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November 14, 2016 7:06 am

An Open Letter to Kent State University on Requests to Remove a Photo of Golda Meir

avatar by Ann Atkins

Email a copy of "An Open Letter to Kent State University on Requests to Remove a Photo of Golda Meir" to a friend
Golda Meir, 1964. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Golda Meir, 1964. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

President Warren,

You are no doubt aware that Kent State’s Students for Justice in Palestine, in league with the Spanish and Latino Student Association, the Ohio Student Association and the Muslim Students Association are requesting that a picture of Golda Meir and a quote of hers be removed from a hall in one of your campus buildings.

The quote these groups find offensive:

Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.

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As an educator, a non-Jew and the author of biographies on Eleanor Roosevelt, Golda Meir (Golda Meir: True Grit) and Marie Curie, I give talks each week at universities, schools and civic organizations, where I tell the stories of these three women. Their journeys are overloaded with pragmatic examples of noble decisions against injustice and other acts of heroism and hope.

The students upset with Golda Meir’s quote say they would rather a quote that points to what is wrong in our world. If this is truly their motive — that’s fine. But the quote is an inspirational one that should uplift students — and I reject their proposition that the quote or Meir herself share any resemblance to Donald Trump, or the comments he made during the presidential campaign.

I understand these Kent State students want to be “safe,” but there is nothing in Ms. Meir’s quote or life that should make them feel unsafe. Instead, it would be unsafe to remove a quote from one of the world’s first female leaders out of pure, political motivation.

I hope you will stand up for the rights of the rest of the students at KSU, who deserve to be able to see this quote and be inspired by Ms. Meir’s story.

Sincerely,

Ann Atkins

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  • Jim Austin

    As liberals have moved leftward over the past half century, they’ve taken an increasingly tolerant and indulgent stance towards anti-Semitism, particularly from the Third World and America’s racial minorities.

    Most recently, liberals actively fostered anti-Semitism in places where they dominate most: universities and colleges where attacks against Jews have been reported.

    Nowadays, liberals don’t even bother to feign outrage over anti-Semitism unless the alleged offender is pro-Israel.

  • Tzanchan77

    Not sure why this post disappeared

    Contrary to media reports, the quote has not been taken down or covered.

    After viewing the portrait, Provost Todd Diacon wrote to the student who raised the issue saying “… removing the quote from Golda Meir, which is nonsectarian and which reasonably could be read by many as inspirational, would be counter to our core institutional value of supporting a diversity of cultures, beliefs, identities and thought. We will not remove the quotation.”

    Please note that Bowman Hall was already scheduled to have its interior walls repainted in 2017; the scheduled maintenance will paint over this quote and about 14 others on the walls of the building’s three floors.

    Eric

    I speak “Reporter”

    Eric Mansfield, M.A. ‘12
    Executive Director
    University Media Relations
    Kent State University
    330-672-2797
    216-313-8292 (cell)

    @ericmansfield (Twitter)

    For the latest Kent State news and feature stories, visit: http://www.kent.edu/flash-feed/topics

  • Tzanchan77

    Got this note from their Communications person.

    Contrary to media reports, the quote has not been taken down or covered.

    After viewing the portrait, Provost Todd Diacon wrote to the student who raised the issue saying “… removing the quote from Golda Meir, which is nonsectarian and which reasonably could be read by many as inspirational, would be counter to our core institutional value of supporting a diversity of cultures, beliefs, identities and thought. We will not remove the quotation.”

    Please note that Bowman Hall was already scheduled to have its interior walls repainted in 2017; the scheduled maintenance will paint over this quote and about 14 others on the walls of the building’s three floors.

    Eric

    I speak “Reporter”

    Eric Mansfield, M.A. ‘12
    Executive Director
    University Media Relations
    Kent State University
    330-672-2797
    216-313-8292 (cell)
    @ericmansfield (Twitter)

    For the latest Kent State news and feature stories, visit: http://www.kent.edu/flash-feed/topics

  • Arthur T

    The “Jewish professors”? Just who do you think is trying to remove this picture?

    • Victoria poupko

      Yeah, little doubt that initiator or at least supporter(s) were Jewish. Look, how many Jews were rejected Netanyahu speech in last spring, including coward Joe Biden, but everybody exactly knows who is who. Some just make a score of the Jewish senators in every state. Of course they mock on them
      I was impressed by the words of Ted Cruz: “first I am Christian, then American” and comment: “its interesting if a Jew or a Muslim could say that”
      Anyway I hope for better with Trump

  • Arthur T

    Let’s be honest. We all know why they object to Golda Meir’s photo and quote. It is because she was the Prime Minister of Israel. That they are claiming otherwise is absurd. The quote itself has nothing that relates to ethnic identity or nationalism of any kind. It is a simple and inspiring message. This demand should be called out for what it is and the groups should be admonished for having made such a spurious request.

  • getjune

    Universities have become an arena for know-nothings. Where is critical thinking? Where is respect for knowledge?

  • Pure antisemtism , not politics

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