AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT OF STOCKTON UNIVERSITY
February 5, 2018
Dr. Harvey Kesselman
President, Stockton University
101 Vera King Farris Drive
Galloway, NJ 08205-9441
I read the web page for Stockton’s first “Unite Against Hate Day” scheduled for tomorrow, February 6: https://stockton.edu/bias-free/unite-against-hate-day.html. The program is blatantly dishonest, harmful to students, and dangerous to both our local community and whole nation.
It is a day of lectures, presentations, and workshops designed to promote, justify, and enable hate, racism, and terrorism. Naming tomorrow “Unite Against Hate Day” at Stockton is as absurd as naming the government agency that erased and rewrote history in George Orwell’s novel 1984 “The Ministry of Truth”.
I urge you to work with our group, the community, and appropriate federal and state government agencies to objectively and impartially examine the intended and actual consequences of tomorrow’s events. Please closely question the faculty, students, and staff who put it together. I also urge you and Stockton’s Board of Trustees to take immediate remedial action to repair some of the damage that will be caused by tomorrow’s event. I also hope you and the trustees will make meaningful and lasting changes to the staff, structure, and process at Stockton, so that this does not happen again.
Since we both attended elementary school shortly after World War II, I am sure you remember the “civics” lessons that were taught back then. Those lessons were given when the evils and dangers of Nazi-ism, fascism, Communism, and the barbaric racism of Imperial Japan were fresh in the minds of our parents and teachers. Although the term “hate speech” had not yet been coined, those “civics” courses were given so students could recognize and defend against the rhetoric and tactics of bigots, racists, and haters.
Since I attended those “civics” classes years ago as a child, I only recall them in general terms. However, I distinctly recall being warned to recognize these five classic strategies and tactics routinely used by bigots, racists, and haters in the past:
1. Present biased agitators who talk about nothing but good in “our” group, and evil in the “other” group as respectable, impartial scholars or spokespersons
2. Compare the best of “our” group, with the worst of the “other” group.
3. Frame fake issues in ways that make it impossible to criticize the actions of “our” group and impossible to defend the actions of the “other” group. Avoid discussion of real issues, that show mistakes or bad things in “our” group or which show legitimate concerns or good in the “other” group.
4. Present unproven, unfounded, and even absurd theories that “prove” other groups to be bad or dangerous as if they were undisputed scientific or academically accepted facts.
5. Do not allow members of the “other” group to present their arguments to, or have positive contact with members of “our” group.
Tomorrow’s “Unite Against Hate Day” will do nothing to teach students to understand and defend against those classic tactics and strategies designed to promote unfounded hatred, violence, and terrorism.
On the contrary, tomorrow’s events will justify, and enable hate, violence, and terror against whites, men, Christians, Jews, Americans, and anyone else who opposes or disagrees with extreme political agenda of most “featured speakers”
“Unite Against Hate Day” presents Joseph Levin of the so-called “Southern Poverty Law Center” as an impartial “expert”. Levin is a biased extremist, and master of hate speech. His organization, the SPLC, has been described by many respected journalists and scholars as “a hate group itself” and a “money grabbing slander machine”. Victims of false, vicious, personal attacks by Levin or his group include Hyaan Hirsi Ali, Maajid Nawaz, Ken Silverstein, Hannah Scherlacher, and Jennifer Roback Morse. The rhetoric and tactics of the SPLC has put innocent people in great danger. In 2012, a 29 year old gunman walked into the offices of the Family Research Council in Washington, DC with 100 rounds of ammunition. The gunman was stopped by security guards after wounding one person. The gunman later confessed that he intended to kill as many people as he could because he believed the SPLC’s false accusation that the Family Research Council was a “hate group”.
Adam Miyashiro, another “featured speaker” is also presented as an impartial scholar. However, he is an open and active member of the “Campus Antifascist Network”, a well-known violent hate group which urges the destruction of Israel for alleged abuses which he ignores for every other nation. The only logical explanation for Miyashiro’s hate for Israel is racism–the fact that Israel is the only nation in the world with a Jewish majority.
