Keywords: Arab; Euro-American; Israel; Israel-Palestine; LGBTQ; Palestine; anti-occupation; cultural analysis; film; film analysis; homophobia; imperialism; nation; oral history; orientalism; othering; performance; pinkwashing; queer; senior thesis; sexuality; solo performance; theatre; thesis; trope
Dylan Goodman: Just also like her presence, even though she wasn't necessarily wanting to engage explicitly with Judaism or the culture of antisemitism here, there was a familiarity with her that spoke so deeply to me. Also folks even like Dr. Tilburg, Patricia Tilburg, who grew up in the Northeast and knew what Jews were,and it was just like there is a feeling of "oh my God, you know what Jews are?" Like, "oh wow!" Or like, "oh like I understand the way you speak." Like, I hate that like humour is a thing, but I think there's something in Yiddish culture with humor and sarcasm and absurdity, and people who would understand that, so there were some key Jewish figures in my life. Sharon, namely. Was there another one? It was really Sharon honestly. For me, it was Sharon. Um and I think, there weren't any--and then there was Sharon, and then when there was any kind of like Jewish visiting person speaker, suddenly I was on a short list, so. And there was also the one Jewish memory that I--really Jewish academic memory that I have is one time there was a Yiddish scholar who came to Davidson for a weekend, and I was picked to be in a brunch with her, and she was cool, but oh my God. This was so funny. She was amazing. I learned a lot from her. I like--one thing that was really cool, like she spoke about how Yiddish doesn't really have a lot of 00:02:0000:01:00words for fighting. Like the Yiddish specifically doesn't have clear language about war and militarism, but it has a lot of words about the eccentricities of human interactions, so like you know, there are a lot of words like "schlep" or "schnickle." To "schickle" means like your kind of kind of scamming someone a little bit, so let's say--so my dad would do this. There was a pool and an apartment complex next to my house, and so he would...In the summer, we would sneak into that apartment complex's pool, and he would say we were schnickling ourselves in. "Schnickling." Or like "verklempt," like when you're literally "klempt" meaning shut. Your throat closes up, because you're so emotional, which literally when people say their throats are closing up, you're verklempt. Like it's such a such a great way of saying what happens in the human body, and in like a human's emotional life, and so I really remember her and also once again feeling like this hunger like, "oh my God. I can't. I don't know why, but I know that I really need this." Because I wasn't ready to be in a way "out" about being Jewish. It was like something that was so shameful to me. I didn't want to believe that I needed it, because you know I had all these stories in my head of like, Jews are annoying. It doesn't really matter. It's just where you're from. It's not who you are. You can remake yourself, you know, like you can come to Davidson, and you can be whoever you want to be, you know. You don't have to be a Jew. But the thing about that brunch, I just want to tap that story is that she was having an amazing conversation with us, and then she mentioned she's from New York, and our waiter was like, "oh my God, New York, 9/11. I remember where I was during 9/11. It was, like I was in North Carolina watching it on the news. Oh, it was so sad. Horrible." I'm like, "shut the fuck up, like what?" And 00:04:0000:03:00like suddenly people started talking about their 9/11 stories, and I was like, but it's just like I--it was so clear to me like this also discomfort with Jews that like people would rather talk about like anything else like...They don't want to think about like New York Jews, they would rather talk about 9/11. Anyway, but that was a wild wild brunch, and I want that archived.
Dahlia Krutkovich: That is absolutely wild. Who brought her here?
DG: I think it might have been Dr. Tilburg honestly.
DK: Oh wow.
DG: I think it was something in the history department, or maybe the Russian Department? I don't know. I don't remember.00:05:00
DK: Do you remember two--There were two other other events that we're kind of aware of around your time here. One is the Jewish summit in a spring or the fall of 2015. The Rabbi organized. On Jewish life or something like that.
DG: Was that in the fall or the spring? It might have been while I was abroad.
DK: That's possible um I know Arielle was there, so we can ask her, and then the other thing is Fiddler on the Roof. Did that happen while you were here?
