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Haven Monahan at UCLA

Here’s a story that has been kicking around on the Republican rightsphere for awhile, but has now made the leap to the New York Times as Adam Nagourney figures out how to spin it properly:

In U.C.L.A. Debate Over Jewish Student, Echoes on Campus of Old Biases

By ADAM NAGOURNEY MARCH 5, 2015

“Old biases …” UCLA of course is a notorious redoubt of racoon coat-wearing, Stutz Bearcat-driving WASPs, so their legacy of hate apparently lives on.

LOS ANGELES — It seemed like routine business for the student council at the University of California, Los Angeles: confirming the nomination of Rachel Beyda, a second-year economics major who wants to be a lawyer someday, to the council’s Judicial Board.

Until it came time for questions.

“Given that you are a Jewish student and very active in the Jewish community,” Fabienne Roth, a member of the Undergraduate Students Association Council, began, looking at Ms. Beyda at the other end of the room, “how do you see yourself being able to maintain an unbiased view?”

For the next 40 minutes, after Ms. Beyda was dispatched from the room, the council tangled in a debate about whether her faith and affiliation with Jewish organizations, including her sorority and Hillel, a popular student group, meant she would be biased in dealing with sensitive governance questions that come before the board, which is the campus equivalent of the Supreme Court.

UCLA students on their way to class

My impression of UCLA student politics when I was there in 1980-82 was that it was basically ethnic politics with training wheels. An Asian named Sam Law was elected student body president, running largely, as I recall, on a platform of being Asian. I mean, what else is there to run on in student council elections?

As far as I can tell, it was always like that. (Keep in mind that UCLA is one of the youngest famous universities in the world, barely existing before the late 1920s and not being officially granted equal status with Berkeley until the 1950s. But its tremendous location next to America’s richest neighborhood in 1960, Beverly Hills, gave it huge advantages not possessed by similar late-comers.)

About 1960, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills for 40 years) and Rep. Howard Berman (D-Burbank for 30 years) met up at the UCLA Young Democrats, formed a lifelong alliance, and got 70 years in Congress between them.

But Berman should have gotten reapportioned out in 2002 in favor of a Mexican, but his brother prodigiously gerrymandered the entire state of California to preserve Howard’s seat. He finally got pushed out by reapportionment in 2012, which created a safe Mexican seat in the Valley, pitting Berman, the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee v. retail politician extraordinaire Brad Sherman in a battle of two Jewish incumbents for career survival, which Berman lost.

Waxman held on to retire in January, but he was replaced by a Chinese guy. So, since 2012, the Greater Hollywood Hills have gone from being represented by four Jewish Democratic Congressmen down to two (Sherman and Adam Schiff).

So you can see that this Diversity Trend can be worrying, especially at UCLA.

Westwood

The discussion, recorded in written minutes and captured on video, seemed to echo the kind of questions, prejudices and tropes — particularly about divided loyalties — that have plagued Jews across the globe for centuries, students and Jewish leaders said.

The council, in a meeting that took place on Feb. 10, voted first to reject Ms. Beyda’s nomination, with four members against her. Then, at the prodding of a faculty adviser there who pointed out that belonging to Jewish organizations was not a conflict of interest, the students revisited the question and unanimously put her on the board.

Haven Monahan

So this Jewish activist had her approval delayed by other ethnic and ideological activists for 40 minutes, and the other activists have been apologizing ever since … not exactly the Dreyfus Affair.

But in the weeks since, that uncomfortable debate has upended this campus of 29,600 students that has long been central to the identity of Los Angeles. It has set off an anguished discussion of how Jews are treated, particularly in comparison with other groups that are more typically viewed as victims of discrimination, such as African-Americans and gays and lesbians.

Like I’ve been saying …

So, should Jews try to tone down black and gay victimist triumphalism, or try to top it by emphasizing their victimization?

Part of the ongoing liberal crack-up unleashed by the Democratic re-election campaign in 2012 and exposed by the Democratic defeat in 2014 is the increasing anxiety felt by the single most important swing group in the country: ethnocentric liberal Jews.

UCLA student and his caddy

… The president of the student council, Avinoam Baral, who had nominated Ms. Beyda, appeared stunned at the turn the questioning took at the session and sought at first to rule Ms. Roth’s question out of order. “I don’t feel that’s an appropriate question,” he said.

