86 Groups Sign Letter Protesting “Ethnic Studies” Requirement at California State University
October 28, 2020
This week, over 86 organizations from the education, human rights and religious sphere including the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement voiced their opposition to the new California State University (CSU) “ethnic studies” requirement.
Warning that the adoption of the requirement by CSU would “incite bigotry” against against students, groups from various walks of life signed a letter, organized by the AMCHA Initiative, calling on CSU Chancellor Timothy White and the CSU Trustees to drop the requirement.
The signed letter drew attention to important differences between the “broad field of ethnic studies and the narrow discipline of ‘Critical Ethnic Studies,’ which CSU classes will adopt.
The 86 organizations voiced their concern about the limited focus of the “Critical Ethnic Studies” curriculum which promotes political activism and certain ideologies which potentially create a threatening setting for Jewish students on campus. Amongst the key points of contention is that the curriculum, and many of those who teach it, have wrongfully portrayed Zionism as ‘racist,’ ‘colonialist,’ and as a ‘system of oppression.’
These sentiments have led to anti-Israel boycotts on other campuses. Moreover, faculty who have taught the ethnic studies curriculum at CSU have been reported to have used their classrooms for anti-Zionist advocacy and activism.