12/04/2004

Victoire pour la liberté intellectuelle à San Francisco St

Victoire pour la liberté intellectuelle à San Francisco State University (SFSU), Tatiana qui avait été expulsée un mois plus tôt a pu réintégrer sa classe, tout ceci grâce à l’aide de Students for Academic Freedom.

Tatiana qui a fui l’Union Soviétique avec ses enfants en 1986 s’était indignée du climat marxiste et anti-sémite régnant au sein de l’Université.   

 

 

L’expulsion :

Purge at San Francisco State

By Lee Kaplan--FrontPageMagazine.com, 02/26/04

Tatiana Menaker is a Russian émigré who knows first-hand about persecution and indoctrination. She was a journalist in her native Russia, and she came to America in 1986, a divorcee with two small children and only $90 in her pocket. A Jewish refusenik against the old Soviet Communist regime, she continued as a journalist writing for the Russian-Jewish community. Later, she bought a small tour van and began giving tours of San Francisco to supplement her income. Three years ago she enrolled at San Francisco State University to better her English. To her dismay, she found the same anti-Semitism and Marxist dogmas prevalent in her previous homeland right here in the U.S.A. at San Francisco State. She frequently found herself arguing with professors who extolled the glories of Marxism and she spoke out frequently at anti-Semitic rallies on campus. One night her tour van was torched which crippled her business. While she could not prove it, she suspected it was those same people with whom she had had heated debates on the Bay Area campus many times.

San Francisco State University is the stomping grounds of the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS). The GUPS are extremely organized on campus. For the last fifteen years, they have been the only student group, out of 206 clubs, to have a permanently assigned office in the Student Union building that boasts a bigger-than-life PLO flag painted onto and covering the entire door. Other campus groups may rotate in or out of offices designated for student activities, but not the GUPS. Many of the Palestinian leadership, such as Saeb Erekat, Yasser Arafat’s chief negotiator, are graduates of SFSU.

Tatiana has written some articles for Frontpagemag.com about the Marxist and anti-U.S. indoctrination in classes as well as the anti-Semitism she has experienced at SF State. One of her experiences was taking a class in English as a second language with many international students visiting the campus from around the world and having a professor who required every assignment to be written about how U.S. imperialism and terrorism were responsible for the attacks on 9/11. Tatiana once relayed to me how foreign exchange students received a daily barrage of how horrible America is and how it is the cause of all the problems in the world. And her grades suffered as her assignments went against the grain and praised American freedom.

Tatiana has also told me about posters on campus with a picture of a dead baby and the words “Palestinian baby meat canned by the USA and Israel” being hung all over campus, and of Palestinian and Muslim students openly exhorting to kill Jews during demonstrations.

Being from Russia and knowing what it is to live in a real totalitarian state, Tatiana has no qualms about supporting the United States and Israel in a place where to do so can make many other students fearful to speak out. Last year when some of the Jewish students on campus sought to stage a peaceful pro-Israel rally advocating peace in the Middle East, the GUPS and their Marxist allies on campus counter-demonstrated, many of whom screamed out statements like “Kill the Jews” and “Hitler should have finished the job.” The situation was so bad that the former Professor of Jewish Studies on campus described it as being like Germany in the 1930’s. The administration actually had to call in 25 San Francisco city police officers to escort the Jewish students off campus when the campus police could not protect them from the mob.

And it was at this event that Tatiana’s problems first started. Being a tough cookie, she hurled some vituperation back at them, urging some to have sexual relations with a camel. She admits now that her response was a bit unnecessary, but nowhere near the threats of genocide and murder she heard from the other side.

After the demonstrations, Tatiana learned how things operate at SF State: she was ordered in for a “disciplinary hearing” by Donna Cunningham, the Officer of Judicial Student Affairs at SF State. She was told she could not bring an attorney and was to appear for judgment and punishment if found she had broken university rules. Ms. Cunningham, who is Black, and a friend Leila Qutami, one of the student leaders of the GUPS, claimed that Ms. Qutami and others had accused Tatiana of calling Palestinian students “sand n-----s,” using a variation of the “n” word.

