Posted by uscsjp on December 7, 2009
A message from Alex Shams:
“Fellow Students for Justice in Palestine, Last Thursday we witnessed an incredible and UNPRECEDENTED victory anti-racist and progressive students on campus, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. PUBLIC CONDEMNATION OF THE USC COLLEGE REPUBLICANS for fostering an environment of BIGOTRY in light of Horowitz’ comments at our school some weeks ago. In the Daily Trojan today, a full advertisement was placed by Vice President for Student Affairs Michael Jackson condemning the comments. This is a result of weeks of pressuring and campaigning by multiple individuals, in an attempt to have redress for the bigoted, hateful, and Islamophobic remarks the College Republicans invited Horowitz to say. Today, we see an Unprecedented step on the part of the Administration- the University has NEVER condemned a student group like this for its actions But this is only the beginning. We must work from here to ensure that our campus is not merely ‘tolerant”‘or ‘liberal’- but this campus strive to be anti-racist, inclusive, and progressive! We must lead the way for our nation and for the world, because if change does not come from the youth and from our centers of education, where will it come from? We are the instruments of social change, and we are powerful- now, we must wield this power on campus in a way that actively combats oppression and creates a more open and fair society and world. Join US! Next semester, on Wed January 13th at 5 PM we will have our first meeting- more details to be announced. We have already started planning a great number of events, speeches, and conferences for the 2010 Spring Semester- and we need all the help we can get! IN SOLIDARITY, alex shams
Transcript of Letter:
“December 3, 2009 An Open Letter to the USC Community The University of Southern California has taken many institutional steps to promote tolerance and mutual respect within our academic community. Committees have been created, policies have emerged, and acts of intolerance have been condemned by the USC administration. However, our community is not merely defined by administrative actions. We all must do our part to elevate tolerance and respect for others in our community. The university strives to provide an optimal learning community with an atmosphere of free inquiry and expression– an environment that fosters the examination of major issues of social, political, economic, ethical and aesthetic importance. Thriving in such an environment means we all encounter differences: different people, beliefs, cultures, religions, ethnicities and values. The manner in which we accept and work with these differences characterizes our individual principles. Recent events have led members of our community, our Muslim students, to feel threatened, unsafe, and betrayed. The students feel attacked in part by statements made by a speaker at a non-university sponsored event. These statements claim that the USC Muslim Student Union is a terrorist organization with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. The USC MSU is an outstanding student organization that contributes to a welcoming, safe environment for Muslim students to celebrate and share their culture. Further, this organization has never engaged in any campus activities that presented concerns for the university. The MSU is comprised exclusively of USC students and deserves to be treated with respect. Referring to Muslim students or any other group in derogatory terms will not be tolerated. We are a community of scholars and Trojans; bigoted name-calling has no place here. These past events underscore the importance of each person maintaining a basic respect for the rights of people to uphold their own beliefs and to work, learn, and prosper in harmony within our academic community. We each must pledge to encourage respect for human rights and dignity on our campus, in our society, and in the global community.
Michael L. Jackson Vice President for Student Affairs”
And finally, some upcoming events
On Saturday, Dec. 12 in Orange County and Sunday, Dec. 13 in San Diego, there will be special public forums and signings of the new book “Palestine, Israel and the U.S. Empire,” by Richard Becker, West Coast Coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition. We urge you to attend one or both of these important meetings.
Orange County Event (Anaheim)
Saturday, December 12, 2pm
Unitarian Universalist Church of Anaheim
511 S. Harbor Blvd., Anaheim, CA 92805
Map & Driving Directions
The Forum will feature:
Richard Becker, author, “Palestine, Israel and the U.S. Empire”
Muna Coobtee, Palestinian American Women’s Association
There will be discussion, questions, and a book signing, sponsored by ANSWER, the Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East and the PSL. Click here to RSVP to the Orange County Event.
San Diego Event
Sunday, December 13, 2:00pm
Latte Mi Corazon (Coffee Shop)
129 25th St., San Diego, CA 92102
Map & Driving Directions
Richard Becker, author Palestine, Israel and the U.S. Empire
Yousef Abudayyeh, Free Palestine Alliance
Abel Macias, Party for Socialism and Liberation
There will be discussion, questions and a book signing. Click here to RSVP to the San Diego Event.