UW Madison Faculty Hopes Anti-Semitic Graffiti On First Day of School Will Lead to “Honest Debate”

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On the primary day again to high school, Jewish college students attending the liberal College of Wisconsin at Madison, had been welcomed with anti-Semitic graffiti and harassment.

An announcement posted on the college’s web site reads:

It was a beautiful first day of lessons on Wednesday in so some ways, from the sunshine to the nice vitality on Library Mall and Bascom Hill. We love seeing our college students again on campus.

Nonetheless, we had been disenchanted that this was marred by a number of sidewalk chalkings showing round campus, concentrating on a number of Jewish pupil teams labeling them as “racist,” “genocidal,” and “having blood on their palms.” These labels are antisemitic: they attribute broad actions or beliefs to Jewish pupil teams.

To these Jewish college students and others affected, we’re sorry for the influence this had in your first day of sophistication at UW. We actually attempt to create a campus the place each pupil feels they belong, and this sort of messaging harms that purpose and aspiration.

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Our job as leaders is to not reply each time a controversial or offensive incident occurs on our campus. Nonetheless, these chalkings present us a well timed alternative to specific our expectations for civil engagement for the campus this fall and as we transfer ahead collectively.

The school then appeared to recommend a official grievance lay beneath the racist assault that deserves additional dialogue.

To our complete group, we hope you hear our requires civility and kindness whereas on the similar time, embracing vigorous, sincere debate. Please use this semester to respectfully have interaction with each other whereas deepening our tradition of belonging.

The antisemitic watchdog group StopAntisemitism mentioned the administration’s name for debate as a response to hate speech was “sickening” and blasted DEI Chief LaVar Charleston and Vice Chancellor Lori Reesor .

This isn’t the primary time Jewish college students had been smeared and focused at UW-Madison.

Simply this spring college directors had been compelled to deal with antisemitic rage on campus:

UW-Madison values a various group the place folks of all religions, races, ethnicities, identities, and cultures really feel protected, welcome and supported. The college’s variety is its energy.

A report from the Anti-Defamation League finds antisemitism has been on the rise, together with on faculty campuses. We’re dismayed to share that a number of regarding incidents have additionally been reported just lately by members of our campus group:

  • A swastika etched right into a residence corridor group lavatory stall.
  • Antisemitic slurs yelled at a pupil on Langdon Road.
  • A person who mentioned they’d been harassed for “trying Jewish.”

 

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