News

Federal complaint by Jewish employees alleges antisemitism at Stanford racial-sensitivity program

Program to train mental health clinicians allegedly allowed anti-Jewish harassment

Stanford University faces federal and state complaints that allege the university of allowing persistent anti-Jewish harassment in its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion program. Embarcadero Media file photo by Sinead Chang.

Two Jewish employees at Stanford University have filed a complaint at the federal and state levels against the university for allegedly allowing persistent anti-Jewish harassment related to a weekly program designed to explore institutional racism, according to a June 15 statement by The Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, which is representing the employees.

The complaint accuses the university's Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) division of a hostile environment for Jews in its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) program, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act. The complaint was filed on May 21 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

The plaintiffs want Stanford to come into compliance with Title VII of the state's Fair Housing and Employment Act by ensuring that Jewish students receive the same level of clinical care and attention as other students and to revise the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion program so the curriculum specifically addresses the multiple manifestations of antisemitism, among other remedies.

In January 2020, the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion program set up separate "affinity groups" based on race, which were supposed to help clinicians and staff explore cultural biases and better understand cultural and racial groups, which would aid their clinical work. One affinity group was designated for white people and a separate group was for people of color. The groups were assigned to read and discuss the book "White Fragility," with the white group having a separate, structured space to "process reaction" to the book, according to the complaint.

The white group was to explore its racial privilege in a "whiteness accountability" group. Employees Dr. Ronald Albucher and Sheila Levin objected to being forced into the white group, which doesn't account for their primary identities as Jews and didn't consider the historical and personal experiences of Jews with ethnic and religious prejudice, when it lumped them in with those who are perceived as white, they said in their complaint. Albucher is a staff psychiatrist in the Counseling & Psychological Services division where he was the director for nine years until 2017 and is a clinical associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Stanford University Medical School. Levin has worked as the clinical care manager/eating disorder specialist at CAPS for the last 13 years.

What's local journalism worth to you?

Support Palo Alto Online for as little as $5/month.

Join

The white affinity group was eventually named the "Whiteness Accountability" group and was intended for "staff who hold privilege via white identity and who want to explore how the advantages of whiteness interact with their identities, with their work and in the world," the complaint quotes from the program's announcement.

The announcement also identified the white affinity group as being for staff who are "white identified, may be newly grappling with or realizing their white identity, or identify as or are perceived as white."

Levin and Albucher say that characterization doesn't jibe with Jewish experience and identity by labeling all Jews as white. Levin, for example, identifies strongly as Jewish and does not feel an affinity for "white" identity, yet her supervisors allegedly pressured her to participate in the segregated white group.

The complaint redacts the names and titles of the committee members and supervisory staff. Levin told a committee or staff member that she was uncomfortable participating in the white affinity group, but she was denied any other options if she wanted to be "part of a collegial environment at Counseling & Psychological Services." Other than providing empathetic listening, there wasn't anything else that could be done, she was told, according to the complaint.

Albucher was also allegedly harassed and intimidated multiple times over the course of more than a year.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

"Meeting participants, treating all Jews as white, implied that Dr. Albucher had inherent privilege," the complaint states.

Albucher spoke to a supervisor or committee member about his concerns that the program was treating all individuals who are perceived as white, including Jews, "as a monolithic group of privileged people who unconsciously contribute to systemic racism," the complaint said.

The CAPS and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) program also allegedly ignored instances of overt antisemitism and sidelined any discussion of behaviors that were offensive and intimidating to its Jewish members, the complaint said.

On May 16, 2020, hackers conducted a racist and antisemitic "Zoom bombing" of a virtual town hall meeting for the Stanford community hosted by "The People's Caucus," a slate of minority-group candidates in the Associated Students of Stanford University's Undergraduate Senate election. An unknown person or persons hijacked the meeting with racist audio messages and images of swastikas and weapons, using the "N-word." The incident caused widespread distress among participants, according to the complaint.

Yet when Levin expressed to her co-workers in her clinical team that she was outraged by the incident and expressions of hatred at Stanford, they allegedly ostracized her and accused her of "possessing the privilege — that they insisted people of color do not possess — of feeling outraged about racism," according to the complaint. Levin was not allowed to be part of their collegial work group on the basis of her perceived race and national origin; they insisted she discuss her concerns only with her white colleagues in the "white affinity" group rather than with her clinical team.

When Albucher and Levin attended the May 20, 2020 seminar just days after the Zoom bombing, committee members discussed the racist and anti-Black content of the incident but did not address the antisemitism and antisemitic images that had been displayed during the attack. The group allegedly dismissed Albucher's concerns regarding the omission of any discussion about the antisemitic content and accused him of attempting to derail the agenda's focus on anti-Black racism. Group members allegedly justified the omission by insisting that unlike other minority groups, "Jews can hide behind their white identity," the complaint said.

"After this meeting, Dr. Albucher and Ms. Levin were subjected to anti-Jewish stereotypes. Participants invoked the antisemitic trope that Jews are wealthy and powerful business owners. (They) reasoned that because Jews, unlike other minority groups. possess privilege and power, Jews and victims of Jew-hatred do not merit or necessitate the attention of the … committee," the complaint noted.

In a second rebuff of antisemitic concerns, the committee also neglected to discuss swastikas drawn inside Stanford's Memorial Church in July 2020; a group facilitator said they would discuss the incident only if they had time to do so, but they never did. And this past January, members of the committee allegedly promoted antisemitic narratives at an event for predoctoral students about internship and training opportunities at CAPS, according to the complaint.

Stanford allegedly has not taken any meaningful steps to address Albucher and Levin's complaints. In mid-Apri, more than a year after persistent complaints by Albucher and Levin, Stanford informed Albucher that it intends to investigate his concerns as a "confidential HR matter" — after receiving notice from the Education Department that a federal discrimination complaint had been filed, according to the complaint. Last month, the university finally referred Levin's discrimination complaints to Employee Labor Relations in Human Resources.

