Sunday, April 25, 2010

Swastikas on UC Berkeley Campus? Ho Humm

"Swastikas on campus, eh? Ya don't say."

(Hat tip to Tammi-Rossman Benjamin)

The below article comes to us from the UC Berkeley campus newspaper, the Daily Californian (Online). It concerns the discovery of three swastikas found on campus in what is becoming an all-too-frequent occurrence on UC campuses recently. This comes in the wake of the contentious Israel divestment controversy at UCB. It appears from the article that there is not much concern about the swatikas.

The Daily Californian Online
Multiple Swastikas Found Drawn at Clark Kerr Campus
By Javier Panzar and Jordan Bach-Lombardo
Daily Cal Staff Writers
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Category: News > University > Student Life

Three swastikas have been found drawn on hallway walls of residence halls at the Clark Kerr Campus since Wednesday evening, alarming administrators but provoking little visible reaction from students.

The first swastika--measuring 6 by 6 inches--was drawn in pen on a wall in Building 2 between 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Wednesday night, while the second and third--each measuring about 3 by 3 inches--were drawn in Building 3 between 1 a.m. and 8 a.m. Saturday morning, according to Marty Takimoto, spokesperson for Residential and Student Service Programs. All the drawings have since been painted over.

Though campus officials have condemned the drawings, classifying them as "hate incidents," the drawings have elicited little student response.

"I've heard residents talking about whether or not swastikas are a 'big deal' or if the perpetrator may have been making a bad joke," said Jen Siecienski, resident director for the Clark Kerr Campus in an e-mail announcing the discovery of the second and third swastikas. "In my opinion, the swastika is NOT just a 'bad joke'--it is a powerful symbol of the Nazi regime, hate, persecution, and murder."

The incident comes on the heels of racially and ethnically charged incidents at other UC campuses, including the discovery of a noose at a UC San Diego library, which prompted protests throughout the 10-campus system.

No students attended a community meeting hosted Thursday evening to open a dialogue about the incident, according to Takimoto.

"Overall, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of anger or whole lot of upset people," he said.

Though the swastikas have upset Rachel Newman, a freshman resident of one of the residence halls, she said they are not necessarily indicative of a larger "hateful" atmosphere at the campus.

"I wouldn't be surprised if it was just a bunch of drunk kids," she said. "But I am upset the kind of things that have been happening at UC San Diego came here ... (the swastika) is a symbol that carries a lot of weight."

The drawings been termed a "hate incident," which is similar to a hate crime, but cannot be determined to have been directed toward a specific group, according to Takimoto.

UCPD is investigating the incident, according to Takimoto, though given the number of people who pass through the buildings' hallways, identifying the perpetrator will be difficult.

"Our challenge is that we get a lot of traffic through our resident halls," he said. "It could have been a student, guest of a student, or someone else. We have asked students who know anything about it to contact UCPD."
Can't determine who the swastikas were directed at??? Are there any French students on campus? Good grief!

Here is the problem in a nutshell. Compare this with the outrage on the UC San Diego campus in the wake of incidents that were directed against African-American students, of which I have written. The UC SD campous has rallied to the side of black students, as it should have, to let them know that they are welcome on campus and that racists incidents are not reflerctive of the students or campus as a whole.

Yet, what is worse-a swastika or a noose? Well-meaning people can diasagree on that question or declare them equal. My point is that the reaction at UC Berkeley should be the same as the reaction at UCSD. Yet, it appears over and over that the degree of shock and anger is directly proportionate to whom the victims are and who the perpetrators are. It is highly illustrative that the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights won't even recognize Jewish students as being protected from anti-Semitic acts and speech.


PatriotUSA said...

The drawings been termed a "hate incident," which is similar to a hate crime, but cannot be determined to have been directed toward a specific group, according to Takimoto.

Gosh, they cannot determine
what group this was directed
towards? That about tears it.

Of course it must have been
those darn Jews trying to
garner more attention.
I bet that's who did this.

Your own comments have
nailed it down, Gary.
Please CP to PC when you

Fatima said...

In response, the Berkeley students organized a Rally "Anti-Semitism is hate" vigil on campus, Friday April 30
For photos see:

Gary Fouse said...

Thank you Fatima. I will check it out.