Linda Sarsour at Disingenuous Best During Speech at US University
Linda Sarsour was recently invited to speak to students at Salve Regina University as a part of the 10 Year Anniversary of Multicultural Education Week. And judging from a recap of her speech, she was full of beans.
Linda Sarsour, award-winning author and activist, kicked off Multicultural Education Week in Bazarsky Lecture Hall on Monday, October 24th. Sarsour brings light to the issues that are being over looked within our country and around our world. The way she speaks through her experiences and passion, inspires and drives people to take action.
When talking about such large topics, she uses relatable situations and lingo to help people to better understand. For example, when trying to explain how we don’t need to agree on everything to be united she explains how there are things we can all agree on. Nobody should have to work three jobs to make ends meet. Even if there are things we don’t agree on, that is something everyone has the same view on. She speaks about her experience being the co-chair of the Women’s March in 2017. This is a perfect example of joining together for a common cause.
In this day and age in America, political labels polarize us. They make us hostile. In this environment it can be hard to have hope and to stick it out for the next generation. She explains how she wants to be able to tell her grandchildren that she fought with all she had in her. We are living in dangerous times. If we don’t stand up and fight for the change we want to see, it will never happen. You can always do something, even if it’s only a 5-dollar donation a week. She advises people to start within your community. You will never make a change unless you start with the issues affecting your community.
I really loved how she talks about going to other colleges. Her storytelling kept me engaged and really got me thinking about the lessons she was teaching us. One story she told was about when she went to speak at UMASS Amherst. While she was on campus before the event, there were rumors of a group of students who were planning to show up and protest her speaking at the university. Low and behold, while she was speaking a group of students arrived in the lecture hall wearing Trump t-shirts. She carried on speaking, and the students did not seem to be carrying out this protest they had been planning.
After she finished speaking, one of the boys came over to her. He had decided not to protest because he actually listened to her and some of the things she said struck a chord with him. She places emphasis on how we must be open-minded with one another. Hearing from someone who was planning to stop her from speaking, she realized that we are not as divided as we think, we just have to be open.
Lecturing about being open-minded with each other and the importance of being united even when not agreeing on everything is rich coming from someone who says you can’t be a Zionist and a feminist, who has promoted an event in which Zionists were explicitly excluded, has articulated her problem with humanizing Israelis, and who has expressed her open-mindedness and desire to come together with others this way:
Telling the story of the student who planned to protest her, but in the end didn’t is rich coming from someone who has had a Zionist kicked out of a speech of hers.
Believe it or not, it gets even richer:
Sarsour’s words were a great way to begin Multicultural Education week. There is so much to learn from her through her storytelling and personal experiences. “We are living in really dark times,” says Sarsour, talking about all of the large problems in our world that have not been tackled. She spoke on racism, sexism, antisemitism, climate change and so many other large problems we have yet to face head-on. She has inspired me and many others here at Salve Regina to stand up for what we believe in and make a change. Be the change that you want to see.
With speakers like Sarsour being invited to “inspire” students, it is no wonder US college campuses are increasingly becoming hotbeds of antisemitism and misguided ideas.