DG: Ha, no. So, this is also funny. I went abroad my junior spring, because I couldn't take it anymore. I just had all these... Like I said, I'd come out when I was a sophomore, you know the Davidson sophomore surprise. Guilty! Umm. That's a thing. That's a Davidson cultural thing.00:06:00
DK: Never heard of that before. Taylor you beat it by a year.
Taylor Drake: Yeah, I know! By a semester.
DG: Uhh yeah, so congratulations. Um so I came out officially my sophomore spring. And so that was also like really the focus of my identity development, was like really desperately needing resources for queer people, for myself. Um if you think there weren't Jewish resources, like hello, oh my God, it was bad. Like literally, You're Not A Stranger Here was like it. Like Q&A, like the queer student association was like mostly led by allies honestly. And it didn't have a lot of visibility, and YANASH was like, "oh like you can come to this like secret group and talk about queerness," and not even queer--not even like saying that, but like talk about like [winks] what you're feeling. And I was like, I don't want to go to a secret support group--00:07:00
TD: Yeah, like AA, yeah.
DG: --like it's an addiction or something. I was gonna make a joke, but this is for the archives. Um and so um I yeah, and there was a senior guy, and we had a very lovely romance that then became public when we made out at a Rusk formal. And then suddenly I was out on campus, and he was engaged with really wanting tobring visibility and had a core group of friends, and I was a part of that. And we had a kiss-in on Valentine's Day in the Union. All queer couples making out for a minute on Valentine's Day in--I think it was 2014, and it was incredible, and then it kicked up, and then we brought umm iO Tillett Wright to come here and do the portrait work of his "I am" series, or I think it might be "I owe you 00:08:00this day," but his "I am" series, basically he's doing portraits of any single person who identifies as anything on the queer spectrum, and then his goal was to lay them out on the Washington Memorial, the Washington Mall--what's it called?
DK: The Mall. The National Mall.
DG: The National Mall. And to have all these faces to show that there is no one image of queerness, and literally like he came here, and he photographed Davidson students to be part of his national project.
TD: That's awesome.
DG: And it was like right there by the swing set, like a very visible location, where people could take their picture to show that they wanted to identify as queer, and so like all these things like pushed the conversation to the forefront, and so that was happening about my queerness, but it was not happening about my Jewishness, because I was just starting to come in terms with this one part of myself that I was being visible about. But I didn't realize that actually the same closeting that I was doing to myself with my queerness I was actually doing toward my Judaism. And so when I went abroad, it was because I just need--I was feeling burnt out by all my activism and feeling like I had to wake up and like fight every every day, and so I did this human rights program in IHP that went to Nepal, Jordan, and Chile. Incredible. Changed my life forever. Changed my political identity forever, but a big thing was this was a little like you could--I think you could say it was antisemitism. The theater department was somewhat disappointed that I decided to go abroad when they were doing "Fiddler on the Roof." That part of the...One of the goals of doing fiddler on the roof was that finally we had a contingent of like strong Jewish actors, and I was one of them, and so I kind of like threw a wrench into their plan. But I remember feeling like, from what I heard from the home front00:10:0000:09:00while I was away that, it was very confusing the way they did it. I think "Fiddler on the Roof" means a lot to me as for my Jewish heritage, because when we would drive up to visit my family in New York, we would listen to the whole cassette tape of "Fiddler on the Roof" like all the time, and we'd like sing all the songs together, and blah blah blah. So that's like--that's how I remember "Fiddler on the Roof," like it just being like a way of my parents being like, 00:11:00"and this is also where you come from." Which is such an American-Jewish experience of being like, "whoa, musical. Like let's imagine the shtetl as it were in a musical," and like erase the structural violence that followed us here and so on and so forth.
DK: Yeah, so I was going to ask. So, you kind of touched on abroad. Last night at dinner, you kinda talked about how that experience also changed your Jewish identity. Do you mind speaking a little to that?
DG: For sure, for sure. Yeah so while they...So umm well "Fiddler on the Roof" was also like, there was a lot of feeling about the casting of Fiddler on the Roof.
