Thursday, November 11, 2004

About-turn, I

Kudos to Israellycool for picking up a new piece written by Philip Kurian, the Duke University senior who caused an uproar last month when he published an extremely anti-Semitic editorial in his university paper. And would you believe it? Kurian seems to have learned something from the ordeal:
Intentions cannot always be discerned through the mask of language. I wanted to start a dialogue about human suffering, but instead I ripped open old wounds, to fuel the very anti-Semitism that caused them. For this, I am deeply sorry. It is my failure as a columnist, and as a student. Our failure as a community is the dishearteningly narrow space we reserve for transformative conversation......
Am I an anti-Semite? A champion of free speech? A victim? A fool? I cannot see or be seen behind the mask of anger, and as the tears stream down I reach out, offering my hand in support to the Jewish community as I taste the salt of pride, hoping that one day it will fade through our mutual understanding.
This is a very brave column, which Kurian should be commended and supported for. The question is, when will we hear similar thoughts from the editors of The Chronicle, which published his article?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Miriam: I too have read Kurian's 'apology'. In his original screed, he had not the slightest problem brazenly spewing his hard core in-your-face anti-semitism. Now that he has been taught the lesson that freedom of speech protects from government persecution and not from the judgements of people who can refuse to deal with him, he panicked. Bridge burner Kurian saw all sorts of life opportunities going up in smoke, so he penned some gassy vapors, pleas for 'transformative conversation' and 'mutual understanding'. If he had not, Kurian would continue to be seen as living one of comedian Dave Chappelle's funniest riffs: blind black leader of the Ku Klux Klan. Don't be deceived. He has all the 'defensiveness', 'doubt' and 'remorse' of a thief caught in the act.