Following the circulation on campus of posters claiming that “ending white privilege starts with ending Jewish privilege,” a wide range of faculty and student groups at the University of Illinois at Chicago denounced the fliers as hateful and potentially alienating.
“We condemn these anti-Semitic assaults as well as the divisive suggestion that Black and Muslim students are the source of this racism. We disavow any attempt to use the painful realities of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict or the Holocaust as fodder for anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and anti-Blackness,” the statement read. It was signed by actors including the university’s Jewish Studies Program, Social Justice Initiative and faculty association.
The fliers, distributed last week, were riddled with false statements, including the allegation that almost half of American Jews were in the top 1% of income earners which cited a Pew study that contradicted such a claim. The posters implied that Black Lives Matter or Muslims were their authors, with hashtags like #blacklivesmatter and #wearemuslims.
Since the election of President Trump last November, Jewish communities have seen a precipitous rise in hate crimes, as swastikas pop up all over major cities and bomb threats flood into Jewish institutions.
Daniel J. Solomon is the former Assistant to the Editor/News Writer at the Forward. Originally from Queens, he attended Harvard as an undergraduate, where he wrote his senior thesis on French-Jewish intellectual history. He is excited to have returned to New York after his time in Massachusetts. Daniel’s passions include folk music, cycling, and pointed argument.
UIC Condemns ‘Jewish Privilege’ Fliers