Parsing whether "I wish all the settlers would go missing" constitutes a death-threat or not makes me deeply uncomfortable.
Listening to the rhetoric about "wealthy Jewish donors" influencing this decision scares the hell out of me.
Wondering where the line falls between scholarly inquiry into the conditions of settler colonialism and indigeneity around the world and a deeply politicized agenda rife with foregone conclusions makes me want to change the subject.
I try to avoid talking about Israel at all. My views put me out of step with many of my friends at the temple (yes, I converted). Learning more from within the faith has only made them more complicated, not less.
Watching a highly ranked woman of color, who has done a great deal to advance the role of women and underrepresented minorities on campus, become the focus of faculty and student anger has been excruciating.
Watching the concerns of Palestinian and middle-eastern students get erased from the the conversation has been deeply dismaying.
It's hard to cheer when I learn that another department has voted "no confidence." I understand it has to happen--I voted "yes" in a no-confidence vote myself--but it doesn't feel like positive step. It feels like breaking something that has to break, but with no certainty that the thing that takes its place will be better.
Yet there I was today: holding a sign, posting photos and commentary on social media, chanting, clapping, swelling the pro-Salaita crowd. The thought that my--or anyone's--discomfort should axiomatically put an end to these--or any--important conversation sickens me, too.
The public university can be a place where the difficult conversations about race, justice, equality, ethnicity, religion, and politics take place and matter, or it can be a place where those difficult conversations are identified, performed in the point/counterpoint theater of neatly opposed views, and then shelved while the talk that matters (money, influence, power) goes on elsewhere without regard to those who don't have money, influence, and power.
|Photo by Anne Dietz-Lavoie|
How do you know if you're taking part in a conversation about race, justice, equality, etc. that matters, versus one that doesn't? If you feel like you want to throw up but you also have to go on talking, chances are you're in it.