How Blind College Liberals Help Foster Antisemitism
“Ending White Privilege Starts With Ending Jewish Privilege,” screams a flyer being distributed on the Chicago campus of the University of Illinois.
The flyer falsely alleges that 44 percent of Jewish Americans are in the top 1% of earners. The threshold for being in the top 1% is $465,626, and as much as 44% of Jewish Americans would like to have achieved that distinction, they haven’t. What the flyer’s authors meant is that 44% of Jewish Americans earn more than $100,000 a year.
Although foreign-born Muslims have not yet achieved the success of Jews, they are far more likely to earn more than $50,000-a-year, compared to native-born Americans. But don’t expect their success to be on a leaflet distributed on college campuses.
Southeast Asian Muslim immigrants — many of them from Pakistan — are known to value education and go into the professions. They abound in medicine, comprising between 2.7% and 5% of all US physicians, and in high-paying technical fields. They also bring with them an entrepreneurial spirit. Sound familiar?
Rather than commend Jewish success as something to aspire to, the authors of the flyer view it with contempt because in their demented Marxist view of the world, all gain is ill-gotten and a function of privilege. They don’t recognize that a combination of gray matter, hard work and a willingness to take risks also contribute to success.
Yesterday, I visited a 94-year-old friend. He was born in Shanghai, where his family was one of 20 Jewish families who lived there. He spent his early adult years behind barbed wire in a Japanese internment camp. Shortly after World War II, he came to San Francisco with the clothes on his back, a suitcase, 25 dollars and a letter of introduction to anyone who would bother to read it, attesting to his good character.
He never embraced the role of victim, nor let his life be defined by having been a prisoner of the Japanese. Decades later, he gained a reputation for his conservative and skilled investment acumen, and became a financial adviser to some of Asia’s wealthiest families. He started a successful export/import bank and has owned a variety of businesses.
Was this a consequence of “Jewish privilege,” or his hard work and intelligence? His formal education ended in his second year of high school, but in contrast to the college students who designed the flyer, he had no trouble reading numbers.
Of course, his story was repeated by millions of immigrants of all nations who came to America not to proclaim their victimhood, but to find opportunity. And their success is something that is still valued in the larger world despite what is taught on some college campuses.
The flyer reflects the ideology of anti-Israel student groups and some of their leftist allies, who promote “intersectionality” — the common bond of all “oppressed people.” This is an ideology that can bring together Muslims who love sharia law and its denigration of women, and rabid feminists who see their problems as a consequence of male privilege. Yes, politics does make for strange bed companions.
And this intersectionality has resulted in an upsurge of antisemitism. Whether it is support for the Jew-bashing Israeli Apartheid Week or the BDS campaign, these initiatives are merely thinly-disguised antisemitic hate fests.
So, it is not surprising that just days after the first flyer was distributed, a second one appeared; this one focused on denying the Holocaust.
The larger issue is not the flyers, nor even their threat to Jews.
The issue is that the flyers reflect a dominant ideology that is inculcated on some college campuses to a captive audience in frequently required classes.
In Middle East studies courses, Israel is seen as the one illegitimate state in the world, a last bastion of British imperialism. Obviously, the professors who teach this do not recall that Britain supported the Arabs in Israel’s 1948 War of Independence. Nor do they ever condemn the true human rights abuses being carried out by dozens of Arab states.
Canards such as “Jews control the media and Hollywood” are commonplace among leftist professors who spoon-feed their own ideology rather than the facts. If professors were teaching that slavery was a benign institution, there would be such public outcry that universities would not be able to open their doors. But about Jews, almost anything can be said with impunity.
The issue of the flyers is less that they are the product of the twisted minds of some brainwashed students, but that they are the logical outcome of some of what is taught on our campuses.
This article was originally published by The Federalist.