Columbia University was forced to try a do-over statement for its failed response to the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting after taking criticism because the first statement didn’t even mention Jews or anti-Semitism.
The New York-based university’s first statement spoke about its “sadness” over the “senseless violence” in the attack and noted that the school would “stand strongly against these efforts to create fear and terror.”
But instead of mentioning the actual victims of the crime, the statement went on to push a lot of hot button, left-wing issues:
For some in our community, this is a particularly frightening time as we have seen a growing number of highly visible attacks directed at faith and identity – on worshippers and people of faith as they go through their daily lives, on groups gathered to celebrate an LGBT Latin night at Pulse Nightclub, on civil rights and anti-racist protesters in the streets of Charlottesville, and in so many other places, as occurred in last Wednesday’s shooting of two African-American shoppers in Kentucky. Please know that you are not alone, and that you are a part of this community founded on the fundamental dignity and worth of all.
But according to the Jewish Journal, some former students of the school were outraged that the school mentioned every left-wing victim group except Jews and the anti-Semitism they face.
Zachary Neugut, a Columbia alumnus, tweeted on Oct. 28 that he was “embarrassed” by the university’s email.
“Classic @Columbia to send an email about the #TreeOfLifeSynagogue shooting and mention anti-LGBT and anti-black hatred but NOT ANTI-SEMITISM,” Neugut wrote. “The world has gone mad, I’m embarrassed today to call myself an alumnus & regret having donated to @CC_Columbia this year. #Columbia”
Classic @Columbia to send an email about the #TreeOfLifeSynagogue shooting and mention anti-LGBT and anti-black hatred but NOT ANTI-SEMITISM. The world has gone mad , I'm embarrassed today to call myself an alumnus & regret having donated to @CC_Columbia this year. #Columbia
— Zachary Neugut (@ZacharyNeugut) October 29, 2018
Thanks to Neugut’s complaint, the school revised its statement.
Now the school is saying the following:
“We are deeply saddened by the horrific anti-Semitic attack on Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue on Saturday morning. Violence in our nation’s houses of worship is an affront to the freedoms our community holds dear. We stand strongly against yesterday’s violent attack on the Jewish community and against other efforts to create fear and terror.”
Neugut was happy for the updated statement, but still noted, “They shouldn’t make this mistake in the first place and their new statement is barely better. Conflating anti-Semitism with other hatreds is idiotic.”
Neugut criticized the school — and entirely properly — for shoehorning in all those other liberal grievance groups into its statement while ignoring the actual victims.
“Instead of taking an intersectional approach which dilutes the focus from Jewish oppression immediately after the worst anti-Semitic attack in American history, the focus should be on anti-Semitism,” he said.
Once again we see that our system of miseducation is filled with moral cowards.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.
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