Editor, Daily Nexus,
The evening of Wednesday, Jan. 24, I attended a screening of the film “Channels of Rage” at the MultiCultural Center Theater. This film is a documentary about the Israeli hip hop superstar Subliminal and his Palestinian friend and fellow hip-hop artist, Tamer. The film contains lots of footage of hip hop concerts and is more a collage of newsertainment than a political or historical piece.
I enjoyed the film itself. I was shocked and appalled by the mediated discussion that took place afterward. Obviously the subject has an inherent political charge. Obviously a frank exchange of views between pro-Israel and anti-Israel students was unavoidable. However, the discussion devolved into overtly anti-Semitic comments, which is unacceptable. A self-proclaimed Palestinian student stood up and said that the Palestinians are living under conditions exactly like conditions in Nazi concentration camps.
This remark was the verbal equivalent of spray painting a swastika on my door. This remark was hate speech. Yet the MCC moderators made absolutely no attempt to silence the student who said it.
It is cheap, easy rhetoric to compare any politics one dislikes to fascism, to compare any humanitarian crisis to the concentration camps. It’s just that by doing so, one is belittling the unspeakable horrors of the Holocaust, and chipping away at the power of the language used to describe them.
The MCC is supposed to be a bastion of tolerance, the most hate-free zone on campus. I am shocked and appalled to report that hate speech was spoken and tolerated in the MCC Theater, at an MCC event. As a UCSB student, I was ashamed of my university. As the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, I ran out of the room in tears.