Saturday, December 16, 2023

D.L. Gardner: Believing is Seeing

When answering a congressional committee investigating college students’ protests against Israel in its war against Hamas, three presidents of Ivy League universities struggled with their carefully constructed paradigms to judge right and wrong.

For example, facetiously speaking, ‘great big militarized Israel is destroying innocent Palestinian civilians living peacefully in the little bitty Gaza strip. It could not be clearer which side is the oppressor and which side is the victim.’

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition, defines paradigm as “A set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them, especially in an intellectual discipline.”

Who could possibly be more intellectually astute than Harvard President Claudine Gay, Penn President Liz Magill, and MIT President Sally Kornbluth whose world views are founded in socialism. There are only two kinds of people in the socialist world: oppressors and victims. That’s a socialist paradigm.

Last week the three distinguished university presidents appeared before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, to answer how their respective institutions were dealing with antisemitism and Islamophobia on their campuses in light of the October 7 Hamas attack against innocent Israeli civilians.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) asked each president whether “calling for the genocide of Jews” would violate the university’s code of conduct. President Magill said the answer depended on context. She said, “If the speech turns into conduct, it can be harassment.”

Likewise, President Gay said, “when speech crosses into conduct, that violates our policies.” President Kornbluth said she had not heard anyone calling for genocide of Jews on MIT’s campus, but that speech “targeted at individuals, not making public statements,” would be considered harassment.

These presidents were trying to walk a fine line between freedom of speech and religion and threats of genocide against Jews. Obviously, they did not want to compromise student protesters’ freedom of speech and assembly for chanting, “From the river to the sea!” or “Intifada!” After all, it depends on “context,” and Islamophobia has been continually rising in America since 9/11. American Jews have certainly not suffered as much as Muslims.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reported, “Since the Hamas massacre of Israeli civilians on Oct. 7, ADL has recorded a significant spike in antisemitic incidents across the United States. Preliminary data from ADL Center on Extremism indicates that reported incidents of harassment, vandalism and assault increased by 388 percent over the same period last year.”

Last month FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before Congress about rising hate crimes against Jews saying, “The idea that a group that makes up only 2.4 percent of the American public should be targeted with something close to 60 percent of all religiously based hate crime is abhorrent and should be abhorrent to everyone.”

Paradigms shape what different people see and hear when considering the same information. If one believes Israel is committing genocide against Palestinians, he/she will believe every news report supports his/her belief. The opposite is also true.

In a world on the precipice of ubiquitous Artificial Intelligence (AI), we must change our paradigms from “I have to see it to believe it,” to “I have to believe it to see it.” Even the smartest ones among us cannot see the truth unless they believe it.

Daniel L. Gardner is a columnist who lives in Starkville, MS. You may contact him at


Anonymous said...

Old news. Move on.

Anonymous said...

Damn. All that ink to say that ALL people are subject to some form of bias or prejudice whether they admit it or not. Next time save the ink.

Anonymous said...

Harvard comes to Jackson. These nuts posting here criticize a writer attacks the antisemites. Who cares about truth, about oppression, about injustice. Just attack anyone who doesn't give allegiance to the narrative.

Anonymous said...

Okay. But for those of us not calling for the genocide of jews, can we just criticize them?

Anonymous said...

Bill Maher did a funny just the other day, you’ve really got to see it. He said things change, people move on, and so should the Palestinians. Good point. If the ADL reports a significant spike in antisemitic incidents across the United States, perhaps things are changing and the Israelis might want to think about moving on.

Anonymous said...

I hope this means DL is awake (and also learned all the correct grammar one can use to describe themselves and others of no longer being asleep) and not "the pot calling the kettle black".

Yes, the presidents of those schools should have known what the protesters shouting " from the river to the sea" meant. They had access to maps. Let's not pretend DL knew.

I would ask " what year makes a land claim justifiable?" in world affairs.

And I'd like every current US Senator and Representative as well as those with ambition to take those offices, answer that question to list the historical justifications used to start wars. I'd like both political parties to cite which on their list those justifies a declaration of war or 'military invasion/assault'.

And, please KF, post a map that includes Ukraine, Russia, the Baltics, the Black Sea, and the other countries bordering Ukraine. Then post one of Russia at the height of the reign of Catherine the Great (which Putin has repeatedly said is his objective).

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

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Trollfest '07

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There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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