One doesn’t often hear about the College Democrats of America (CDA) unless they’re protesting some alleged microaggression on campus, but apparently the organization is in disarray.
The organization is “in turmoil,” according to Politico, which reported that the “group’s leaders are publicly firing off accusations of anti-Blackness, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism at each other” largely based on things they tweeted when they were younger teens – years before college.
“Impeachment proceedings are now in the works against the organization’s new vice president, Nourhan Mesbah, who is Muslim. College Democrats say that screenshots of tweets that their peers sent in adolescence spread rapidly through group texts, which already caused a student running for president of the group to withdraw their candidacy in September. And national advocacy groups for Muslim and Jewish Americans are now weighing in with criticism,” Politico continued.
A Democrat familiar with discussions within the Democratic National Committee (DNC), told the outlet that the national Democrat organization is considering disaffiliation with the CDA and instead partnering with the state groups that fall under the national college organization. As Politico reported, CDC members insisted the internal strife was part of a necessary dismantling of systemic racism, but other Democratic officials told the outlet it looks like a bunch of woke kids playing politics in a destructive way.
“They are caught up in their own drama and playing ‘Boys State’ government,” the Democrat official told Politico. “They think they’re the hottest s— on Earth.”
The unraveling began in September after a 2014 tweet from former CDA vice president Tasneem Ahmad Al-Michael, a Muslim, caused him to abruptly withdraw from running for president. The tweet allegedly included a racial slur and was posted when Al-Michael was 15.
“What I said as a 15 year old prior to being in politics was ignorant, inappropriate, and flat out wrong,” he told Politico. “It doesn’t define me, my character, or invalidate the work that I continue to do.”
Mesbah was running for vice president at the time, and narrowly won after a 2016 tweet she had written using an anti-semitic slur was revealed the night before the election. Mesbah was 13 when she wrote the tweet while watching a presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. She blamed the debate on the “yahood,” which Politico noted was an Arabic word sometimes used as an anti-Semitic slur. To make matters worse, Mesbah also tagged a user who had a history of writing anti-Semitic tweets.
After winning, Mesbah consulted with the DNC on releasing a statement, which contained no apology in the initial draft. After many edits, it still didn’t contain an actual apology, but rather shifted blame for her actions: “I apologize for my words in 2016. My comment was in no way rooted in malice or anti-semitism, especially as a 13-year old, relatively new immigrant from North Africa, with a different regional dialectic linguist comprehension.”
She also said, “while I take responsibility for my actions, I am hurt by the Islamophobia and xenophobia that continues to unfold.”
The CDA board then passed a resolution to censure Mesbah and require her to “undergo training about antisemitism and cultural sensitivity from the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, or the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.”
She has yet to take that training.
Last week, the person who took over Mesbah’s former role as the CDA’s director of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA), Jeremy Ward, released a report calling for Mesbah to resign, insisting that her tweet was anti-Semitic and that there was no basis for her claims of Islamophobia. Ward’s report also accused Mesbah of exhibiting “a pattern of discrimination against members of the black community, specifically black women,” but it didn’t include examples, claiming that was done so no one would face retribution or harassment.
Now two factions have been created, with one side demanding Mesbah resign and the other accusing Ward and others of a political hit job. Mesbah, naturally, blamed the situation on Islamophobia.
Several well-known Muslim groups have offered support to Mesbah and immediately accepted her accusations as “credible.”
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