The complaint calls those actions only protective of Stanford and that they fall short.

"The university's failure to take prompt and effective steps to address the anti-Jewish hostility in the DEI program has broader ramifications. The DEI program trains those who provide mental health counseling to Stanford students. When the DEI program ignores antisemitic incidents on campus and spreads the antisemitic canard that Jews have 'immense power and privilege,' it teaches the Stanford mental health professionals to dismiss as inconsequential the mental health consequences antisemitic incidents have on Jewish students. Such training inevitably harms the mental health professional's ability to provide equal, unbiased, effective service to Stanford's Jewish students," the complaint states.

"The very program that is supposed to facilitate the full inclusion of all members of the Stanford community is now undermining that goal, perpetrating the very invidious discrimination that it is meant to eliminate," the plaintiffs said in the complaint.

Antisemitic incidents in the U.S. have skyrocketed over the past month since hostilities erupted between Palestinians and Israel on May 6, according to the Brandeis Center.

"We have been deluged with messages from students and professors about incidents of antisemitism on campuses across the U.S. It is the worst possible time for Stanford to have decided not to prepare its mental health professionals to deal with this problem," Denise Katz-Prober, director of legal initiatives at the Brandeis Center, stated in the June 15 statement.

The complaint also asks that Stanford develop policies and procedures to prevent the use of adverse racial stereotypes and train the Stanford community on the policies; issue a public statement condemning antisemitism and demonization that excludes members of the community based on their Jewish identity; revise its nondiscrimination policies to include a prohibition on discrimination based on actual or perceived shared ancestry and ethnicity and adverse racial stereotyping, along with requiring mandatory policy training. The complaint also asks for monetary relief of an undisclosed sum to be paid to Albucher.

Stanford University has not responded to a request for comment.

Craving a new voice in Peninsula dining?

Sign up for the Peninsula Foodist newsletter.

Sign up now

Follow Palo Alto Online and the Palo Alto Weekly on Twitter @paloaltoweekly, Facebook and on Instagram @paloaltoonline for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Your support is vital to us continuing to bring you education news. Become a member today.

Federal complaint by Jewish employees alleges antisemitism at Stanford racial-sensitivity program

Program to train mental health clinicians allegedly allowed anti-Jewish harassment

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Wed, Jun 16, 2021, 9:28 am

Two Jewish employees at Stanford University have filed a complaint at the federal and state levels against the university for allegedly allowing persistent anti-Jewish harassment related to a weekly program designed to explore institutional racism, according to a June 15 statement by The Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, which is representing the employees.

The complaint accuses the university's Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) division of a hostile environment for Jews in its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) program, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act. The complaint was filed on May 21 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

The plaintiffs want Stanford to come into compliance with Title VII of the state's Fair Housing and Employment Act by ensuring that Jewish students receive the same level of clinical care and attention as other students and to revise the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion program so the curriculum specifically addresses the multiple manifestations of antisemitism, among other remedies.

In January 2020, the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion program set up separate "affinity groups" based on race, which were supposed to help clinicians and staff explore cultural biases and better understand cultural and racial groups, which would aid their clinical work. One affinity group was designated for white people and a separate group was for people of color. The groups were assigned to read and discuss the book "White Fragility," with the white group having a separate, structured space to "process reaction" to the book, according to the complaint.

The white group was to explore its racial privilege in a "whiteness accountability" group. Employees Dr. Ronald Albucher and Sheila Levin objected to being forced into the white group, which doesn't account for their primary identities as Jews and didn't consider the historical and personal experiences of Jews with ethnic and religious prejudice, when it lumped them in with those who are perceived as white, they said in their complaint. Albucher is a staff psychiatrist in the Counseling & Psychological Services division where he was the director for nine years until 2017 and is a clinical associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Stanford University Medical School. Levin has worked as the clinical care manager/eating disorder specialist at CAPS for the last 13 years.

The white affinity group was eventually named the "Whiteness Accountability" group and was intended for "staff who hold privilege via white identity and who want to explore how the advantages of whiteness interact with their identities, with their work and in the world," the complaint quotes from the program's announcement.

The announcement also identified the white affinity group as being for staff who are "white identified, may be newly grappling with or realizing their white identity, or identify as or are perceived as white."

Levin and Albucher say that characterization doesn't jibe with Jewish experience and identity by labeling all Jews as white. Levin, for example, identifies strongly as Jewish and does not feel an affinity for "white" identity, yet her supervisors allegedly pressured her to participate in the segregated white group.

The complaint redacts the names and titles of the committee members and supervisory staff. Levin told a committee or staff member that she was uncomfortable participating in the white affinity group, but she was denied any other options if she wanted to be "part of a collegial environment at Counseling & Psychological Services." Other than providing empathetic listening, there wasn't anything else that could be done, she was told, according to the complaint.

Albucher was also allegedly harassed and intimidated multiple times over the course of more than a year.

"Meeting participants, treating all Jews as white, implied that Dr. Albucher had inherent privilege," the complaint states.

Albucher spoke to a supervisor or committee member about his concerns that the program was treating all individuals who are perceived as white, including Jews, "as a monolithic group of privileged people who unconsciously contribute to systemic racism," the complaint said.

The CAPS and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) program also allegedly ignored instances of overt antisemitism and sidelined any discussion of behaviors that were offensive and intimidating to its Jewish members, the complaint said.

On May 16, 2020, hackers conducted a racist and antisemitic "Zoom bombing" of a virtual town hall meeting for the Stanford community hosted by "The People's Caucus," a slate of minority-group candidates in the Associated Students of Stanford University's Undergraduate Senate election. An unknown person or persons hijacked the meeting with racist audio messages and images of swastikas and weapons, using the "N-word." The incident caused widespread distress among participants, according to the complaint.

