October 24, 2017

Letter to the Editor: In response to the article ‘Anti-Semitic Posters Appear at Cornell Advertising Apparently Fake Hate Group’

Print More

To the Editor:

Words matter. Every choice that The Cornell Daily Sun makes, in terms of both headlines and content, has an impact that ought to be noted. We write to you to express our distress with the original headline used by The Sun for the article, “Anti-Semitic Posters Appear at Cornell Advertising Apparently Fake Hate Group.”

On Monday, Oct. 23, Cornell students were met with a horrifying sight: posters hung on various campus buildings that proclaimed: “Just Say No to Jewish Lies: Solar Cross Society, Join the White Gang.” These posters continue an appalling and devastating trend of hateful incidents that have occurred on our campus, including those that have specifically targeted the Jewish community at Cornell. In the broadest sense, these actions aim to isolate the groups that they target.  These actions aim to make the members of the groups that they target feel uncomfortable in their identities, and unsafe on our campus. These actions must be taken seriously because they have profound negative impacts on our campus, and on each and every student at Cornell — attacks against any of us are attacks against this campus.

Thus, when The Cornell Daily Sun referred to the group that committed this as “apparently fake,” we were alarmed. Flagging the group as fake seemed to diminish the reality of what happened on our campus. Even though no presence for the Solar Cross Society seems to exist, there is no verification that the group is “fake” beyond their lack of an internet presence. Moreover, insofar as the actions that those identifying as members of the Solar Cross Society took were real and terrifying for members of the Jewish community at Cornell, the Solar Cross Society must be regarded as real.

Whether or not the Solar Cross Society is a recruiting organization, what is more important is what we know occurred within the past 24 hours. Individuals created and designed horrific posters, printed them and posted them with the intent to target and harm the Jewish community at Cornell. A group that is hateful, with hateful and malicious intent towards the Jewish community, has chosen to threaten the safety and security of students at Cornell. We note that words matter because we want to emphasize what we feel may have been missing in the initial article that flagged the group as “fake;” that the events that occurred this morning alongside those other atrocities that have targeted various groups at Cornell cannot merely be dismissed in a list at the end of an article. That hatred is real and rampant on Cornell’s campus right now, and that discounting that lends credence to a narrative that discounts the pain that countless individuals on our campus are currently feeling.

This was an institution built on the motto of “any person, any study,” but insofar as its students continue to be targeted for their identities that motto no longer can bear weight. This should be a place of love, of learning, of compassion and of mutual understanding. When individuals do not feel that way, their ability to identify as a part of the broader Cornell community is threatened.

We ask for the Cornell community to take a hard look in the mirror and ask ourselves why these obscene incidents continue to roil our campus, and think about what needs to be done to create a culture where these incidents stop being the norm. Moreover, we ask for everyone — The Sun and all others — to recognize the severity of any incident that calls into question the validity of any identity on this campus. The group that committed this action is very real, their impact is very real, and Cornell University must take very real steps in order to ensure that what has become regular occurrence, ceases.

Alexandra Klein ’18, ILR
Deborah Glick ’19, CALS
Hannah Hyams ’20, ILR
Jay Sirot ’19, ILR
Sloane Applebaum ’18, Human Ecology
Inna Grant ’19, CALS
Nicole Sochaczevski ’20, ILR
Lauren Goldstein ’20, A&S
Rebecca Saber ’18, A&S
Ariel Gulchin ’19, CALS
Ariella Banin ’19, A&S
Amanda Krakauer ’19, Human Ecology
Rachel Goldstein ’18, A&S
Danielle Eiger ’18, A&S
Jeremy Marchuk ’19, CALS
Haylee Schwartz ’18, Human Ecology
Brandon Cohen ’18, A&S
Grant Gilbert ’19 CALS
Sophie Malki ’21 CALS
Ana Jimenez ’18 A&S
Xavier Eddy ’19 ILR
Gabi Tepper ’19, A&S
Evan Shapiro ’19, A&S
Sara Amsalem ’18, SHA
Nicole Forman ’18, CALS
Olivia Foster ’18 A&S
Deepa Saharia ’18 ILR