The philanthropist behind the University of Manitoba’s largest-ever personal donation — $30 million — has denounced a speech made by a valedictorian for medicine grads and admonished the university for letting it happen.

In a letter dated Monday, Ernest Rady says he was hurt and appalled by the remarks by valedictorian Gem Newman at the May 16 convocation for students from the Max Rady College of Medicine. The school was renamed in honour of Rady’s father after the 2016 donation.

“Newman’s speech not only dishonoured the memory of my father, but also disrespected and disparaged Jewish people as a whole,” said Rady’s letter, sent to U of M president Michael Benarroch and college of medicine dean Dr. Peter Nickerson.

Approximately two minutes of Newman’s nine-minute address focused on the war in Gaza and called for a ceasefire in the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, which began after an Oct. 7 cross-border attack on Israel led by Hamas that killed roughly 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took 250 others hostage.

In a statement emailed to CBC News on Wednesday, college dean Nickerson confirmed the video that included the speech had been taken down.

  • Avid Amoeba
    link
    fedilink
    arrow-up
    72
    ·
    2 months ago

    Stating the actions of the Israeli government and calling for a ceasefire is, hate speech… 🤦 People like the letter author truly are racist. It’s just good ol’ a part of this ethnicity believe X, therefore all people of this ethnicity believe X.

    • quindraco@lemm.ee
      link
      fedilink
      arrow-up
      27
      arrow-down
      1
      ·
      2 months ago

      Yep. Not too long ago I tried to explain this to some other Lemmings, and I got severely downvoted. They did not like hearing that ethnicity doesn’t imply a mental/cultural monolith.

        • quindraco@lemm.ee
          link
          fedilink
          arrow-up
          8
          arrow-down
          2
          ·
          2 months ago

          Bravo. I didn’t even go mental, I pointed out Africa has black people in it to disprove their claim that all black people are culturally American. They didn’t stammer, but they sure did get mad.

          • Cyborganism
            link
            fedilink
            arrow-up
            7
            arrow-down
            1
            ·
            2 months ago

            Hahaha what?? All black people are culturally American?

            Wow. Some people actually think this?

          • nickwitha_k (he/him)@lemmy.sdf.org
            link
            fedilink
            arrow-up
            1
            ·
            2 months ago

            their claim that all black people are culturally American.

            This really must be a surprise for the black Irish, British, French, Dutch, Japanese, and countless other non-Americans of color.

      • wahming@monyet.cc
        link
        fedilink
        English
        arrow-up
        8
        ·
        2 months ago

        Some servers are much worse at it than others. I’m a Chinese who got banned from .ml because I was ‘racist’ for making Xinnie jabs.

  • girlfreddyOP
    link
    fedilink
    arrow-up
    54
    arrow-down
    1
    ·
    2 months ago

    Rule 1 of donations … once you give the money away you have zero right to judge how it’s used and how the administration chooses to run their business/institution.

    Fuck rich people and their ham fisted power.

    • Kichae
      link
      fedilink
      English
      arrow-up
      22
      ·
      2 months ago

      The philanthropic model exists so that the rich can wield influence over society unmoderated by pesky things like public will. The threat of not getting more money is significant.

    • nyan@lemmy.cafe
      link
      fedilink
      English
      arrow-up
      1
      ·
      2 months ago

      That can bite both ways, though—I mean, not with publicly funded universities so much, but what if you find out the small religious sect you supported is a front for a murderous cult? (Yeah, I know, silly example, but . . .) Is there a point at which you should be able to exert control or claw back the money?

    • k_rol
      link
      fedilink
      arrow-up
      35
      arrow-down
      1
      ·
      edit-2
      2 months ago

      Well no I’m glad CBC talked about it otherwise we wouldn’t know that this guy is a rich idiot.

      CBC even allowed Newman to have a public reply to this. He kept his opinion straight.

      “It is frankly incredible to me that advocating for a cessation of hostilities is seen as not only controversial, but somehow hateful,” Newman wrote.

      • Perhapsjustsniffit
        link
        fedilink
        arrow-up
        14
        ·
        2 months ago

        I’m not normally one of these guys but on this point I am. CBC is habitual about its one sided coverage of the genocide in Palestine. It has openly suppressed journalists reporting on the Palestinian perspective and actively reports Israeli perspective regularly.

        Fuck CBC’s lopsided and biased coverage of the genocide in Palestine. They are complicit in promoting this genocide and need to be more than called out on it.