Yet when Levin expressed to her co-workers in her clinical team that she was outraged by the incident and expressions of hatred at Stanford, they allegedly ostracized her and accused her of "possessing the privilege — that they insisted people of color do not possess — of feeling outraged about racism," according to the complaint. Levin was not allowed to be part of their collegial work group on the basis of her perceived race and national origin; they insisted she discuss her concerns only with her white colleagues in the "white affinity" group rather than with her clinical team.

When Albucher and Levin attended the May 20, 2020 seminar just days after the Zoom bombing, committee members discussed the racist and anti-Black content of the incident but did not address the antisemitism and antisemitic images that had been displayed during the attack. The group allegedly dismissed Albucher's concerns regarding the omission of any discussion about the antisemitic content and accused him of attempting to derail the agenda's focus on anti-Black racism. Group members allegedly justified the omission by insisting that unlike other minority groups, "Jews can hide behind their white identity," the complaint said.

"After this meeting, Dr. Albucher and Ms. Levin were subjected to anti-Jewish stereotypes. Participants invoked the antisemitic trope that Jews are wealthy and powerful business owners. (They) reasoned that because Jews, unlike other minority groups. possess privilege and power, Jews and victims of Jew-hatred do not merit or necessitate the attention of the … committee," the complaint noted.

In a second rebuff of antisemitic concerns, the committee also neglected to discuss swastikas drawn inside Stanford's Memorial Church in July 2020; a group facilitator said they would discuss the incident only if they had time to do so, but they never did. And this past January, members of the committee allegedly promoted antisemitic narratives at an event for predoctoral students about internship and training opportunities at CAPS, according to the complaint.

Stanford allegedly has not taken any meaningful steps to address Albucher and Levin's complaints. In mid-Apri, more than a year after persistent complaints by Albucher and Levin, Stanford informed Albucher that it intends to investigate his concerns as a "confidential HR matter" — after receiving notice from the Education Department that a federal discrimination complaint had been filed, according to the complaint. Last month, the university finally referred Levin's discrimination complaints to Employee Labor Relations in Human Resources.

The complaint calls those actions only protective of Stanford and that they fall short.

"The university's failure to take prompt and effective steps to address the anti-Jewish hostility in the DEI program has broader ramifications. The DEI program trains those who provide mental health counseling to Stanford students. When the DEI program ignores antisemitic incidents on campus and spreads the antisemitic canard that Jews have 'immense power and privilege,' it teaches the Stanford mental health professionals to dismiss as inconsequential the mental health consequences antisemitic incidents have on Jewish students. Such training inevitably harms the mental health professional's ability to provide equal, unbiased, effective service to Stanford's Jewish students," the complaint states.

"The very program that is supposed to facilitate the full inclusion of all members of the Stanford community is now undermining that goal, perpetrating the very invidious discrimination that it is meant to eliminate," the plaintiffs said in the complaint.

Antisemitic incidents in the U.S. have skyrocketed over the past month since hostilities erupted between Palestinians and Israel on May 6, according to the Brandeis Center.

"We have been deluged with messages from students and professors about incidents of antisemitism on campuses across the U.S. It is the worst possible time for Stanford to have decided not to prepare its mental health professionals to deal with this problem," Denise Katz-Prober, director of legal initiatives at the Brandeis Center, stated in the June 15 statement.

The complaint also asks that Stanford develop policies and procedures to prevent the use of adverse racial stereotypes and train the Stanford community on the policies; issue a public statement condemning antisemitism and demonization that excludes members of the community based on their Jewish identity; revise its nondiscrimination policies to include a prohibition on discrimination based on actual or perceived shared ancestry and ethnicity and adverse racial stereotyping, along with requiring mandatory policy training. The complaint also asks for monetary relief of an undisclosed sum to be paid to Albucher.

Stanford University has not responded to a request for comment.

Comments

Wilhelm Froeling
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Jun 16, 2021 at 4:23 pm
Wilhelm Froeling, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Jun 16, 2021 at 4:23 pm

Where do we draw the line on ethnic identification?

In many instances, Jewish people are considered 'white' and this categorization is often preferred among countless non-practicing (secular) Jews and various members of the Reformed Jewish faith (including those whose ancestors 'Anglicized' their family surnames generations earlier).

On the other hand, being Jewish can be both a religion and an ethnicity.

Contemporary PC adherences have redefined our perspectives and it is now open season on earlier oversights and definitions.


Aron Bronstein
Registered user
Stanford
on Jun 16, 2021 at 4:51 pm
Aron Bronstein, Stanford
Registered user
on Jun 16, 2021 at 4:51 pm

Anti-Semitism is ANYTHING that either disparages or questions the motives and practices of those who are Jewish.

We have been subjugated and brutalized throughout the centuries by the Egyptians, Romans, and Germans among countless others including white Christian people.

The advanced military and secret service of the modern state of Israel along with countless American-Jewish supporters will keep any future atrocities perpetrated by Anti-Semites and enemies of the Jewish people in check.


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Jun 16, 2021 at 5:28 pm
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Jun 16, 2021 at 5:28 pm

You have to get to the root of the problem and ask yourself what is wrong with this program that it's harming people they're trying to help. Haven't people of Jewish decent suffered enough? Are these programs doing more harm than good?


Mike trobe
Registered user
Stanford
on Jun 16, 2021 at 7:25 pm
Mike trobe, Stanford
Registered user
on Jun 16, 2021 at 7:25 pm

It wasn’t long ago that Jewish people, just like us, were murdered in part because we were lulled into a false sense of belonging. We may share the same skin color as those currently in power, but we are NOT them. Never be fooled. Always be on guard.

This is not to say we shouldn’t help other oppressed groups.

But we should never, ever let our guard down.


Jim Jeffries
Registered user
Southgate
on Jun 17, 2021 at 9:13 am
Jim Jeffries, Southgate
Registered user
on Jun 17, 2021 at 9:13 am

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


blah
Registered user
another community
on Jun 17, 2021 at 9:18 pm
blah, another community
Registered user
on Jun 17, 2021 at 9:18 pm

@Wilhelm Froeling, why do you care how other people identify?


