Op-Ed: Bigotry and Nazism should not be tolerated by the First Amendment

Neili Eggert

| November 1, 2016

As a proud student here, I love the diversity of our campus. As a Jew, I am nothing short of terrified when I see a Nazi flag displayed in a dorm room.

The flag of the Nazi Party is a sign of hatred in one of its most triggering forms. It is a sign of support for the genocide of 6 million Jews and 5 million others. Our students peacefully protested after the death of Keith Scott and at the time I felt we had it in our community to work together in prayers and peaceful movements. In response to these protests, a student put a Nazi flag on display in their dorm room. The school’s response was to condemn hatred against all minorities and minority groups.

While I support that statement, one key word was missing from the condemnation: anti-Semitism. This is not the first or second incident on campus of anti-Semitism. In 2009, the Hillel Sukkah, an outdoor structure built for the holiday Sukkot, was vandalized on campus and the response was to condemn the vandalism, not the anti-Semitism. In 2014, I was told to “go burn in an oven.” The administration condemned the hate, not labeling it as anti-Semitism.

How are Jewish students supposed to feel safe on campus if the administration refuses, time after time, to condemn anti-Semitism? I don’t feel represented in this community. I don’t feel protected as a Jewish student at our great university. What kind of a campus life do we have where the rights of the hater are more protected than the rights of the hated? Why is this outright hate protected under our first amendment?

We are the generation to stop this, we are the generation to make the world a better place and we are the generation to come together as Americans and citizens of the world. Help me and many other students make our campus safer by contacting the Office of the Chancellor and telling him you condemn anti-Semitism and all forms of hate speech at UNCC.

Students protesting racism outside the Union last month. Photo by Pooja Pasupula.

Students protesting racism outside the Union last month. Photo by Pooja Pasupula.

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Category:Opinion, Society and Identity, Student Life

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