Subsequent tape recordings and videos of the event revealed that Tatiana uttered no such slur. Her accuser did not even attend the hearing claiming she was “too afraid” to attend even though a campus police officer was present at the hearing and Tatiana is a 53 year-old mother of three children who hardly poses a threat to anyone. Also present at the hearing were a Black Muslim advisor to the Muslim groups on campus and other members of the GUPS. Some might call this a stacked deck.

After 8 hours, the “hearing” was concluded with Tatiana being told she must do 40 hours of “community service” with the stipulation that none of those hours could be to aid or contribute to any “Jewish, Israeli or Russian groups.” That this was anti-Semitic and discriminatory to please the GUPS made no difference to Ms. Cunningham or the administration at SF State.

Not one to take things lying down, Tatiana began writing about her experiences of facing the same Marxism and anti-Semitism at San Francisco State that she had in the former Soviet Union.

She wrote one article about a Palestinian film festival where the film “Jenin, Jenin” and other propaganda films were shown to the student body further denigrating Jews, Israel and the United States. And she wrote about a professor who had disrupted the festival, a social studies professor at SF State named Deborah Gerson, who is a member of a front group for the Palestinians claiming to be made up of Jews in the Bay Area called Jewish Voice For Peace. The activities and writings of this group have in the past even claimed it doubtful that Jews ever lived in the Holy Land at all in biblical times. In short, Professor Gerson identifies herself as a “Jewish Marxist.” She and Jewish Voice For Peace frequently demonstrate on the SF State campus where calls to dismantle Israel are standard fare.

Tatiana described how this professor refers to her colleagues as “comrade” in the old Soviet style and how she educates students on the glories of the Communist system of government that Tatiana as a Soviet Jew risked her life to escape.

Tatiana continued to write about the political climate at SF State. Her articles were good and appeared in the campus newspaper and on Frontpagemag.com. Then she made her next mistake.

She approached Professor Gerson and asked her for an interview so she could inquiry why Gerson, as a professor of Jewish heritage, supported those who sought to murder of Jews. Professor Gerson was very curt and rude and said she didn’t wish to talk to Tatiana who then responded that she had been through real persecution as a Jew in Russia and told Gerson: “If you think that when they start to kill the Jews, they will spare you, you will still be killed as any other Jew two hours later.”

Tatiana immediately received yet another letter calling her into a disciplinary meeting with Ms. Cunningham. She was accused of making death threats! The meeting was scheduled for February 5th but then postponed to the 23rd. During the meantime, Tatiana published two more revealing articles about the Marxist and anti-U.S. indoctrination on the SF State campus. And on the 23rd, her best work yet appeared about a poetry class she had attended where the central theme was damning the United States. The same day that article broke she met with Ms. Cunningham who handed her a form to sign saying she would waive all her rights allowing Ms. Cunningham to mete out any punishment she saw fit to carry out. Tatiana refused and, when she did, Cunningham informed her she was expelled from the University until the year 2009 and had her escorted off campus by a uniformed police officer. The officer informed her that, if she steps foot on campus, she will be arrested for trespassing.

Tatiana maintains that Cunningham and Leila Qutami are close friends. She also maintains the administration, to keep peace with the GUPS and to avoid negative publicity about the political climate at SF State, simply wanted to get rid of her because she is outspoken in favor of the U.S. and democracy and because she is a Jew who isn’t afraid to speak out against anti-Semitism on campus.

And in that regard she is not alone. The SFSU campus chapter of Students For Academic Freedom, the Jewish Anti-defamation League, the Jewish Community Relations Council, DAFKA, and other civil rights groups along with the Russian Jewish community have all stepped up to support Tatiana in her time of need by providing her written support as well as free legal services. All of these groups understand how important it is to back her up in her fight against political indoctrination and anti-Semitism on a campus where leftist ideological groups turn their opponents into outlaws in order to subjugate and silence them.

 

La bonne nouvelle:

April 1, 2004

Expulsion Reversed at San Francisco State U.

Dear Students and Supporters,

Students for Academic Freedom won a victory this week when San Francisco State University agreed not expel student Tatiana Meneker. Students for Academic Freedom took up Menaker’s case and we are gratified by the result. The national media have taken notice of our extraordinary growth as a movement, and there will forthcoming stories in the Washington Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the New York Times. Stay tuned to our website next week for the latest articles about SAF in the national press.