Hinrich
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Jun 18, 2021 at 8:12 am
Hinrich, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Jun 18, 2021 at 8:12 am

The whole group should be made to sit in the corner until they can act like grownups. This reads more like the psychology department needs counseling at Stanford. These are adults? These are role models? And why in the world should someone be entitled to monetary rewards in this situation? It's all just really, really crazy.
This 'whiteness' racism (McCarthyism) is dangerous stuff and has gone far enough. As an alumnus (yep, male) ashamed for Stanford.


Illya Petrovsky
Registered user
Stanford
on Jun 18, 2021 at 9:02 am
Illya Petrovsky, Stanford
Registered user
on Jun 18, 2021 at 9:02 am

Why should Jewish people be included in the same category as Gentiles?

This is an insult to both the Hebrew faith and its people.

And simply tossing us into a convenient white Wonder Bread encrusted designation is also inaccurate as throughout history, Jewish people have been persecuted, ridiculed, and discriminated against by white supremacist mindsets and pervasive racist biases.

Stanford University symbolizes this timeless salute to racial and ethnic myopia given the well-publicized mentalities of its founder, first university president and various academic endeavors.

It is a Stanford tradition.




TuppenceT
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 18, 2021 at 4:23 pm
TuppenceT, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Jun 18, 2021 at 4:23 pm

How would Stanford categorize people from India?


TimR
Registered user
Downtown North
on Jun 19, 2021 at 9:08 am
TimR, Downtown North
Registered user
on Jun 19, 2021 at 9:08 am

Time to face "reality" here. Most Jewish people are white, and according to current theory, that makes them part of the racist power structure, and thus part of the problem. And the fact that Trump was such a Zionist and had Jews as mega donors (like the late Sheldon Adelson), mentors, lawyers, advisors, family members, cabinet members, etc, doesn't help much, either. So you can expect a lot of of this kind of thing from "progressives," not less, going forward.


Ariel Fleming
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Jun 19, 2021 at 9:31 am
Ariel Fleming, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Jun 19, 2021 at 9:31 am

The truth is, many Jewish people prefer to identify as white due to pervasive anti-Semitism + expanded economic and vocational opportunities if one is thought of as white.

Many of their ancestors have even changed the family surnames to accommodate this measure (i.e. Cohan/Irish and Cohen/Jewish).

All it takes is a minor change of lettering and other immigrant families have done this as well (i.e. Martini/Italian > Martin/English).

The only ethnicities who cannot alter their family surnames convincingly are Asians.

Although some Cantonese Chinese surnames like Lee and Howe are also Anglo surnames, most people can tell whether the individual is Asian or of European descent.

Everybody seems to adopt some form of whiteness in America whether in name or via cosmetology...consider all of the fake blondes of various ethnicities and even Michael Jackson underwent countless skin peels to achieve his signature appearance.


Cindy Pickett
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 19, 2021 at 10:14 am
Cindy Pickett, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Jun 19, 2021 at 10:14 am

My Jewish in-laws also prefer to identify as white as they are non-practicing, secular Jews.

And as a result, they are totally free from all kosher dining guidelines and any orthodox mandates.

Their ancestors changed their surnames as well.

In America, one can be anyone they want to be which is probably why so many people wish to live here.


TimR
Registered user
Downtown North
on Jun 19, 2021 at 1:05 pm
TimR, Downtown North
Registered user
on Jun 19, 2021 at 1:05 pm

Ariel Fleming, "The only ethnicities who cannot alter their family surnames convincingly are Asians."

Perhaps, but Asians often choose uber-Anglo given names for their children. A girl I went to school with, Penny Wong, comes to mind. But there are many examples of this, including just going by just initials.

And this brings up a good point: it's not about trying to be more "white," it's about trying to be more Anglo, which is small subset of white. Because white Norwegians, Germans, Russians, Italians, Greeks, etc, have often done the same thing with first and/or last names after immigrating to America, in an effort to be more Anglo, even though they're already very white.


Laurian Decker
Registered user
Stanford
on Jun 19, 2021 at 3:30 pm
Laurian Decker, Stanford
Registered user
on Jun 19, 2021 at 3:30 pm

> "Everybody seems to adopt some form of whiteness in America whether in name or via cosmetology...consider all of the fake blondes of various ethnicities..."

Nearly everyone in America regardless of their ethnicity adopt certain Anglo stylizations and what's wrong with that?

Name changes and hair colorations are simply other forms of cultural assimilation and only the stodgy have a problem with it.


blah
Registered user
another community
on Jun 19, 2021 at 9:56 pm
blah, another community
Registered user
on Jun 19, 2021 at 9:56 pm

I think many Shallow Altans miss the point entirely. Perhaps instead of trying to think of ways to divide people into small little groups and pigeon-hole them into neat little categories, why don't you just accept other humans as humans? Think of people as individual Venn diagrams where one person is composed of many different characteristics, beliefs, hopes, and dreams. Another person could have those exact same characteristics, beliefs, hopes, and dreams, but in different relative proportions. Just because person A identifies as thing X does not mean people B, C, D, and E who also identify as thing X have the exact same views and ideas as person A.

For example, a person can vote for Democratic candidates based on a view that as a society, we should put resources towards helping those who are more vulnerable, but that does not mean that this person thinks we should spend trillions of dollars to provide services that just end up being a waste of everyone's time and money. Earlier in the pandemic, many Republicans did not want to vote to spend the money to help our more vulnerable friends and neighbors remain housed and fed. Sure, if the stimulus checks didn't happen, the government could have saved a lot of money in the present. But if the stimulus money helped to prevent people from becoming homeless and hungry, being tightwads to save a penny today makes no sense if 10 years down the road the people who lost their jobs during COVID still haven't recovered economically and are costing us as a society WAY more than the money the stimulus cost due to them needing food, clothing, housing, and healthcare assistance on a long term basis. In their shortsightedness, Trump and McConnell were basically arguing about not spending the relative equivalent of $0.05 and totally ignoring the $100 bill that fell out of their pocket as costs to future generations. As a society, America has become too selfish and entitled. When you die, money means nothing. Use your life for good.


