The Dickinsonian reports about an antisemitic video featuring Dickinson College student Shane Shuma:
The Dickinson Community has been calling for the punishment and expulsion of Shane Shuma ‘22 after a video surfaced from the YouTube account “Dson Action Now” on Friday, Feb. 19 of Shuma making antisemitic comments after starting the video by stating that he would be talking about “reasons why the Holocaust was a good thing.” Although the video was published on YouTube on Jan. 24 2021, the video was filmed in 2018 or early 2019 during Shuma’s first year at Dickinson.
“I was deeply disturbed and disappointed that a Dickinson student would participate in such an offensive video. I expect so much more from our students,” said President Margee Ensign. Ensign said that she was also horrified by the manner of the video “laughing and sharing untrue comments about the Holocaust, a genocide that has left its scar on humanity, is abhorrent.”
Ensign stressed the importance of supporting Dickinson’s Jewish community. “We need to support our Jewish community members and continue to work for a more just society,” said Enisng. She addressed the worries of Jewish students “I understand why Jewish students may feel unsafe, but I want to assure them that those involved in this video will be held accountable.”
“I am truly sorry if the jokes I made in that video hurt anyone’s feelings. That was never my intent,” said Shuma in an email to The Dickinsonian. “I was 16 years old, reading from a script I believed was for a film project.”
However, Shuma, who is now 19 years old, clarified that although he might have been young at the time, he objects to the notion that he put anyone in danger. “The video does not reflect who I am. But I also have to push back against the idea that telling jokes, even offensive jokes, poses a threat to anyone’s safety. We have to be able to distinguish satire from reality, and the idea that having told these jokes makes me a threat to anyone’s safety simply is not credible in any way,” said Shuma.
Shuma said that while he would not make the jokes again, they are not the only aspect of the video he would rethink. “The jokes I made in the video are definitely not jokes I would make again, even in a satirical context,” said Shuma. “But what is truly regrettable is that we now live in a climate so unforgiving that some bad jokes I told at age 16 have led to my home being vandalized, hate messages being sent to me personally, and everything I have at the College being taken away from me.”
“We now live in a climate where we are all judged, forever, on our worst moments or our dumbest decisions, regardless of our intent,” said Shuma. “And I ask, is this really the standard by which we all want to judge and be judged?”
Note how Shuma does not apologize for making the vile “jokes”, but rather that he’s sorry “if the jokes I made in that video hurt anyone’s feelings.” This is the typical non-apology of someone who gets caught doing something hurtful.
Also note the last part I bolded; it looks like he’s parroting his lawyer.
Here’s the vile video in question:
It sure doesn’t look like he is reading from a script. If anything, it sounds like he is making it up on the spot.
In the comments to the video, Shuma goes after another student – the one he claims is the cameraman, who he thought he was helping for a film project.
If what Shuma is claiming is true, then I assume these facts will come to light since he claims they can be verified by things like video equipment logs.
But it likely won’t matter for Shuma – his actions and lack of taking responsibility for them speak volumes.