‘Kill all Arabs’: The feds are investigating UMass Amherst for anti-Palestinian bias

‘Kill all Arabs’: The feds are investigating UMass Amherst for anti-Palestinian bias

The Intercept reports:

The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has opened an investigation into the University of Massachusetts Amherst in response to a complaint that alleges that the school took months to address the harassment of Palestinian and Arab students.

In the previously unreported civil rights complaint, 18 students said that they have “been the target of extreme anti-Palestinian and anti-Arab harassment and discrimination by fellow UMass students, including receiving racial slurs, death threats and in one instance, actually being assaulted.” The result, the students said, was a hostile environment for all Arab and Palestinian students, those perceived to be Palestinian, and their allies on campus. Among the most chilling allegations involves a student yelling “kill all Arabs” at fellow students protesting Israel’s war on Gaza.

The complaint, which was filed under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, charges that despite repeated communication to over a dozen administrators and Title IX officials, the school “was extremely slow to take action” and that its stonewalling exacerbated the hostile environment.

The Education Department’s civil rights division, known as OCR, opened its inquiry on April 16, less than two weeks after the legal advocacy group Palestine Legal filed the complaint on behalf of the students. The office will ultimately determine whether or not the school’s handling of the harassment complaints and disciplining of students involved in on-campus protests violated federal civil rights law.

“When you have a complaint that so clearly, and in such detail, lays out the severity of the hostile environment … I think that led OCR to really swiftly open it,” said Radhika Sainath, senior staff attorney at Palestine Legal. “It’s an ongoing environment too.” [Continue reading…]

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