DK: I've heard there was some funny stuff with accents, and yeah.
DG: There was stuff with accents, stuff with like how it should be cast, like how it would be racialized, how like, a lot of things. If you wanted to learn more about it Matthew Schlerf was the dramaturg, and yeah he was really invested in that project, so. But while I was not engaging in Fiddler on the Roof, I was in Jordan for the second part of my trip, and they said, okay like in our orientation before we even met our host families they would say, "just so you know we really recommend that you..." [Glitch]00:12:00
TD: Keep going!
DG: Don't talk about religion. Because there have been Jewish people in the past, and some of them brought it up, and it hasn't gone well or whatever. We don't want--we don't want you to feel in anyway unsafe. And I was like okay, suddenly I'm feeling very Jewish, like okay like now I know. I know what to do. [Sarcastic voice] I was told all these stories about you know the horrible way00:13:00Jews are treated in countries in the Middle East, and you know, how all those horrible Arab countries in the Middle East like tried to destroy Israel, and that's what all of my Sunday School teachers told me from when I was little, so I know that they just hate Jews. Horrible. These are all horrible things to believe. Archives. These are also lies! They're lies. Um so uhh my--the person I was staying with, my host family, he came from Romania. He liked to be called Bobo, because that was his like nickname in Romania. So Bobo was Christian Orthodox or Eastern Orthodox Christian, and he was really interested in Islam, and they--not in a problematic way. And so, we go on our first night. We're in the car with my new host brother Yazan, and I'm just like, "okay, cool. Like this is all good, just don't talk about religion, it's gonna be great. Yeah." And Bobo's like, "so are you guys Muslim?" And I'm like, "Goddamn it! They told us not to talk about our religion!" Um and I'm just sitting in the backseat like "fuck fuck fuck fuck..." And Yazan's actually like, "no, we're actually Eastern Orthodox Christian," and Bobo's like, "oh man. Like I really wanted to be with a Muslim family." I'm just like, "you're so problematic," and then so, that was just wild. But then, Bobo--so then Yazan turns to me and goes, "so what religion 00:14:00are you, Dylan?" And I say, "well I'm not Christian," and he's like, "are you Muslim?" I was like "no," and he's like, "are you Jewish?" And I was like, "yes." And he's like, "what did you think I was gonna do? Like, I don't care. Our problem is with Israel; it's not with Jews. I was like I'm not gonna like kill you. like what do you think this is?" He also really liked to play tricks on me, which was funny. Like one time he was like, "okay, Dylan. Tomorrow I'm gonna take you to this secret cave in the desert, and you know actually there 00:15:00are sightings of like a genie, and so like it's pretty scary like the last host kid we had, like he really freaked out afterwards, so get excited." And I was like, "cool cool cool." And then the day would come when I'd be like, "so Yazan, are we going to that cave?" He's like, "no, what do you think that is, Aladin? You're an idiot." And I was like [laughs]. Anyway, he was funny, and I was funny, but but yeah, at that moment, actually really crystallized a lot of things for me, because it really severed this idea in my mind that Israel and 00:16:00Judaism are one in the same, and I think in many ways that had been holding me back, because I associated Judaism so strongly with the nationhood of Israel, I felt like I did not have access to Judaism, like I feel like it was something that I did not own. I was like, "oh well, I don't know enough about Israel, or I haven't been there so." And so, the fact that he was distinguishing between these two things, and Judaism was a concept that meant that I might have opinions and beliefs and ideas that were not immediately obvious felt like being freed to own this thing for myself. Him saying you being Jewish doesn't mean anything about your politics or your feelings in the world was an opportunity 00:17:00for me to reevaluate what that word could mean for me. And then, of course, that trip was also filled with a lot of unlearning and decolonizing all the stories that I had been fed about Israel. Everything was wrong. Like everything that I learned was wrong, and it just was so obvious to me. I don't know why, but like 00:18:00when I was learning about like, okay, actually there were people living in Israel. Oh, there were people living in Palestine, like that was something I didn't know. I was taught the whole like this was a swamp, and then Jews came, and they made it better, and then the Arab people living there wanted to take it back, because suddenly Jews made it great, and once they made it great, then it was--then it became a place to be attacked. Like I had no awareness of the indigenous history of Palestinians, or the fact that the development of Israel was a complete like colonial European project that was made such that Jewish European immigrants had a leg up against everyone else. Even got British, like British recognition, and help in creating a self-governing body before any other person, any other Palestinian person could. And even before that, I learned that there was even a deal that had been crafted in World War I that would have granted a homogeneous Arab country. There was a sultan from Saudi Arabia who agreed to fight with um to fight against--what are the two sides of World War I? It's the... 00:19:00
DK: Well it's also Allies and Axis, but essentially like Germany, theAustro-Hungarian, the three powers.
