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A former Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) director at a California community college pins the blame for the rise in anti-Semitism at universities directly on the “toxic” DEI ideology.
Following Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7, students and faculty at American universities have harassed Jewish students and condemned Israel after more than 1,400 Israelis were murdered by radical Islamic terrorists. Tabia Lee, who says she was “harassed and bullied” out of her DEI job at De Anza College, blasted DEI for paving the way to the anti-Semitism seen on college campuses.
“I saw antisemitism on a weekly basis in my two years as a faculty ‘diversity, equity and inclusion’ director,” Lee wrote in an op-ed for The New York Post. “In fact, I can safely say that toxic DEI ideology deliberately stokes hatred toward Israel and the Jewish people.”
“As a black woman, I was the perfect person for the job — on paper. Yet I made the mistake of trying to create an authentically inclusive learning environment for everyone, including Jewish students,” Lee continued, adding that she was labeled a “dirty Zionist” for her attempt to include Jewish students in DEI initiatives.
The former DEI director filed a lawsuit against De Anza College in July, alleging the hostile DEI department was “illegally targeting White people on the basis of race.”
Tabia Lee 'objected to racial stereotypes…bizarrely celebrating Blacks as incapable of objectivity, individualism, efficiency, progress.'https://t.co/MbXA66wpOj
— The College Fix (@CollegeFix) July 28, 2023
“At its worst, DEI is built on the unshakable belief that the world is divided into two groups of people: the oppressors and the oppressed,” Lee wrote. “Jews are categorically placed in the oppressor category, while Israel is branded a ‘genocidal, settler, colonialist state.’”
“In this worldview, criticizing Israel and the Jewish people is not only acceptable but praiseworthy. (Just as it’s OK to attack America and white people.),” the former DEI director added. “If you don’t go after them — or worse, if you defend them — you’re actively abetting racist oppression.”
During her time at De Anza College, Lee attempted to set up a summit to address anti-Semitism after Jewish students and faculty came to her, saying they experienced anti-Semitism on campus. Some of her co-workers, however, argued that an event for Jewish people wasn’t necessary because they, too, are white oppressors, Lee said.
“I have never encountered a more hostile environment toward the members of any racial, ethnic or religious group,” Lee wrote in her op-ed. “I was ultimately fired by De Anza College, and I suspect my defense of Jewish students played a part.”
Lee then laid into colleges for pushing DEI and fanning the flame of anti-Semitism.
“This outpouring of antisemitic hatred is the direct result of DEI’s insistence that Jews are oppressors. What started with rhetorical attacks has morphed into defending and calling for violent attacks,” wrote Lee.
“It’s inevitable for an ideology that demeans an entire group of people while accusing them of perpetrating massive injustice,” she added. “When you stoke that kind of division and anger, you unleash fires you can’t control. Sure enough, the fire of antisemitism is now burning bright on college campuses.”