Duke University Mural Honoring Pittsburgh Shooting Victims is Defaced with a Swastika

Ilyse Whitney is licensed under CC BY-2.0

Anti-Defamation League reports 57% increase in acts against the Jewish Community.

Duke University’s mural created in honor of the fallen victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting was vandalized with a Nazi symbol. The mural is located on a bridge which also has messages advertising student events.

Vincent Price, the university student leader, condemned the action, terming it cowardly and promised to increase campus security. The campus security cameras will be installed around the eastern campus bridge in response to the incident. Price also promised to have a meeting with the school’s leaders, the Jewish community, and other community leaders to discuss the way forward to confront anti-Semitism through activism and education.

Olivia Levine posted the image on her Facebook page and later the image circulated the internet. Levine, who is Jewish helped paint the original mural and was very upset to see it defaced. She wrote an email to Duke University, stating all the anti-semantic events she had witnessed in her short time on the campus. She also stated there was a Swastika found in a bathroom stall and one carved into a pumpkin placed outside of a dorm. The campus’s Latin and Jewish communities and the African-American student body had been the target of a hate message this academic year.

This incident at Duke University comes weeks after the shooting in Pittsburgh, killing 11 people. Jonathan Greenblatt, the chief executive and director of the Anti-Defamation League, stated that his organization had seen a 57% percent increase in acts of aggravation, destruction, and violence majorly directed to the Jewish community in 2017.

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