A Russian immigrant who wrote frequently for Frontpage Magazine, Tatiana Meneker was expelled from San Francisco State University for five years on February 23rd after pro-Israel comments she made to a professor were considered “death threats” by an administrator. She was not granted a hearing in her own defense, but instead was immediately escorted off campus by three uniformed campus police officers.

Upon learning of the case, Students for Academic Freedom together with Frontpage Magazine organized a Tatiana Menaker Defense Committee. The local Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) in the San Francisco Bay Area also came to her aid. Tatiana received thousands of e-mails and letters from supporters, who also wrote to SFSU President Robert Corrigan demanding her immediate reinstatement.

In response to our campaign, SFSU informed Tatiana on March 24th that she may continue her studies and attendance at the University without any further interruption. The settlement included a two weeks suspension from school, but the university considers this time to already have been served while her case was being negotiated. SAF views this “punishment” as an attempt by the University to save face, since the settlement essentially drops all charges against her.

Students for Academic Freedom congratulates Tatiana on her resolve throughout this nearly month-long battle with San Francisco State and looks forward to receiving her updates on the state of intellectual and ideological diversity on campus. You can read the full story about the resolution of Tatiana’s case here.

 

 

Une de ses oeuvres:

 

Hate America Poetry Class

By Tatiana Menaker
FrontPageMagazine.com | February 23, 2004

While Americans and Iraqis cheered when Saddam Hussein was dragged from his spider hole in December, there were, obviously, a few notable exceptions. While Saddam loyalists and anti-American Arabs pouted in gloom and doom, back in the U.S. an anti-American poetry hit parade, entitled “My America,” was held shortly after Saddam’s capture. It was the grand finale of San Francisco State University’s fall semester.

Even as TV screens showed the captured Hitler of the Middle East in all his pathetic, unkempt glory, the anti-war show on campus continued. As a part of the Creative Writing Department curriculum, more than a hundred and fifty SFSU students were forced to attend this collective primary delusion presented as a poetry reading. Unfortunately, the weakness of the poets’ political intellect was matched by the weakness of their writing. From the lighted stage of the huge auditorium they groaned about American ‘war atrocities’:

“‘Shock and Awe’ is to say: In forty-eight hours, several thousand dead, battered, incinerated, shattered…”

They also wailed about an American fighter plane downed only in their sick imaginations:

“Strewn across the desert: some boots, a medal, a map of Iraq…”

American soldiers were declared to be gleeful murderers and trigger pullers:

“This is your brain on trigger.

Trigger.

Happy, happy trigger

Pull. Pull.

Thank you, Mr. Bush, for my new arms.

Death bubbles.”

And exulted in a full-blown parade of anti-American delirium:

“When we know someone is suffering somewhere just so we can be relaxed and tranquil in America, Bully of Planet Earth, Superpower.”

In addition, environmental Green and anti-Globalization rhetoric was served behind the mask of poetry:

“Do you see a Statue of Liberty or do you see a toxic waste dump?”

Actually, some individual confessions were not so bad. Listening to this poetry, who would doubt that:

“My mom was a beatnik, therefore crazy.

My father was absent in the neck of a bottle.”

Or:

“I’m a little pissed at America right now…”

Clearly understanding that I was heading toward an F in this class, I took off on a suicide mission. I approached the lit stage where these “poets” sat warmed by applause and proudly waiting for more compliments.

“Don’t you think,” I asked, “it is pathetic to perform in this anti-war circus now that Saddam has been captured? How do you feel about his capture?”

“It’s great that they got him,” one of the guys on the stage answered.

“But how,” I asked, “could it have happened without a war?”

The instructor flew at me like a vulture, “Tatiana! Stop this immediately!”

He already knew my ways; I had had a few words with him regarding his anti-American attitude.

“Don’t try to shut me up! You guys are such conformists. No courage to be dissidents even for a change. Go and study accounting! Your poetry sucks!”

Later, registering for the spring semester, I realized that almost all the “poets” on the auditorium stage were the Creative Writing department’s poetry teachers. While nothing at SFSU surprises me anymore, I exploded, and I need to explain why. The “My [Hate For] America” poetry parade overcame my ability to restrain myself.

