Invoking Hitler in RAC election unacceptable
A Jewish student running for president of the Fulbright Hall Residential Advisory Council (RAC) recently posted flyers throughout his dorm with images of Adolf Hitler in hopes of gaining a leadership position within the GW community. It is unacceptable for anyone to insinuate racial or ethnic slurs or discriminate against another culture, let alone one’s own.
Especially in the week leading up to the Jewish Day of Atonement, provoking thoughts of anti-Semitism and genocide is inappropriate even if the student is himself Jewish. I strongly urge members of the GW community to take a stand and show that such harsh sentiments will not be tolerated.
Quoting the RAC homepage within the GW Housing Program’s website, “greater levels of student participation within their communities produce a more dynamic and rewarding environment in which to live.” A student imitating a Nazi parade while hoping to act as a leader for the student body is far from supporting a rewarding and dynamic environment.
Although meant as a joke with no malice intended from its depiction, provoking thoughts of anti-Semitism and genocide is unacceptable and inappropriate even if the student himself is Jewish. This past year we learned that even though Sacha Baron Cohen, more commonly known as Borat, is of the Jewish faith, he created an entire motion picture revolving around anti-Semitism and stereotypes of Jews. Although a poster in a residence hall is not a motion picture that will be viewed by the world, it is still a small step in encouraging and possibly even provoking anti-Semitism not only here on campus but across the globe.
The Jewish Student Association strongly urges George Washington University to take a stand against anti-Semitism. With a campus that has 2,750 Jewish undergraduate students on campus, totaling 31.6 percent of the student population, action needs to be taken to discourage incidents such as this from occurring. The fact that Micah Lubens is still permitted to run for the president of Fulbright Hall for the Residential Advisory Council demonstrates no repercussions from the University towards acts of anti-Semitism.
Arielle Krieger, Communications Director, GW Jewish Student Association
Campaign posters within their rights
The brouhaha caused by my son’s campaign poster (Sept. 20, pg. 1) allowed me to contemplate his identity as an American Jew. His grandparents struggled to feel American. All children with solidly American names, nothing “too Jewish.” Born in this country, my challenge was different and easier. Yet, being set apart on holidays or being the first Jew people had ever met was complicated and sometimes awkward. Micah has made the next step and I’m pleased. He has a strong Jewish identity. He wears it with pride, without self-consciousness.
He is aware of but not cowed by our history. He used Hitler as a joke and thereby spits on his memory by not forgetting. Reactions understandable and predictable followed. I have been offended as a Jew by things on your campus. That is the price of a cup from the melting pot. A value of liberty is the ability to do something others consider foolish. I am disappointed in the representatives of Jewish groups who blithely called my son anti-Semitic or chastised him without ever speaking to him. These are the Days of Awe, a time for atonement and repentance.
Dr. Richard Lubens, Parent