October 13th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

Shining light on Emory school's past anti-Semitism prompts healing – and, for one man, questions

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

Atlanta (CNN) – Sixteen years after Susan Shulman Tessel lost her father, she sat on a Southern college campus Wednesday night and couldn't stop thinking about him. Surrounded by hundreds in a packed ballroom, she cried because he was missing. He should have been there with her and her mother. He deserved to be.

The late Irving Shulman was the only Jewish man to enter Emory University’s School of Dentistry in 1948. That was the same year someone else came to the school: the newly appointed dean, John E. Buhler.

After one academic year, Shulman flunked out. Buhler stayed on for 13 years, leading what some Jewish students would refer to as a “reign of terror.” Between 1948 and 1961, when Buhler left, 65% of Jewish students either failed out or were forced to repeat up to two years of coursework in the four-year program.

Those who lasted often paid. There were insults from professors such as “dirty Jew,” accusations by faculty of cheating and questions from the dean like, “Why do you Jews want to be dentists? You don't have it in your hands.”

Tessel's dad earned the distinction of being the first who failed.

Irving Shulman's widow, Irma Shulman-Weiner, and daughter Susan Shulman Tessel came to Emory last week because he couldn't.

His daughter, who lives in New York, heard him tell stories about the constant reminders of how awful he was. His molds of teeth  which he was so proud of  would either get crushed by hands or grades. Convinced he wasn't being treated fairly, a non-Jewish classmate agreed to turn in one of Shulman's molds under his name. Shulman's handiwork earned that student an A-minus.

“At least he knew he didn't make it up,” Tessel said.

Her late father gave up his dentistry dream and moved on to pharmacy school. But, she said, being at Emory last week would have helped him make sense of what had transpired. That's when 19 former Jewish dental students who had experienced that era came together and finally received the apology and recognition they had never thought possible.

“He didn't have the benefit of knowing he wasn't alone."

'A fraternity of silence'

Three years after Shulman was dubbed a failure at the end of his first academic year, Perry Brickman got his surprise letter from the dean telling him the same. Unlike Shulman, though, he had never been told he wasn't doing well.

Stunned. Embarrassed. Brickman was both. But he wasn't beaten down enough to give up on dentistry and was accepted to the dental school at the University of Tennessee, where he graduated fourth in his class. He would go on to have a 43-year career as a respected oral surgeon in Atlanta. He knew he was no failure. He also knew he wasn't alone. He was one of four Jewish men who entered the school in 1951; two years later they were all gone.

Brickman, 79, wasn't one to bring up the past. In 2000, he went to a reunion of his Jewish fraternity brothers from their Emory undergrad days. It turned out eight of the men in the room had been scarred by the same dental program, but it's not something they talked about. Brickman's wife, Shirley, would later start calling the former dental students “a fraternity of silence.”

It would be years before that would change.

In 2006, Emory University celebrated its 30th anniversary of Jewish studies. Eric Goldstein, a Jewish history professor, set up the exhibit to coincide with the event. He called it, “Jews of Emory: Faces of a Changing University.”

Most of the exhibit was a celebration of the campus’ Jewish life, Goldstein said, but a small section jumped out at Brickman.

He stared at statistics, a bar graph that illustrated what happened at the dental school between 1948 and 1961. The image had been featured in a chapter of “Some of My Best Friends...,” a book published by the Anti-Defamation League in the early 1960s. Like a skyscraper among short buildings, he said, the bar showing the numbers of Jews who failed out of the school or repeated coursework towered above all others. He couldn't believe what he was seeing.

The visual highlighted what Brickman always suspected about the dental school leadership and how that period was handled at Emory: “I wasn't a failure. They were a failure.”

He knew there were stories behind those numbers  not just of those who hadn't made it but also of those who did. Between the statistics and a conversation with a still-burdened classmate, Brickman set out on a path to find them all.

Making waves

A month before one man got his degree, he was forced to stand before the dean and assembled faculty for an hourlong dressing down. Later, one of the professors pulled the student aside and apologized, saying he had a wife and children to think about and had no choice but to play along.

Another said the day he got his diploma he felt like he'd been released from prison. A third repeated what a professor used to call him, "my little black sheep,” and then, bothered by the memory, muttered under his breath, “son of a bitch.”

These men said they were the "lucky" ones; the ones who actually made it through to earn degrees from the school. The 39 Jews who Brickman said enrolled during the Buhler era were all men; few women attended the school back then. Of that bunch, a dozen flunked out. Only three of those 12 became dentists. At least 15 of the Jewish dental students who lasted were forced to repeat coursework – and in some cases a year or two of study.

