The group Palestine Legal has sent a letter to Kent State President Beverly Warren threatening legal action and demanding an apology “for not protecting its students from ‘a network of well-funded right-wing Zionist organizations’ and sympathetic media.”
The catalyst for the letter was the school deciding to keep up an exhibit of former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir.
They are essentially demanding that nothing outside their worldview be shown to them. Anything which might make them consider a different perspective. All diversity of thought. All of that is a trigger, or harassment or oppression.
The legal group accused the university of violating its responsibilities under the First Amendment and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 — which prohibit programs and activities receiving federal funding from discriminating on the basis of race, color or national origin — and of exhibiting “callous treatment” towards those complaining against the Golda display. …
Failure to ensure a safe space, the letter stated, where “Palestinians and Muslim students and Palestine solidarity activists enjoy the right to speak out in favor of Palestinian freedom without discrimination based on the viewpoint they express,” could result in legal action…
These same students will grow to be advocates, activists and protesters…but will be unprepared to deal with society.
Think of the requirements of adulthood. One of the most important factors in effective living is empathy. The ability to see the other guy’s perspective. The mental and emotional strength to take in differing viewpoints — while perhaps holding to your core beliefs.
To review: It would be wrong of the university to fail to give opportunities for all of the students to learn a diversity of views. It would be discriminatory of the university to look over its student body, determine that there are Muslims, Palestinians and others who might be offended by a specific idea, and then censor that idea.
If a white South African student was offended by a Nelson Mandela poster, or if a German student felt threatened by the study of the Holocaust, would these subjects be hidden from view?
By the way, decades ago I was good friends with a non-Jewish German exchange student, and he was very uncomfortable with classes and discussions about that era in his country’s history. He didn’t feel oppressed, since he never considered that frank discussions were oppressive. He and I both were at college in an era when it was possible to learn things.