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Nelson and Stern Statement Helps Afflict Jewish Campus Experience

April 23rd 2011
I applaud the comments of Kenneth L. Marcus in his analysis of the over-reaching protective proclamation by Cary Nelson and Kenneth Stern in aide and service of campus hate speech against Jews (see The Wrong Statement on Campus Anti-Semitism, Opinion April 22, 2011). Why a Jewish organization, the American Jewish Committee, would take pains on the Jewish holiday of Passover to help the further affliction the Jewish experience is baffling. People should think about that before donating. Not all speech is protected and some is downright dangerous, some purely illegal. Hate speech is real. Sexual harassment is real. Bullying is real. Threats are real. A balance must struck between free speech and harm, just as there is a balance between free religion and harm. The threat goes way beyond the "fire in the theater" analogy. If displaying a noose on the locker of an African-American fireman creates a hostile environment--and there are many more examples, than surely, we can understand how Jews would be entitled to the same level of peace on campus.

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