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November 4, 2022 1:08 pm

Providence Police Arrest Suspect Accused of Leaving Antisemitic Note at Brown University Hillel


avatar by Dion J. Pierre

The campus of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The Providence Police Department (PPD) has arrested a person suspected of leaving an antisemitic note threatening the Jewish community at Brown RISD Hillel, which serves students at Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).

“The suspect in this case is not a student, nor are they a member of the faculty or staff at BRH, Brown, or RISD,” Rabbi Josh Bolton said in an email to university students and community members, adding that the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office has taken over the case.

A university spokesperson told The Algemeiner that “it remains deeply distressing that members of the Jewish community on campus, and in places well beyond, continue to face antisemitic acts like this, which should have no place in any community.”

Discovered on Sunday, the note followed several recent antisemitic incidents and has prompted accusations that the university has not sufficiently acknowledged the severity of antisemitism on campus.

“Brown, like many campuses, has begun to see more incidents of bias against underrepresented communities and communities of color, including racist and antisemitic graffiti, slurs yelled at LGBTQ students and ethnic minorities from vehicles on streets surrounding campus,” Carey Sylvia-Butler, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) vice president, and Eric Estes, vice president of campus life, said in a statement on Tuesday.

In a letter to the Brown Daily Herald, a student newspaper, Willis J. Goldsmith, a Brown alumnus, criticized the university officials for issuing a statement “linking” the incident to other hateful acts rather than emphasizing how Sunday’s incident affected the Jewish community specifically.

In a separate statement issued Monday, Brown University spokesman Brian Clark said that “any act of religious intolerance, including antisemitism, is entirely unacceptable and a direct affront to the ideals of inclusion and sense of belonging that are essential to the Brown community. We remain resolved in our collective, campus wide effort to ensure a community where all individuals feel safe and valued, and where the value of religious tolerance is upheld.”

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