TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — The University of Alabama is investigating several instances of antisemitic speech that were found written in chalk around campus Thursday.
The writing, as first reported by The Crimson White and Patch Tuscaloosa, contains the words “#YeisRight Friday 1/27” along different places on campus. In their reporting, The CW took 19 photos of different places where the writings were found.
The hashtag #YeisRight is an allusion to rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, who recently became embroiled in controversy over negative comments he made about the Jewish community, as well as praising Hitler in one instance.
StopAntisemitism.org, a watchdog organization that tracks antisemitic behavior across the country, shared similar images on their social media. The group has also suggested that the writings are alluding to a visit by Dalton Clodfelter, who has been referred to as a “white nationalist Christian fascist” by Right Wing Watch. Last week, he and others hosted an event at Florida Atlantic University. Many scenes from that event can be found on Twitter with the hashtag “YeIsRight.”
Friday, referenced by “1/27,” is International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
“The University was notified this morning about anonymous chalkings with concerning language targeting our Jewish community,” UA spokesperson Shane Dorrill said in a statement. “We condemn these chalkings, which violate our Capstone Creed, our campus culture and our core values. Our expectation is that everyone be treated with civility and respect. As soon as we were notified of the chalkings we began removing them, initiated an investigation and organized resources for those impacted and concerned. Public Safety and the Offices of Student Life and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are fully engaged and providing related support.”
StopAntisemitism.org has asked the university to remove the images.
“Please remove and investigate @UofAlabama – your Jewish students are reporting they do not feel safe on campus with sentiment like this being spewed,” the post read.
Liora Rez, executive director of StopAntisemitism.org, said the group has already received dozens of calls and emails from students and their parents about their concerns over the writings.
“We hope the university responds appropriately,” Rez said. We are here to assist anyway possible.
In 2021 alone, there were over 2,700 antisemitic incidents recorded across the country, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
Rez said that unfortunately, this is a trend she predicts will continue into 2023.
“Just 20 days into the year is truly startling,” she said.