‘Disturbing, disgusting’ poster prompts message from the chancellor

UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ sent this message today to the campus community:

To the Berkeley Campus Community,

I am writing following the discovery by some of our students of a disturbing, disgusting anti-Semitic poster. The image in question, almost certainly disseminated by those who espouse neo-Nazi and white supremacist ideology, has, according to reports, appeared on campuses across the country. This toxic material demands a response, though I regret that by doing so we provide adherents of this vile ideology with more of the attention they seek.

The image on the poster alleges that Jewish Americans, including prominent, elected representatives, are involved in “anti-white, anti-American, anti-freedom” conspiracies, and portrays opposition to a recent Supreme Court nominee as the latest example. This, of course, is a common, classic refrain perpetrated by those who see our Jewish friends, colleagues and fellow citizens as the root of all evil. There is little, if any difference between this demonizing rhetoric and that used by the Nazis in the lead up to, and during the course of the Holocaust.

In the wake of this incident I want to make clear that my administration and this campus community stand together in condemnation of this and all hateful ideologies. We abhor and condemn anti-Semitic words and deeds on this campus and beyond. UC Berkeley unequivocally supports the University of California Regents’ “Principles Against Intolerance,” which clearly condemn bias, hatred, prejudice and discrimination. We also adhere to and strongly support this specific statement in the principles; “Anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination have no place in the university.”

Staff from Student Affairs have reached out to students who expressed concern about this poster on social media, and we urge community members who need support to seek help. The campus has several resources, including counseling services. For students needing help navigating these resources, please contact: deanofstudents@berkeley.edu or visit deanofstudents.berkeley.edu/well-being.

We urge anyone with information about the incident to come forward. The UCPD phone number is (510) 642-6760. For information and support on reporting hate crimes or hate-motivated acts: stophate.berkeley.edu

We cannot seal off our open campus from hatred and ignorance, but what we can and will do is come together and determine how we can best deter and confront not only this particular form of bias, but all manifestations of intolerance that violate our shared values and Principles of Community.

Carol Christ, Chancellor