALREADY and it was then not acceptable for them to claim nuance when they themselves did not allow it.

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Thank you for your work. Please find more time and space for K-12 education which is promoting unconstitutional DEI policies with public funds. Parents and teachers need representation to push back before the next generation is hopelessly brainwashed.

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Yes, being pro-active at the K-12 level will be energy well spent. Only recently have most of us learned how cynical and divisive DEI policies at that level, including the virtue-signalling Teaching Tolerance (SPLC) and No Place for Hate (ADL) programs designed for K-12 students, have damaged some students before they get to college.

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Brief 4: Creating Anti-Racist Early Learning Environments https://www.doe.mass.edu/sfs/earlylearning/resources/dap-brief4.docx

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Yes, good references showing how the ideas of Ibram Kendi, SPLC, etc. are dominating forces for racializing K-12 systems. The source of much of this are the Schools of Education in most public universities, which drifted well to the left of other segments of campus a long time ago.

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Yes, academia on general and depts of ed in particular are far left of center. The "equity" of outcome they advocate is contrary to the equal opportunity most Americans believe in. I wonder if there are legal grounds (Constitution? Civil Rights Acts?) for push back for school employees and parents? No time to lose because they're teaching that so called white people are inherently racist and so called people of color are inherently victims which is poison no child should be subjected to.

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Google "Californians for Equal Rights Foundation" to find an effective organization, many allies, and lots of information.

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I must say, I'm not very impressed by this - any more than I was by the stilted and bumbling testimony of the Penn president. The problem under discussion, which you seem to be ignoring as deftly as most commentators on this issue, is not whether any college or university should take action against a student or employee who says something like, "I believe the Holocaust was a good thing," or "We ought to kill all Jews." These repulsive statements would be protected by the Constitution, but certainly do not have to be - and ought not to be - tolerated in any institution. But we all know what the presidents were attempting to tap-dance around: the fact that there are statements, such as "From the river to the sea," which some listeners interpret as a call to genocide, and others do not. Some students, upon hearing such a statement, will feel "unsafe," and they certainly have every right to feel how they feel; the problem is that they cannot know the intention of the person or persons making such a statement without interrogation and discourse. And interrogation and discourse, even under very uncomfortable circumstances, are exactly the things that are supposed to happen in universities. To require that every student "feel welcome and protected in their place of living and learning" at all times is, however noble a goal, simply an impossibility in an institution dedicated to the examination of ideas. If we keep pursuing this unattainable goal, there will soon be no examination of ideas allowed - nor, indeed, any ideas to examine in the first place.

I'm not trying to defend Magill; I don't know why she couldn't have said some version of what I just wrote. Assuming that she doesn't actually believe in the extermination of Jewish people (and does anyone really believe that she does?), her testimony was, frankly, dull-witted to the point of ridiculousness. But to pretend that the very definitions of "genocide" and "safety" are not - as astonishing as it may seem - up for grabs today is disingenuous. We all know that both those words can be used as substitutes for "I don't like the emotions your words are evoking in me." And we need to stop pandering to those who hurl these words at speakers who make them merely uncomfortable, as opposed to those who use them to represent real and present dangers. These words are too important, their ramifications far too grave, to be misused in this way. Unfortunately, it seems likely that they will continue to be devalued until communication between adherents of clashing ideologies becomes entirely impossible.

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“Palestinian liberation”? Just your use of that phrase belies your tribal allegiance. The only “liberation” Palestinians require is from their Jew-hating fanaticism and barbarity. There is a reason Arab countries don’t want them. Supporting Hamas’s brutality is a badge of honor for any Palestinian family. Please don’t pander to the Hamas-supporting mobs in our cities and elite campuses. It’s not FAIR.

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My goodness, and your post which reeks of hatred of Palestinians doesn’t illustrate *your* own tribal allegiance?

There is a reason Arab countries don’t want them? Isn’t that what they said about Jews looking to escape from Europe not all that long ago?

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The only Palestinians Hamas kills are those found to be collaborating with Israel, their enemy. The claim they kill their political opponents is just false. True, there are credible reports they have used torture against political detainees. Israel also uses torture. However, only against Palestinians.

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Beautifully and delicately said! It's certainly not easy to walk this tightrope but I SO, SO appreciate FAIR's efforts in trying, LOVE your mission and support you 100%!

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Appreciate this so much. Thank you for sharing your insights.

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Thanks for your sincere efforts to be a conduit for civility given the uncertain times we are in.

