Last week, anti-Semitic flyers were found strewn across Davis Library, from bookshelves to tables. According to a statement by UNC Hillel, the flyers mentioned lines such as “evil Jewish plots” and "do everything you can to fight the silent covert Jewish attempt to enslave and kill good Americans."
These flyers, passed out the week before the Jewish community will start observing Passover, were no coincidence. Armed pro-confederate group members were marching on campus in March, met with little pushback by the UNC Police. White supremacy and their followers are rising both nationally and on this campus, and by failing to denounce their dangerous ideologies and giving them a platform, they are becoming emboldened. And the despicable rhetoric used in these flyers is the same rhetoric used for centuries to oppress the Jewish people, which led to the Holocaust.
Earlier this month was Holocaust Remembrance Day, where members of Hillel stood in the Pit and listed name after name of victims of the genocide. We said "never again." Yet so soon after we stood by and watched our libraries, the center of higher-learning on this campus, defaced with horrifying anti-Semitic slurs.
In an email sent out to the UNC community, Interim Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz expressed his frustration with having to share information about “the discovery of racist or hateful messages on our campus” for the second time in two weeks. Yet the administration’s complicity in this hatred is exactly why it continues to occur so frequently. Guskiewicz stated that the administration believes these incidents are unrelated; however, they are related in that in both circumstances, those responsible were emboldened by the University’s lackluster response toward hatred and white supremacy.
We are grateful to UNC Police and University officials for conducting a timely investigation and giving this incident the attention it deserves. Anti-Semitism and hatred in any form should not be tolerated, especially at a University that so proudly touts its progressive ideals. Words are not enough. Groups on this campus are threatened by the same hateful ideology, and it’s time to come together and stand with each other. And it’s time for those in power to stand with them, too.