Hundreds of students rallied on Ho Plaza on Wednesday afternoon and condemned the anti-Semitic and white supremacist messages found on buildings across campus Monday morning.
“No hate, no fear, everyone is welcome here,” students chanted.
The stand-in came in response to the posters, which contained the messages, “Just say no to Jewish lies” and “Join the white gang.”
“No Cornell student should feel unsafe on campus because of their religion, culture, gender, sexual orientation, ability status, race, socioeconomic status or ethnicity, again, only to name some,” said Danielle Eiger ’18, an event organizer.
Since then, over 70 student organizations have signed a statement condemning these acts and other recent incidents “targeting the Latinx, Black and Muslim communities, as well as other marginalized people on campus.”
“Given the atrocious nature of the flyers found Monday morning, we cannot emphasize enough how much the Jewish community’s hearts are filled by the support of over 70 organizations and countless friends who have joined us in expressly denouncing anti-Semitism on our campus,” said Brandon Cohen ’18, event organizer and president of Cornell Hillel.
During the event, speakers shared their personal stories about experiences with anti-Semitism, read poems and described how their families were impacted by the Holocaust.
Drawing on his visit to a large Polish city where residents lived directly across from a Holocaust-era concentration camp, Cohen urged members of the crowd not to be bystanders to hate.
“Just because it’s not impacting you does not mean it isn’t impacting your friend. It does not mean that you are not playing a role in perpetuating hatred,” he said.
Lilah Rosenfield ’20 expressed similar sentiments, emphasizing the need to listen to members of marginalized groups.
“That means listening to Jewish people about what our experience and what our understanding of anti-Semitism is,” she told The Sun. “That also means listening to the black members of our community, listening to the low-income folks in our community and really … hearing what our lived experiences have been.”
Rafael Jacobovitz ’20 urged students to continue to attend rallies and show their support for their peers.
“It’s hard to take five minutes away, maybe miss a class to go a protest or to go to an event like this, but if you really do care and really do want to make a difference, that’s what it takes,” he told The Sun. “It’s making the connections, really being there for other people.”