UCLA's Race And Equity Director: Jews 'Enjoy the Benefits of Whiteness'

UCLA canceled classes Wednesday after violent confrontation between pro-Israel, anti-Israel protesters

Johnathan Perkins (
May 1, 2024

Anti-Israel protests have turned violent at the University of California, Los Angeles, where Johnathan Perkins, the school's director of race and equity, has lamented that Jews "enjoy the benefits of whiteness" and questioned whether nations would support Israel "if the Jewish people persecuted in the Holocaust are not also considered 'white.'"

Perkins has long railed against white people, including Jews. In May 2020, he said that Jewish people "enjoy the benefits of whiteness," a position he reiterated following Hamas's Oct. 7 terror attack on the Jewish state.

"Jews are latterly white yes," he wrote in January.

"Among the primary benefits all white people automatically receive from white supremacy is, not a life free of suffering, but the assurance that your race will never be the root cause of any such pain," Perkins wrote in 2020. "That is your so-called privilege #GeorgeFloyd #GeorgeFloydProtests."

Perkins's rhetoric could bring scrutiny from lawmakers as an anti-Israel tent encampment sows chaos on UCLA's campus, prompting House Republicans to invite the school's interim chancellor to testify before Congress.

UCLA canceled classes on Wednesday after a violent clash between pro-Israel and anti-Israel demonstrators. Police were forced to disperse the crowd, though they made no arrests. The university has taken a consistently hands-off approach to the anti-Israel tent encampment on campus.

Beyond the encampment, Jewish students at UCLA have been subjected to anti-Semitic protests amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. A viral video in November showed protesters smashing a piñata showing Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a student yelled, "Beat that fucking Jew," through a megaphone.

Neither Perkins nor UCLA responded to the Washington Free Beacon's requests for comment.

In the days and weeks following Oct. 7, Perkins argued that "nearly everything" pertaining to the Israel-Palestinian conflict is rooted in and maintained through a "white supremacy lens." Questioning all the support Israel received following the October attack, he asked, "Does any of this happen if the Jewish people persecuted in the Holocaust are not also considered 'white?'"

Perkins is a prolific social media poster on the subject of "whiteness."

"If you are white, please know your racial ancestors—not necessarily your biological relatives, but all the white people who preceded you—committed their racist horrors so you'd never have to even THINK about your own race: whiteness as default is foundational to white supremacy," Perkins wrote on X, formerly Twitter, in February. He wrote in a November post that white people "are controlled by the 15 pillars of white supremacy."

In 2022, Perkins garnered headlines after calling Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas an "Uncle Tom" and saying that everyone secretly wants to see him die. Last month, he spread the conspiracy theory that Princess of Wales Kate Middleton is faking her cancer diagnosis. In 2023, Perkins declared white people should be required to work on Juneteenth—a recently minted federal holiday celebrating the emancipation of slaves.