In the Safe Spaces on Campus, No Jews Allowed, by Anthony Berteaux

When Arielle Mokhtarzadeh and Ben Rosenberg arrived at University of California, Berkeley on November 6 to attend the annual Students of Color Conference, they had no way of knowing that they would be leaving as victims of anti-Semitism.

The University of California Student Association’s “oldest and largest conference,” the Students of Color Conference (SOCC) has maintained a reputation for 27 years as being a “safe space” where students of color, as well as white progressive allies, can address and discuss issues of structural and cultural inequality on college campuses. Students who attend are encouraged to be cognizant of their language while exploring topics that directly affect students from marginalized communities: the school-to-prison pipeline, sexual violence, decreased funding to ethnic and LGBT studies departments, racially insensitive speech, and perhaps most importantly, a “disquieting trend” of hate crimes on university campuses statewide.

It was this disquieting, yet growing, trend of hate speech and crimes directed towards Jewish students within the UC system that spurred Mokhtarzadeh and Rosenberg, both Jewish sophomores at UCLA, to attend the conference. Their freshman year was punctuated by incidents of anti-Semitism that were both personal and met with national controversy. They were shocked during their first quarter in school, when students entered the Bruin Cafe to see the phrase “Hitler did nothing wrong” etched into a table. Months later, Mokhtarzadeh’s friend, Rachel Beyda, was temporarily denied a student government leadership position based solely on her Jewish identity, an event that made news nationwide. Throughout the year, they saw the school’s pro-Palestinian group, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), issue criticism of Israel that overstepped into anti-Semitic rhetoric and hate. The campus was supposed to be their new home, their new safe space—so why didn’t they feel that way?

At the conference, progressive students and students of color—often themselves targets of hate, bigotry, and discrimination—were propagators of ancient hatreds against the Jewish people.

Mokhtarzadeh applied to the Students of Color Conference with the hope “of learning more about the experiences of communities of color at the UC… [and] sharing with those communities the experience of my own,” she told me. As an Iranian Jew, she believed her identity as both a religious and ethnic minority granted her a place to belong and thrive at the SOCC. Rosenberg (who requested a pseudonym so that he could speak freely about campus issues without fear of potential retaliation) said that growing up in the Bay Area had taught him to be an active member of social justice movements and progressive communities. “I was always encouraged to take initiative on issues and movements that didn’t directly affect me,” he said. “I wanted to learn more about the struggles that my fellow students were going through.”

But their experiences as Jewish students at the SOCC would soon inspire a rude awakening: the campus progressives who were fighting for justice on college campuses for students of color weren’t only ignoring anti-Semitism and attacks on Jewish identity—they were sometimes the ones perpetuating it.

This was quickly made clear on the first day at a session called “Existence is Resistance,” hosted by leaders of UC San Diego’s SJP chapter. Students discussed the boycott of Israel as an issue of urgency for students of color. Rosenberg and Mokhtarzadeh told me that they originally had no intention to engage in dialogue about Israel at the conference, but they were horrified at how attacks on Israel soon devolved into attacks on the Jews. “The session went way beyond the boundaries of what was appropriate or truthful at the SOCC,” Rosenberg recalled.

For example, they said that Israel was poisoning the water that they sell into the West Bank, and raising the price by ten times. Any sane person knows that this is not true. They also said that when Jewish-American students go on Birthright trips, the Israeli government offers you money to live on a settlement. A number of things like that.

Rosenberg also stated that “There was also no mention of the Holocaust when talking about the history of Israel. They said that in the late 19th century, Jews decided to move into this land and take over it. They completely white-washed our history as a people.”

Mokhtarzadeh was also horrified by the rhetoric used during the session.

Over the course of what was probably no longer than an hour, my history was denied, the murder of my people was justified, and a movement whose sole purpose is the destruction of the Jewish homeland was glorified. Statements were made justifying the ruthless murder of innocent Israeli civilians, blatantly denying Jewish indigeneity in the land, and denying the Holocaust in which six million Jews were murdered. Why anyone in their right mind would accept these slanders as truths baffles me. But they did. These statements, and others, were met with endless snaps and cheers. I was taken aback.

At a conference facilitated by peers who they believed were fighting the righteous battle against racist speech and hate crimes, Mokhtarzadeh and Rosenberg heard anti-Semitic statements that were met with applause and approval—statements like “the state of Israel pays Jews to move to Israel to join the army and kill Palestinians” and even “you shouldn’t buy Ben and Jerry’s because they’re Jewish and have a shop in Israel.” But perhaps the most painful, and upsetting portion of SJP’s presentation was the section called “Intifada: Peaceful Uprising.”

I just got off the phone with a professor from Fordham University and I’ve been accepted to their English Doctoral program for this coming fall, with full funding! I’m shocked and elated because they’re only expecting a cohort of seven this year. I still have four programs to hear from but I’m just so excited that I’m going somewhere officially!

kelofmindelan asked:

To the anon who was asking about the imposter syndrome, my mom actually talked about feeling the same thing through her entire PhD program. It was only years later that she realized everyone else in her program felt the exact same way. So even if they're feeling really nervous, probably everyone else in their program feels the same. And the academics that they are working with can probably relate.