Hinrich
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Jun 20, 2021 at 8:38 am
Hinrich, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Jun 20, 2021 at 8:38 am

@blah - seems a tad off topic. You are critical of the local citizenry (Shallow Altans), something about 'vent' diagrams, and then on to condemning Republicans. You say all Republicans were opposed to aid (thus all Republicans are bad). Many Republicans felt that totally locking down the country for so many, many months would be very destructive - they disagreed with many Democrats who supported these lockdowns. Many Republicans worried about how much aid was too much aid. The problem with such elevated efforts to constantly divide people is that our society depends on agreements and cooperation - problems don't get solutions when people throw stones at each other. Whether it is the entirely juvenile behavior of the psychologists at Stanford arguing about whose skin is whiter (pathetic behavior) or the public bickering on social media, it's not helpful.


Geraldine Pfister
Registered user
Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jun 20, 2021 at 10:29 am
Geraldine Pfister, Leland Manor/Garland Drive
Registered user
on Jun 20, 2021 at 10:29 am

An African American colleague once mentioned that life in America would probably be far easier if everyone had been born white.

Then the only social issues would be disparity of wealth and the direction of our local and national governments.

Homogenous societies such as those in Japan and Scandinavia do not seem to experience disruptive racial diversity issues because they only let outsiders in as temporary tourists and business travelers.

America with its open door policy is experiencing the same ethnic strife as Great Britain, Germany, and France.

And much of it could have been avoided earlier by not instituting slavery or the importation of foreign workers to perform menial agricultural and factory jobs.

White wealthy America brought this problem on themselves.


blah
Registered user
another community
on Jun 20, 2021 at 1:54 pm
blah, another community
Registered user
on Jun 20, 2021 at 1:54 pm

@Hinrich, perhaps it would do you well to practice your reading comprehension.

1. Although I do not currently live in Palo Alto, I am a local citizen and attended Palo Alto schools from kindergarten through high school graduation.
2. I did not say "all" Republicans were opposed to aid, I said "many" of them were.
3. Venn—not 'vent'—diagrams are a standard type of diagram used to show logical relations between sets.


TimR
Registered user
Downtown North
on Jun 20, 2021 at 3:40 pm
TimR, Downtown North
Registered user
on Jun 20, 2021 at 3:40 pm

"An African American colleague once mentioned that life in America would probably be far easier if everyone had been born white."

And yet, in sub-Saharan Africa, where just about everyone's black, the ethnic strife never abates. It's MUCH were than what we have here in America (obviously). You can try to blame it on colonialism, including from Muslim Arabs (who started and ran the slave trade there), but you won't get very far. From the evidence we have, homogeneity has very little to do with skin color (although it might be a byproduct).


Hami Mobutu
Registered user
Stanford
on Jun 20, 2021 at 7:15 pm
Hami Mobutu, Stanford
Registered user
on Jun 20, 2021 at 7:15 pm

Much of the political and ethnic strife in Africa is attributable to white European colonialism. The French, Germans, Dutch, Belgians, and English disrupted the naturalism of primitive societies in order to pillage raw materials for their industrial endeavors and when independence finally arrived, the natives were not capable of running both their newly-formed governments and the economies of their respective nations.

Tribalism is alive and well in Africa. The influence and disruptions of various Christian and Muslim religions also played a major role in this ongoing dysfunction.

Had outsiders just left the continent of Africa alone, its people would not have been subjected to the exploitation of Western European, Christian and Muslim influences.

My ancestors were content with being hunter-gatherers but the influx of foreign interests eventually turned them into impoverished and uneducated peasants.

The bottom line but far too late...do not venture into other people's neighborhoods simply to rip them off and expand religious dogma.

We already had our spiritual beliefs and did not need Mohammed or Jesus to show us the way towards the afterlife.

And we did not need white people to steal and exploit our natural resources (including people).

White Devils is how we describe Western European colonialists and rightfully so.

The Native Americans clearly understand this indictment.


Jeremy Rocha
Registered user
another community
on Jun 20, 2021 at 7:29 pm
Jeremy Rocha, another community
Registered user
on Jun 20, 2021 at 7:29 pm

The White Devils also stole most of the western United States from Mexico (including Texas and California) and then proceeded onwards to Hawaii where they succeeded in destroying another culture.

Historically it's not just white western Europeans but also white Americans involved in these avaricious land grabs.


TimR
Registered user
Downtown North
on Jun 21, 2021 at 8:59 am
TimR, Downtown North
Registered user
on Jun 21, 2021 at 8:59 am

"The White Devils also stole most of the western United States from Mexico ..."

The White Devils and their colonialism created Mexico, so they couldn't also steal it.


Byron Whitaker
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Jun 21, 2021 at 2:33 pm
Byron Whitaker, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Jun 21, 2021 at 2:33 pm

I think the poster was referring to the White Devil proponents of Manefest Destiny...the Americans who began arriving from the Eastern banks of the Mississippi River killing Native Americans and Mexicans along the way.

They weren't satisfied with just the land acquired from the Louisiana Purchase...from sea to shining sea was their mantra.


TimR
Registered user
Downtown North
on Jun 21, 2021 at 5:28 pm
TimR, Downtown North
Registered user
on Jun 21, 2021 at 5:28 pm

Byron Whitaker, how are those White Devils any different than the White Devils who came to the Americas to conqueror, loot, exploit, enslave and convert the Natives to Catholicism?


Alvin Tolliver
Registered user
East Palo Alto
on Jun 21, 2021 at 6:13 pm
Alvin Tolliver, East Palo Alto
Registered user
on Jun 21, 2021 at 6:13 pm

TimR brought up a good point.