“Unite Against Hate Day” is cleverly structured to present the best of “our” group, with the worst of the “other” group. It appears that only hate groups composed of white Americans or white American men such as Evropa and an unnamed “worldwide racist skinhead organization”, are identified and denounced as hate groups. Equally intolerant and violent hate groups identified with Islamic extremists or Black Lives Matter, are not discussed or even mentioned in the program. Arno Michaelis is a “featured speaker” who will express his remorse for involvement in an all white “racist skinhead organization”. However, there are many former leaders and members of black, Hispanic, and Islamic hate groups who are also speaking out to express their remorse for involvement in those groups. Why are none of them a part of tomorrow’s program?
“Unite Against Hate Day” falsely and dishonestly frames the issue swirling around the National Anthem “protests” by certain NFL football players. It sets up a conflict between “reasonable” “professional athletes who “have silently protested. . . over issues of police brutality and racial inequality” on one side and an “unreasonable” President Donald Trump on the other. Trump is specifically quoted as advising NFL owners to say “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired!” A fair presentation of the issue would recognize that:
Our National Anthem is the symbol of a nation that, while not perfect, has provided most of its citizens, including citizens of African descent, more wealth, justice, opportunity, and safety than any other nation on earth.
Millions of Americans fought, and hundreds of thousands died to preserve our nation with our exceptional Constitution and culture of liberty which made that possible.
Millions of people from all over the world are breaking the law and risking their lives for the privilege of living here in America.
The highly paid and privileged NFL athletes are attacking a symbol of America, without making any effort to use the free speech, their fortunes earned through free enterprise, free elections, and independent courts to identify and resolve their grievances.
The overwhelming majority of Americans in general, and NFL fans in particular, also have the right to exercise their “freedom of expression” — freedom that includes criticizing NFL players and refusing to buy NFL tickets, or products from the NFL or its advertisers.
“United Against Hate Day” presents as undisputed facts, unfounded, absurd theories designed to “prove” members of the “other” group are dangerous, and are to be hated, feared, isolated, or punished. Jill Zinckgraf will present “sexual terrorism” as a “key social theory”. Zinckgraf claims “we live in an institutionalized system by which males frighten, control and dominate females (and other males that do not fit within the social construct of masculinity)”. Shedia Christopher and Tiffany Rice will explain how normal and harmless conversations that have taken place among people since language was invented are “microagressions” that “are the manifestation of oppressive worldviews that create, foster, and enforce marginalization”. These theories are as absurd and dangerous today, as the debunked racial theories of the Nazi’s were in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Like those Nazi theories, this fake “science” is a form of hate speech designed to promote fear and hatred of others. They suppress the free, honest and open exchange of ideas. They also encourage students to be helpless “victims” who are unable to engage in open discussion or debate with others, and to inform on anyone who challenges their opinions by filing reports of “bias incidents” with Stockton authorities. Last September, a Stockton faculty member loudly accused Liberty and Prosperity members of being “Nazis” for handing out postcards containing excerpts from America’s Declaration of Independence.
“Unite Against Hate Day” systematically excludes effective representatives of other points of view. Which “featured speakers” at tomorrow’s event are Republicans? Which are conservatives? Which support Donald Trump? Which identify with Liberty and Prosperity or other conservative groups? Where is the opportunity for people like us to be active and involved with Stockton students? How many will present effective facts and arguments that disagree with the views presented by speakers like Joseph Levin and Adam Miyashiro? How many will ridicule or criticize athletes who publicly “protest” our National Anthem? How many will vigorously challenge the views of Jill Zinckgraf on “Institutional Misogyny and Sexual Terrorism”? If such speakers are part of tomorrow’s program, why aren’t they prominently featured on the “United Against Hate Day” website like the others? The website refers to “500 empirical studies which agree that “frequent positive contact with diverse peers is consistently associated with prejudice reduction”. So if Stockton is truly against hate and prejudice, why does it prevent its students from having such “ frequent, positive contact” with conservatives, Republicans, and Trump supporters?
I understand it is too late to make meaningful changes to tomorrow’s program. However, I and other members of our group look forward to meeting with you during the weeks ahead so an effective remedial program can be created and implemented to undo some of the damage that will be done tomorrow.
We also look forward to meeting with you, your administration, and your faculty on a regular basis to make structural changes at Stockton to prevent this from happening again.
Thank you for your attention.