In Buczacz, Ukraine, the Nazis massacred thousands of the town’s Jews between 1941–1944.
This atrocity remains virtually unrecognized by the town.
The invisibility of both of the history of Jewish life and its annihilation exposes the continuation of apathy towards those who were long treated as the quintessential Other.
By contrast, in Washington, D.C., Berlin, and finally Warsaw museums of Jewish life and its destruction recognize and denounce ethnic hatred and genocide.
When societies ignore their histories of cruelty, they communicate indifference to that past and its present reverberations.
When societies acknowledge their histories of hatred, they communicate their concern to end discrimination now and always.
I urge Chancellor Folt to acknowledge how UNC’s landscape has been marked by the histories of slavery and Jim Crow.
I urge repudiating the racist goals of those who established UNC’s Confederate Monument. I urge committing to ending the ongoing racism at UNC and beyond.
Let us stand among those for whom a sober reckoning with history is the path towards ensuring an inclusive, democratic society.
Prof. Michele Rivkin-Fish