Schraub noted that the first claim does not appear in the curriculum, and the second discusses how “the ‘conditional’ whiteness of certain Jews in certain contexts is always revocable, particularly when Jews refuse to assimilate or insist on maintaining ourselves as a distinctive people.”
Schraub also noted that the only quote the article ostensibly offered from the third draft – “The Jews have filled the air with their cries and lamentations in an effort to raise funds and American Jews, as is well known, are the richest in the world” – is found neither in the body of the curriculum nor in its footnotes or elsewhere. . . .
Speaking to Haaretz, Schraub says . . . “It’s a very long read. The vast majority of the Jewish community is going to be relying on our media to summarize and be forthright about what’s in it.”
He adds, “It’s a serious problem when these basic elements of journalistic integrity aren’t put into practice.” . . .
Benedek’s article stated that antisemitism does not warrant a mention in the curriculum. However, while that is true of the original draft, antisemitism is not just mentioned but taught [about] in the third version. It is notable, Schraub says, that the Tablet article links to the first but not the current draft.
. . . Benedek points to other issues with the drafts, but notes that, at its core, her objection is to the curriculum being based on critical race theory rather than any specific details.
Critical race theory, as defined by Encyclopedia Britannica, is “the view that the law and legal institutions are inherently racist and that race itself, instead of being biologically grounded and natural, is a socially constructed concept that is used by white people to further their economic and political interests at the expense of people of color.” . . .
Schraub says . . . “Part of what’s happening here is that many of the commentators on this issue really don’t know what it is, and are treating it less as an actual concept and more as a catchphrase for left, identity-based politics that are scary or go too far.”
He adds, “It’s entirely possible to incorporate critical race theory perspectives into an ethnic studies curriculum in a way that not only doesn’t discriminate against Jews, but is in fact more inclusive of Jews and provides a more robust and more compelling articulation of contemporary antisemitism in America.”
Schraub explains that critical race theory tackles the issue of oppression that comes from people who would never consider themselves racist, or antisemitism from people who consider themselves friends or even champions of the Jewish people. It asks, he says, “How do we have racism without racists? How do we have antisemitism when everyone’s denying that they’re an antisemite?”
Schraub says it also gives explanations as to how Jews could have attended an all-white school in the segregated South while being the primary enemy of white supremacist groups. The theory, with its questions and understanding about what race is, recognizes that social perceptions of race can shift depending on the era, the circumstance and the location. This can help non-Jewish students, he notes, who do not understand how light-skinned Jewish people could face racialized oppression. . . .
David Schraub expressed satisfaction in his Feb. 8th blog post on how this issue has progressed:
It has been striking to see over the past week just how decisively the mainstream Jewish community has rallied against attacks from the communal right on the Ethnic Studies curriculum. Tye Gregory of the San Francisco JCRC had an early editorial out defending the latest draft. It was swiftly followed by columns by Sarah Levin of JIMENA, Hen Mazzig, and JPAC, all blasting the “misinformation” and “misrepresentations” being promulgated about the curriculum. A huge coalition of Jewish establishment heavyweights — the ADL, AJC, Holocaust Museum, even StandWithUs — released a united statement urging support for the Ethnic Studies curriculum and condemning bad faith attacks.