More Trouble Over at TC

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The New York Sun is reporting that a swastika was found painted on the door of Elizabeth Midlarsky, a Jewish Teachers College professor who studies the Holocaust. TC President Susan Fuhrman responded to the incident in an email send out to the TC community this morning:

“We feel we’ve been targeted precisely because Teachers College is and historically has been a center for deep multi-cultural work. We are committed to maintaining that tradition by operating as an open, tolerant community.”

Police received a call at 8am and are considering this a possible bias incident.

UPDATE, 12:00 midnight: You think we have problems? George Washington’s got seven.




  1. well said

    why is TC trying to keep quiet on this?

  2. because  

    We (Columbia) as a community have realized that this is not exciting anymore, and the best way to fight it is to not fight at all. Even racists will get bored eventually.

    • thank you  

      this is totally right. I wish these reporters would stop treating this shit as if it were important.

      "We feel we've been targeted precisely because Teachers College is and historically has been a center for deep multi-cultural work. We are committed to maintaining that tradition by operating as an open, tolerant community."

      Wrong. TC is being targeted because you make a huge deal out of it and it turns into a huge circus. Clean up the mess and move on with your lives and it won't happen. We don't have kkk members at this school and we don't have skinheads, either.

      Maybe it was just a Hindu student who really liked their religion's symbol?

      • Haha  

        Well, I wouldn't be too sure that we don't have a few hardcore racists. You'd be surprised. You can find all sorts of people in all sorts of places. And, btw, I believe the Hindu symbol rotates in the opposite direction.

        • Not to  

          stick my head in the lions mouth, but the swastika is best known as a Buddhist symbol, and Buddhist temples are often decorated with both variations. Maybe it was Hindu in origin, but as far as I know it's Buddhist.

          • don't know

            what you're positing.

            The swastika's etymology places its origin in sanskrit, which is the precursor language to hinduism and buddhism though archealogical records suggest a eurasian origin. It was definitely used as a spiritual and religious symbol during the vedic period in india and was popularized even more in the indian subcontinent during Ashoka's reign and his embracement of Buddhism. It's diffusion as a religious symbol then continued into Tibet, China, etc as a Buddhist symbol and into Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Burma, Etc) as a Hindu symbol. Both Hindu and Buddhist temples and prayers are often adorned by or have the symbol of the Swastika involved. Neither is 'best known' (there's no such thing as a religious popularity contest, or ownership of a widespread likely common religious symbol) but the use of the symbol is pervasive in a lot of cultures that follow the religions.

            Historically its described as a Hindu symbol because that's where most scholars believe it was first associated consistently with religious and spiritual beliefs (though the nature of Hinduism in the vedic and pre vedic period is hotly debated--it may be better to ascribe its origin as one embedded in early indian subcontinent spiritual beliefs). Just because you know it as Buddhist suggests far more about the direction of your research into its history than its actual position as a religious symbol. If it was a question of what religion it held the most significance in then one could consider it a Jain symbol. Either way, to claim anything is best known is a somewhat irrelevant and puzzling description in the swastika's case.

  3. bias incident?  

    At what point can we start calling them hate crimes? Should we wait until it's happening every week or what? Oh wait, it already does happen weekly.

  4. well  

    Spec's reporting the NYPD said it was a hate crime: "Police said the swastika was found at 8 a.m. this morning, and they are treating the incident as a hate crime."


  5. Yep.  

    This shit fills me with dread.

  6. michael scott

    Olympics of suffering right here! Slavery versus the Holocaust.

    fyi, the right and left facing swastika are/were both used in hinduism http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swastika

  7. Outraged!  

    do these people have no decency?! is nothing sacred?! who's next? latinos? asians? whites? good god, even whites?!

  8. Solution.  

    Let's make a pact, right here and now. All of us. If anyone finds some racist graffiti, be it a hate crime or a bias incident or a bias crime or just some shithead's Sharpie vomit, run as fast as you can to the nearest bottle of Windex and Clean That Shit Up BEFORE every self-righteous student group and sensationalist media organization blow it up into an all-out clusterfuck.

  9. bias incident  

    Amen to #7. Hate crimes aren't just crimes, they are crimes against an individual motivated by hate. So assaulting the professor because she's Jewish would be a hate crime, but it's a bit of a stretch to claim that painting a symbol on her door would qualify.

    More to the point, Bwog states that this is a "possible bias incident" -- oh really?

    • Clarification  

      C'mon people, read the Sun article.

      "Police officials said they had responded to a call about the swastika at 8:00 a.m. this morning and that the Hate Crime Taskforce was examining it as a possible bias incident."

      Bwog did not decide to call it a bias incident, the police did.

  10. good god  

    will someone just get it over with and put up security cameras in every hallway at TC? since the administration and the press is committed to telling us about it like the world is ending every time some asshole decides to shout out for attention, let's just catch one of these jerks in the act. it's not worth it for these people if they get caught, so that's the way to stop it. I'm sick of effing Chris Colombo

  11. that last  

    word was supposed to be "e-mails". Chris Colombo emails.

  12. So what?  

    A noose only gets "bias incident," but a swastika gets "hate crime"? Is the misuse of words a "bias" incident?

  13. honestly  

    Damaged people, wtf.

  14. if by  

    "best known" you mean "was best known"

    i think now everyone equates it with the holocaust. call me crazy...

