University Police have opened an investigation into a number of anti-semitic and racist posters found on campus, according to Deputy Chief of Police Joshua Sticht.
The posters — which promote neo-Nazi documentaries and racist tropes — have been found in multiple buildings across North and South Campus since Thanksgiving weekend. The university issued a statement last Thursday condemning the posters, which were found over the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah.
“The university recognizes the deep upset that these postings cause to UB’s Jewish community, particularly during Hanukkah [which ended Monday], and to people of color at our university,” the university said in a UBNow story. “UB stands in solidarity with our Jewish community and with our students, faculty and staff of color. We strongly affirm their right to study and work at the university without fear of violence, hatred and intimidation.”
UB spokesperson John DellaContrada said a half-dozen faculty and community members brought these posters to the university’s attention in the last few weeks. Sticht says UPD believes the posters were put up over Thanksgiving weekend, even if some were only found later.
“The investigation is still open, but we have not found any evidence that indicates a risk to the university community,” Sticht said. He mentioned that UPD shared information with the Buffalo FBI Office and the New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation, but that their analyses didn’t indicate a threat of violence and that no other university in the area has had the same posters.
UB has had a few encounters with anti-semitic and racist slurs and symbols over the years.
In 2019, the New York State Police Hate Crimes Task Force was called to investigate racist, anti-semitic and homphobic slurs and symbols found on a Knox Hall bathroom stall. In 2016, similar slurs were found in a bathroom in Capen Hall. In 2012, a swastika and the words “F--k Jews” were found in the Hillel of Buffalo lounge in The Commons.
“Above all, we must not let these hateful and cowardly actions succeed in bringing fear to our university,” vice president for inclusive excellence Despina Stratigakos said in a statement. “We are a community that rejects hateful ideology and that respects and supports each other.”
Justin Weiss is the managing editor and can be reached at email@example.com
Justin Weiss is The Spectrum's managing editor. In his free time, he can be found hiking, playing baseball or throwing things at his TV when his sports teams aren't winning. His words have appeared in Elite Sports New York and the Long Island Herald. He can be found on Twitter @Jwmlb1.