Thanks for the input!

I am going all-out Ivy League for this Princeton Seminary trip. We’re talking boat-neck knits and dress flats, we’re talking gold jewelry and a matching watch, we’re talking velvet blazers and cream colored sweaters, we’re talking white diamonds perfume and nude nails.

My wardrobe has been training it’s whole life for this day.

I just read some Judith Butler out loud to my husband and he had NO idea what I was saying. As much as I do enjoy reading Butler she represents a lot of the problems with academic writing.

I understand that not all books and papers can cater to the laymen, sometimes prior knowledge is simply required for context.

But there is still a great amount of work that is written BY academics FOR academics and I think that is a little tragic.
Books and papers should have a level lf accessibility that isn’t hindered by a lack of not having a thesaurus for a brain. Your writing should not be so dense, when you are talking about social issues, that the very people you speak of can’t understand your work.

If you have something important to say then it is imperative that you work hard on making sure that people are ABLE to hear it.

I used to be the Queen of Procrastination, but there’s reason + ways I’ve overcome my problem. 

  • Do assignments when they’re given to you. Easy said than done, right? Wrong! It’s such a simple process, that a lot of us make such a big deal out of, just because we are lazy. When a teacher assigns work, do it that day. If it doesn’t require a lot of steps such as an essay, then you have no excuse to not finish it when it’s given to you.

- side note: I do my work as soon as I get home. I can’t study in a library because it’s too quiet for me. Honestly I’m able to get all of my work done in my room, on my bed. If you have enough discipline, you can keep yourself from trying to fall asleep. If you honestly can’t do this, then instead of heading back to your room, stay on campus and go to the library after class, or find a cafe. 

  • Get your priorities straight. You’re in school and there to get a better education so you can help make a difference in this world with efficient knowledge. Especially if you’re in college, why waste money when you’re not even going to do your work? These are the questions you seriously need to start asking yourself.
  • Your GPA only affects YOU. I know a lot of people say a GPA doesn’t define their worth, but in college…it does. We need to stop looking at everything with roses in our face. If you were so set out on not caring about your GPA, then you shouldn’t be in school in the first place. This life is very challenging and someone’s always going to outshine you. Procrastinating on work, is like procrastinating on life. You’re showing that you’re okay with someone showing you up.
  • Stop making excuses. You have NO excuse for not having work done. Unless you have a death in the family, seriously get injured, or having a form of disability that counteracts with your learning…you need to stop letting yourself down. I know a lot of people who suffer from serious anxiety and other situations, but still get their work done. I don’t want to hear your excuse & your teacher might not care tbh. 

- side note: breaking this habit early will definitely help you improve in the future. Procrastination can spread to your field of work also, and that’s when you’ll get fired from your job. Building discipline is very essential.

  • Nipping procrastination in the bud gives you more free-time. Have you had to cancel plans because you decided to do your work last minute? Well guess what, you’re stopping yourself from being able to also enjoy life. If you get your work done now, you can play later.
  • Write out your goals. Put your goals in your face, I have mine on a chalk board in my room. Write down what you want to achieve in life/school. When you physically see your goals, it will motivate you more. 
  • Work with a study group. I always stress having a study group in my posts because it honestly is what helped me the most. Have some friends, and work together. Literally, your whole perspective on work will change if the group is effective and you’ll all actually doing work.
  • Get off of Tumblr. Stop trying to focus your attention on social media, and other distractions. If you start allowing yourself to actually focus, you’ll enjoy doing your work more.

- side note: You’ll realize your grades will start to improve. Good grades help us strive even further in doing our work on time. I’m always ready to turn work in and find out my grade. This concept has helped me get over my severe laziness. 

I hope these tips help you all, and remember…continue being STUDIOUS! feel free to message me anytime for more advice and helpful tips!! - xoxo Domi :*

Hello everyone! To celebrate this blog reaching 100 followers (wow!) I decided to provide, to anyone who is interested, a masterpost full of resources for learning Mandarin Chinese! Two years ago, I walked in to my CHI 101 class with zero knowledge of the language, and four semesters later, I am able to read, write, and hold a conversation in Mandarin! In this masterpost, I will provide all the resources and techniques I learned in my university classes that helped me learn Mandarin, as well a free PDF copy of the textbook I used for my CHI 101 and CHI 102 class!  [original gif by: bigblueboo]

Keep reading

[ 23.1.16 ] “there is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs” 

i’m starting to feel that all my pictures look the same hAhhaha forgive me everyone! i don’t change it up that often oops. went for my first tuition in 3 years for chemistry and now i’m back home resisting the urge to sleep in the cozy gloomy weather  ⛈ (keep suggesting masterpost ideas peeps i love to hear from yall) 

There is no way we can hermetically seal the past in our current moment. The medieval past is already queer time; medieval time has become part of our queer now. Homonationalism now means medieval scholars must address how our historical fields are being used to uphold white supremacy and military machines.

