fbpx
Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Education Dept. Investigating UNC-Duke Conference

Enjoying this article?

You'll love our roundtable.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Department of Education (ED) Secretary Betsy DeVos told Rep. George Holding (R-N.C.) in a Tuesday letter that the ED will be investigating University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Duke University’s joint Middle East conference from March 22-24.

The conference, titled “Conflict Over Gaza,” featured the rapper Tamer Nafer telling an audience that he “cannot be anti-Semitic alone” and to think of Mel Gibson before singing, “I fell in love with a Jew… her skin is white and my skin is brown, she was going up and I was going down.” Holding sent a request on April 15 to the ED asking that they investigate federal grant money being used to put on the event. He wrote that the event had “a biased anti-Israeli agenda.”

DeVos wrote in her response to Holding that the conference “troubled” her.

“In order for the Department to learn more about this matter, I have directed the Office of Postsecondary Education to examine the use of funds under this program to determine if the [UNC-Duke University Middle East Studies] Consortium violated the terms and conditions of its grant,” DeVos wrote. She also noted that grant money needs to go toward events featuring “a wide range of views and generate debate on world regions and international affairs.”

Holding said in a statement to The News and Observer “that taxpayer dollars should never be used to fund overtly biased advocacy under the guise of academic discourse.”

UNC told The News and Observer that they are cooperating with the ED’s investigation and that less than $200 from a $235,000 grant went toward the conference, although they initially had $5,000 earmarked for the conference.

On April 12, UNC Interim Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz said in a statement that he was “heartbroken and deeply offended” over Nafer’s song. Duke University President Vincent E. Price and Provost Sally Kornbluth said in an April 11 statement, “Anti-Semitism is one of the great scourges of modern life. Its resurgence, as demonstrated by the worldwide increase in hate crimes and incidents, is deeply troubling and should be of great concern to any civil society.”

The Consortium called Nafer’s song “inexcusable” in an April 18 statement and apologized “for the hurt his comments have caused and we are saddened that this scholarly event was marred by association with anti-Semitism. We as a Consortium join the leaders of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University in reaffirming our commitment to educational opportunities free of all forms of hate.”

Enjoyed this article?

You'll love our roundtable.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Latest Articles

Community Responds to Kamala Harris as Biden’s Vice Presidential Pick

"The Biden-Harris administration represents a new day for America and I am inspired to make that a reality."

Kamala Harris Was the Safe and Favorable Choice

This makes Harris the first woman in our history to be selected for this spot from a position not of weakness and desperation but of confidence and strength.

Anti-Semitic Note Reportedly Left on N.Y. Assemblymember’s Vandalized Office

Democratic Assemblymember Rebecca Seawright said she "will never be intimidated by this criminal act."

Facebook Says It Is Updating Hate Speech Policies to Include ‘Stereotypes About Jewish People Controlling the World’

"We also continued to prioritize the removal of content that violates our policy against hate groups."

L.A. Jewish Iranian Women Speak Out About Divisions and Unity

American Jewish University (AJU) hosted an online panel on Aug. 3 with two Jewish Iranian women as part of its B’Yachad Together series.

Here are 5 Jewish Things to Know About Joe Biden’s VP Pick Kamala Harris

She met her Jewish husband, Douglas Emhoff, on a blind date in San Francisco, arranged by friends.

Pandemic Times Episode 77: How Candid Should We be in Times of Crises?

New David Suissa Podcast Every Monday and Friday. Reflections on how to approach a confluence of crises making us all dizzy. How do we manage our...

Lisa Loeb’s Album for Pandemic Times: ‘A Simple Trick to Happiness’

Loeb connects people during a time of isolation with upbeat acoustic melodies and calming, feel-good vibes. 

Culture

L.A. Jewish Iranian Women Speak Out About Divisions and Unity

American Jewish University (AJU) hosted an online panel on Aug. 3 with two Jewish Iranian women as part of its B’Yachad Together series.

Lisa Loeb’s Album for Pandemic Times: ‘A Simple Trick to Happiness’

Loeb connects people during a time of isolation with upbeat acoustic melodies and calming, feel-good vibes. 

From Iraq, With Love: How to Make the Perfect Sabich

Our family still eats this meal every Shabbat and even if my mother is hosting, I make the eggplant and butternut squash.

Elton John Says He and Husband Signed Letter Condemning Racism, Anti-Semitism

"There is no room for any kind of prejudice in music, or in society as a whole."

Former Major League Player Cody Decker Says Anti-Semitism Is ‘Rampant’ in Pro Baseball

"I hate every half-measure response Major League Baseball always makes.”

Latest Articles
Latest

Community Responds to Kamala Harris as Biden’s Vice Presidential Pick

"The Biden-Harris administration represents a new day for America and I am inspired to make that a reality."

Kamala Harris Was the Safe and Favorable Choice

This makes Harris the first woman in our history to be selected for this spot from a position not of weakness and desperation but of confidence and strength.

Anti-Semitic Note Reportedly Left on N.Y. Assemblymember’s Vandalized Office

Democratic Assemblymember Rebecca Seawright said she "will never be intimidated by this criminal act."

Hollywood

‘Dirty Dancing’ Sequel Starring Jennifer Grey Announced

It’s official: A “Dirty Dancing” sequel is coming, and it’s starring Jewish actress Jennifer Grey, who played Frances “Baby” Houseman in the 1987 original.

Roy Moore’s Lawsuit Against Sacha Baron Cohen Over Being Pranked Can Proceed, Judge Rules

By the time the episode aired, it was widely known that Cohen was punking public figures.

Podcasts

Pandemic Times Episode 77: How Candid Should We be in Times of Crises?

New David Suissa Podcast Every Monday and Friday. Reflections on how to approach a confluence of crises making us all dizzy. How do we manage our...

The Bagel Report: An American Pickle? Sounds Crazy, No?

Erin and Esther dive right into the barrel and pickle their minds in the majestic, artisanal brine that is Seth Rogen's "An American Pickle,"...

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

x