There is unfortunately no clear message about morality because it is lost in your lengthy narrative. The idea that Jewish students can be bullied and intimidated, and that allowing talk of Genocide on campuses for that purpose of bullying, is barely acknowledged by you. Hidden perniciously in your article is a subtle acknowledgment of the problem facing Jewish students.

In order to be FAIR ((Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism)- YOU need to clearly and unequivocally call it out.

Elie Wiesel famously said that the worst hate is when good decent people see injustice and look the other way.

Rationalizing Nazis in 1930’s Germany led to the atrocities in 1940’s Germany.

The parallel is deliberate.

We are presently in the atmosphere of 1930’s Germany…let’s not get to the unthinkable.

Call out a Pogrom - plainly and simply!

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This article demonstrates just how difficult it is to be "non-partisan" when reacting to current events in a polarized environment. One respondent objected to describing protestors as "pro-Hamas;" on the other hand, describing them as advocating "Palestinian freedom" is also problematic when the "freedom" they seek is being free of Jews "from the River to the Sea"--i.e., from the entirety of the region including what is currently the state of Israel. It's often really hard to find terminology that both sides will recognize as being, no pun intended, fair.

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Excellent. I am a FAIR associate in BC. For years I worked in the Non-Profit Industrial Complex only to see my beloved NPNGO org become utterly colonized by a woke BC govt. FAIR is an oasis. 🇨🇦

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Beautiful. I just shared it with the President's Cabinet at the public university my son attends. I also hope this opens the door to FAIR so that they might also reevaluate their intensive DEI programming on campus.

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Well, I think you've muddied the waters now. You didn't delve into how our courts have defined "incitement of violence" with respect to the First Amendment, especially with respect to such incitement having to be "imminent" calls for "imminent" action.

And it seems pretty clear that you are saying that the First Amendment is too permissive to be appropriate for college level academic institutions. You even bolster your point by expressing your concern about "hate speech" in the context of your First Amendment argument, even though the term "hate speech" doesn't have a meaningful definition or operative function within our First Amendment legal framework.

You've softened the target for the "you-can't-say-that" crowd, especially by not making clear what it is that you can't say. Like I said, you left out the operative term "imminent" with respect to calls for violence. It's an uncomfortable place to draw the line that does indeed allow people to yell, generally speaking, "Kill the Jews." It doesn't allow them to say, "Let's meet in the quad and go kill some Jews." (Am I allowed to make this argument without expressing how much I abhor such calls?)

So as you push on universities to be tolerant of speech, it's not longer clear what speech you think they should tolerate and what speech they should not. You no longer have the benefit of First Amendment jurisprudence as your ultimate guide. (Was I wrong to think it was?) "Morality," and all its subjective forms, is now in play. As if morality isn't a struggle for each of us to bring into our own views, FAIR becomes another institution that will speak for [fill in which morals here].

I guess I made an incorrect assumption when I thought FAIR's rules were firmly rooted in First Amendment protection of speech. On that point, your position seems to be, "Yes, but..." And that puts you right in step with the university presidents. Your only differences are "moral" ones.

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Yes, "morality" is the wrong word (per my earlier comment), but there is no requirement or logic to making institutional codes of conduct -- especially when published and very explicit -- as permissive as the First Amendment.

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Thank you for your work. I'm glad that I went out of my comfort zone read stuff directly the opposite of what I learned in college and it has transformed me (for the better). The people who wrote those books saw the institutional rot a mile away and we're all paying the consequences for the rot. The best we can do is speak truth to power, do our due dilligence, and resist tribalism.

A lot of us have been increasingly politcally homeless. A lot of us need to have the awareness and courage to stand up to these trying times. No time to stand in the sidelines. We all need to have the courage to speak our mind and have honest conversations.

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Universities and colleges are among the biggest fomenters of "tribalism" in requiring every student, faculty member and staff member "check a race" box, despite the fact that the majority of the US population is multiracial or multiethnic to one degree or another. In California in 2002-2003, under the leadership of Ward Connerly, we put the Racial Privacy Initiative on the ballot. This would have disallowed such categorization in California state and local governments. But shortly before the vote the Democratic Party and Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante launched a multimillion dollar TV ad campaign against it, and it only got 37% of the vote. Time to re-launch what would be an exceptionally powerful way to diminish tribalism ... and to put hundreds of DEI administrators out of a job!

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Calling a demonstration “pro-Hamas” already reveals your inherent bias on this matter. One group’s safety should never be predicated on the subjugation and extermination of another - and that is what these young people are protesting. To feel uncomfortable in being confronted by that truth, is not on par with actually being unsafe. I honestly expected more from an organization that calls themselves FAIR.

