The sculptor Rodin was once asked how he would approach a likeness of the vibrant Theodore Roosevelt. He replied that his job was to get the blood flowing through the marble. Most university statements on intolerance, racism and anti-Semitism are lifeless and have platitudes coursing through the veins. Not so the recent task force report to the UC Regents.
The report as a whole is one of the most thoughtful statements on intolerance, including anti-Semitism, to appear from any university leaders. Members of the task force demonstrate a firm grasp of the dispiriting anti-Semitic events that have occurred on too many University of California campuses, including malicious vandalism, inappropriate challenges to Jewish students vying for student government offices, outright expressions of anti-Semitic claims and narratives, and threats to the physical safety of persons. The authors say forthrightly that “Anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination have no place in the University.”