Today I found myself on a college campus, in the departmental offices for an academic area that essentially combines elements of ethnic studies and regional studies. The only identifying detail I’ll add is that the department is not one that focuses on Middle Eastern studies, Islamic studies, or anything similar.
Nonetheless, on a bulletin board devoted to editorials and articles directly related to the department’s focus, I found another item. With the falsely academic title of “Nakbah 101,” this small poster purported to instruct newcomers on the essentials of that subject, complete with explanations on “why Israel is a racist state” and “how the US contributes to the continuing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.” Toward the end there were tips on “what you can do” to “help.”
Alone in the hallway (save, perhaps, for a surveillance camera), I didn’t need anyone to tell me what to do. I removed the poster from the bulletin board. I was angry, yes. But I was also proud of my small, silent act of protest.