Throughout the fall semester the “Writers on Writing” class desecrated two things I hold dear: literature and America. It was a constant assault on my dedication to literature and my literary taste, and an insult to my love for this country. Not only were we forced to buy a bag of crappy books (except a few) with a price tag of around $200, but almost all these “writers” and “poets” presented on the lighted stage of the huge auditorium week after week used the opportunity to express their hate and contempt for America. Throughout the semester only a few talented exceptions abstained from expressing their political opinions.

If I have expertise in anything in this life, it is literature. I came from the Soviet Union, where literature, especially poetry, was a serious and deadly business. The second national prize for poetry in the USSR was five years in prison. The first prize was a death sentence, as seen by the fates of Nikolai Gumilev (execution by firing squad) and Osip Mandelshtam (a hungry death in the Gulag).

Night after night we typed for Samizdat (underground press) on primitive typewriters the smuggled poems of my friend Igor Guberman, who had been sentenced to five years in a prison camp. Kneeling on all fours (I was so pregnant at the time that I couldn’t sit), I read a book by Nadezhda Mandelshtam—the widow of the executed poet—that was brought into the country as contraband by some brave foreign visitors. The possession of this book was an offense punishable by law. The hostess begged me to leave, scared that I would go into labor right there in her apartment, but I finished that book understanding that this was my only chance to touch this dangerous copy.

My Leningrad neighbor Joseph Brodsky, a literary genius and one of the best Russian poets of the 20th century, was, like Solzhenitsyn, thrown out of the country. At the age of 33, Brodsky came to the US, struggling with every English sentence he attempted to write. But by 1987, after only fifteen years in the US, he had been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his essays in English. He also served as Poet Laureate of the United States in 1991 and 1992. When I asked him about the tragedy of the émigré writer who is deprived of his mother tongue, he answered acidly, “Who told you that you can write only in Cyrillic?”

Brodsky died a premature death a few years ago. His heart just gave up: while living in the US, he still was tortured by the KGB, who made him helpless to prevent the suffering of his elderly parents left behind in Russia. The Soviet government took away their meager pensions, earned by forty years of work. Then the officials sadistically announced that his parents would never see their only son again. The Soviets kept their word and Brodsky started to hate even the Russian language because it became the language in which his parents had been subjected to persecution.

Joseph Brodsky knew the value of freedom as only a former slave could. Brodsky’s Nobel-winning essays, “In a Room and a Half” and “On Tyranny,” included in the book dedicated to his mother and father, should be required reading in all university creative writing classes, so that future writers will see the price people paid for the luxury to write and read in other countries and will appreciate their creative freedom and America itself.

There were so many talented writers and poets imprisoned and murdered in the Soviet Union that it is easier to count those who by some miracle were able to remain alive and well.  Through his own life and prison camp experience, as through the experiences of his friends, Brodsky learned a lot about evil.

In a commencement address given by Brodsky in 1984 at Williams College, he pronounced:

“No matter how daring or cautious you may choose to be in the course of your life you are bound to come into direct physical contact with what’s known as Evil…For the most interesting thing about Evil is that it is wholly human. To put it mildly, nothing can be turned and worn inside out with greater ease than one’s notion of social justice, civic conscience, a better future, etc.”

This country gave him refuge and freedom, as it did for many less talented people, including me. For people like us, the name of America is sacred.

In those dark Soviet decades, cramped in the dusty communal apartments, surrounded by distorted mirrors of socialist propaganda, we knew that America existed. The smuggled pair of American jeans or the Simon and Garfunkel record was, for us, a symbol of civilization and freedom. We would go to suburban forests to listen to the “Voice of America” on short wave radios. The Soviets jammed it in the cities and spent more money on suppressing American radio than they spent on all their own broadcasting.

The mere existence of America gave us the courage to fight. Some people who just wanted to leave the Soviet Union paid with prison sentences just for declaring a desire to leave the paradise surrounded by barbed wire and armed guards shooting escapees in the back. The escapees didn’t want to take anything with them. They just dreamed of departing, even naked, with their children on their shoulders. They hijacked airplanes, invented air balloons which evaded radar, swam at night from the beaches of the Black Sea or jumped from the stage during concert tours as Baryshnikov and Makarova did.  The Socialist empire didn’t want to lose its main property: its slaves. (Listen, you “poets,” dreaming about socialism!)