In an interview, Mr. Baral, who is Jewish, said he “related personally to what Rachel was going through.”

“It’s very problematic to me that students would feel that it was appropriate to ask that kind of questions, especially given the long cultural history of Jews,” he said. “We’ve been questioned all of our history: Are Jews loyal citizens? Don’t they have divided loyalties? All of these anti-Semitic tropes.”

We hear a lot about swing voters, but it’s usually an overblown concept. Some Jews aren’t going to swing: Noam Chomsky won’t. But Jews with a healthy, natural regard for their ethnic group can and have swung before and may do it again as they sense that the winds blowing on the Left are not good for the Jews. Obviously, the number of votes is unimportant, but not money, media influence, and general argumentative intensity.

On the other hand, it’s not hard for Jews to get other Jews worked up into “anguished discussions” over how great-grandma couldn’t get into the snippy WASP sorority and great-grandpa couldn’t get into the Los Angeles Country Club, and the real enemy is, as always, Haven Monahan.

UCLA student council leaders plotting behind closed doors

 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: American Media, Jews 
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“Since its first issue in 1945, Commentary has published hundreds of articles about Jews and Judaism. … But there is a lacuna, and not one involving some obscure bit of Judaica. Commentary has never published a systematic discussion of one of the most obvious topics of all: the extravagant overrepresentation of Jews, relative to their numbers, in the top ranks of the arts, sciences, law, medicine, finance, entrepreneurship, and the media.”

Charles Murray, Jewish Genius, Commentary, April 2007

The irony is that, beyond the specific accomplishments of thinkers such as Albert Einstein and Milton Friedman, one of the great general Jewishcontributions to the world over the last two centuries has been their attitude of relentless critical inquiry.

Admittedly, this “question everything” predilection hasn’t always worked out for the best. Freud’s obsession with uncovering the long-term impact (if any) of toilet training, for instance, proved to be a huge waste of time for all concerned. Yet the world has benefited, overall,from the rule more strongly advocated by Jewish intellectuals than by any other group: That nothing should be immune from analysis.

Well, to be precise, let’s strike “nothing” from that principle and substitute “only one thing.” And that lone topic too sacred for public discussion is: Jewish influence itself—especially when the investigation is carried out by non-Jews.

Jewish success in the public sphere is one of those phenomena that is widely denounced as a stereotype. But it is as well documented as anything in the social sciences.

In their 1995 book Jews and the New American Scene, the late Seymour Martin Lipset of the Wilstein Institute for Jewish Policy Studies and Earl Raab of the Perlmutter Institute for Jewish Advocacy pointed out that, while Jews had comprised only about three or four percent of American adults,

“…during the last three decades, Jews have made up 50% of the top two hundred intellectuals, … 20 percent of professors at the leading universities, … 26% of the reporters, editors, and executives of the major print and broadcast media, 59 percent of the directors, writers, and producers of the fifty top-grossing motion pictures from 1965 to 1982, and 58 percent of directors, writers, and producers in two or more primetime television series.” [pp 26-27]

This adds up to a lot of cultural clout.

One unfortunate example: over the last half decade, the world’s most famous living author hasn’t been able to get his two most recent books published in America. Why not? Because they comprise an even-handed two-volume history of the world-changing role of Jews in his country’s history. And virtually nobody in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave has complained about this astonishing situation, or even mentioned it in print. (To find out who this writer isand to read the first excerpts in English translation to be posted on the Web, click here.)

So, how have Jews achieved so much sway over society? If the members of every group were equal on average, as the dogma of political correctness insists, then there would be something deeply suspicious about these Jewish attainments.

But in fact the Jewish tendency toward greater than average intelligence, energy, and interest in public affairs are simply more powerful explanations than any conspiracy theory.

As Murray points out:

“A full answer must call on many characteristics of Jewishculture, but intelligence has to be at the center of theanswer. Jews have been found to have an unusually high mean intelligence as measured by IQ tests since the first Jewish samples were tested. (The widely repeated story that Jewish immigrants to this country in the early 20th century tested low on IQ is a canard.) … But it is currently accepted that the mean is somewhere in the range of 107 to 115, with 110 being a plausible compromise.”

