‘Anti-racist’ Yale hosts a cheerleader for Jew-killing and racial hatred
Henry Kopel-–April 16, 2023–
Yale University makes no secret that among its top institutional priorities are “anti-racism” and diversity, equity, and inclusion . It is also no secret that both Yale’s administration and students have been vigilant — some say too vigilant — in condemning campus speech that challenges Yale’s DEI perspective.
In 2015, mobs of students stalked, shouted, and cursed at a married team of professors for days, merely because the wife had questioned whether the campus DEI office needed to police students’ Halloween costumes. Both professors, Nicholas and Erika Christakis , were eventually driven to resign from their administrative leadership positions — and Erika Christakis to resign from Yale altogether.
In 2021, a Yale law student was summoned before a diversity dean and threatened with adverse references that would preclude his bar admission for having jokingly used the phrase “trap house” in an emailed party invitation. Though of Native American heritage, the student was labeled a racist.
In 2022, a mob of over 100 Yale law students disrupted and sought to shut down a campus debate between a liberal atheist attorney and a conservative Christian lawyer. Police had to escort the speakers from the building.
Amid such efforts to sanitize the Yale campus against “harmful” speech, it may come as a surprise that Yale hosted last week an antisemitic speaker whose writings express hatred of Jews, Israel, and white people and explicitly justifies the murders of Jews and Israelis. Even worse, this hate-promoter’s lecture was endorsed by an online posting from Yale’s flagship DEI program, known as “Belonging at Yale.”
Specifically, on Thursday, April 6, Yale sponsored a talk by Houria Bouteldja on “France and Whiteness.” This is the same Bouteldja who in March 2012, just after radical Islamist Mohammed Merah massacred a Rabbi and three children in Toulouse, France, publicly declared that “Mohammed Merah is me.”
Bouteldja also wrote the 2016 book Whites, Jews, and Us, which, as one reviewer put it, “presents the dismantling of Israel as a priority, praises [ex-Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad for declaring that there are no homosexuals in Iran, and expresses unambiguous antisemitism.” The book assails “the Jew” for “willingness to meld into whiteness, to support his oppressor.” This may explain Bouteldja’s morbidly flippant claim that “killing an Israeli is killing two birds with one stone, eliminating in one go oppressor and oppressed.”
Boudeldja quoted with approval another writer to offer “a decolonial reading of the Nazi genocide,” in which she shockingly blamed the Jews for their near-extermination at the hands of the Nazis. With stunning historical illiteracy, she wrote: “They tolerated that Nazism before it was inflicted on them. … They absolved it, shut their eyes to it, [and] legitimized it, because until then, it had been applied only to non-European peoples. … They have cultivated that Nazism … [and hence] are responsible for it.”
Bouteldja’s book also makes clear her hatred toward white people, declaring, “I hate the white good conscience. I curse it.” She defines the white person as: “I am the one who subjugates, pillages, steals, rapes, commits genocide,” adding, “Every white person … must take and steal … like a gangster, a brute, or a thug.”
She cruelly dismisses the victims of 9/11, the July 7 London subway bombings, and the Charlie Hebdo murders as just dispensable whites: “Bombs explode in the subway. Towers … collapse like a house of cards. The journalists of a famous magazine are decimated. … [But] they are all white.”
This is not to argue that Yale should have canceled Bouteldja’s speech, notwithstanding her litany of hatred. She has a right to speak, and Yale has a right to host her. But this is a call to expose Yale’s corrosive double standards and to confront Yale with some important questions.
For example, how can you justify hosting such a hatemonger after having permitted the torrent of public abuse and institutional shaming of Nicholas and Erika Christakis over their innocuous statements?
And why did Yale schedule this antisemitic speaker to appear on the day of the second Passover Seder, which precluded most Jews’ ability to attend and challenge her?
Ironically, just a week earlier, Yale had hosted a talk by Dara Horn, author of the book People Love Dead Jews. Horn, a Jewish novelist, documented the fact that many institutions that commemorate the Holocaust still display substantial bias and hostility toward both Israel and observant Jews.
It seems that Yale, diverse, anti-racist Yale, also loves its dead Jews. The live ones, not so much.
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Henry Kopel is a former federal prosecutor in Connecticut and the author of the book War on Hate: How to Stop Genocide, Fight Terrorism, and Defend Freedom (Lexington Books, 2021).