The Problem with Columbia’s Statement on Pittsburgh
Thu Nov 01 2018
...his incident should prompt Columbia students to ask what motivated the obtuse wording of the email. I believe it to be a mistake, a genuine mistake, not an anti-Semitic dog whistle. I do not believe, however, that the Office of University Life made this mistake in a vacuum; it used the broad-brush language that some of my classmates might prefer. It’s not unreasonable to argue that this “erasure of Jewish claims to a history of persecution,” to borrow a phrase from that BDS editorial, was influenced at least indirectly by student discourse.
Columbia students may reasonably ask whether university administrators are slowly bowing to student pressure in some areas, or whether they thought like this to begin with. Maybe it’s not problematic in the way my classmates understand the word, but it’s a problem.