This is an old problem with a critical new urgency in the age of critical race theory.
Jews may be the target of a disproportionate amount of hate crimes, but they’re not an official minority. As critical race theory rolls out in organizations, people are pressured into joining segregated groupings. Official minorities go to minority Oppressed Victim caucuses, while designated white people go to the White People are Evil Oppressors and Must Apologize Every Day for Their Existence caucuses.
And that means the descendants of Holocaust survivors being told they’re guilty of white supremacy.
Dr. Ronald Albucher, a psychiatrist and associate professor in the medical school, and Sheila Levin, a therapist specializing in eating disorders, describe being pressed into joining a “whiteness” affinity group by staffers with the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion program, being told they were “privileged,” and seeing antisemitic incidents downplayed.
The university responded inadequately to their concerns, made over the course of a year, Albucher and Levin say, thereby fostering a “hostile and unwelcoming environment” for Jewish employees working for Stanford’s Counseling and Psychological Services office (CAPS).
The justice of their case is pretty clear whether it will lead to any meaningful response in the era of critical race theory and under the Biden regime is another matter altogether.
The trouble began in November 2019, Albucher and Levin say, when CAPS employees were asked to join weekly seminars run by the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion program within the clinic, formed earlier that year.
The seminars predictably began with Robin DiAngelo and concluded with segregated groups.
Before their first meeting, CAPS staff were asked to read “White Fragility,” the 2018 New York Times bestseller by Robin DiAngelo. Albucher said the assignment did not appeal to him as an introduction to DEI training because it is deeply pessimistic about race relations in the U.S., and it argues that all white people are fragile on race issues, no matter what.
When he expressed that view, according to the complaint, “several CAPS co-workers verbally harassed and intimidated” him.
That’s how struggle sessions begin.
To discuss “White Fragility,” the complaint says, DEI members split up CAPS staff by race, facilitating “space for white staff” to “process [their] reaction” to it. The group was later named the “Whiteness Accountability group/book club.”
First you join a ‘white’ group, then the group is defined as guilty and forced to engage in accountability.
“No affinity group was ever created for members of Jewish ancestral identity,” it continues. “As a result, there was no ‘space’ in the DEI program for Dr. Albucher and Ms. Levin to safely express their lived Jewish experience.”
Albucher said he was deeply uncomfortable with the discussion groups reserved for white people and refused to join them, although he continued to attend DEI seminars.
“As a gay Jewish man, I have have my own perceptions on white supremacy, and the history of this country,” he said. “My family has had to contend with white supremacy,” he said, adding that he has family members who died in the Holocaust.
Levin also did not want to join the whites-only group, telling a DEI member that “as a Jewish person, she does not feel an affinity with white identity,” according to the complaint. She said the individual responded that “this was the direction the clinic was going” and she needed to participate if she “wanted to be part of a collegial environment.”
You must join our segregated group if you want to work on campus. Critical race theory quickly morphed into straightforward antisemitism.
DEI committee members “justified the omission of anti-Semitism,” the complaint says, “by insisting that unlike other minority groups, Jews can hide behind their white identity.” During the meeting, Albucher and Levin say they were “subjected to anti-Jewish stereotypes,” such as that Jews are “wealthy and powerful business owners.”
On May 30, 2020, Levin emailed a DEI leader asking how she could support the program. According to the complaint, the person responded that “as a Jewish, White cis woman you have immense power and privilege. It is important to understand how you are a part of the systemic racism and oppression that takes place in this country.”
On June 24, 2020, the complaint alleges that during a seminar that Levin attended, participants “lamented that the group was comprised of privileged people,” specifically “white, pass for white and Jewish people.”
There was also plenty of intersectionality between antisemitism and anti-Israel.
On Jan. 8 of this year, the complaint alleges, Levin was again subjected to a hostile environment when, during a seminar for psychology students – prospective CAPS interns – a DEI program facilitator said the program would “explore how Jews are connected to white supremacy and will address anti-Semitism.” Another DEI representative said she “takes an anti-Zionist approach to social justice.”
The kicker goes well beyond what’s happening here. These tactics create paradigms that affect people far beyond those at Stanford.
Albucher said it concerned him that it appeared politics were being infused into health care.
“How are they going to work clinically with Jewish students? We need to be improving our skills within the mental health field,” he said. “It’s clear these people will put politics ahead of science.”
That’s the whole point.