      • blindsight@beehaw.org
        link
        fedilink
        arrow-up
        13
        ·
        edit-2
        2 months ago

        To add to the other comment, CBC framed this in a very pro-Zionism way. The headline could have been “UofM valedictorian called racist for denouncing genocide”.

      • Perhapsjustsniffit
        link
        fedilink
        arrow-up
        4
        ·
        edit-2
        2 months ago

        Information is good when it isn’t lopsided and framed from only the Zionist side of the equation as is easily noted in CBC coverage and suppression of pro Palestinian articles.

      • applepie@kbin.social
        link
        fedilink
        arrow-up
        2
        ·
        2 months ago

        The article is shiti propaganda but there is an issue is that anybody under 40 can see right through it.

        Old boomer tricks don’t work as well anymore.

      • Cyborganism
        link
        fedilink
        arrow-up
        1
        arrow-down
        5
        ·
        edit-2
        2 months ago

        CBC have been pretty biased in favor of the Liberal party for sure.

        Edit: lol you guys are downvoting me, but the vocabulary and the phrasing in the article supports that the Liberal party’s narrative of being offended at the ICJ’s decision to want to issue warrants against Netanyahu and his goons. The proof is right there.

  • Reddfugee42@lemmy.world
    link
    fedilink
    arrow-up
    40
    ·
    2 months ago

    NGAF. You know how shitty it is trying to use your money to silence dissenting opinions?

    “I gave you money so if you disagree with me you’re disrespectful”

    That’s really how it works for rich people isn’t it? And they’re so out of touch they don’t realize they should keep that shitlord opinion to themselves.

    • jonne@infosec.pub
      link
      fedilink
      arrow-up
      21
      ·
      2 months ago

      That’s why philanthropy needs to be reigned in. It’s just such people using money (that would’ve gone to taxes otherwise) dictating how society should be run, whether in academia, the arts, leisure or even policing.

      If they paid this money in taxes, we’d all get a say what happens to the money (I know, that’s mostly in theory, in reality the rich get to say what happens with that money too).

    • moody@lemmings.world
      link
      fedilink
      arrow-up
      16
      arrow-down
      5
      ·
      2 months ago

      I agree with this, but also schools should be free to take donations because more money for education is always a good thing. Donations, however, should be no-strings-attached, otherwise they’re not donations, they’re bribes.

      • corsicanguppy
        link
        fedilink
        arrow-up
        18
        ·
        2 months ago

        more money for education is always a good thing

        This article shows the strings on that donation.

        • blindsight@beehaw.org
          link
          fedilink
          arrow-up
          1
          arrow-down
          4
          ·
          2 months ago

          The article explicitly says the opposite.

          UofM stated that they had several complaints about the video before the open letter, and they made a statement that it was taken down because it was inflammatory and divisive—neither of which says anything about the accuracy or truth of the statements.

          That said, the way CBC framed this with the article headline definitely implies that it was his complaint that mattered most. CBC also makes clickbait headlines, unfortunately.

  • Cyborganism
    link
    fedilink
    arrow-up
    23
    ·
    2 months ago

    When the system is set up to survive on rich people donations, then these rich people have the real power and free speech.

  • rebelsimile@sh.itjust.works
    link
    fedilink
    arrow-up
    22
    ·
    2 months ago

    oh yeah I really care what this asshole who’s got his daddy’s name scrawled all over some building thinks about words said in that building in particular. Fuck off.

  • m0darn
    link
    fedilink
    arrow-up
    16
    ·
    2 months ago

    Here’s what I think is the relevant part of the video, sorry about the source.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/Winnipeg/comments/1cubttt/university_of_manitobas_2024_medical_school/

    …disparaged Jewish people as a whole…

    No, laughably no. It’s possible to disagree with the speech’s characterization of Israel’s actions in Gaza, specifically whether or not they are intentionally targeting hospitals and whether or not they are committing genocide. But to say that the speech disparaged Jewish people as a whole is just factually wrong. It also feeds into some really wrong and anti Semitic tropes of Jewish control of the media etc. Really bad call by Rady.

  • AutoTL;DR@lemmings.worldB
    link
    fedilink
    English
    arrow-up
    3
    ·
    2 months ago

    This is the best summary I could come up with:


    “Newman’s speech not only dishonoured the memory of my father, but also disrespected and disparaged Jewish people as a whole,” said Rady’s letter, sent to U of M president Michael Benarroch and college of medicine dean Dr. Peter Nickerson.

