To the editor,
I must take issue with Jonathan Tobin’s article on the vile graduation speech by Fatima Mousa Mohammed [“Defund campus radicalism and antisemitism,” June 9].
As Mr. Tobin rightly points out, her vitriolic talk was rife with hate, lies, and flat out antisemitism and should be censured. He goes too far, however, when he takes on wokeness, DEI [Diversity, equity and inclusion], and critical race theory.
Jews of all people should be sensitive to the effects of systemic discrimination in society. Who can forgot the years when Jewish doctors were barred from practicing in hospitals, Jewish lawyers couldn’t get jobs, when hotels and apartments noted “no Jews or dogs allowed”?
We have had such widespread acceptance in American society, despite ongoing antisemitic incidents, that we are in danger of forgetting the centuries, nay millennia, of persecution through systemic and pervasive antisemitism.
Minorities in this country are fighting for a place at the table, and critical race theory and DEI are tools for deconstructing centuries of bias, hate, and discrimination. To speak against these movements is to throw out the baby with the bathwater.
To cite Gov. Ron DeSantis as praiseworthy for curtailing DEI in public universities is objectionable; his actions bespeak white supremacy if I ever saw it. Remedies to systemic and intersectional discrimination such as critical race theory are essential, though they have some negative side effects such as exhibited in Mousa Mohammed’s speech.
Paula Sinclair, MD
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See also James Sinkinson's column this week, "DEI programs encourage antisemitism."