LAWRENCE, KS (KSNT) – A KU student recently discovered an antisemitic symbol spray painted on a public walkway. Instead of responding with hate, Jewish organizations on campus are coming together to remind everyone that light beats darkness.
On August 31, one KU student was on his way to class when he came across a swastika spray painted on the sidewalk near 19th Street and Naismith Drive. While many could of overlooked the symbol and kept walking, this student took action and notified others.
“The first thing he did was report it to his fraternity president that he’s pledging, and the fraternity president knew immediately to contact us,” KU Hillel Assistant Director Ben Davis said.
KUPD and the University were also notified. In fact, the swastika was removed and cleaned before KUPD arrived to the location.
“It’s really important for all the organizations that exist like KU Hillel to be there and to have the connections to know what to do when those happen,” Davis said. “But it’s really important when things like that happen that it’s taken seriously, that we have a response and it’s remedied quickly.”
While it’s easy to get angry over an act such as this, for KU Chabad, they have a different way of going about it.
“Our way of going forward whenever something like this happens, something negative, our way to fight it is by do more good, by having more Jewish pride,” Nechama Tiechtel said.
While it is unknown who spray painted the swastika and their intentions of doing so, KU Chabad Rabbi – Zalman Tiechtel has one message to spread.
“I think that this is once again a message to all that light is stronger than darkness,” Rabbi Zalman said. “Love is stronger than hate. Whatever that person was thinking when they painted that swastika, I don’t know. But one thing that I can tell you, I don’t think they imagined the outpouring of love, and light and kindness that it triggered, that emanated from that act of darkness.”