De Anza Stands Against Anti-Semitism

Feb. 21, 2017

Dear Students, Faculty, Classified Professionals and Administrators,

This weekend, several anti-Semitic posters and stickers were found in the S Quad, two in the L Quad and one near the Campus Center. We ensured they were removed immediately, and that district police began an investigation into who is responsible.

The placement of this hateful material is an attack on the culture and commitment of De Anza to be an inclusive and welcoming community, and an effort to intimidate Jewish and non-Jewish students alike. A message on two of the posters repeated the historic lie that has long been the staple of white supremacists and anti-Semites: the astonishing claim that the Holocaust did not happen.

The Holocaust did happen. The Nazis killed six million Jewish people. The Nazis killed others in marginalized groups. Saying the Holocaust did not happen is not an “alternative fact.” It is a lie, and it is hateful.

Anti-Semitic threats continue to occur across the nation, including at synagogues and Jewish community centers. At the same time, Muslim community centers and mosques have also been the targets of violence and defacement. Hatred does not restrict itself to one group. It seeks to isolate and marginalize; it seeks to divide us.

Our campus has a long history of inclusion and engagement across our multiple identities. But like everywhere else, we are not immune to the currents of racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in the culture. There have been other incidents, including occasional offensive graffiti, and the roving preacher who at times verbally attacks students. Still, it is true that the campus is a remarkably safe and welcoming place, one where we can take some comfort in knowing that the vast majority of our community stands against hatred.

But incidents like the anti-Semitic postings demand more than condemnation. In addition to ensuring a thorough investigation, we are convening a forum, De Anza Stands Against Anti-Semitism and Other Hatreds, this Thursday, Feb. 23, from 1:30-3 p.m. in Campus Center Conference Rooms A&B.

Last week was the 75th anniversary of the unconstitutional and racist internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Thanks to the leadership of Tom Izu of the California History Center, the annual Day of Remembrance reminded us of the consequences of not standing up to an incursion on civil liberties when it is right in front of us. We need to stand together now, too, to respond to hatred when it assaults anyone among us.

In community,
Brian Murphy

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