    • well

      i mean, the 2+ billion people in asia/the southeast asian islands may have a bone to pick with you about that

      not everything revolves around the western world

    • Reclaim the Swastika  

      Seriously, fuck the Nazis. Buddhism and Hinduism (in theory) are very peaceful religions, and it annoys me that that punk-ass Adolf butchered the Swastika's meaning. I think a great way to move on and give a big fuck you to anti-Semitism would be to reclaim the Swastika.

      • actually

        crimes are punished all the time for motives. sure it might seem crazy, but it is the foundation of the modern league system. if you meant to kill someone it is murder, if you didn't manslaughter. planning and forethought is also a circumstance to be taking into consideration. sure, it might seem like a 'slippery slope' but so is every other crime that is committed by someone other than a dude cackling while stroking his handlebar moustache. that is why there is something called juries and trials to hammer out those facts.

        i agree though, hate crimes legislation should be primarily addressing crimes. and they should be factors. racist vandalism is still a type of vandalism, and not aking to murder. a noose, while possibly symbolic speech, is clearly a threat of violence and would logically be interpreted as a death threat. the punishment should be given out as such.

        • i agree  

          A noose on a person's door, regardless of race, can reasonably be perceived as a threat. What bothers me is that depending on the race of the person who did it, it will either be punished as a simple threat or a hate crime.

      • true.  

        that's another good point.
        the gay rights movement did it with the triangles...why not with the swastikas?

  15. seriously  

    what the shit

  16. reply to #14

    This is the thing I hate about hate crime legislation. You can't punish a MOTIVE.

    That's getting into thought crime territory.

    If I murder someone because they're having sex with my wife, I'm up for plain old murder.

    If I murder someone because they're black/gay/muslim et cetera, it's now a "hate crime."

    You can't punish people for their thoughts. Only their actions, regardless of what motivates them (yes, I know this is overly-simplistic but I'm not going to get into insanity pleas, self defense, et cetera. I'm just talking good old-fashioned pre-meditated crime here).

    As for this case, it's definitely a threat. Let's say the offender spray painted "fuck you" on the door, or even "You're dead," but without the swastika, is it any less scary or threatening for the victim?

  17. Nazi

    I'm a KKK NAZI... just kidding, I just wanted to tell you how much I like the Halloween banner. Bravo Bwog

  18. bleh

    who are these assfaces who keep doing this stuff. obviously not a Columbia student, 8 AM, we don't wake up early enough, ever.

  19. well I did...

    ...say that I was talking about "good old-fashioned pre-meditated crime."

    Either way, I still think that hate crime legislation is bogus.

  20. hmm  

    good point.
    i suppose i was being a bit too western there.

  21. actually...

    Well, the noose incident was met with universal condemnation by all. The swastika incident has, strangely enough, inspired more comments belittling its significance than anything else, and has exposed a thinly veiled resentment of Jews for putatively holding a monopoly over public sympathy. Enough of all this crap.

    • Oh Stop  

      Its not being belittled. As Columbia students, however, we like to delve into the history of iconography.

      Even if it was belittling the swastika don't even try to say that there is a resentment of Jews at Columbia.

      You have Hillel, AEPi and god knows how many other groups.

      The only reason there would be "thinly veiled resentment of jews" is because they break the curve. But we have the asians to blame for that as well.

  22. interesting

    I wasn't aware of that. But have they adopted the swastika as a symbol too? Don't think so. You see, the swastika was used as a symbol of the Nazi regime, whereas the triangle was a symbol used to identify and publicly shame the homosexual community. Just like the Star of David was used to publicly identify and shame the Jews. That certainly didn't stop Jews from brandishing it proudly, both during and after WWII.

  23. what I meant

    I'm not implying that a majority of people here are bigoted. I'm just referring to the nature of the debate about this topic on this forum.

  24. saus  

    This is most likely the work of the Jester. Look at how much attention they get from this. I bet those fuckers spend more time trying to get people pissed off and scamming them than writing their sthitty magazine. Who cares. They should all be expelled for desecrating just about everything.

  25. my bet

    It's conspicuous that this keeps on occuring at TC. And the swastika incident is similar in many ways to the noose incident. I would bet that the same individual is responsible for both.

  26. anti semetism alive

    a few points about the some of the posts here:
    a swastika is a symbol associated with the MURDER of 6 million jews and therefore is by definition a threatening act intended to instill fear and a hate crime.
    midlarsky is vocal against holocaust deniers.
    she has been threatened and initimidated by anti semetic incidents as recently as a week ago and TC DID ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO PROTECT HER OR ANY OTHER JEWISH FACULTY MEMBR OR STUDENT FROM FEAR AND INTIMIDATION SINCE THEN.
    someone mentioned that it was obviously not a student; her office door that was swastika'ed is in such a remote place that requires TC ID to get to that she must have been specifically targeted.
    anti semetism is the oldest disease known to mankind and the fact that so many now are willing to brush this under the rug because they are "bored" and "tired" is proof that this disease has not yet found a cure.

    • Alum

      The prior incidents involved leaving flyers in her mailbox. I'm not sure that's enough to require TC to "protect her or any other Jewish favulty member or student", even if you say it in all caps.

  27. purple  

    you niggas need to just chill the hell out and just smoke some purple. that shit always be smelling in my clothes and i dont give a fuck if some angry ass white boy be saying mean things, im high as a muhfucker to care, you feel me?

  28. clear

    I know that, in all probability, no one's reading this anymore. But, on the oft chance that someone is, I would just like to tell him/her that I think the comments here show, beyond a doubt, that anti-Semitism is alive and well at Columbia. I'm actually quite shocked, to tell you the truth. I almost believed that the hatred directed by many of you against Israel was directed against Israel alone. But I was clearly wrong.

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