Friday, October 20, 2023


Some finance billionaires have been trying to cancel the University of Pennsylvania, and this Fox News story makes clear that Fox is totally cool with that:
A prominent University of Pennsylvania donor sent his alma mater a $1 check with an annual pledge for the same amount as long as UPenn President Liz Magill remains at the school, joining a handful of other mega-donors who continue to withhold donations over the school's response to the Israel-Hamas conflict and accusations of excusing antisemitism....

On Sunday, Magill released a statement saying the school didn't move fast enough to address criticism of the "Palestine Writes" event and strongly condemned the Hamas "terrorist assault" on Israel; her initial statement to the school didn't refer to Hamas a terrorist group, although it called its attack "abhorrent" and "horrific."
(I love that last detail. It's so ... snowflake-y. You condemned the attack, but you didn't condemn using the exact words we wanted to hear, so your condemnation doesn't count. We saw a lot of this in the War on Terror era.)
Jonathon Jacobson, a 1983 Wharton graduate and founding member of private investment firm HighSage Ventures LLC, announced his reduced donation in a letter obtained by Fox News, in which he scolded his alma mater for its lack of "moral courage" and inability to distinguish between "what is clearly right and clearly wrong."

Jacobson ... has previously given "multi-seven figure donations," to the university in addition to student scholarships and financial support for the school’s sports program....

Jacobson was likely inspired by Apollo CEO Marc Rowan, who earlier this week called on prominent UPenn donors to send $1 checks with the hopes of forcing a change in leadership at the university. The outrage began after the school hosted a Palestinian literary festival on campus which included speakers with a history of antisemitic comments....
I've tried to learn what was appalling about the Palestine Writes festival, and the most comprehensive roundup I can find is from the American Jewish Committee:
The festival’s inaugural event includes a screening of the film Farha, which includes a number of toxic antisemitic tropes, including a modern retelling of the blood libel trope that casts Jews as vicious, bloodthirsty, and cruel.
I'm struggling to reconcile this characterization of the film with what I'm reading about it elsewhere. It's a fictional film about a 14-year-old girl's experiences during the 1948 expulsion of Palestinians. The film has appearead at major film festivals, was picked up by Netflix, and was Jordan's submission to the Academy Awards in the International Film category. Reviews don't discuss it as a bigoted piece of agitprop.
Other problematic discourse at the event includes references to Israel as a “settler colonialist” state. The term “settler colonialism” refers to a system of oppression in which a colonizing nation engages in ethnic cleansing by displacing and dispossessing a native or pre-existing population.
Or the two words could be taken at face value, in which case they're accurate.
Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters, who is scheduled to speak remotely to the festival on Friday night, was recently described by the U.S. State Department as an artist who "has a long track record of using antisemitic tropes to denigrate Jewish people" after he desecrated the memory of Holocaust victim Anne Frank, compared Israel to the Third Reich, and paraded around a stage wearing an SS Nazi uniform during a recent concert in Berlin.
Waters is problematic, but note that he was banned from entering the campus and participated in the event via Zoom.
Meanwhile, Marc Lamont Hill, who called for Israel’s eradication on CNN (he repeated the slogan “From the River to the Sea”) and has referred to mainstream media companies as “Zionist outlets,” is scheduled to speak in person....
But this is the level of offense and outrage that is supposed to be endured by other racial and ethnic groups, sexual minorities, and women, according to the critics of "cancel culture." In fact, the people who've expressed outrage at the words of Penn's most notorious bigot, law professor Amy Wax, are invariably described as engaging in unacceptable and fascistic levels of censorship ("cancel culture").

You remember Amy Wax:
In a September 2017 podcast interview with Professor Glenn Loury, Wax said: "Take Penn Law School, or some top 10 law school... Here's a very inconvenient fact... I don't think I've ever seen a black student graduate in the top quarter of the class, and rarely, rarely in the top half ... I can think of one or two students who scored in the top half in my required first-year course"...

In July 2019, at the Edmund Burke Foundation's inaugural National Conservatism conference, Wax said, "Embracing... cultural distance nationalism, means in effect taking the position that our country will be better off with more whites and fewer non-whites."
Wax also has thoughts about Asian-Americans (and Democrats):
I have great respect for George Lee and his efforts to preserve the admissions requirements for exam high schools in New York City, and I have joined him in this cause. But I think he is too optimistic about the influence of Asians and Asian immigrants on our polity and culture. Although Lee is right that Asians vary in their political views, as do all groups, the important and often overlooked question is “how many?” Enoch Powell asked that question about third-world immigration to Britain decades ago and was excoriated and ostracized for it, but the importance and wisdom of the question prove themselves over and over.

Numbers matter, a lot! In the case of Asians in the U.S., the overwhelming majority vote Democratic. In my opinion, the Democratic Party is a pernicious influence and force in our country today. It advocates for “wokeness,” demands equal outcomes despite clear individual and group differences in talent, ability, and drive, mindlessly valorizes blacks (the group most responsible for anti-Asian violence) regardless of behavior or self-inflicted wounds, sneers at traditional family forms, undermines and disparages the advantages of personal responsibility, hard work, and accountability, and attacks the meritocracy.

I confess I find Asian support for these policies mystifying, as I fail to see how they are in Asians’ interest. We can speculate (and, yes, generalize) about Asians’ desire to please the elite, single-minded focus on self-advancement, conformity and obsequiousness, lack of deep post-Enlightenment conviction, timidity toward centralized authority (however unreasoned), indifference to liberty, lack of thoughtful and audacious individualism, and excessive tolerance for bossy, mindless social engineering, etc.

Maybe it’s just that Democrats love open borders, and Asians want more Asians here. Perhaps they (and especially their distaff element) are just mesmerized by the feel-good cult of “diversity.” I don’t know the answer. But as long as most Asians support Democrats and help to advance their positions, I think the United States is better off with fewer Asians and less Asian immigration.

She's twice handed over one of her classes to guest lecturer Jared Taylor, a eugenicist and white nationalist. (“Blacks and whites are different. When blacks are left entirely to their own devices, Western civilization — any kind of civilization — disappears,” Taylor has written.)

Wax might lose her job for this -- her case is still pending at the university -- but as of this moment she still has it.

Even though Fox and finance billionaires now tell us that cancel culture is okay in response to bigotry, I don't believe any big donor has begun sending $1 checks to the university in response to Wax's ongoing presence there. I guess cancel culture is only okay sometimes.

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