Art Burns, 80, of Jacksonville, Florida, flunked out in 1953 but went on to be first in his class at Temple University's dental school. The retired orthodontist recalled later bumping into the Emory dean in an Army base dental lab. Buhler looked at him and said, “Burns, I'd recognize that nose anywhere.”

Another who didn't fail – but who Buhler insisted didn't have the hands for dentistry – found himself being asked to treat dental school faculty throughout his senior year. Crowns, restorations, fillings. You name it, Ronald Goldstein did it.

“I must have had good enough hands for them,” said Goldstein, 78, of Atlanta, who lectures around the world, is considered a pioneer in his field and wrote the first comprehensive textbook on cosmetic dentistry.

The men were accepted to the school because admissions were handled by the broader university and not the dental school alone, said history professor Goldstein (no relation to Ronald). While quotas worked against Jews in many institutions at the time, the Emory dental school story was unique in that these students faced discrimination after they arrived.

Art Burns, with his wife, Olly, and daughter Marlēn, failed out of Emory's dental school but was first in his class of 131 students at Temple University.

The issues were talked about in small circles, but they weren’t discussed loudly.

What student would announce he'd flunked? What parents would talk about such news, especially in a community that put such emphasis on academic achievement? And this was Emory, a hometown liberal arts jewel many local Jews attended; who would criticize – or believe criticism about – such a place?

Beyond these hangups was the worry about backlash that permeated Atlanta's Jewish community. It was rooted in fears born of history and reality – Atlanta's infamous lynching of Leo Frank in 1913, the ongoing activity of the Ku Klux Klan, the 1958 bombing of the city's most prominent synagogue. Israel was still a fledgling nation. This was also the immediate post-Holocaust era, a time when Jewish people in America were just starting to understand the magnitude of what had happened abroad, said Deborah Lauter, the Anti-Defamation League's civil rights director.

“It was a real period of insecurity for the Jewish community, and that didn’t really shift 'til 1967,” after the Six-Day War between Israel and its neighbors, she said. “With a war victory came a newfound confidence of Jewish people.”

But a small handful of Atlanta Jews refused to let go of what was happening at the dental school. Art Levin, 95, paid attention to every snippet. Then the Southeast regional director of the ADL, Levin was determined to make Emory own up to and deal with the dental school's anti-Jewish bias. He collected graduation programs, which included lists of students in all four years, and studied how the Jewish surnames disappeared or were held back while their classmates moved ahead. He nurtured contacts who helped get him inside information from the registrar's office to back up his calculations. He wanted to make the case not by outing any victims but by presenting irrefutable facts.

When the local Jewish Community Relations Council wanted to tone down pressure on the university, Levin's response, as he stated in an Emory-commissioned documentary that premiered Wednesday evening: “Screw that. This guy has been torturing students for 10 years.”

Photos: Faces of discrimination

Levin, at the time, was “villified” by segments of the Jewish community for making waves, said ADL’s Lauter, a former Atlanta resident who, like Levin, did a stint as the organization's Southeast regional director. “But that's why we're here for people who face discrimination. Sometimes ADL has to be the tough guy. We take no prisoners in the fight against anti-Semitism.”

While Levin takes great satisfaction in knowing the story is finally getting public acknowledgement, Lauter said it's “bittersweet” for him. “He did feel stung by the whole experience." In 1962, after nine years in his position, he left the world of Jewish community work.

Levin, who now lives in Florida and is hard of hearing, was not able to be interviewed for this story.

A form devised by Buhler, which at the top asked students to check a box – Caucasian, Jewish or other (Emory was not racially integrated at the time) – ended up being his downfall, many say. The university president, S. Walter Martin, had been dismissive of the concerns Levin and some others raised. So when Martin was out of town, Levin brought a copy of the form to Judson “Jake” Ward, the dean of faculty, and Ward grew incensed. He marched down to see Buhler, who resigned soon after.

Emory's president still refused to acknowledge what had been going on and wrote off Buhler’s resignation as coincidental. Martin even insisted to local press, Goldstein said, that Buhler could have stayed at the dental school as long as he wanted.

With the dean gone, Atlanta's Jewish community essentially closed the book and put it away.

Not the man he knew

That book only recently opened for the former dean's son.

A sister-in-law sent John E. Buhler Jr., 65, a copy of a recent story in the The New York Times about the episode. What he read “caught me completely off guard,” he said. “I was completely unaware of that situation.”

He was a kid when his father landed at Emory and always believed politics in academia prompted his departure, nothing more. Everything he ever knew about his father, who died on Easter Sunday in 1976, belied what is being discussed now.

The former dean of Emory's dental school, John E. Buhler, was a different man to Jewish students than he was to his son.

