America continues to sink down the hole of hate and bigotry as anti-Semitics continue to step out of their hiding places and proudly show their true colors.
When an anti-Semitic gunman walked into the Tree of Life Synagogue and killed several Jewish members, it was horrifying. Now, memorials that have been created to honor those lives lost are being desecrated by more anti-Semitics.
In a Facebook post from a Duke University student, Olivia Levine described how their memorial was vandalized by a swastika that was spray painted over the Star of David.
‘No matter your religious affiliation, please read:
‘Today, someone drew a swastika over a mural that I, along with dozens of other Jewish students, painted after the Tree of Life synagogue shooting. We painted it as a response to the shooting to show that we are united as a Jewish community. Seeing the swastika drawn over something I painted with my peers at Duke upsets me beyond words. I was speechless when I saw this photo. It feels like there is no safe space from anti-Semitism.’
She also described two incidents where a swastika was drawn in a bathroom stall and at Halloween where a pumpkin was carved with a swastika. She also wrote the response from Duke University’s administration has been lacking.
‘During Halloween time, there was a swastika carved into a pumpkin and put on East Campus in front of a dorm. Now, there is a swastika graffitied on top of a Jewish star that represents hope in the Jewish community. Yet, for the first two anti-Semitic acts, there was no response from the administration.’
She called for students to take action by contacting the school administration.
‘If you are a Duke student, please email President Price and ask for the administration to take measures against anti-Semitism. Everyone should feel encouraged to do the same with their own communities regardless of prior anti-Semitic incidents and religious affiliation. Please, stand up to hatred and take action.’
She also posted a screenshot of her own email to several university officials. In her email, she noted they were planning to display a menorah on the West Campus, and they were afraid that would be vandalized also.
‘I am part of Chabad’s executive board and in a few weeks we are hoping to put up a menorah on West Campus. I do not want to see a swastika on this menorah. Please, I strongly encourage you to take action and publicize this action so that anti-Semitic students and community members know who they are fighting against.’
In response to the swastika, Duke President Vincent Price responded:
‘To our Jewish students, faculty, staff and neighbors – and indeed every member of our university community – I pledge that Duke will do whatever we can to protect your safety. As an immediate response, we will continue to provide additional security at the Freeman Center for Jewish Life and other locations on campus. In addition, we will be installing security cameras in the vicinity of the East Campus Bridge, which has unfortunately become a focus of attention for those who seek to promoted hatred and intimidation.
‘Duke alone cannot solve this problem, of course. But I commit that Duke will lead, and that we will not waiver in our support for those of many faiths, backgrounds, races, sexual orientations and creeds, especially in these deeply trying and troubling times.’
Trying and troubling times, indeed. Fact is, security cameras will only catch the perpetrators. In the past (before Trump being elected), you didn’t hear of these incidents as much. In 2017, there was a 17 percent increase in reported hate crimes particularly in hate crimes committed against Jewish people.
Featured image via Facebook.