Finally, it was America that paid our way out. The Jackson-Vanik amendment forced the Soviets to allow some groups to emigrate in exchange for a cheap grain trade agreement. Jews were the bargaining chip when the USSR was on the edge of starvation.

Divided by the number of people they finally let go, how many kilos of grain were paid for me? Or my mother?  What was the price in grain for the Moscow boy who became a student at Stanford and invented Google? Or another boy, who became the managing editor of this magazine? Or for the Russian taxi driver?  Or for the elderly Jew, who worked all his life for the Soviets and was allowed, like everyone else, to take with him only $90 after paying five months’ salary for renouncing his Soviet citizenship?

America, this great and generous country not only gave all of us refuge; it even paid to buy us out of slavery.

When I see these Lilliputians attacking the noble and generous Gulliver called America, I lose my breath with fury. The attacks of these literary dwarfs on this country feel personal, against me and my safety. It was not without reason that the great American actress Bette Davis, upon being asked for major life advice, spat the answer, “Beware of Lilliputians!” She knew what they were capable of.

 “If a poet has any obligation toward society, it is to write well” stated Joseph Brodsky. He started his Nobel Lecture with the words: “[I]t is better to be a total failure in a democracy than a martyr, or la crème de la crème in a tyranny.” Our university poetry teachers don’t understand how lucky they are to be failures in a democracy. They have failed in their main obligation to write well. In the Soviet Union they wouldn’t receive even one week in prison.

At least once a year every immigrant from the Soviet Union has the same nightmare: he or she is trapped back in the old country and can’t escape. Ironically enough, mine takes place at San Francisco State. I am walking down the empty hall of the Humanities building. The doors of the stuffy rooms are open, and from all the classes, the same words can be heard:

“Colonialism, imperialism, capitalism, exploitation of the working class.”

And again:

“Colonialism, imperialism, capitalism, exploitation of the working class.”

I see the trusting faces of the young students.

“What class is this?” I ask. 

“Philosophy,” they answer. 

Please, tell me I am not back in the Soviet Union again and this is just a nightmare!

 

Les deux autres collaborations de Tatiana à Frontpagemag disponibles (extraits :

 

College Film Festival: Kill the Jews

 

"Another scene: a demonstration by twenty truant school boys with a Palestinian flag while cameramen are constantly bustling into the scene and obstructing the view. The mere presence of cameramen and journalists in such crowds shows that the situation is far from bad. In Chechnya, after the real military raids, when Russians carpet-bomb the cities, dead bodies are strewn on the streets and nobody picks them up.  Have you ever seen any pictures in newspapers or films?  No journalist is crazy enough to show up in Grozny.  It's quite a bit different to relax in a Jerusalem Mariott, taking showers and enjoying good Israeli dinners, feeling like a hero after photographing the stone-throwing operations of underage truants.

Considering that Israel has more computers per capita than the US, it is no wonder that "humiliation" is the second most repeated word in these films. When your people are staring into a donkey's ass while other people across the street are looking at a computer screen, it is a humiliation.

The tragedy of Palestinian Arabs is that they are forced to compare themselves with the superbly developed civilization of Israel instead of, for example, the outskirts of Cairo, where barely dressed, malnourished, unschooled children with rotten teeth are crawling in the dust around mud huts with no sewage system.

The late KGB Chief Yuri Andropov once said: "We won the war in Vietnam on the streets of Washington." The Arab Palestinian movement was created by the KGB. I know: I worked with Arabs back in Russia. They are using the same KGB-taught propaganda strategy that was used in organizing protests against the Vietnam War, which seduced childish professors together with their immature students. Unfortunately, our civilization is losing a war on its university campuses once again."

 

 

My Second Marxist Indoctrination

 

"Obviously, being busy with teaching and promoting world change, these professors have overlooked the well-known fact that Marxist ideology failed the test in every country where it was applied.

the difference between Leningrad University and SFSU is that my professors in Leningrad were forced to teach socialist propaganda for fear of brutal punishment; here a bunch of aged hippies, who put students through forced indoctrination instead of academic work, were materially rewarded for their radical activism.

Not only am I as amazed as Alice in the Socialist Wonderland of San Francisco State University, but I feel as though I need to attend a third university to receive a real education. At SFSU, I've merely had my second Marxist indoctrination."




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