Anti-Semitic chalkings appear in Tuscaloosa on the eve of National Holocaust Remembrance Day

Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 10:52 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Friday the 27th is Holocaust Remembrance Day, a day many in the Jewish community reflect and pay respects to the millions who died.

Unfortunately threats against the Jewish community have increased over the past year.

Chalk messages found at the University of Alabama have some people concerned. Several appeared on different parts of campus on Thursday, and they included perceived threats.

“The chalk did come across as kind of a threat that something would happen today. So I know there was a lot of caution even leaving the apartment or going to the synagogue or anything like that this weekend,” said one UA student.

The drawings read “#YEisRIGHT” and”AmericaFirst”. Seemingly a reference or sign of support for the embattled rapper Kanye West’s recent Anti-Semitic comments. The student says since she shared a student newspaper article on the writings several have direct messaged her rude and hateful comments.

Including the chalkings, several threats have been made this year against the Jewish community in Alabama. Suspicious packages have had to be removed from Temple property in Birmingham. So what is fueling these anti-Semitic threats and crimes?

“A lot of it is just due to fear and ignorance and just not knowing at all. The best way I think to combat that is through education. Starting with students is amazing so we can stop it before those feelings and fears really come to rise,” said Zoe Weil.

Weil is the Director of Educator Engagement Alabama Holocaust Education Center and was horrified by the chalk drawings. She hopes the Holocaust Remembrance Day both reminds and educates.

“What that really means to us is to remember the victims. The victims of the holocaust. Six million Jews, millions of others that were murdered during the holocaust and it also reminds us of the importance of education. To educate with every generation.”

The university stressed they removed the drawings and have initiated an investigation.

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