DG: Yes, and so the sultan agreed to help fight the Axis powers and the Ottomans, and the British and the French were like, "oh yeah, that would be awesome! And we're going to give you a land that you can create as a like culturally homogenous place." And I didn't know that existed. That was incredible. This is--these letters are from I think one of the characters actually--nevermind. I'm not gonna misquote things, but basically that this existed. There was a deal that actually could have probably changed history, as00:20:00we know it. Changed the sectarian violence as we know it, but then after World War I, we know what happened. They just divided all the land amongst the European powers, and what they ended up giving this person from Saudi Arabia, they gave him the land of Jordan. And, it's basically desert. They literally cut out a piece of land that had inherently has--that is impoverished of natural resources, and is one of the most--the third most water impoverished country in the world or something like that, something of that extreme. And so then like thinking about the ways these European powers just literally fucked over everyone and then made deals and like did the whole classic divide-and-conquer thing, it just made so much sense. Everything that had felt confusing to me about why why why why why--when it was stacked in this history, the narrative just clicked. And I realized that I had been lied to, and it was empowering, because I suddenly saw that being Jewish could make a difference. Because if I 00:21:00was a Jew who knew this story, then like maybe there's a future for even like Israel-Palestine that could be different, and that like if I could be Jewish in a way that fought all those narratives, maybe I wouldn't hate being Jewish so much. And then suddenly like my Judaism had was--had a feeling of like mission too. I'm gonna let you ask another question, because I feel like I'm rambling a lot. 00:22:00
TD: Umm--yeah do you? Could you speak a little bit about your--was it your thesis, the "Rainbow Nations and Orientalist Closets," and kind of the role that project played in your evolution of not only like your queer identity, but also your Jewish identity.
DG: Yes! Oh my God.
DK: We did our research.
DG: Oh my God!
TD: It was so cool.
DG: LOL. So as you can imagine that project was catalyzed by my conversations in Jordan, um whatever--here we are, we're all friends. When I was in Jordan, I was on Tinder, and I extended the distance, and then suddenly, I was matching with Israelis, who lived in Tel Aviv, and that was my first contact with Israelis who lived in Tel Aviv, and because yeah, and so it was getting a lot of00:23:00just like I'm--just random messages, and then there's one guy his name was Shai, and he had a picture of Alicia Silverstone from clueless in his profile. I know. I was like he's great.
DG: Icon. Exactly. I was like, I love that movie. You love that movie. My dad was always like, "oh, she's Jewish." My dad always said like, "well, Alicia Silverstone, she's Jewish, did you know that?" Like, you know, that was the thing I had to know. "She was one of us." And Shai and I kept in touch after I went to Chile, and then after I came back to Davidson, and so through my being connected to him, I was also learning a lot of nuances about how Jewish Israelis view their country, and the very complicated way they view their country. And he was also saying--there was just this thing about like being queer in Israel, and the way things were playing out on the national stage about pinkwashing. This is the same time as the Chicago Dyke March--00:24:00
DK: Oh really?
