Kudos to Wayne State University

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on December 6, 2010

Nice to see that the school won’t put up with the hate-filled rhetorical excesses Helen Thomas is so infamous for:

The alma mater of journalist Helen Thomas will not bestow an award that had been given in her name, making the decision after the 90-year-old scribe made more controversial comments about Jewish people.

Wayne State University, the Detroit, Michigan, institution that Thomas graduated from in 1942, said in a statement Friday that the school will no longer give out the Helen Thomas Spirit of Diversity in the Media Award.

“Wayne State encourages free speech and open dialogue, and respects diverse viewpoints,” the school’s statement said. “However, the university strongly condemns the anti-Semitic remarks made by Helen Thomas during a conference yesterday.”

Thomas abrupty retired earlier this year from her position as a White House columnist for the Hearst media chain after a YouTube video circulated in which she told a rabbi that Israel should “get the hell out of Palestine.” She also said Jewish people should leave Israel and go home to “Poland, Germany … and America and everywhere else.”

Then, at a diversity conference Thursday in Dearborn, Michigan, Thomas voiced her opinion on Jewish people in the United States.

According to the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News, she said, “Congress, the White House and Hollywood, Wall Street are owned by the Zionists. No question.”

I really don’t need to discuss the many ways in which Thomas’s statement seeks to revive old, and nasty anti-Semitic stereotypes. That it does, is plain to see. And no one needs to tolerate that kind of bigotry, let alone give the bigot in question any award.

One would hope that more institutions work to shun people like Thomas. And one would hope that all of the people who raised such a hue and cry over her firing after her initial comments demanding that Israel “get the Hell out of Palestine” now realize that there is nothing about Thomas that is worth defending.

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