Friday, June 24, 2011
About a month ago, Norm Finkelstein, Rashid Khalidi, and Peter Weiss gave a talk at Columbia University on the Goldstone Report and the bullshit human rights violations that occurred during the massacre in Gaza in 2009. It was pretty hot, because they managed to hold the event without any counter-protesters accusing the speakers of anti-Semitism (which happened the last time Finkelstein was brought to Columbia for a speaking engagement) so the audience could focus on the content of the talks themselves instead of the context of the event (not to deny that the latter's importance!). Anyway, I got there early enough to get a choice seat - 2/3 of the way back, in an aisle, so I could make a premature getaway (I can never sit through a whole 2.5 hour event like this) without disturbing anyone. As the hall filled up, I noticed a very regular, loyal customer had taken his seat not 10 feet away from me. I waffled between hiding from him (I was in glasses, braids, no make-up, and a bookish sweater) and waving hello (he is super-nice and probably respectful). I went for the latter; he gave me a polite nod and mouthed a few friendly questions ("how are you? working tomorrow?") and then let me be for the rest of the evening. It's a small anti-racist world after all!