The younger Buhler, a retired oral surgeon living in Huntington, Indiana, said he grew up with a man who cared about “helping kids stay in school and not throwing them out of school.” When he got into the field himself, he proudly watched how former students sought out his father at conferences, showering him with gratitude. One even boasted that he had named his child after Buhler.

“It just sort of blows me away. … He did so many positive things for dentistry and students,” the younger Buhler said. “It's hard to believe.”

Trying to make sense of it all, Buhler Jr.'s daughter sent her father an article that appeared in The Spartanburg Herald in South Carolina in 1964. It was written soon after the older Buhler assumed the dean’s post at the new dental school of what was then known as the Medical College of South Carolina – and after the Jewish community there weighed in with concerns about past anti-Semitism, demanding his appointment be rescinded.

The 1964 article quoted the chairman of the Medical College's board of trustees defending Buhler, saying he was recommended for the new position after a committee concluded the Emory charges were “not as serious as painted at one time."

The former dean's namesake doesn't remember his father ever saying a derogatory word about Jewish people. In fact, he's quick to point out that when the family lived in Atlanta, some of his parents' closest friends were Jewish.

These sorts of claims get former students like Brickman, who led the charge to humanize the dental school’s history, riled up. He has collected too many stories and seen too many documents, including incriminating notes written by Buhler himself, to call the former dean anything but an anti-Semite.

But for Buhler Jr., none of this adds up. Really, how can it?

“If this situation did exist, it was certainly out of character of the man I knew,” he wrote CNN the morning after the Emory event. “If indeed these events did occur, I feel badly for the individuals involved. Last night’s event might have made them feel better but didn't compensate for their injury.”

I am sorry. We are sorry.’

Facing its history is something Emory isn’t afraid to do.

In 2011, it issued a statement of regret for the school's involvement with slavery. The Southern institution once had slave laborers on campus and faculty members who owned slaves.

Earlier this year, Emory fessed up to fudging data to boost its ranking.

Meantime, the university boasts a Center for Ethics, campus dialogues on matters like race, sexuality and gender, and has long-proven its support for Jewish studies and community. It has 20 full-time faculty members dedicated to the field, including world-renowned Holocaust scholar Deborah Lipstadt.

The school seemed ripe for the resurfacing of the dental school's history, which is why Goldstein, the Jewish history professor, placed a call last spring to Gary Hauk, Emory's vice president and deputy to the president. He said he had a friend Hauk needed to meet.

With testimonies he had recorded with his Flip camera, Brickman showed Hauk videos of men in their 70s and 80s, their negative Emory dental school experience still etched in their faces and emotions. Hauk didn't need convincing that something needed to be done.

A documentary incorporating Brickman's footage was commissioned, resulting in “From Silence to Recognition: Confronting Discrimination in Emory's Dental School History.” A plan was developed to invite the former students, their families and their widows to come together on campus for an apology that was half a century overdue.

What had happened to them at the dental school, which closed in the early 1990s for unrelated reasons, had never been formally acknowledged. It was time.

Blue ribbons were strung along aisles to reserve seats for the special guests, who first met privately with Emory President James W. Wagner. The men, some of whom hadn't returned to Emory since the day they left, arrived with family members from all over the country. Many went on to become great successes in dentistry. Those who gave up that dream excelled as physicians, lawyers, CPAs and computer experts. One man who flunked out tried his hand at painting, wanting to prove he had the manual skills the dean said he lacked; he won art show awards.

The experience had been a guarded secret for some – a chapter in life they hid from parents, friends, future spouses and their children. One woman in attendance said she had only learned the day before that her father failed out of Emory. For other former students, their time at Emory haunted them. One of their daughters – who refused even years later to apply to Emory when she went to dental school – dubbed herself and others like her “children of survivors,” a term often linked to the Holocaust. An 18-year-old man, who is gay and faced plenty of bullying, realized he could relate to the grandfather sitting next to him in new ways.

Widows and children of deceased former students showed up for those who didn't live long enough to see this day. One man, who was young when his father died, came to hear stories no one else in his life could tell.

All around them, as they took their seats, the ballroom filled. A standing-room-only crowd of hundreds came out to recognize them. Here, any shame from the past was lifted. Instead, these men were the picture of courage and worthy of respect – and that long-awaited apology.

“Institutions – universities – are as fallible as the human beings who populate them, and like individuals, universities need to remind themselves frequently of the principles they want to live by,” President Wagner said. “The discrimination against Jewish dental students undermined the academic integrity of the dental school and ultimately of Emory. … I am sorry. We are sorry.”

