Statement on swastika graffiti at Duke University
In the wake of a deadly mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Jewish students at Duke gathered to paint a mural to memorialize the victims. Days later, the mural was defaced with a large, red swastika. In a letter to Duke President Vincent Price, one student asked that the administration do more to support Jewish students in the wake of growing anti-Semitism. “I know that you cannot stop anti-Semitism,” she wrote, “but you can make students more aware of what is happening on campus.” President Price officially responded to the incident both in a published statement and in a campus-wide email.
Excerpt from President Price’s Statement (November 19, 2018)
“That such a craven and cowardly act of vandalism—a desecration of a memorial to individuals who were killed because they were Jewish and practicing their faith—should happen anywhere is extremely distressing. That it should occur in such a visible, public location at Duke should be a matter of grave concern to us all.”
What we like about this statement
- Not only condemns the single act of vandalism but also educates the campus community on the rising number of anti-Semitic and hateful incidents in the United States at large.
- Details the steps that the university would take, including providing additional security at the university’s Jewish center and at the location of the mural and convening members of the Jewish community and public officials to further review the matter.
- Condemns the hateful act and acknowledges the harm it caused.
- Pledges to protect the safety of Jewish students and calls on the rest of the community to confront anti-Semitism and other forms of hate.