Friday, October 10, 2014

"Apartheid" isn't a nice word for Vassar students to be saying

GUEST: Yasmeen Silva, senior at Vassar College and member of Students for Justice in Palestine, talks about human rights and freedom of speech on campus.

Yasmeen was such an interesting guest to have on Activist Radio. She had experienced all the ups and downs of Students for Justice in Palestine last semester, and was willing to talk about it.

Mondoweiss provedes a good view of how Vassar's president clamped down on SJP for supposed lack of curtesy on campus. Then there was a graphic posted by a member of SJP that may or may not have been anti-semitic. The SJP organization did not post the graphic, but again received a warning letter from President Hill.

Yasmeen was able to see this in a larger context (it's happening on campuses all across the country). She also didn't pull any punches when it came to criticizing an educational system that puts alum contributions above the intellectual pursuit of the truth. Of course, the whole debate is about running a college as a business, and selectively encouraging points of view that bring in the most cash.

Making campuses comfortable for Zionists is good for business, insuring that alums don't get angry. There is even enough money left over for ever increasing administrative salaries. Left out is the ability for students and faculty to have an open debate about whether Israel was justified in killing 500 Palestinian children during the recent slaughter in Gaza. Big money trumping the pursuit of truth all across America's colleges and universities. 

And "apartheid" just isn't a nice word for Vassar students to be writing or saying.

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