Stephen Gossett — chicagoist.com March 20, 2017
Even after the university announced an investigation into anti-Semitic flyers being posted on campus earlier in the week, more such flyers were found distributed at the University of Illinois at Chicago over the weekend.
The latest batch of flyers (see below) were found in a UIC library on Saturday, just four days after posters that read “Ending white privilege starts with ending Jewish privilege” were discovered on campus.
Flyers found on Saturday—which were shared with Chicagoist by UIC student and Rohr Chabad House president Eva Zeltser—featured statements such as, ” …But when you question the 6 million they put you in jail in 17 countries,” in reference to the Holocaust, and “The largest Concentration Camp in the world today is owned and operated by Zionists,” which compares Gaza to Auschwitz. Some of the flyers also included the hashtag phrases #BlackLivesMatter, #WeAreAllMuslim and #StandWithPalestine.
One was tacked on a bulletin board “for everyone to see,” Zeltser said.
Kofi Ademola, an activist with Black Lives Matter Chicago, denounced the flyers as racist and said they misrepresent the BLM movement. “We’ve noticed a disturbing new trend where people have been using language from social justice circles to hide their racist agenda,” Ademola said in part in a statement to sent to Chicagoist. “These posters placed all over UIC’s campus are just another example of such an occurrence… What their saying and how they’re framing their assertions are divisive, inflammatory and based in falsehoods.”
Earlier in the week, UIC Chancellor Michael D. Amiridis and other university officials emailed an announcement to students and staff in response to the first posting of flyers. “Such actions do not reflect the values we hold as a community. Acts that invoke hatred or violence toward members of our community will not be tolerated on our campus,” the announcement read.
“As we investigate this recent event, we strongly encourage all members of our university to exercise their right to free speech in a manner that recognizes these principles and avoids prejudice or stereotypes,” the email added.
A UIC official referred us to their original statement upon request for comment and an update on the investigation
The statement from Black Lives Matter read in full:
“We’ve noticed a disturbing new trend where people have been using language from social justice circles to hide their racist agenda. These posters placed all over UIC’s campus are just another example of such an occurrence. These anonymous racist tactics are manipulative, and they’ve used logical fallacies in attempts to fool people into believing their rhetoric is valid. When we closely examine what they’re saying and implying, it’s easier to discern the flaws in their arguments. What their saying and how they’re framing their assertions are divisive, inflammatory and based in falsehoods. For example, by creating a false category and calling it “Jewish privilege” then comparing it to the familiar term “White privilege” they hope that this false association legitimizes their bigoted beliefs.
They’re also trying to use BLM to make their claims seem true. It is widely known that BLM supports Palestinians in their struggle for liberation. We often compare our similar situations dealing with police violence and State sanctioned oppression. However, being pro Palestine doesn’t make you anti-Semitic and we don’t condone or endorse any anti-Jewish ideology. We demand accountability to the specific governments, systems of oppression, and organizations that carry out injustices and human rights violations. We do not use broad sweeping generalizations to attack groups of people. After the election of Trump, America has seen a rise in hate crimes perpetrated against marginalized communities ranging from ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, religion and immigration status. What we’ve also seen develop is stronger alliances of intersectionallity between these same marginalized communities. We stand in solidarity with folx who fight for justice and work towards freeing all people from the social constructs of oppression, including but not limited to anti-Blackness, heteronormative patriarchy, homophobia, transphobia, racism, colonialism, sexism, ableism, capitalism, and imperialism.”