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Use Of Title VI

Use Of Title VI

The Jewish Week, in its otherwise thoughtful editorial “Taking on Title VI” (May 4), misses the mark a bit in framing this as the question: “now that we have the right to initiate federal suits against anti-Jewish or anti-Israel activity on campus, should we use it, or will it have a chilling effect on academic freedom?”

It’s not an either/or question; rather, the question is whether we should use that right wisely, focused only on those activities that are truly anti-Semitic as some are, or should we follow the blunderbuss approach of the Zionist Organization of America and use it against activity that, even if nasty, rude or, indeed, even vicious, is part and parcel of the rough-and-tumble political and ideological battles that are, thankfully, protected by the First Amendment. Of course, even if such activities do not fall within Title VI, nothing prevents college presidents from exercising their First Amendment rights, as their leadership responsibilities should demand, by publicly decrying such activities when they fall on the wrong side of civility and respect.

Teaneck, N.J.

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