The University of California, Berkeley, is facing backlash after a teaching assistant sent an email to students offering them extra credit if they participated in a pro-Palestinian protest.
The email sent by graduate student Victoria Huynh on Tuesday was for a class titled “Asian American Communities and Race Relations,” according to Fox News.
Huynh told students they could receive extra credit in one of two ways.
They could “attend the national student walkout tomorrow against the settler-colonial occupation of Gaza” or “watch a short documentary on Palestine and call/email your local California representative.”
This is a real e-mail distributed at an Asian studies class @UCBerkeley.
This is the same institution that welcomed in disgraced SF DA, Chesa Budin. pic.twitter.com/pAUmGvQslJ
— Ale Resnik (@AleResnik) October 25, 2023
Tensions have escalated in the Middle East and around the world since Hamas terrorists attacked Israel on Oct. 7, leaving thousands dead and injured.
Some on the left have justified the attack and condemned Israel’s retaliatory airstrikes in Gaza.
Huynh’s email sparked outrage on social media:
Extra credit for protesting anything is pathetic (shup up and read a book).
Extra credit for participating in a pro-Hamas protest is evil.
— Matt Sarelson, Esq. – Attorney & Advisor (@MSarelson) October 25, 2023
Academic freedom absolutely does *not* entail professors giving students better grades for parroting their political point of view. https://t.co/d1BJJKJtcV
— Yascha Mounk (@Yascha_Mounk) October 25, 2023
Joel Griffith of The Heritage Foundation called it “government-funded antisemitic indoctrination.”
Government-funded antisemitic indoctrination at @UCBerkeley. Extra class credit for walking out of class as an act of solidarity with Hamas’ terrorist aims of eradicating the world’s only Jewish state. https://t.co/XRf1IDIlif
— Joel Griffith (@joelgriffith) October 25, 2023
The Jewish Chronicle quoted one social media user as saying, “If you are a Jewish student reading this, do you feel safe on campus right now?”
After the backlash, UC Berkeley representative Dan Mogulof told Fox that Huynh’s offer of extra credit was a violation of university policy.
“The situation has been remedied, the assignment has been changed and there are now a number of options for extra credit, not just one,” Mogulof said.
“Students can attend any local event they wish — such as a book talk or a panel discussion — related to the course’s subject … or they can watch any documentary they wish about the Middle East.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.