Without going back and getting into the Egyptian, Roman, Mongol, English, French, Dutch, German, and Japanese empires/colonies among others...

In Africa, my ancestors were often trying to conquer and subjugate other tribes.

And in Mexico, the Aztecs conquered and brutalized the smaller tribes by killing, sacrificing, or turning them into slaves.

Then came the Spaniards with their lust for gold and they in turn conquered and subjugated the Aztecs in Mexico and the Incas in Peru.

All cultures strive to own more territory while subjugating the conquered. This is the history of mankind and the objectives know no color lines.

America is what is...a lot of good and a lot of bad. Still, countless people from other countries will risk their lives to settle here and to pursue the American Dream (which is fading fast).

As an African American I have experienced my share of racism and it will never fully extinguish itself because while you can legislate equality, you cannot ban or outlaw personal prejudices.

And some black folks are just as racist towards white folks as the KKK is towards black people.

It comes with the territory.


Chanterelle Williams
Registered user
another community
on Jun 21, 2021 at 7:41 pm
Chanterelle Williams, another community
Registered user
on Jun 21, 2021 at 7:41 pm

The sins of the father pass on to ensuing generations and the descendents of white southern slaveowners still have a debt to pay.

And this involves full remuneration (in money or property) to the generations of black descendants who remain in impoverished in part by the white man's greed, exploitation, and venerable racism.

The 40 acres and a mule promised by General Sherman but rescinded by the racist POTUS Andrew Johnson would amount to $400,000.00 at today's currency rate per family of black slaves.

It is time for these great-great-great-great-great grandchildren of white slaveowners to start liquidating their assets and begin paying up. Big time.

Only then can countless African Americans begin to move forward.

BLM


Phil Carmody
Registered user
Barron Park
on Jun 22, 2021 at 8:46 am
Phil Carmody, Barron Park
Registered user
on Jun 22, 2021 at 8:46 am

The Reconstructionists tried their best to punish the south after the Civil War but the 1876 Hayes-Tilden presidential election immediately put an end to it.

BTW...northern whites (especially around Boston) can be just as racist as any southern cracker.


blah
Registered user
another community
on Jun 22, 2021 at 9:06 am
blah, another community
Registered user
on Jun 22, 2021 at 9:06 am

@Phil Carmody, your comment about some Bostonians is so true, and that is why those people are labeled "Massholes", not only for their social views, but also their (lack of) driving skills.


Cameron Rivers
Registered user
another community
on Jun 22, 2021 at 9:59 am
Cameron Rivers, another community
Registered user
on Jun 22, 2021 at 9:59 am

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


Abraham Prosky
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 22, 2021 at 3:52 pm
Abraham Prosky, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Jun 22, 2021 at 3:52 pm

Allegations of anti-Semitism always seem to arise whenever those outside of the faith or ethnicity (i.e Gentiles and Muslims) question or challenge established Jewish perspectives and practices.

And while some (or many) of these allegations may be on point, as Jewish people we often need to look the other way as it is not our responsibility to enlighten the entire global community.

Ignorance is simply a trademark of those who either question and/or challenge the various undertakings and beliefs of God's chosen people.


Monica Preston
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 23, 2021 at 7:40 am
Monica Preston, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Jun 23, 2021 at 7:40 am

If Jewish people are 'God's chosen people' a couple of questions arise...

(1) Why were they exclusively chosen and for what specific global objective or purpose?

(2) And what about the Christians who acknowledge the Holy Trinity (including Christ). Are they to be excluded as 'chosen people' and where do they actually stand in this celestial decision-making process?


Willis Freeman
Registered user
East Palo Alto
on Jun 24, 2021 at 7:04 am
Willis Freeman, East Palo Alto
Registered user
on Jun 24, 2021 at 7:04 am
Johannes Siefert
Registered user
another community
on Jun 24, 2021 at 8:29 am
Johannes Siefert, another community
Registered user
on Jun 24, 2021 at 8:29 am

- Country music is the blues of the average white man.

Hank Williams' "I'm So Lonely I Could Cry" speaks volumes as does countless other country classics like "Crazy" by Willie Nelson/Patsy Cline to name a couple.

For the longest time there was 'black music' and 'white music' until the British blues-rockers bridged the gap.

And as a result, Pat Boone and his likes have since been relegated to pop music insignificance.


Jack Whitaker
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Jun 24, 2021 at 11:43 am
Jack Whitaker, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Jun 24, 2021 at 11:43 am

>>>Pat Boone and his likes have since been relegated to pop music insignificance.

° Pat Boone recorded Little Richard's 'Tutti Fruiti' to make the song more salable to white teen audiences during the mid-1950s. It went on to become a big hit but pales in comparison to the original.

Perhaps he should have also recorded Little Richard's "Good Golly Miss Molly" ('you sure like to ball') as the lyrics probably would have gone over the heads of most white people at the time.


Jason Solomon
Registered user
Stanford
on Jun 30, 2021 at 10:33 am
Jason Solomon, Stanford
Registered user
on Jun 30, 2021 at 10:33 am

This complaint never should have been filed. Here's another perspective.
Web Link


J. Goldberg
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 30, 2021 at 5:19 pm
J. Goldberg, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Jun 30, 2021 at 5:19 pm

Jewish people should never be forced to define themselves by other people's simple-minded ethnic categorizations.

And the same applies to all non-white people.

Let the Gentiles, Philistines and average white man define themselves for who they really are.

Stanford will eventually pay for this indescretion and rightfully so.


Buford Layne
Registered user
Barron Park
on Jul 1, 2021 at 7:37 am
Buford Layne, Barron Park
Registered user
on Jul 1, 2021 at 7:37 am

Most of my Jewish colleagues identify as white and if religious, are Reformed Jews who do not adhere to traditional Orthodox traditions whether it be diet, dress, or Saturday observations.