DG: [Nods] --in which A Wider Bridge had come to speak or maybe no it was Creating Change. It was a Creating Change conference in Chicago, and A Wider Bridge had come to speak, and they had been protested and threatened and people had organized against them. A large coalition of like leftist progressives against A Wider Bridge, against pinkwashing. And so, I felt like there was this huge conversation that had to be had about queer identity and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and I felt like I had been suited to take that project on, because when I was doing my human rights program, I was doing a lot of oral histories with queer people in Nepal, Jordan, and Chile. And one of the things that I was really trying to unpack was where is the line between a blossoming queer culture in the world and imperialism, the real threat of00:25:00imperialism, from a Euro-American view of sexuality, because you can be in Nepal, and I could be speaking to this amazing lesbian activist, and we could be bonding over watching The L Word, and we did. And like, what does that say about how queer culture can sometimes become a tool of American imperialism? And I was 00:26:00reading a lot of writing about specifically queer identity in the Middle East, and the ways that like British colonization has now created what is homophobia, and like a reaction to European influence perpetuates homophobia, and all these things, and so I wanted to specifically look at Israel, because I had access to this person named Shai, and because I felt like there was a conversation happening in the United States that desperately needed nuance, and because I feel like this was the way that I could finally politicize my Jewish and queer identities together. As someone who was actively wanting to be in diaspora, actively wanting to be queer, and actively wanting to be speaking out against the occupation. And so basically my project--should I just describe my project? 00:27:00
DK: Go ahead, please.
DG: Oh, so it's three parts. The first part is a cultural analysis of a common film trope in Israeli media, which is you have a gay Palestinian living in the occupied territories and a gay Jewish Israeli, who's living probably in Tel Aviv, and then they meet like across the border, and they have a Romeo and Juliet style romance. And in my research, basically I find that these films are a way of once again like polarizing these two places and making it00:28:00seem like, in the occupied territories, in Palestinian culture, just your Othering of them in the same way that Orientalism would other Arab cultures by hyper-sexualizing them. Now there's a thing where it's called, the Orientalist closet, in my terminology, which is that that same kind of Othering is happening by making them seem sexually repressed, and sexually violent and homophobic. And so now, it's the same kind of European, in this case Jewish Israeli gaze, looking at Palestinian Arabness as as something that is holding back modernity with this homophobia. And then the second part of I'll be going to Israel, through Davidson, and having interviews with queer Jewish Israelis, because I wanted to actually see, okay, pinkwashing says that Israel's this amazing place 00:29:00for gay people, and it's like a tool to also like obfuscate human rights abuses, and also become legible in a New World order, in which like Euro-Americaness now embraces queer people. Like suddenly now it's like, ok, like John Kerry is saying like, "We're out to protect the rights, like the liberty of LGBTQ people." So, it's like that same kind of feeling of liberty that was the reason to invade countries across the world. Now, it's a liberty for like sexual 00:30:00liberty. It's like a repackaging of the same kind of imperial desires, and so becoming legible in saying, look. Look, we have sexual liberty, like we're aligned with you, the West. So, I wanted to actually talk to people, who live there, who are the ideal subjects of this sexual liberty in Israel, who are Jewish Israeli and LGB. I was not able to interview any trans or GNC people in my week-ish. But basically, their stories were very compelling and very nuanced and basically said, "it actually does suck here to be queer, but at least it's not Palestine, at least it's not, at least it's not Syria," like, and I realized like you are doing this. Like your racism is actually serving a purpose in the nation-building of Israel. It's a way to make you feel complicit, because you have some Orientalist closet in your mind, and as long, and you think that it's so bad in all these other places, and it's justifying both your violence toward and also your willingness to not push back against your government, because you are afraid of the neighboring countries and neighboring cultures. Yeah, I'll pause there. 00:31:00
DK: Yeah did you...We've talked about kind of the faculty figures who populated your life here at Davidson. How did they react to this project when you kind of pitched it to them?