    Approximately two minutes of Newman’s nine-minute address focused on the war in Gaza and called for a ceasefire in the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, which began after an Oct. 7 cross-border attack on Israel led by Hamas that killed roughly 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took 250 others hostage.

    The Israeli military operation has also triggered a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, displacing roughly 80 per cent of the population and leaving hundreds of thousands of people on the brink of starvation, according to UN officials.

    “I’m sure that some of you here today are worried that you might face censure for speaking about the genocidal war that Israel is waging on the people of Palestine, that it could jeopardize your career before it’s even begun,” Newman said in his speech.

    In the letter, dated May 20, Rady chastises the university for allowing Newman “to spew these hateful lies to a captive audience” and then posting the video “for all to see.”

    Newman said his valedictory address was critical of a government engaged in a campaign of collective punishment of the Palestinian people that has resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians, calling Israel’s actions a “horrifying and disproportionate response” to the Oct. 7 tragedy.


    The original article contains 942 words, the summary contains 232 words. Saved 75%. I’m a bot and I’m open source!

  • rekabis
    link
    fedilink
    arrow-up
    5
    arrow-down
    4
    ·
    edit-2
    2 months ago

    Israel is waging a genocidal war.

    So is Hamas.

    It’s just that before October 7th, Israel was only waging an apartheid war against a genocidal Hamas. Since then, Israel has done nothing more than step up to the same plate that Hamas was standing on all along, and since pretty much it’s inception.

    It’s an ESH situation, with civilians caught in the middle.

    Unfortunately, I have not seen any objections by Palestinians against Hamas, or by Israeli citizens against their government, which makes both civilian groups passively complicit in the two-way genocide in much the same way that German citizens in the 1930s were also complicit with Nazi atrocities.

    They’re both responsible.

    They’re both at fault for voting in such monstrous “leadership” willing to commit the most barbarous acts in order to destroy the opposing side at all costs.

    • rbesfe
      link
      fedilink
      arrow-up
      9
      ·
      edit-2
      2 months ago

      There have been massive anti-government protests in Israel, you just aren’t paying attention. I’m sure Palestinians in Gaza would protest Hamas if they weren’t busy trying to feed their families.

      • rekabis
        link
        fedilink
        arrow-up
        2
        ·
        edit-2
        2 months ago

        I’m sure Palestinians in Gaza would protest Hamas if they weren’t busy trying to feed their families.

        Looks over the last few DECADES of Gaza history

        Mmmm… yes. I’m sure they would. /s

    • phoenixz
      link
      fedilink
      arrow-up
      3
      arrow-down
      2
      ·
      2 months ago

      Can you honestly blame the Palestinians?

      They’ve been pushed around (read: mistreated, suppressed, tortured and randomly killed) for decades and now they’re being killed en masse in a genocide. Can you really balme them for not minding at all seeing israelis die?

      Worst of all, anyone saying that any of Israels actions are bad is made out to be a genocidal maniac right next to Hitler, by those actively executing a genocide right here, right now.

      Yes, it’s bad, but I get it, I get the sentiment, and you can’t tell me it’s that hard to understand the feeling.

      In all honesty, I think it is not unfair to say that the Israeli population is more complicit in all of this than the Palestinians. What is the excuse of the Israelis? Palestinians were second or third rank citizens for decades, being randomly killed, tortured or disappeared. What is the Israelis excuse? That eventual missile that came flying over and got taken down by the iron dome? Don’t make me laugh.

      Jews were treated horribly during WWII, there is no excuse for what happened. Equally, the Israeli government -and by extension, the Israeli population- has no excuse for what they are doing now. That Hamas attack IS NO EXCUSE. Hundreds of innocent civilians were brutally raped and murdered, and you use that as an excuse to brutally kill tens of thousands innocent civilians, thousands of them being children, allowing rape and torture, displacing millions, denying any help to those dying from hunger… I mean, I’m sorry, but THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR THAT. YOU ARE FUCKING WRONG.

      Yes, Hamas was wrong, yes, yes, a thousand times yes, and let’s hang all Hamas members from the highest tree but ONLY if we hand the Israeli government officials right next to them and immediately and unconditionally make Israel stop ALL the brutality against the Palestinians, allow them to move freely about abs that you start teaching Israeli children about the horrors you subjected the Palestinians to, just like the Germans did with their children for decades.