Assimilation is paramount to blending in with American society.


Ruben Martinez
Registered user
East Palo Alto
on Jul 2, 2021 at 7:58 am
Ruben Martinez, East Palo Alto
Registered user
on Jul 2, 2021 at 7:58 am

Racism only perpetuates itself.

Now Hispanics are being asked to describe themselves as 'white' or 'non-white'.

Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action aside, this is just another ploy by white people to further discriminate based on one's skin color.

And most white people will never learn because they have never been discriminated against...except maybe by those groups who they have either exploited, subjugated, and/or discriminated against over the past centuries.


Benito Munoz
Registered user
another community
on Jul 2, 2021 at 8:01 pm
Benito Munoz, another community
Registered user
on Jul 2, 2021 at 8:01 pm

"Racism only perpetuates itself."

The blue eyes tend to view the world through different lenses.


Percy Andover
Registered user
another community
on Jul 3, 2021 at 8:59 am
Percy Andover, another community
Registered user
on Jul 3, 2021 at 8:59 am

- ...Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action aside,

Questions pertaining to one's ethnicity and sexual leanings should never be asked nor are they anyone else's business.


Tamika Edwards
Registered user
East Palo Alto
on Jul 3, 2021 at 12:41 pm
Tamika Edwards, East Palo Alto
Registered user
on Jul 3, 2021 at 12:41 pm

All things considered, the atypical American white race is a mixed race of various white European ancestries.

People of color including black, Asian, and Hispanics should be proud if their family trees are pure and untainted by white bloodlines.


Byron Johnston
Registered user
Barron Park
on Jul 3, 2021 at 3:23 pm
Byron Johnston, Barron Park
Registered user
on Jul 3, 2021 at 3:23 pm

With online hiring protocols and the removal of race/ethnicity designations, employment discrimination can be easily eliminated.

Simply put, by ending all face-to-face interviews the employers cannot actually see who they are hiring and impart their prejudices if any.


Priscilla Watson
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 3, 2021 at 5:10 pm
Priscilla Watson, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Jul 3, 2021 at 5:10 pm

Expanded telecommuting options could make the standard HR hiring process obsolete.

Apply online.

Interview online.

Work online.

Get paid online.

Get fired/laid-off online.

Apply for unemployment online.

Receive benefits online etc.


The point being, someday we'll never have to leave the house for work or have to dress in a professional manner.

This is the key to reducing CO2 and the impacts of climate change in the USA.


Efren Morales
Registered user
East Palo Alto
on Jul 4, 2021 at 9:26 am
Efren Morales, East Palo Alto
Registered user
on Jul 4, 2021 at 9:26 am

~ Now Hispanics are being asked to describe themselves as 'white' or 'non-white'.

The 'white' Mexicans tend to look down on the 'brown' Mexicans of mixed Mexican and Indian heritage.

Being white is synonymous with racism.


Wyatt Cross
Registered user
Stanford
on Jul 4, 2021 at 1:56 pm
Wyatt Cross, Stanford
Registered user
on Jul 4, 2021 at 1:56 pm

>>Being white is synonymous with racism.

Colonialism predicated on ethnocentrism can also be considered racist BUT...

Where would Africa, Latin America and the continent of Australia be today if various western (aka white) interests had not developed (aka exploited) their respective regions in search of raw materials to fuel the Industrial Revolution and present day modern technologies?

Could an Industrial Revolution have been initiated by the primitive people (primarily hunter-gatherers and later agrarian peasants) who resided in these areas? Highly unlikely.

The white western world brought many indigenous people into the modern world and for that they should be grateful.


Miriam Bleeker
Registered user
Barron Park
on Jul 4, 2021 at 4:05 pm
Miriam Bleeker, Barron Park
Registered user
on Jul 4, 2021 at 4:05 pm

At the risk of being called a racist, some of these former colonies were better off being under the jurisdiction of a foreign entity because they are seemingly incapable of managing their independent countries with any sense of stability.

Regional warlords, corrupt public officials, and aspiring military junta leaders all add to the mix and the people there are no better off one way or the other.

Though today is Independence Day in America, for many 3rd world developing countries their independence remains a curse.

Otherwise we wouldn't have so many of their inhabitants making a run for the U.S. border.


Gabriella Watson
Registered user
Southgate
on Jul 4, 2021 at 8:20 pm
Gabriella Watson, Southgate
Registered user
on Jul 4, 2021 at 8:20 pm

If a country like Afghanistan (or a former colony and now independent nation in Africa) opts to remain ignorant and backwards shouldn't that be their choice?

America should not be imposing their political and economic sphere of influence on these simpletons and neither should China or Russia.

Just live and let live as everyone evolves at their own pace.


Biff Towers
Registered user
Barron Park
on Jul 5, 2021 at 7:23 am
Biff Towers, Barron Park
Registered user
on Jul 5, 2021 at 7:23 am

> "America should not be imposing their political and economic sphere of influence on these simpletons and neither should China or Russia."

Concurring.

The internal American agenda takes precedence over the what goes on in other countries.

If you had a house in need of serious repairs, would you curtail that project to stop and fix your neighbor's rundown fixer-upper?

If other countries want to fight among themselves and perpetuate cultural or political practices abhorrent to American mindsets, let them...as in who cares?

We've got our own home repairs to contend with and American taxpayer money is better spent here rather than abroad.


Bethany Taylor
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 5, 2021 at 8:47 am
Bethany Taylor, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Jul 5, 2021 at 8:47 am
Herschel Green
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 5, 2021 at 9:49 am
Herschel Green, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Jul 5, 2021 at 9:49 am

This Stanford lawsuit perplexes me because many non-practicing Jewish people prefer to be identified as white in order to avoid further prejudice and discrimination.


Julie Romano
Registered user
Professorville
on Jul 5, 2021 at 1:02 pm
Julie Romano, Professorville
Registered user
on Jul 5, 2021 at 1:02 pm

Being born white is easier than any other non-white ethnicity on Earth because economic and social opportunities are more readily available especially in the western world where the whites are still in control of everything.