DG: So, my advisor was Dr. Maria Fackler, and my thesis advisor was Melissa Gonzalez, Dr. Melissa Gonzalez. And Dr. Gonzalez was 100% in. She is a hero for Davidson. I want that on the record. She is a champion of performance studies, and so when I was like, "I want to..." Oh yeah, so the three parts are--so, there's a film analysis, ethnographic interviews, and then the last part is a00:32:00play. It's a one-person, a solo show that I wrote in the style of Anna Deavere Smith, so I took the interviews, and then I performed. I performed them as all the characters that I interviewed. And so literally, I'm reading the transcriptions in a theatrical way. The performance was incredible. It was...I filled the 900 room to the brim about my gay Jewish diasporic like anti-occupation self. And it was one of the most beautiful things that I've ever done, and then in my talk back I led with a queer Palestinian student from Ramallah, and so I was like, "yeah, so you heard what the Jewish 00:33:00Israelis are saying, but let's not forget the people who are really the targets of all this." And so then the fact that she was able to stand on stage with me, and then we could speak back and literally give people who had such simplistic understandings of both Judaism and Israel-Palestine a crash course in the counter-narrative, as two queer people invested in the--fighting occupation, invested in also fighting antisemitism. Like, it was beautiful. It was beautiful. And so, Dr. Gonzalez, she was like, "yeah, do you--like, of course, make a performance, like that can be your final chapter. Of course that counts." And for her, it intersected a lot with the way she would...So the common theme was about nation building and how queer subjects are both pulled into nation-building and pushed out of nation-building, which if we think about antisemitism is also a very Jewish concept as well, and she was specifically interested in the intersection of how Israel-Palestine and pinkwashing and queer people in nation-building exist as like a counter example 00:34:00to how queer people and nation-building interact in Central and South America, and was very much interested in the parallels with Cuba and queer people, because there's a similar history of queer people being politicized both for and against the nation. And so, we had a lot of--it was like we were both interested in the same questions, but in different geographies. And the performance thing 00:35:00was a huge part. And she really pushed me to say like being Jewish is important to unpacking white supremacy. Like owning your Judaism is going to be important to impacting your white supremacy. Talking about pinkwashing is important to talking about US-Euro imperialism. Yeah, and she just had been champion for me like and really was very formative in the project. Dr. Maria Fackler, also amazing. She was incisive and made sure I stuck to my deadlines and was editing and would ask the tough questions like, "Dylan, I feel like you need to think about this more." Or you know, like she would just give me the push that I needed, and then afterwards I was like, "okay, like where do I go from here?" I'm about to graduate. I--could I just like be making theater forever? Well, yes. But like how do--I'd like to survive in a capitalist society? And like make money? And I and yeah so, I mentioned this story last night, but I had applied to City Year to live in New York, because I felt like New York would be helpful for like my homecoming, you know. I would be like returning to my roots cause like one of the things I really took away from all my work on my project, my thesis was we need people invested in diaspora. We need Jews who are trying to find liberation here, because I think that's a huge factor that pushes people to Israel and Zionism is they give up. They feel like they cannot be truly free here. They feel like there's so much pressure to assimilate and to lose yourself, and you know well, why not just retreat inward? And you know, put up the walls, and whatever. Like just be completely ethnocentric, because you have a whole world that's like trying to basically gaslight you into telling you that being Jewish isn't important, and but I think we have to be invested in the project of combating all those narratives if we want to be able to move around in the world because guess what? Walls actually won't keep antisemitism out. They don't keep homophobia out. They don't keep racism out-- 00:38:0000:37:0000:36:00
DK: Speaking to, sorry, speaking to antisemitism and also being mindful of time--you were involved in some Jewish organizing after Davidson, and in the midst of that, you also hear about the Nazis on campus.
DK: And can you tell me a little bit about your--like so people had their 9/11 stories, can you tell me that your Nazi story? And also how you kind of narratarized that with your time at Davidson?
DG: Yes... So yes. So after, to fast-forward, so after Davidson, I end up doing this Jewish organizing fellowship in which I was in community with other young Jews in their 20s who are invested in the same project of finding liberation in diaspora and learned organizing as the way to do it. And then last year--was it in November?00:39:00
DK: This past, yeah, in November 2018.
