A cowardly engraving of a swastika was found on the door of a bathroom stall in the Language building on Duke’s West Campus. Although this might seem inconsequential, this anti-Semitic drawing is in line with a global wave of anti-Semitism that has found its way on to many college campuses. In 2016, there were over 100 reported incidents of swastikas appearing on college campuses across the U.S.
Although we can put almost 75 years between us and the Holocaust, we can’t forget how it started. Political rallies, demeaning cartoons and snide comments all culminated to Kristallnacht in 1938. Obviously one engraving in a stall doesn’t indicate the eve of a new Holocaust, but it’s an indication of a general trend. I’m sure there are many more anti-Semites who use the bathroom but are smart enough not to vandalize the stall.
Last year in Charlottesville, the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi groups marched, flexing their ‘freedom of (hate) speech.’ At least there, they were out in the open. We saw them, or their hooded figures at least, and knew that they were Jew-haters. But the real danger is the silent anti-Semitism that is bubbling up inside our neighbors, colleagues and fellow students.
If whoever drew this swastika wants to come out goose stepping and dancing around Abele quad in front of the chapel, then we should let him. At least there, we’ll know to steer clear.
But whoever this was should get out of their s***hole and exercise their free speech where everyone can see them!
Ben Stone is a Trinity junior.