Ah, college. The place to put misconceptions behind you and start a new life based on the blossoming of new ideas (well, that and kegs of beer.)
Unfortunately, a UCLA student council meeting fell victim to one of the oldest ideas of all: anti-semitism.
As you can see in the above video, law student Rachel Beyda, who is Jewish, was up for a spot on the judicial council and was generally considered a shoe-in. All that was left was a simple hearing.
The students involved in said hearing, however, had other plans.
At first they skirted around the issue, voicing vague concerns about Beyda’s ability to serve on the board:
“Given that recently … [inaudible] has been surrounding cases of conflict of interest, how do you see yourself being able to maintain an unbiased view … [inaudible]?”
Then came the questions. Beyda was grilled for many minutes, and most of the questions were focused on her Jewish faith:
“I was honestly just sickened at the way they questioned her,” Student Heena Doshi, who attended the meeting, told CBS Los Angeles.
To be fair, council president Avinoam Baral voiced his concern that the line of questioning was veering into dangerous territory:
“The discussion was really discriminatory in nature. I had to step in and say my peace,” Baral told Los Angeles-based KCAL9.
It was too little, too late, however.
After putting up with a string of humiliating questions, Beyda was denied the position — but not before the council waded deep into anti-semitic waters as they deliberated amongst themselves:
“What followed was a disgusting 40 minutes of what can only be described as unequivocal anti-Semitism during which some of our council members resorted to some of the oldest accusations against Jews, including divided loyalties and dishonesty,” UCLA student Rachel Frenlak wrote in a student paper op-ed.
The dissenting students didn’t get the last word, however. Upon learning of the dubious circumstances surrounding the hearing, faculty member Debra Geller stepped in and pleaded on Beyda’s behalf:
“I don’t know that there’s a single student in this campus community you could appoint to anything where somebody wouldn’t have a perceived conflict,” she said.
“That would apply to all of you as well.”
Beyda was eventually confirmed and now serves on the board.
To some, given the humiliation faced during the hearing, her appointment is not enough:
“I ask the four council members who initially questioned Rachel’s appointment on the basis of her Judaism to issue both public and personal apologies to the UCLA Jewish community and Rachel.” Frenlak continued.
“Until they all admit wrongdoing and ask for forgiveness, it is difficult to trust their morality as decision-makers.”
Well, don’t worry apology seekers, the deed has been done. All four of the accused voices have issued public apologies, varying in tone. Here is a snippet of the one delivered by Fabienne Roth:
“I am really sorry with how I framed my argument and the words that I used. Using someone’s identity against them is completely unacceptable,” she said.
bias, bigotry, discrimination, diversity, education, hate speech, hypocrisy, ideology, left wing, liberalism, political correctness, progressive, racism, racist, scandal