TD: November 7th. Right?
DK: Yeah, November 7th.
DG: Yeah, so I was feeling like okay, I'm opening my mind. I'm like starting to practice Shabbat, because I'm realizing, like it's something I can reclaim, and I'm like learning prayers, and I'm like most my friends are Jewish, which never happened, ever, in my life, like now in Boston the majority of my friends are Jewish that's not--that was never true, because I had so much shame about being connected to Jews, and so in many ways like my life totally swung the other way in terms of having a very--wanting a very deep Jewish existence post-Davidson. And then in November of 2018, Arielle called me, and she goes, "hey, I don't mean to like traumatize you or trigger you, but this thing happened with this00:40:00person who'd been doxxed," and then she said the name, and it didn't ring any bells, and I was like, I don't think I knew this person. Like also like duh, like I'm from Protestant North Carolina, like if you go to the museum of the New South, you see the two people that they lynched. They lynched black people and Jews in North Carolina, like I grew up with that feeling of this is what this place is like, so like obviously there are Nazis here, duh. And it didn't really hit me, and I was like, "yeah, cool." Until I hung up the phone, and then I like Facebooked the name, and then I realized that I knew her, and I--that she was in the ROTC, and she had access to weapons, and that was the scariest thing. 00:41:00
DK: I actually don't...
DG: Maybe she didn't.
DK: To clarify there were no weapons on campus. She had weapons training, but no actual access to weapons, but that was something that students were feeling and the ambiguity of whether there were firearms on campus was definitely a really material feel that a lot of students felt in the--on that night actually.
DG: That's good to know, but still ROTC, like having that kind of training, like the proximity to militarism was just very startling to me. This is a person that I thought, like I felt like I had had positive interactions with and to see the account was very scary and startling and really shook me up, and then I heard about the incident with the white board, which I know has been debunked, but that, but the fact that it was in such quick succession, and then someone writing "Hitler was Right" on a white board--It just felt like oh-- [Glitch] things had gotten, yeah things had gotten--I got so used to just assuming that Davidson was just, you know, your regular degular schmegular antisemitic school, but like what can you do? Like what? It's a small liberal arts school in the South. Like that's it. But the fear of--this is the place that I used to call home, and now I have a Jewish life that I can feel proud of, and actually I00:43:0000:42:00feel like I have some responsibility to come back and and like do that--do Davidson justice as a Jewish person in the way that I could not do while I was here, especially when I was like becoming so invested in organizing and diaspora and talking about antisemitism and finally having the language to do it, and so then when Arielle reached out to me and then you reached out to me, you, Dahlia, saying that you wanted to bring a workshop to Davidson, I could not have been more thrilled and excited, because I know how much this place needs it. This place...The amount of workshops this place needs. So many. And I don't think I could have become the kind of activist and organizer that I am today had I not been challenged by this place. And I hope that doesn't sound, yeah--I think I do also owe a lot of my thinking to this place and the amazing mentors like Dr. Gonzalez and Dr. Tilburg and Dr. Fackler and Dr. Fache, Dr. Sharon Greene, Dr. Greene, who helped me get to where I am today. And so I also feel like, we as alumni--we, as Jewish alumni, have a responsibility to making sure that Davidson can at least be safe, because like I know that these professors who so much enriched my life and changed my life for the better can't do it alone. 00:45:0000:44:00
DK: Is there anything else you'd like us to record today?
DG: [Pause] I'm very grateful that you all are doing this, um--like being a southern Jew [laughs].
DK: [Chuckles] TM.
DG: Being a Southern Southern Ashkenazi Jew, like it was very lonely here, and to see all the ways that students are now like organizing and like--to have done the training yesterday and to have it packed with 50 people who are invested in talking about antisemitism and like wanting to speak its name out loud, I could00:46:00not have imagined that thinking about that first--my first experiences here like eating Shabbat pizza on the common, and I'm just really moved that people care and are like actually ready to listen.
DK&TD: Thank you so much. Thank you for doing this for us.