Without understanding the impact of Jewish intellectuals upon the last century, which UC Berkeley historian Yuri Slezkine calls with minimalhyperbole The Jewish Century, you can’t understand modern history. And a necessary, although not sufficient, condition for Jewish intellectualism is high Jewish intelligence.

And yet, pointing out the palpable about Jewish influence and intelligence is rarely done, at least in public.

Murray even ran into this ethnocentric reluctance to discuss Jewish IQ in Richard Herrnstein, one of the heroes of the human sciences:

“I have personal experience with the reluctance of Jews to talk about Jewish accomplishment—my co-author, the late Richard Herrnstein, gently resisted the paragraphs on Jewish IQ that I insisted on putting in The Bell Curve(1994).”

Murray’s fascinating Jewish Genius article is a response to the landmark paper by Gregory Cochran, Henry Harpending, and Jason Hardy entitled The Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence [PDF file], which was reviewed here in VDARE.COM in June 2005. As Nicholas Wade, the New York Times’ genetics correspondent, summarized it:

“A team of scientists at the University of Utah has proposed that the unusual pattern of genetic diseases seen among Jews of central or northern European origin, or Ashkenazim, is the result of natural selection forenhanced intellectual ability. The selective force was the restriction of Ashkenazim in medieval Europe tooccupations that required more than usual mental agility… Ashkenazic diseases like Tay-Sachs, they say, are a side effect of genes that promote intelligence.” [ResearchersSay Intelligence and Diseases May Be Linked in Ashkenazic Genes, June 2, 2005 ]

The Cochran-Harpending-Hardy theory—which was also recently evaluated by another heavyweight, Harvard cognitive scientist Steven Pinker, in The New Republic focuses on the evolutionary pressures on just one group of Jews and one time period: Yiddish-speaking Jews of Northern and Eastern Europe (the ancestors of most American Jews) over the last millennium. In Israel, the descendents of the Ashkenazim have substantially higher average IQs than other Jews.

Murray, while admiring of the CHH thesis, wants to complement it. He suggests that “elevated Jewish intelligence was (a) not confined to Ashkenazim and (b) antedates the Middle Ages.”

Today being Easter Sunday, it’s hard to argue against the long-term influence of ancient Jews.

Yet, as Cochran points out in response to Murray on the Gene Expression blog: “Nor is there the slightest sign that that Jews were sharper than average in Classical times: not one single paragraph in preserved classical literature suggests that anyone had that impression.”

Still, the ancient Greeks were so brilliant that everybody else might have looked dim to contemporaries by comparison. So pointing out back then who was in second place, smartswise, might have seemedas pointless as debating over who was the best actress other than Helen Mirren at playing a Queen named Elizabeth last year.

There’s an African proverb that when the elephants fight, the grass gets trampled. I, personally, can’t resolve the Murray-Cochran debate.

Instead, let me note that it’s admirable that Jewish-owned magazines like Commentary and The New Republic are opening themselves up tomore honest discussions of this crucial topic.

Clearly, some Jews put a lot of energy into the traditional obsession of worrying. “Is it good for the Jews?” Being a big fan of enlightened self-interest, I have no objection to that. What I object to is unenlightened self-interest—which the current taboo on discussing human diversity exacerbates.

Without far more of this kind of frankness, Jewish pundits and publications will continue to slip into their own self-defeating Isms, such as:

 

  • Be-Like-Meism: For example, the common suggestion by Jewish commentators that current illegal immigrants merely have to act like the Jewish immigrants of 1906 and everything will turn out fine. Well, swell …

 

  • Pseudo-Ethnic Humilityism: Few Jews actually believe that Mexicans are just like Jews. They think Jews are smarter (which they are, by about 20 IQ points on average). But they don’t want anybody else to notice that Jews are smarter, sothey advocate immigration policies that depend for their success upon Mexicans being just as smart as Jews. The fact that this immigration policy is obviously bad for America is deemed less important than keeping up the charade that nobody must mention in public that Jews are smarter than everybody else on the whole.

In summary, the crucial question for Jews is:

Is it good for the Jews to obsess over Was it good for the Jews?”

Or should they, when thinking about immigration and foreign policies, ask, Will it be good for the Jews?”

 

[Steve Sailer [email him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and movie critic for The American Conservative. His website www.iSteve.blogspot.com features his daily blog.]

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Science • Tags: Charles Murray, Jews 
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Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, VDARE.com columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.


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