Letter Protests New ‘Critical Ethnic Studies’ Requirement at California State University Said to Threaten Jewish Students
Dozens of education, civil rights and religious organizations on Tuesday voiced their protest against a new California State University (CSU) ethnic studies graduation requirement, warning that its adoption would “incite bigotry and harm against students.”
Some 86 different groups signed a letter, organized by the AMCHA Initiative, to CSU Chancellor Timothy White and the CSU Trustees opposing the requirement — which was created by the AB 1460 bill that was passed by the California state legislature in August.
The letter pointed out “an important distinction between the broad field of ethnic studies and the narrow discipline of ‘Critical Ethnic Studies,’ which the CSU classes will be based upon.”
Asserted the letter: “This narrow understanding of ethnic studies has a much more limited focus, and, as a central part of its disciplinary mission, promotes political activism and certain political ideologies the organizations note are antithetical to an educational setting and pose a threat to all students, and particularly Jewish students.”
The letter noted, “Critical Ethnic Studies and its practitioners have falsely and negatively portrayed Zionism as a ‘racist,’ ‘colonialist,’ ‘system of oppression’ that must be dismantled, condoned terrorism against Israel as a justified tool of ‘resistance’ and ‘liberation,’ and championed anti-Israel academic, economic and cultural boycotts as legitimate ‘anti-racist practices. Alarmingly, CSU ethnic studies faculty who have long used their classrooms for anti-Zionist advocacy and activism can now find justification for their politically motivated and directed behavior in the recently approved ‘ethnic studies core competencies.’”