This is not the time to scold the public for not being medieval historians; rather, this is the time to educate the public about the medieval past. If medievalists think that they can escape this fact or imagine that their work is not political and/or not going to be used in contemporary war machines, then medievalists must consider what privilege they have to dodge this? The idea that this can be separated away from the current now is a privilege of whiteness, a privilege of heteropatriarchy.

Homonationalism now means that medieval studies is and always will be political. Flavia Dzodan wrote the oft repeated phrase that “my feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit.” I would like to end this by saying that this should be repeated in our field—“my medieval studies will be intersectional or it will be bullshit.

Are you preparing to go to college? Well let me guide you in the right direction of the ‘Best School Supplies for College Students’ hand guide. 

  • A sturdy backpack. Your backpack is major key in college. Your backpack needs to have enough padding so that your back and shoulders don’t hurt, a nice laptop sleeve so that you can haul your laptop around when needed, and a lot of compartments to fit all of your bits and bops in. I know you want a cute tote, but that’s literally going to either break or injure your shoulder sooner or later.
  • Water bottles are essential. You’re going to get thirsty during lecture. No doubt. Are you too nervous to get up in front of class for a sip of water? Then bring a bottle. This is handy so you don’t have to get up, miss some important info, and disturb your fellow classmates or professor.
  • Pepper Spray! I’m serious, I keep some on me as well. Make sure your local campus police approves of the kind you’re carrying first, but always keep it on you. You can never be too sure.
  • A pencil case. It doesn’t matter how fancy it is, you can even use a makeup bag for all I are (I did that for a long time), just get something to store all of your school supplies.
  • Legal pads. These are very handy for taking quick notes in class. You shouldn’t be trying to make your notes pretty during lecture. Instead, you should be paying attention to vital information, and jotting it down. Date each paper and make a heading so you can remember which class it was for.
  • Pens, Pencils, Correction Fluid, Post-it notes, Paper clips, Mini Stapler,etc. These all go in your pencil case. You’re going to need all of these at one point in time.
  • A Planner. Now THIS IS NOT MANDATORY!! In fact, I don’t use one, and I’m doing just fine. I use a method where I pin all of my syllabi on a cork board and scratch off each assignment once I’m done, and I track each day w. it. But if you want to spend the money, go ahead. Just remember many studyblrs have tons of free printables (you don’t need a fancy planner to fit in ok…)
  • Notebooks. I used to loooove me some 3-ring binders, but let me tell you something. You will put a paper that doesn’t belong in one binder in another. You will have papers flying everything, and you will accidentally take the wrong binder even if you made a cute cover w. the class name on it. I use a notebook w. 5 subjects, dividers w. flaps on each side, and a place where I can label which class. I’m telling you it’s much easier. But if you want your binders, and want to haul more weight on your back then be my guest. Or you can have 1 notebook for each class.
  • 1 Folder. You don’t need a folder for each class. Separate your two sides as work that needs to be turned in, and graded work. Take that folder with you every day, and that’s where you can put in papers, hw, or etc that the professor might hand out.
  • Your text books. Yeah that’s a given…w.o that idk what you’re doing, fam.
  • A cheap little ruler. Want to make Cornell-note layouts on all of your paper? Get a ruler. So much easier than wasting ink printing out layouts when you can do it yourself (ink is NOT cheap my friends)
  • Your laptop. Again, not that essential. But, the Library is going to get crowded during Midterms and Finals week so most likely you won’t find an open computer to use. Save yourself the trouble and bring your own. Idc if you have a fancy MAC or w.e a long as you can type and see the screen, don’t worry.
  • Gum, Breath Mints, Sanitizer, Tissues, Cough Drops. You just never know, you’ll thank me later when you have to whip one of these out in class. Especially when you’re hungry and still have 45 mins left of your lecture. Or when your nose starts dripping, but you need to pay attention. 
  • All of your syllabi. Keep them handy on you unless you use my cork board method. 
  • An extra pack of filler paper. Just in case you have to turn in a pop quiz and you don’t wan to rip it out of your notebook. Keep this paper in that folder I told you to have every day. If you have prongs in the folder then secure the paper there.
  • A graphing Calculator. You’re going to need it for any math or physics class, most popular is the TI-84. They’re not cheap, but you will need it.

That’s basically all I carry with me, and I don’t seem to have any problems, especially not any back problems. Hope it helps you all! Good luck, xox - Domi


[ 21.1.16“Life doesn’t require that we be the best, only that we try our best” 

doing my mountain high load of homework + my cute new aloe vera! i’m hoping to survive tomorrow because its gonna be a extremely tiring day 😨 hope everyone is doing well! (also drop me some masterpost ideas you would like to see from me maybe?? im thinking about making one sOon?? hahahah 🌻) 

To be bisexual is to find yourself constantly forced into an ontological crisis. Scientific studies on gay people assume they exist while we are still subjects of studies questioning or outright denying our existence. Endless debates about labels that assume that there is something inherently wrong with the word bisexual.
Health outcomes for bisexuals are worse than they are for gay or straight. One of the reasons is that we are prohibited access to queer community – and bisexuals were instrumental in moderns queer community.
Stonewall was a trans *and bi* revolt. Gay and straight people told us to shut up and sit down then, and they are still doing it today.
—  Patrick Richards Fink