The night, which would end with a special dinner for this no-longer-silent fraternity, included a tribute to Brickman, who was called to the stage.

Norman Trieger traveled last week from New York to hear Emory's apology for and acknowledgement of past anti-Semitism. On Saturday, he passed away.

His wife, surrounded by family, clung to a tissue and dabbed her eyes. A daughter clutched her mother’s hand. A son looked up at his dad and beamed.

Brickman never did this for the Emory History Maker medal Wagner strung around his neck. Nor did he do this for the citation read to honor his work.

For him, this was a journey of discovery - one he took with the faces behind the numbers. With him that night were these men and their families, as well as the university he still loved.

Throughout the evening, and long after dinner ended, he saw tears, camaraderie, even laughter from some of the very men he feared were no longer capable of smiling.

All of this, he hoped, signaled what mattered most: Healing.

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Discrimination • Education • Judaism • Prejudice

soundoff (1,537 Responses)
  1. John

    There's this fringe group of christians, and islamists, that don't seem to realize that Jesus was a Jew. So as they try to destroy Jews, they end up trying to destroy the same one they claim to hold up, indirectly wanting to destroy him too. Jesus always said to forgive, not destroy others.

    October 14, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • Sam A.

      And may be you tell us, next, that Christianity is a Jewish sect.

      October 14, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • Dave

      A teacher of mine in school, a nun, always repeated the fact you mentioned about Jesus: Jesus was a Jew. How many times do Christians forget that. It was shameful what happened to those Jewish students at Emory back in the middle part of the last century. It is awesome and brave, however, that Emory did something each and every one of us should do when we do something wrong: Acknowledge our transgression and apologize. Those who have been wronged should also have the strength, or pray for the strength, to forgive, as Jesus commands us time and time again throughout scripture.

      October 14, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • DeeDee

      So an attack on a Jew, any Jew, is an attack on Jesus Christ himself?

      By that metric, an attack on any Buddhist is like attacking The Buddha, attacking a Muslim is like attacking their prophet, and so on...

      Stop spouting gibberish!

      October 14, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • Chriss221

      Tough to be a Jew... reading through these posts. Such hatred. Wow. Most of the world follows one Jew or another; Judiasm, Christianity, and Islam all believe in the Old testament. Then we have Marxists elsewhere, and secularists that believe in psychiatry (Frued). Jesus, Mary, Joseph, John the Baptist - all your favorite bible characters that you delight in were Jews. Jesus' teachings were very common doctrine among Essene Jews of the time, which would be kind of like Mormons in contrast to mainstream Christianity - if we were to put it in a modern-day context. Read about Jesus' Boys here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essenes We are mostly used to this hatred, but I have to say in history books 1000 years from now - (it being the Jewish year 5772, we have lots of millennia to reference) - this will read as a very hateful and dark period in humanity's history.

      October 16, 2012 at 12:59 am |
  2. Dave

    I guess the 'Bubbas' of the south are equal discriminators – doesn't matter, Jewish or black. The former dean's son would be wise to SHUT UP!!!!! Nobody buys his false protestations that his father had Jewish friends. His father's legacy is totally indefensible. So, say no more on the subject.

    October 14, 2012 at 9:03 am |
  3. sam kohen

    Emery is not the only university to have such a policy against Jews or Afro-Americans.
    A simple solution would be to give each one of these victims an honorary diploma.

    October 14, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • jseinfeld

      you can't even spell – why do you deserve an honorary degree?

      October 14, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • Toothless in Seattle

      I for one, wouldn't want my dentist to have an honorary degree! 😉

      October 14, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • Dahlimama

      when I read the comments of some of those that have commented her I wonder what is wrong with them? take this gem, you can spell why would you want a degree!!! what kind of moron would write that? Typos happen all the time dear moron,I find them even in stories written by journalists and second, the person was saying that the people that were discriminated against should be awarded a degree dear moron NOT himself perhaps a course in reading comprehension would help you! And Manny what can i say to you You are as misguided as the other bigots here you are NOT any more special that any one else here. many have been prosecuted and been survivors! Not just you so get off your high horse buddy you were almost wiped out in Germany and if things didn't end when it did you would have been. I don't believe you are Jewish if so why would you write such a post! I believe you are an anti-semite who thinks that by posting all this crap you'll put fuel on the fire against Jews. Tell my truthfully , is that you again Mel? No one group is special, better more loved by a deity. Such crap is what fuels wars and hatered, shame on you Manny!

      October 14, 2012 at 10:01 am |
  4. Goyim

    HYPOCRISY. Try to get ahead in Hollywood or the media today without being a zionist or making a big show of butt-kissing to the Chosen Tribe.

