I have been following various faculty reactions to the Ray Kelly shout-down, including from Political Science Professor Marion Orr who apologized for inviting Kelly, and Biology Professor Ken Miller who issued a forceful denunciation of the shout-down.

So when I saw an article in The Brown Daily Herald about a faculty panel discussing stop-and-frisk in light of the Kelly shout-down, it was only natural that I would look into the panel members who were cited as being supportive of the protesters.

I reached out to Stefano Bloch, a post-doctoral Mellon fellow, who was quoted in the article as being supportive of the shout-down. Bloch has a really interesting background in urban space studies, which led him to study policing practices. Bloch promptly returned my email, and we had a great conversation. He said that his statements were taken out of context (and [the article] incorrectly suggested he used an “expletive”), that he wanted to hear Kelly speak, and even had recommended it to the students in his crimes class.

I also reached out to panelist Linda Quiquivix, also a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow who teaches several classes at Brown, including related to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

Quiquivix was quoted as follows:

The protestors’ action also received praise from panelist Linda Quiquivix, a postdoctoral fellow at the Cogut Center for the Humanities.

“We all recognize that the shutting down part was important because it wouldn’t have received as much publicity and as much news if it had just been a protest,” Quiquivix said….

“I got my most important political upbringing out on the streets,” Quiquivix said, urging audience members to reach out to the Providence community more frequently in order to understand social differences. She added that “a lot of learning” can happen beyond the College Hill “bubble” if students and faculty members are willing to engage with the broader community.

Quiquivix seemed pleased that not just Brown students protested Kelly, but that it was a community effort:

Non-Brown U community members played a huge role in this!

It was not entirely clear from Quiquivix’s public statements if she supported the shout-down, or just the protests.  There was no response to my email requesting that we discuss her views.  Also, no response to my second email.

I did some research, and found the most extraordinary column written by Quiquivix when she was a grad student in 2007 at UNC Chapel Hill.

The column made its way to James Taranto’s Best of the Web column, and elsewhere at the time.

The column is not available directly anymore, but it lives on in the Wayback Machine, Know this, future ex-boyfriends of mine:

Friends who know me weren’t surprised to learn that my Zionist boyfriend and I broke up last summer shortly after Israel began dropping bombs on Lebanese children. But the friends who really knew me were surprised to learn that I had even dated a Zionist to begin with.

In my defense, I thought he was just Jewish when it all began – a progressive one who was white but had tendencies for black supremacy. Politically, we aligned well, so I figured that he’d automatically agree with my stance on Israel-Palestine. (If you don’t already know: It’s Israel’s fault more than it is the Palestinians’ – don’t believe the hype.)

But my new progressive boyfriend, who was supposed to help me save the world, would stop short at any criticism of the Israeli government’s racist, oppressive policies. And what’s worse, he would sometimes defend them by saying things like that the land was up for grabs because the Palestinians never had an official state to begin with.

Man, you really think you know your white Jewish boyfriend with tendencies for black supremacy.

It quickly became obvious that, just the same, he didn’t know his brown girlfriend with tendencies for anarchism well either. It was probably the anarchism that threw him off the most. I mean, he knew I was brown.

I think. I’m pretty sure it came up in conversation at least once. Like when I told him about the time the Israeli airport police racially profiled me and asked me to strip down to my underwear.

But it’s very possible that “strip down to my underwear” was all he took away from that story.

I don’t see how people who don’t agree politically can date. This became clear last summer when Israel killed 16 children in Qana, the U.S. refused to call for a cease-fire, and the boyfriend acted as if these were war games where Israel had a right to defend itself. So every time Israel did something abominable I’d increasingly begin to hold him personally responsible.

It must have been difficult to date me. My apologies. But whatever. Politics take precedence over penis. (Know this, future ex-boyfriends of mine.)

Dating me, and all of the ideology that comes with the territory, was supposed to enlighten him, but I think it might have had the opposite effect. At times I thought he was coming around, but he’d go do stuff like hang the Israeli flag – and over his bed of all places.

I realize that to some the Israeli flag is a symbol of Jewish pride. But to others, that same flag is a symbol of a state’s oppression of and racism toward brown people.

Many Americans have trouble imagining the latter. We’ve been programmed to side with Israel. So let’s use a simile we’re all familiar with: the Confederate flag. To many Southerners, the flag is a symbol of Southern pride. But to the rest of us, that flag is a symbol of racism and slavery.

Interesting how flags can mean different things to different people. To me, all flags suck, especially the ones representing the most powerful states. This, of course, means you-know-who.

The American flag is like kryptonite to me. I refuse to wave it, and much less salute it. It represents a state which serves and protects only the interests of the powerful. Look no further than New Orleans, or Iraq, or any inner-city ghetto to see who our government is really working for.

And not working for.

It’s something all states are guilty of which infuriates me, hence, the anarchist tendencies. And I say “tendencies” because it’s something I struggle with. I have a disdain for states, so why do I still want the Palestinians to have one?

Still, until that day, I wave the Palestinian flag in solidarity. And will even let it fly over my bed. Know this, future ex-boyfriends of mine.

I’m still shaking my head.

Since then, Quiquivix does not appear to have softened her stand.  In 2008 Quiquivix came out in favor of an academic boycott of Israel:

I am 100% in favor of seriously considering an academic boycott, at the very least amongst geographers if not at our respective colleges and universities. Perhaps it can be done at the level of the AAG.

Boycotts have been gaining momentum in the past years, largely outside the U.S. (of course). An existing resource for this is the BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions for Palestine) which is largely modeled after the anti-apartheid boycott of South Africa.


How do we begin? I’m ready.

Linda Quiquivix
PhD Student
Department of Geography
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

She’s still anti-Zionist, regardless of her relationship status:

Zionism ended up oppressing not just Palestinians, not just Arabs, but so much of the world.

She’s very active in pro-Palestinian groups and presentations.

(Linda Quiquivix)

(Linda Quiquivix)

Her specialty is mapping the Israeli-Palestinian history, essentially reducing the Jewish connection to the land to a European colonial mapping by-product.  She calls it “The Cartographic Conquest of Palestine.”

She frequently appears at conferences to present her mapping view of the conflict, including at Right of Return conferences and frequently speaks on “forcing a right of return” utilizing her mapping analysis.  She also engages in comparisons of the U.S.-Mexico and Israeli borders.

UNC Students Palestine Linda Quiquivix talk poster

She also has written about Israeli military assistance to Mexico for the anti-Israeli Electronic Intifada, with whose controversial founder she frequently tweets and has appeared at conferences.

I would not be surprised to find more anti-Israeli activists within the student and community members who shouted down Kelly.  That’s a common BDS tactic on campuses, and goes along with the anti-Israel academic boycotts which are sprouting up around the country.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.