Monday, April 23, 2018

Term Limited Roundup

My last class meeting is on Wednesday. After that (and grading finals), I'm free of teaching obligations for the next two (two!) years. All I have to do in that time is write a dissertation. Should be easy-peasy!

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I've been meaning to share this outstanding essay by C. Thi Nguyen on "echo chambers", and how we discount information from "the other side", for some time now. It's really, really good.

Several Labour MPs, including Luciana Berger, give heart-wrenching descriptions of the antisemitism they continue to face in British society. J.K. Rowling comes in with an assist (though the article doesn't link to her best moment).

Great conversation in Slate by several Black writers about being Black in White spaces in America. Starbucks, Waffle Houses, golf courses .....

J Street is the future of Democratic Party pro-Israel work. How do I know? Because on the one hand, Ben Cardin was welcome there, despite being a high-profile opponent of the Iran Deal and a backer of the Israel Anti-Boycott Act. And on the other hand, Ben Cardin's message at J Street was basically in line with the broader progressive Zionist camp. Those who want to keep excluding J Street from the pro-Israel camp do so at their own peril.

The L.A. Times has an interesting piece on Latinos joining the Border Patrol (note: Border Patrol and ICE are distinct agencies). The Border Patrol either is now or soon will be majority Latino in personnel.

You know you're spending too much time following American antisemitism when a new story breaks about an antisemitic professor at Knox College and you're like "I bet I know who!" (my guess was "the guy who said that Michael Twitty wants 'to be everything but [his] African sel[f]' because Twitty is a Black Jew". I guessed right).

Sarah Jones interviews Michael Kimmel on deradicalization and reintegration of former White Supremacists. Also apropos: San Francisco anti-racism trainings that are for White Men only. Good example of "owning your shit" and not demanding that POCs serve as educators, or bad example of White Fragility and refusal to tolerate discomfort? You decide.

Are the Koch-brothers (the famous right-libertarian billionaires pumping money into academia and think tanks) spearheading a new insertion of paleo-con anti-Israel ideology back into the political right?

Two interesting pieces on Mizrahi Jews and the ongoing failure to fully grapple with their differentiated history vis-a-vis European/Ashkenazi Jews. The first centers on the documentary series "The Ancestral Sin", regarding how Mizrahi Jews were systematically marginalized by bigoted (largely secular) bureaucrats in Israel's early days. The second is a call for Mizrahi Jews to be given an equal seat at the table in Jewish conversations today.

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