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"If being anti-Israeli is not the same as being anti-Jewish, then why would it be appropriate to "confront" Jewish students with any "uncomfortable truth" regarding the Israeli government? Why should Jewish students be chased into libraries, or Hillel buildings vandalized or menorahs publicly desecrated if hating Israeli policy is not the same as hating Jews."

Sadly, because like it or not -- and this is a problem -- there are too many Jewish people and U.S. government officials who are Zionists who actively try to get Zionism connected to Jewish people. This is due to the attempts to render Zionism and Israel above criticism by trying to pass such criticism off as anti-Semitism.

Also, we can never be certain if the press reporting these incidents is above Zionist bias and is actually reporting opposition to Zionism as "anti-Semitism" by referring to Zionists as "Jews." An increasing number of people, including many Jewish anti-Zionists, are well aware of the difference and are opposing a conflation between Zionism and Israel with Jewish people. But those who deliberately make the conflation for political purposes- are unfortunately feeding into this problem.

"If you truly care about Palestinian victims of war, you should look to who started that war and who has kept the Palestinians trapped in a state of war for 75 years.

Here's a hint: it's not Israel."

Bigger hint: that whole fracas did not start on October 7th. The existence of Hamas only goes back to 1987. And Netanyahu deliberately ignored warnings from both U.S. and Egyptian officials that the rave was likely to be attacked, and he did that because he wanted an excuse to move in, raze Gaza, and seize the oil-rich land for a long time now. It has nothing to do with "defending" Israel.

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“Since 10/7 I have discovered that being against the world's only Jewish state - in a world with 50 extremely oppressive Muslim states - actually is a form of Jew-hatred.”

You’ve discovered no such thing.

Anti-Zionism has long flourished within the Jewish community itself. Zionism only won out in the Jewish community after decades of being considered an extremist and dangerous ideology. In today’s world there are still some strong voices against it, including from Othodox religious Jews who deny that God ever intended men to create the Jewish state by themselves. Do you really think they believe this because they hate Jews?

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No Jewish student has ever been chased into a library for being a Jew or even for being pro-Israel, not in this century. Obviously you are referring to the incident at Cooper Union in New York.

https://www.nytimes.com/2023/12/18/nyregion/cooper-union-pro-palestinian-protest.html

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Yes Monica, your job as ED for FAIR is really tough, but I am glad to see you are doing it, and that FAIR is here.

I too have found a “kindred spirit” in FAIR. I applaud you for stating that there is the law, and then there is the moral foundation. Without the moral foundation, such as those embodied in the US Declaration of Independence, blind adherence to the law leads, as you express, to college presidents losing sight of their role of leading universities based on moral and civic foundations of the inherent value and rights of all people. It is a tough road, and there will be disagreements and arguments. There should be when such fundamental issues are at stake, such as those presented today by the tragedies in Israel and Palestine.

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Oh for the good ol' days of simple, somewhat vague honor codes and codes of conduct where a few administrators could, without much ado, issue a reprimand or explusion or something in-between.

I see the issue framed better as one of legality vs civility (of both language and behavior) than one of legality vs morality. Neither the law nor an institution is capable of specifying a specific moral code that would have any chance of being accepted by an entire, e.g., university community. A good code of conduct, made public to all applicants and highlighted on a university website, does not have to allow all the freedoms of the Constitution. An explicit call for the genocide of any group, whether by an individual, a group of individuals or an organization should be subject to censure and penalty, as would other acts of harrassment, uncivil physical or verbal intimidation, etc.

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I admire FAIR’s non-partisan stance and appreciate the good work that it does. I unwaveringly support free speech, but when speech turns to obvious harassment and support for genocide there must be a strong response such as that old term “repercussion.” We must guarantee the right for people to exercise freedom of speech without legal action (as long as the speech does not instigate violence — a dicey call), BUT we must not protect people from the other repercussions of speech that promotes evil or harm to the innocent. Thus, colleges, businesses and other organizations should be able to evict any who seriously violate their basic codes of ethics.

The problem that I, supposedly a chapter leader, have with FAIR is that it assumes people are basically good and can be reached through their better angels. I hold no such fantasy and believe that many, maybe even most, people have a capacity for evil or, at the very least, cruelty that borders on the reprehensible. I believe far to many people are susceptible to groupthink, mob-rule, rushes to judgment, and primitive impulses that cannot be altered by compassion and reason.

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Yes, very clear codes of behavior or ethics are an obvious and apparently long forgotten solution. Many years ago some students at UCSD were putting large "FUCK BUSH" signs in their dormitory windows and the administration said there was nothing they could do about it. A good advertisement for a week-kneed and unimaginative administration. Their choice!

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