Saturday, December 04, 2010

WSU Goes Back to the Diversity Drawing Board

How do I say this? I think I’m proud of my alma mater for the first time in my adult life?

This report from the Chicago Sun-Times:
University pulls diversity award named after Helen Thomas

December 4, 2010

DETROIT -- Wayne State University is yanking an award named for journalist Helen Thomas, citing remarks she made criticizing Israel during a conference in Dearborn.

In a brief statement e-mailed to reporters Friday, the university said it "strongly condemns the anti-Semitic remarks made by Helen Thomas."

Thomas, 90, a longtime White House correspondent who grew up in Detroit as the daughter of Lebanese immigrants, was in Dearborn on Thursday for a workshop on anti-Arab bias.

At the conference, Thomas said she stands by controversial comments about Israel that led to her resignation as a correspondent earlier this year.

She also sparked additional controversy with new comments.

"Congress, the White House and Hollywood, Wall Street are owned by the Zionists. No question, in my opinion," she said. "They put their money where their mouth is. . . . We're being pushed into a wrong direction in every way."

Robert Cohen, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Metropolitan Detroit, said Wayne State made the right decision.

"I think it was just very ironic that she made these comments at an event, the purpose of which was to address stereotyping, negative stereotyping, of members of the Arab community. And it was very disappointing to know that she received a standing ovation from that audience."
As reported in the Detroit News on Thursday:
During her brief speech, Thomas told about how she was jokingly referred to as “Hezbollah,” “Hamas” and a “terrorist” by White House press officials. She said she didn't protest the comments because “I know who I am.”
So do we.