    What happened at this dental school could be seen as Affirmative Action before it became official policy, working to prevent (or slow) the eventually gross overrepresentation of jews in the upper echelons of many fields of American businesses, including the medical field.

    We live in a Jewish dominated western world today. Our new masters try to distract us from that fact by constantly rubbing or faces in the Holocaust or some old story of anti-semitism which are designed to exploit white guilt to silence criticism of the Jewish Supremacist State of Israel or jewish financial/political hegemony that is seen throughout the Western World today.

    October 14, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • John

      You are ill. Jesus was a Jew, think about it.

      October 14, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • Sam A.

      Jesus was NOT a Jew.

      October 14, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • Dru Richman

      @Goyim – You can put the white robe with the cut out eye holes away now. You've made 'your' position very clear.

      October 14, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • snowboarder

      sam – don't be silly, if there really was a character named jesus, the fables clearly state that he was a jew.

      October 14, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • Dru Richman

      @Sam A. – Really?!?! Well, if he wasn't Jewish, that would make him a Pagan (because those were the religion choices back then)

      October 14, 2012 at 9:18 am |
    • snowboarder

      dru – in this case, jew is an ethnicity, not a religion.

      October 14, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • Sam A.


      If Jesus was a Jew then Christians are Jewish, and therefore, logically speaking, Christianity is Judaism.

      October 14, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • Goyim

      Dru, why would I be wearing a ghost costume? Halloween is still weeks away.

      October 14, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Alex

      Freud gave an explanation for anti-semitism...I think it had something to do with self-hatred projected onto another individual. Freud was jewish himself, obviously. For all these accusations of a Jewish conspiracy to dominate the world, there has never been a Jewish president of the US, I believe, although there might have been one or two.

      October 14, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • snowboarder

      sam – jew is an ethnicity. christianity and judaism are religions. christianity is simply an offshoot of judaism, call it reformed judaism.

      October 14, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • Rick Shultz

      You probably should be going now. You're late for your KKK meeting.

      October 14, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • Jung

      Alex, Freud based his entire career on creating pathologies to describe everything that differentiated the Aryan (Freud's term) or non-jewish European mind with the Jewish mind as he saw it. That is how he came up with bizarre ideas such as the notion that expressing a positive view of the relationship with one's father was a sign of mental illness. This view was common for the 'goyim' who had a long tradition of nuclear family, much less so for jews. So Freud decided it must be pathological.

      There is nothing scientific or evidence-based about ANY of Freud's theories. His work was basically anti-goyim bigotry disguised as science. He set out to pathologize any entire race of people. It is astounding that anyone outside of jewry takes him seriously todayl

      October 14, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • yeshu

      @ Sam
      Reading a few historial books might enlighten you to facts.
      His name was Yeshu, born in Bethlehem to a Jewish mother and father, Miriam and Yoseph.
      He was crucified as a Jew.

      October 14, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • yeshu @ Goyim and Sam

      Goyim if you use that term-learn what it means. Goyim means merely "Nations" if you are referiing to just your self the correct term would be "goy" in singular.
      Jews are about 2 % of the population in this country. They do not control the world or Hollywood or anything else. Jews tend to excel in the socities in which they leave because they understand the importance of education and giving back to society.

      @ Sam...Christianity is not a sect of Judaism, however the disciples (most) were in fact Jewspthe synoptic gospels were written approximately 40-50 years after the Crucifixtion. There was no Christianity in 32 AD.
      Go into any church even in Atlanta and open a prayer book-most of the prayers are in fact Hebrew prayers which have been used for centuries-as is "Our Father Who Art in Heaven"-so when you bash Jews, you might want to re-think who Yeshu actually was.

      Shalom my friends

      October 14, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • CurmudgeonTx

      I'll take that comment as 'Boohoo...Goyim can't compete on a level playing field and needs it tilted in his favor'.

      October 14, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • Chriss221

      WOW. Dude. You're like a guy on the sidelines of a football game screaming at the ref because the rules favor strong, agile, powerful and fast boys and your kid, being a midget, can't keep the ball. Maybe if white supremacists like you could actually DO something other than complain all the time, the world would be a better place. Teach education, respect and dignity to your kids. Keep them studying when other kids are out playing sports. Keep them studying when other kids are hanging out at the 7-11. Keep them studying when you are being a loser, drunk somewhere when you should be with them, as well. And you know what...? They'll be high up in American society, have money and respect, and be... uh... well... uh... ALL THE THINGS YOU HATE. So yeah... sorry for disturbing you. My bad. You should stay the way you are and keep telling yourself and your kids that it's someone else's fault that things are bad for you.

