Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Theft of Palestine Taking Mimetic Cover in Janet Mock's Messy Draws...?


thedailybeast |  Instead, the group of students thwarting Mock’s scheduled lecture—those belonging to SJP—do, in fact, pressure people to conform to their mind-set on the Middle East and quash intellectual diversity.

Sadly, Mock caved to the pressure. Though the petition drew just 160 signatures, Mock canceled days before she was expected to speak on March 21 because, “We feel the focus of Janet’s work was lost leading up to the proposed event,” her representative reportedly told the Moral Voices organizers.

Way to go, student activists at Brown! You succeeded in creating a hostile environment that led to a trans woman of color being discouraged from sharing her voice and opinions. This all helped the Palestinian people how, exactly?

Brown President Christina Paxson expressed disappointment. “I respect her decision to avoid having her talk be overshadowed by an issue unrelated to her work. However, I am disappointed that a valuable learning opportunity was lost,” she said in a Sunday email to the student body.

In that same email, Paxson also referred to campus housing facilities that had been defaced. According to the Brown Daily Herald, “Gay will die” and “Holocaust 2.0” were written on hallway walls.

“I want to emphasize that there is absolutely no evidence that the cancellation of the Mock event is related to the homophobic and anti-Semitic graffiti that appeared,” Paxson wrote. “However, taken together, these two events are deeply troubling. They come at a time when the nation and colleges across the country are grappling with concerns about injustice against individuals based on religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender expression.”

In their op-ed, SJP members defended their group’s “my way or the highway approach” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As the initial the petition stressed, the students’ objections were not over Mock but rather her willingness to take part in an event even slightly tied to Hillel. In other words, they wanted Mock to speak—but only as long as she agreed to the terms they dictated. It’s hardly the stuff of international diplomacy; has digging in your heels and refusing to let people share their opinions ever brought about peace or stability?