During a roundtable addressing the rise of anti-Semitism on college campuses held by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) condemned anti-Semitism and read aloud a statement from Auburn head basketball coach Bruce Pearl.
Tuberville, a former collegiate head football coach that included a 10-year stint at Auburn University, opened up his Tuesday remarks by saying he had seen "all kinds of hate" against black, white, Asian and Jewish Americans on college campuses.
"You know, I dealt with a football team that had to bring everybody together to be successful," Tuberville outlined. "We don't have that same attitude in academics. We don't have that moral attitude. I don't understand why – I really don't."
"Where do I see the problem?" he continued. "I'll tell you where the problem [is] – we don't have any leadership on our college campuses. Now, we have some good professors, we have good deans, we have good presidents in some places. Most of them don't have the courage to stand up for their students – all students, I'm not talking about a few, I'm talking about all. When things might not be right with some, they need to stand up for the others when they know that they need protection. It's sad. It really is. I've talked to my [university] presidents in my state after I was elected. I'm not going to put up with censorship on campus, abuse on campus, I’m not going to put up with it. I can't do a whole lot other than the fact that we do send some federal money to our universities. But until we get control of our leadership on campus, we have no chance whatsoever."
The former coach added, "Tenure has killed this country. And I'll tell you that tenure of people on campus that teach classes, knowing that they can't be fired – they can teach anything they want – it's wrong, absolutely wrong.
Tuberville went on to read a letter Pearl, a Jewish American, penned about the "misinformation" students were getting on college campuses across the country about Israel. He urged universities to "publicly condemn Hamas for their genocide and hostage-taking."
Letter reads as follows:
"As the head coach of Auburn's men's basketball team, I've witnessed far too many acts of antisemitism, racism, and other discriminatory acts. […] However, I'm not delivering this message as Coach Bruce Pearl. This is coming from Bruce Pearl, proud American Jew and a board member of the United States Israel Education Association.
Through my work with USIEA, I have spoken at town halls, held seminars on Israel with populations from young adults to ministers, and even taken my team to the Holy Land. Last summer, through my efforts with Athletes for Israel, we took the University of Arizona and Kansas State to Israel and Abu Dhabi to support peace and prosperity in the Middle East through the Abraham Accords.
College rhetoric is full of misinformation. Students need the facts and the history that underpins it. They need exposure to people from different backgrounds. They also need opportunities to come together to find common ground through prayer, spirituality, and honest dialog. That is how we end this cycle of hate and eradicate genocide. The unwillingness of universities to publicly condemn Hamas for their genocide and hostage-taking breaks my heart.
I come to you out of love for my country, love for my Jewish faith, and love for all of our college students. Please stand with me to defend all three from antisemitism and urge Congress and the Biden administration to enforce the protection of Jewish students and foster an environment for them to grow, thrive, and learn the truth.
There needs to be moral clarity here, and no more calls for Israel and the Jewish people to be eliminated ‘from the river to the sea.’ I'd like to thank the United States Congress for consistently and unequivocally and unconditionally standing with Israel and helping her fight for her ability to exist.’”
To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email [email protected].
Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.