You thought Fresno State was the only such place?
Over the past decade, University of California schools have been making headlines — not for athletic or academic achievements, but for the anti-Semitism pervading campus life. Case in point: UC San Diego.
An African-American student would be justifiably offended, perhaps frightened by the spectacle of Ku Klux Klan or white supremacy posters hanging from a professor’s office — hypothetically. Likewise, Jewish students visiting the office of Professor Yen Le Espiritu would be offended and frightened. But for them, it isn’t hypothetical.
Espiritu’s office door is adorned with posters glorifying Hamas and accusing Israel of engaging in apartheid. These displays of hate and anti-Semitism hint at someone who should not be influencing impressionable minds. And this is before stepping into her classroom.
Espiritu is a distinguished fellow and former chair of the Ethnic Studies Department at UCSD. One of the courses she currently teaches, “Circulations of Difference: Introduction to Ethnic Studies,” has been described by one student who requested anonymity as a course that delegitimizes the very existence of Israel and the United States.
“Espiritu believes that Israel and the United States are colonialist nations. She is adamant that Jews have no connection to the land of Israel,” the student told the Haym Salomon Center, “despite the archaeological proof and the fact that Jews have resided in modern day Israel long before Islam even existed.”
Far from encouraging the free exchange of ideas and perspectives, Espiritu’s classroom environment is intimidating.
“She is so adamant about her own views that students fear voicing a different opinion,” explained her student. “If you support Israel or show patriotism for the United States, expect to be lambasted by her. These are perspectives she would never tolerate.”