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December 6, 2022
Ithaca, NY | 39°F

Opinion

Editorial: Learning about the history of antisemitism is needed

One of the most important, and most human, things we can do is encounter and challenge ourselves to understand other human histories. This kind of encounter combats an erasure of history, the erasure of culture, of language, and most importantly, of people. Within this process we fulfill the task of not forgetting truetolife stories and the painful gravity they may hold. On Feb. 28 Hillel at Ithaca College, the Center for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Social Change (IDEAS) and the college’s senior leadership followed through with this idea by holding the “IC Day of Learning: Grappling with Antisemitism.” 

Initiatives like this mini-conference in response to the two swastikas found Feb. 3 and Feb. 8 on campus are a truer reflection of the college — held in the spirit of unity by engaging and learning others’ histories. We must call attention to all implicit and explicit tropes Jewish people must face daily. We must actively combat the many hateful conspiracy theories and reject antisemitic jabs we have become numb to.

Interim President La Jerne Cornish said it well at the Day of Learning gathering: “By probing the depths of the ideas that deal with antisemitism by grasping not just the history of it, but also its many contemporary manifestations, we will have the tools we need to identify it and reject it.”

Moments to celebrate our oneness and acknowledge displays of hatred toward difference is necessary for our morale at the college. The college needs to continue to condemn all future acts of hatred. This message extends into all aspects of life. We must not forget to give this energy to all minority groups and those facing hate for difference. We must integrate this change into every avenue, inventing new ways to travel along the way. Changing the way we view the mundane dialogue and activating our consciousness is the only way forward. Change is mandatory for extraordinary results.

The Ithacan can be reached at ithacan@ithaca.edu or via Twitter: @IthacanOnline