      October 16, 2012 at 1:12 am |
  5. saywaaat

    playing the victim again,are we???

    October 14, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • agathokles

      No need to "play" the victims. They *were* victims. Period.

      October 14, 2012 at 9:10 am |
  6. Anybody know how to read?

    Dentists are at the head of the class when it comes to being scammers in the governmental-medical-corporate complex. Many retire in their 40's.

    October 14, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • ng

      Broad generalizations like this are indefensible. There are good and bad amongst all of us, from teachers, politicians, police officers to soldiers.

      October 14, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      'Mat 22:14 For many are called, but few [are] chosen.'

      October 14, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And most, Anybody, are not "scammers" or dishonest. Most dentists, teachers, lawyers, firefighters and people in general are not cheating the government or other people.

      Did you think you had a point? If so, provide citations for it.

      October 14, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Besides which, your ridiculous generalization has nothing whatever to do with the subject of the article.

      Why didn't you comment on how these people were treated by Emory?

      October 14, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • tom

      While that may well be true (I work in the health insurance field), what does that have to do with this story? Are you implying that the scammer dentists are Jewish? If yes, what about the Jewish dentists who don't scam. This is pure racism.

      October 14, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
  7. Elliot Carlin

    the article mentions little if anything about these Jews 'religion'. Sound more like secular jews than anything else. What is this doing in the 'Belief" Blog?

    October 14, 2012 at 8:32 am |
  8. Andrew

    Without liberal thinking, this sort of thing would still be happening today. Keep the spectrum shifting left and the world will be a better place.

    October 14, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • Elliot Carlin

      You are so correct. Race relations in this country have really improved the last 3.5 years.

      October 14, 2012 at 8:33 am |
    • snowboarder

      andrew – the center is where the reasonable people stand. the vocal minority on the left and right are only the loudest, not the most numerous.

      October 14, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • ng

      I agree. Our children will be less prone to it than we are, and so on. However, as change happens, the rump tries to fight back in an effort to keep the past alive.
      The racism of the last 3.5 years is not evidence of a return to the old ways, it's more like the last throes of a dying way of life.
      The New Normal is a better place than the racist past.

      October 14, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • snowboarder

      ng – i disagree. i think real racism has been supplanted by a political racism. i read a startling statistic recently that more than 50% of urban bIack youth do not graduate high school. the fact that as a society we are ignoring this is in itself more racist than the politically motivated jabs we see today.

      October 14, 2012 at 9:14 am |
  9. achepotlex

    I am so glad a light is *finally* being shone on the terrible discrimination against the Jews. really, enough attention isn't given to the terrible things that have happened to the Jewish people over the years. The media should make more movies and TV shows, and write more newspaper articles about it. It is edifying to see that they have managed to carry-on and make a modest place for themselves in business, finance and entertainment.

    October 14, 2012 at 8:26 am |
    • William

      Your sarcasm is evident.

      October 14, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • Andrew

      "Bitter, party of one"

      October 14, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • Elliot Carlin

      William..stinging come-back to facts. Be thoughtful for once.

      October 14, 2012 at 8:34 am |
    • Kristina

      Why shouldn't people talk about the discrimination that happened to them? Because it makes you uncomfortable? Because they should just "get over it"? People like you are what is wrong with the world. If something tragic happened to someone, they shouldn't just stop talking about it because of bigots like you. Disgusting, and ignorant. I'm surprised you even have the mental capacity to read an article so long.

      October 14, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • Everything in Moderation

      Look, it's simple. Was there discrimination, or was there not?

      If not, then no reason to tell a story.

      If so, no reason not to.

      If you don't want to read a story about discrimination against Jews, don't read it. So bloody simple.

      To take the time to (presumably) read one, then more time to comment, only to imply it's a waste of time, that's just proving the need to continue to discuss this in the first place.

      October 14, 2012 at 8:51 am |
  10. William

    Why is it around election time that CNN puts more and more religious stories on their front page? As for the Jews let us listen to the rousing speeches given by OWS slandering Jews. As a matter of fact, Jews are not very popular with this administration and Liberals in general. Any story on CNN about Israel brings a flood of slander and abuse in the comment section.

    October 14, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • snowboarder

      william – you can be supportive of jews without being supportive of the ludicrous notion of property by ancient religious birthright.

      October 14, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • Andrew

      @snowboarder – no you can't. Jews are permanently linked to the state of Israel. you can't support Americans and call America illegitimate

      October 14, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  11. Yavin


    October 14, 2012 at 8:22 am |
    • William

      Liberalism! The religion of bigotry.