Alan Whitmire
Registered user
Barron Park
on Jul 5, 2021 at 1:34 pm
Alan Whitmire, Barron Park
Registered user
on Jul 5, 2021 at 1:34 pm

Nearly EVERYONE in America wants to present themselves as white in one respect or another...from countless non-white job-seekers to major network (primarily female) Hispanic news anchors and reporters.

That's just the way it is so why fight it?


Steve Dabrowski
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 5, 2021 at 4:05 pm
Steve Dabrowski, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Jul 5, 2021 at 4:05 pm

Chanterelle Williams made a pretty strong comment regarding the ability of countless Black Americans to move forward. They just need to be provided with about a half million dollars each. I believe this would be a very counter-productive policy. It would enshrine Blacks as a group that could not make it on their own. Racial prejudice would rise dramatically should such a policy be enacted.

Few would be proud of having to be considered such victims as to need this in order to succeed and improve their lots. I'm sure there are members of many communities of all races who have suffered significant injustice, few have stated that they have to be paid back in order to make it in life. Take the Jews who were the subject of this article, few communities suffered any single act of persecution as they in Europe during the 30's and 40's. They managed to survive and create a homeland and then some. The Chinese building the Central Pacific railroad were poorly paid and scores died in its construction and were persecuted throughout the 19th and twentieth century, but they overcome and survive and prosper by placing emphasis on education and hard work. I have not heard of them demanding their back pay in order to make it in our society.

What we owe our fellow citizens is a good faith effort to provide equal opportunity to make it based on merit, not cash payments for wrongs done two centuries ago. As Obama said, the over arching trajectory in history is toward justice, even if it is slow.


Robert Ortiz
Registered user
another community
on Jul 6, 2021 at 8:08 am
Robert Ortiz, another community
Registered user
on Jul 6, 2021 at 8:08 am

@Steve Dabrowski

You brought up some very valid points and I personally agree with you BUT...

If Chanterelle's suggestion of remunerating $400K to all black descendents of African slaves were fulfilled, wouldn't this pay-out put an end to most of the debate regarding lost economic opportunities?

In other words, here's $400K...now go and be successful.

While the payments would never erase history, the Germans have paid out billions of dollars to Jewish families and individuals in an effort to move forward.


Reality Bytes
Registered user
Stanford
on Jul 6, 2021 at 11:43 am
Reality Bytes, Stanford
Registered user
on Jul 6, 2021 at 11:43 am
Van Cook
Registered user
another community
on Jul 6, 2021 at 4:06 pm
Van Cook, another community
Registered user
on Jul 6, 2021 at 4:06 pm
Steve Dabrowski
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 6, 2021 at 6:12 pm
Steve Dabrowski, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Jul 6, 2021 at 6:12 pm

I do not believe that a payment of $400K as suggested will result in any lasting benefit for the recipients. I see these demands as admission and further reinforcement of the idea of Blacks being victims. Chanterelle states that countless Blacks cannot improve their lot without these payments-well to that I say nonsense!.

Focusing on victimization as a reason for failure rather than focusing on what actions can bring success is counter productive. A person who accepts "victimization" as an excuse for failure, even if justified to some degree, is likely to continue to experience failure.

Slavery is such a complicated evil-captured by other tribes and often marched hundreds of miles to points of sale on the African coast, purchased and transported by traders of many nationalities, resold in many areas of the world with final ownership and treatment being only a piece of the puzzle it is hardly reasonable that only one segment of this evil be held responsible for any restitution. Multinational entities should bear responsibility should such action be accomplished.

For example San Francisco is thinking of doing reparations-how does that work, California and San Francisco had no part in slavery, it is all just a little intellectual game played by people who hope to capitalize on the issue politically. No good faith effort here, just throw some money at them so they will go away.

Typical!!


S. Underwood
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Jul 6, 2021 at 10:39 pm
S. Underwood, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Jul 6, 2021 at 10:39 pm

Are you all chatbot trolls? :)

I do really suspect that we have a couple of well-meaning and highly intelligent retirees writing thoughtful responses to Russian troll-bots aimed at sowing division in American politics. As if anyone commenting here is really in favor of giving a half million dollars each to folks with some portion of their family tree who were enslaved... and pitting Jews versus African Americans versus Asians in some oppression Olympics.


Phyliss Johnston
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Jul 7, 2021 at 7:54 am
Phyliss Johnston, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Jul 7, 2021 at 7:54 am
Ira Weisman
Registered user
Stanford
on Jul 7, 2021 at 10:11 am
Ira Weisman, Stanford
Registered user
on Jul 7, 2021 at 10:11 am

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names.]


Kevin Lee
Registered user
Stanford
on Jul 7, 2021 at 2:59 pm
Kevin Lee, Stanford
Registered user
on Jul 7, 2021 at 2:59 pm
Fletcher James
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2021 at 4:38 pm
Fletcher James, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Jul 7, 2021 at 4:38 pm
Shamika Smith
Registered user
East Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2021 at 8:22 pm
Shamika Smith, East Palo Alto
Registered user
on Jul 7, 2021 at 8:22 pm
Raul Mendoza
Registered user
Stanford
on Jul 8, 2021 at 7:43 am
Raul Mendoza, Stanford
Registered user
on Jul 8, 2021 at 7:43 am

Conservatives as a rule tend to be disregard racism as a key factor in social and economic conflicts.

The Hoover Institute at Stanford is a bastion of this particular mindset.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Post a comment

In order to encourage respectful and thoughtful discussion, commenting on stories is available to those who are registered users. If you are already a registered user and the commenting form is not below, you need to log in. If you are not registered, you can do so here.

Please make sure your comments are truthful, on-topic and do not disrespect another poster. Don't be snarky or belittling. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

See our announcement about requiring registration for commenting.