Regarding the anti-Semitic, anti-Black, anti-Arab and anti-Muslim posters on UIC’s campus

US Politics

JOINT STATEMENT

On March 16, a series of flyers were posted on University of Illinois at Chicago’s (UIC) campus that exploit social justice issues to spread anti-Semitic views. First and foremost, as units on campus that work at the forefront of UIC’s commitment to diversity and social justice, we condemn all forms of racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, anti-Blackness or any forms of hatred, phobia, or dehumanization.

Secondly, the damaging and hurtful nature of these posters is that they seek to malign and divide some of the very groups that are fighting injustice and xenophobia in the first place. They erroneously depict the groups “Black Lives Matter” and “We are Muslims” as authors of the anti-Semitic hateful flyers. No specific group takes credit but hashtags are added to suggest authorship of the incendiary flyers by Black and Muslim/Arab organizations. If real groups authored these flyers, why not take credit? If they did not want to be associated, why incriminate their movements? It makes no sense. Moreover, the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag is not even the # most commonly used by either the national or Chicago chapter, neither of which know anything about the origin of these flyers.

Many of us either work with or have students involved with Chicago’s Black Lives Matter, Palestine solidarity and Muslim organizations on campus and in the city. These groups would never circulate anti-semitic or hateful literature like this. It is antithetical to their mission and work. These fake posters are consistent with a long history whereby hate groups have cited marginalized communities as authors of hate speech to smear them and incite mistrust between them. They serve the goals of both provoking anti-Semitic hatred and justifying the targeting of Palestine solidarity and Black Lives Matter movements, wrongly indicting them as purveyors of hate.

We stand united against hatred and discrimination against all communities.

We condemn these anti-Semitic assaults as well as the divisive suggestion that Black and Muslim students are the source of this racism.

We disavow any attempt to use the painful realities of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict or the Holocaust as fodder for anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and anti-Blackness.

We will not allow this or any incident to pit one of our communities against the other.

(Photo: Chicagoist.)

(Photo: Chicagoist.)

(Photo: Chicagoist.)

We the undersigned stand together,

Chair of the Department of Philosophy

Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Asian Americans (CCSAA)

Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Blacks

Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Latinos

Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of LGBTQ People and Allies

Collaborative for Equity and Justice in Education, College of Education

Disability Resource Center

Gender and Sexuality Center

Gender and Women’s Studies Program

Germanic Studies Department

Global Asian Studies Program

Great Cities Institute

Hispanic and Italian Studies Department

Head of the Department of English

Honors College

Institute for the Humanities

Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement (IPCE)

Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy

International Studies Program

Jane Addams Hull-House Museum

Jewish Studies Program

Latin American and Latino Studies Program 

Latin American Recruitment and Educational Services (LARES) Program

Middle East and Muslim Societies Cluster

Moving Image Arts Minor

Museum and Exhibition Studies Program

Native American Support Program

Office of the Dean of Students

Office of Undergraduate Research

Rafael Cintrón Ortiz Latino Cultural Center

Religious Studies Program

School of Art & Art History

School of Literatures, Cultural Studies & Linguistics

School of Theatre and Music

Social Foundations of Education Program

Social Justice Initiative

UIC United Faculty (UICUF)

Women’s Leadership and Resource Center

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7 Responses

  1. AddictionMyth
    March 22, 2017, 9:57 am

    Sorry but free speech is not “provoking anti-Semitic hatred”. These posters make some valid points. Fortunately there are still a few righteous Jews who will agree.

  2. Elizabeth Block
    March 22, 2017, 10:02 am

    Sorry to have to say this, but the one about Steven Salaita is true. He was dumped (illegally, he sued and won) after complaints from Jewish donors.

  3. lyn117
    March 22, 2017, 11:04 am

    I guess #IStandWithSteven isn’t in fact a code for #StandWithUs

  4. lyn117
    March 22, 2017, 11:57 am

    (sorry, ment to make this a response to addictionmyth)

    All the posters make good points, except that the high proportion of Jewish students probably isn’t so much due to “privilege”. I don’t think they look much at religion in admissions, just ability of the parents to give very large donations and qualifications. I think that poster is anti-semitic entirely.

    Also, expressing “dissenting opinion about history” may be a human right, but it’s also anti-semitic in the example given. So the poster is expressing support for anti-semitism. I believe it’s a right to be anti-semitic. Other countries have laws against expressing racism or religious hatred. I don’t think, for the most part, the laws single out anti-semitism, although they may be selectively applied.

    • echinococcus
      March 22, 2017, 1:31 pm

      Define “antisemitism”. It’s meaningless. If it is not plain racism, i.e. discrimination against people as a group because of some perceived or real “Jewish” origin by birth, then it is kosher and there is no problem with it.

    • oldgeezer
      March 22, 2017, 2:38 pm

      @lyn117

      Ability to give large donations comes from wealth. Wealth is power and buys a lot of privilege.

      • lyn117
        March 22, 2017, 10:01 pm

        So wealth buys privilege. What else is new?

        That’s not the same as Jewishness buys the privilege of entry into elite schools, as the poster implies.

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