      October 14, 2012 at 8:28 am |
  12. rs1201

    Someone should look into Emory's medical school and residency programs. There's plenty of good old boys there who are still making it hard for Jewish students. I don't want to be too specific because my son may be retaliated against...but let it be said that it took a NYC attorney to tell Emory to back off or there would be serious embarrassment for them in addition to law suits and serious cutoff of contributions to the university. .
    Emory isn't sorry about anything...they just got caught at doing something shameful...

    October 14, 2012 at 8:21 am |
  13. Reality

    Obviously, this did not prevent many followers of Judaism to do well in other schools:

    14% of the doctors in the USA are Jewish whereas the Jewish population in the USA is 2%.

    And from the following Jewish website:

    The 7 Wonders of Jewish History


    "Jews in the USA are over represented in proportion to the general population by 231% in medicine, 233% in mathematics, 265% in law, 300% in dentistry, and 479% in psychiatry. "

    "In income: Jews in the USA have the highest income of any ethnic group, 72% above the average and 40% higher than the second highest group, the Ja-panese."

    October 14, 2012 at 8:09 am |
    • William

      Most of the doctors i know are from India.

      October 14, 2012 at 8:26 am |
    • snowboarder

      the jewish community places a high emphasis on education. nearly all my jewish friends have advanced degrees and are prominent in their fields.

      October 14, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • Julie

      Judaism is a religion, not an ethnic group.

      October 14, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • Ron

      Yes, statistics shows that the Jewish population has been successful in every sphere of activity. BUT the fact is Christianity is still grudgingly intolerant of Jews. Now that we have a Black President and a Mormon Contender I don't believe it changes anything. Religion fosters hate. Period.

      October 14, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • agathokles

      You seem to imply, with your citing statistics, that no one should care that Jews were treated horribly at Emory or elsewhere. Well, the fact that so many succeeded - despite prejudice - is a testimony to their drive to succeed. They earned it despite obstacles. But that doesn't lessen the trajedy to any who were unfairly thwarted from pursuing their dreams.

      An analogy: should 19th century American blacks have been grateful for slavery because it made them physically strong doing all that manual labor?? And they got free meals, too!

      October 14, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • Kangaroo123

      Envy much?

      October 14, 2012 at 9:35 am |
  14. Jorge Sedano

    If this is true then this school must be closed.. its so simple the racial implications...

    October 14, 2012 at 8:07 am |
  15. snowboarder

    religion is nothing more than an imaginary division among men. it never unites, only divides.

    October 14, 2012 at 7:58 am |
    • nope


      October 14, 2012 at 8:04 am |
    • Jorge Sedano

      on drugs this morning are you..

      October 14, 2012 at 8:08 am |
    • Reality


      I ditto your comments with some added notes:


      Joe Smith had his Moroni. (As does M. Romney)

      "Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

      Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

      Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

      Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As does Obama and his family)(As does Biden and Ryan)

      The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

      Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

      October 14, 2012 at 8:12 am |
    • snowboarder

      jorge – drugs? don't be silly. i don't even associate with people who do drugs. heck, i've even entirely given up drinking because i am training for a climb over thanksgiving weekend. the guy i am climbing with did everest this spring, so i am in at a significant disadvantage.

      on topic, anyone who refuses to see the divisive nature of religion is simply deluding themselves. even members of different sects of the same religion have been persecuting and subjugating each other for the entirety of written human history. heck, the jews, muslims and christians even worship the same supposed god and look at that mess.

      October 14, 2012 at 8:22 am |
    • Elliot Carlin

      Snow-blower, You do bring up a good point. In your world there are probably no absolute truths, therefore in theory, everyone could sit around and hold hands. We know this has never been the case. Politcal ideology is divisive, so is race. Get the blinders off. Now I will admit, many of us who call themselves Christians rarely act so; however it doesn't make the absolute truth of the Gospel any less that what it is. Do you not drive cars simply because you've had engine trouble?

      October 14, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • snowboarder

      carlin – there is no such thing as absolute truth and the gospels are nothing more than incredibly embellished or entirely fictional stories.

      October 14, 2012 at 8:47 am |
    • snowboarder

      carlin – thanks for reminding me, i think after i finish mowing the lawn today, i will drag out the snowblower and the generator and give them their monthly run. gotta keep those engines exercised.

      October 14, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • Ron

      I agree 100%

      October 14, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • CurmudgeonTx

      Snowboarder, if that is true, then it is also true you Atheists are the ones doing the dividing amongst the religions. Bigot.

      October 14, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • tom

      Simplistic canard. Please think.

      October 14, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
  16. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    October 14, 2012 at 7:22 am |
    • Johnny

      No it doesn't. Otherwise, those men wouldn't have been forced out of Emory. I'm sure they prayed hard enough at the time.

