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U of Arkansas study correlates higher education with antisemitism

Reader comment on item: Perceiving Academia's Decline Already in 1971

Submitted by Dave (United States), Jun 17, 2021 at 19:46

Pusey was right to be pessimistic, as one may suspect that the biases found in so many of our colleges have had various malign results, one of them being a proportional increase in antisemitism as people become more "highly educated".

As a U of Arkansas study states, the conventional wisdom is that the more educated people become, the less prejudiced they are. This viewpoint, advanced by the ADL, among others, is that antisemitism is mainly prevalent among working class Whites and the inner city lumpenproletariat. To back this up, the ADL uses a series of straightforward polling questions, such as whether Jews have too much influence, or whether or not Jews tend to favor their own group. The weakness in this approach is that savvy respondents can figure out the intent of the question, and fudge accordingly.

To get around this subtle obstacle, Arkansas researchers devised various questions designed to see if people held a double standard towards Jews, a method recommended by Natan Sharansky. For example, people were asked if Orthodox Jews attending funerals or Black Lives Matter protesters attending gatherings were of concern due to the pandemic. People with a 4-year degree were 11 percent more likely to object to Jewish gatherings, while people with advanced degrees were 36 percentage points more likely to object to Jewish gatherings. Another question was whether "attachment to another country creates a conflict of interest", the countries posed were Israel or Mexico. The 4-year respondents were 7 percent more likely to name Israel, 13 percent for advanced degrees. Another question was whether the military should prohibit yarmulkes or Sikh turbans: no difference among the 4-year people, but 12 percent more of the advanced degree crowd objected to yarmulkes.

The samples were randomized so that each respondent was given only one of the various dual scenarios. The working study paper can be found at: https://edre.uark.edu/_resources/pdf/antisemitism19feb2021.pdf.

None of this should surprise anyone who has experience with higher education. There is certainly a very stark double standard between Jewish and Black or Third World studies, and that is evident in the question about BLM and Jewish gatherings. Also, the hostility towards Israel, standard fare at colleges, has bled into antisemitism, confirming what many observers have maintained for a long time.

One theory which the Arkansas paper brings out, is that the highly educated, who are often drawn from social elites, feel threatened by highly accomplished Jews. This social insecurity was seen in extreme form in the past in Russia, Poland, Germany and many others, where strict quotas on Jewish college attendance were imposed, and is still practiced in some cases to limit Jewish or Asian candidates to elite universities. Add those insecurities to the usual radical leftist curriculum and we see a recreation of an old hatred under a "progressive" guise..

Today's students may think of themselves as avant garde, but in some respects they are merely continuing a benighted tradition. Harvard is no different.


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