Stanford University diversity trainers repeatedly employed anti-Semitic tropes during Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) workshops, according to a federal civil rights complaint.
The complaint, filed on Tuesday by two employees of the Stanford Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) division, alleges that Stanford diversity trainers accused Jewish people of upholding white supremacy and endorsed classically anti-Semitic tropes. The employees are represented by the Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, a Jewish advocacy organization. They filed the complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and at the state level, Inside Higher Ed first reported.
EEOC complaint against Stanford alleges DEI program created hostile environment for Jewish staff https://t.co/ioQNjtQjbV
— Jonathan H. Adler (@jadler1969) June 16, 2021
During the trainings, participants were separated into race-based affinity groups, according to the complaint. In the white affinity group, described as a “whiteness accountability” group, participants read the book “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo. Leaders of the group allegedly promoted “anti-Semitic stereotypes… that Jews are rich, white, and powerful.” Since the white affinity group was also for individuals who “are perceived as white presenting or passing” by others, the complainants say Jewish individuals were required to join it, and could not talk about their experiences with anti-Semitism.
When one of the complainants, psychiatry professor Dr. Ronald Albucher, asked the program to discuss an anti-Semitic incident, the trainers allegedly “accused [him] of derailing the program’s focus on anti-black racism” while “invok[ing] anti-semitic tropes and conspiracy theories about Jewish wealth, power, and privilege.” After that incident, Albucher alleges he “was effectively forced to leave the weekly DEI seminars.”
After another instance of anti-Semitic vandalism, Albucher and the other complainant Sheila Levin say they approached the Human Resources department. However, instead of changing the structure and focus of the trainings, Human Resources allegedly facilitated a meeting between Albucher and one of the DEI leaders who they say used the anti-Semitic tropes. The complaint alleges that the meeting was not successful in changing the nature of the trainings.
Albucher and Levin claim that Stanford’s behavior violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and are requesting an unspecified amount of monetary damages, in addition to an overhaul of the trainings. (RELATED: Landmark Settlement Agreement Moves San Francisco State To Recognize Zionism As ‘Important Part’ Of Jewish Identity)
This lawsuit is not the first to claim that diversity efforts amounted to illegal discrimination. The Daily Caller News Foundation sued Democratic Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot after she announced that she was “prioritizing media requests from POC reporters.” A former dean at the University of Missouri School of Medicine sued after she was fired, claiming that she was removed for criticizing diversity quotas.