      October 14, 2012 at 8:14 am |
    • truth be told

      Prayer is to God through the pathway of Jesus Christ. There is no other way.

      October 14, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • snowboarder

      whenever the toliet overflows i say a little prayer, but i know to bring the plunger anyway.

      October 14, 2012 at 8:24 am |
  17. Adelina the Carnal Dentist out looking for Bippy to pull his molars, and other assorted things.

    Better laughing gas, than pastor gas.

    October 13, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • His Royal Squirrelly Royalness Bippy, the New and Improved Super Extra Goddy God of Everything Including Jesus and Allah but Excluding Bagpipes, Esquire

      MASHED POTATOES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Uh, nevermind. I panicked.

      I fear you not, Stealer of long-lost Adelina/Frederica/Happy Meal's name-that-wasn't-her-name!!!!!! Wanteth ye to know why I feareth you not? For verily sayeth I, The Really Extra Spooky Prophecy tells us unerringly thusly:

      "Yea, thou naysayers and mocky mockers shalt mocketh thou most mockethly, verily, know verily that verily before they try to pulleth thine molars, they shall verily verily verily become enchanted with thine really cute little squirrel paw with its most excellent manicure and sparkly purple nail polish, and they will be unable to resist pulling thine finger, causing the most noxious expulsion of overripe methane from thine body, worse than yonder TV preacher, sending them into The Convulsions Of Doom!!! Then they shalt eat pop-tarts and leaveth you alone. Amen." (Gospel of Secret Squirrel, 4:32-587633)

      So there. God (me) said it, I believe it, that settles it. Then I took over heaven and became the Super Extra Goddy God, who gets to say cool stuffeth like stuffeth. Jesus is now Jesus the Lesser Human-God of Drippy Cotton Candy. Allah is junior assistant toilet scrubber, and he's not very good at it I might add.

      Oh crud, gotta go, panic attack coming on . . .

      BITE THE WAX TADPOLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! FROOT LOOPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      ps: True fact – there is actually a blog like this about squirrels called "thesquirrelboard.com". Stephen Prothero and the rest of the Dan Gilgoff Dancers don't write for it, so it is automatically much better. You can consider it a religious forum now that I am Lord Goddy God now.

      October 14, 2012 at 1:39 am |
  18. STOP MURDER OF CHILDREN , Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

    As the good LORD and GOD of Abraham, truth absolute commanded, YOU WILL NOT BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR DEED'S OF PAST GENERATION'S, TO FOR WHAT THEY WERE USED TO DO AND NO ONE WILL CARRY BURDEN OF DEED'S OF OTHER'S, NOT EVEN CLOSEST OF RELATIVE'S, so is stated in consti tution of USA, take your hinduism absurdity of the past to your graves, and let this generation and generation of the future live in peace. hindu Jew's, criminal self centered, secular's. Deniers of truth absolute GOD.

    October 13, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • Theen Allah Fat Mullah (the original hinduism source.....)

      OOooooo I am touched by a sentence in your post Fat Mullah aka Terrorist POS, it is SO ridiculous coming out of your mouth "....let this generation and generation of the future live in peace....".

      October 13, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • Theen Allah Fat Mullah (the original hinduism source.....)


      October 13, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
    • STOP MURDER OF CHILDREN , Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

      hinduism, absurdity of a hindu, ignorant, not different than his evolution daddy monkey.

      October 14, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • Theen Allah Fat Mullah (the original hinduism source.....)


      October 14, 2012 at 12:07 am |
  19. Meatwad

    I am afraid to go to the damn dentist. He might put me under with the gas and take advantage of me.

    October 13, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
  20. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    The kind of bigotry exhibited by Emory to these former students is inexcusable and shameful. Hopefully this event, and the apology, provided closure for many who were affected.

    The t;tle of the article however makes me question the journalism here:
    "Shining light on Emory's 'reign of terror' prompts healing – and, for one man, questions

    A 'reign of terror'. Really Ms. Ravitz? Doesn't that seem a bit of an exaggeration, particularly connected with people whose familiy memories include genuine terror.

    October 13, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      The students certainly may have used this colorful metaphor, but in the t;tle of your piece, isn't it a bit over the top?

      October 13, 2012 at 10:13 pm |

    • Anything involving teeth can be a real terror.

      October 13, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center


      I agree with you. I would imagine she is following the tone set by some of those who were discriminated against. A better angle may have been to draw a line from the genuine terror of the holocaust to the modern discrimination that followed and how they are related, without over sensationalizing inequality and anti-Semitism in this college.

      October 13, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.