Letter to the editor: K-State needs to respond to anti-Semitic vandalism

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I am a faculty member at the University of Kansas Department of Psychiatry. I also serve as the co-chairperson of our Diversity Committee. We discuss incidents of discrimination that take place in the community and how we should respond.

It is disheartening to me that an incident of anti-Semitism has hit close to home — that it is not something I will discuss at the next committee meeting, but rather it is something I have to confront more immediately because it concerns my daughter.

I am referring to the destruction of the Sukkah, which had been purchased by Hillel and placed near the dining halls at Kansas State. It was broken apart and the pieces were carried and put around the car owned by student activist Glen Buickerood.

I do not know if Mr. Buickerood is Jewish, but I understand that he has been involved in diversity initiatives for the Housing and Dining Services. I am alarmed at this act of aggression against him by people who have anti-Semitic beliefs.

This incident has had a strong impact on my daughter, who is Jewish and involved with Hillel. She no longer feels safe at K-State. The lack of response from the administration at K-State has left her feeling isolated, as if no one cares — or worse, as if the members of the administration are complicit in the expression of anti-Semitism.

In 2014, Frazier Glenn Miller, an avowed anti-Semite, drove to two Kansas City Jewish retirement communities with the goal of killing. Three people lost their lives, including a boy who was 14 years old. None of them were Jewish.

Anti-Semitism hurts everyone, not just people who are Jewish. It is dangerous to the entire student body to allow these acts to take place without a response.

I look forward to hearing how K-State will respond to this incident.

Dr. Micaela Wexler is a clinical assistant professor at the KU Medical Center. The views and opinions expressed in this letter are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to [email protected]

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  • Wxlr

    Sorry, has it been confirmed that this was the work of actual people and has motivation been confirmed or Wexler making assumptions based on reporting? I haven’t seen any additional information and it seems ludicrous that Wexler’s daughter feels unsafe at KSU when it’s entirely possible that a windstorm damaged the Sukkah. I question Wexler’s parenting ability if the daughter is so fragile that this event has made her feel so unsafe.

    • Anon3456

      The Sukkah was staked to the ground and there were no winds strong enough to take it out of the ground and place it perfectly around Glenn Buickerood’s car. So yes, it was an act of aggression. Also, the school took 3 entire days to say a single thing about what had happened, which is a viable reason to feel like no one cares for any person. I’m guessing you aren’t Jewish or someone who is in any way someone in the minority, which makes it easy for you to act like none of this matters.

      • Wxlr

        You are totally wrong and the follow up story proves that point. Good job at jumping to conclusions though. Congratulations – this made regional news and I’d bet the follow up story won’t.

        • Anon3456

          Actually not wrong at all. You should probably educate yourself. But you are prob just another racist so I expect nothing more from you.

          • skeptical

            Yes, because I am willing to wait for evidence, I am an uneducated racist. Because I am willing to examine multiple possibilities, I am an uneducated racist. Yes, because I am willing to believe the police report (as reported in this and other papers) is most likely factual and true, I am an uneducated racist. Because I am not willing to immediately assume racism, I am an uneducated racist. Because you don’t think I’m a minority, I am an uneducated racist. Good job. You’ve totally figured it out. I wish you luck in life.

            I’m curious – how much evidence would be required to prove to you, conclusively, that this event was storm damage?

          • Chase

            Official Police report as well as KSU Pres. And student Pres. And VP addressed the point that it was in fact the storm that blew over the Sukkah. If you looked at the weather reports for that evening there were gusts of wind up to 45mph. On top of that it was raining all day causing the ground to be muddy. Wind in kansas easily blew it over. We need to do better as a university to not jump to conclusions because an outcome has the potential to be a violent act when the alternative is just as likely. Wait for the FACTS and then we handle it appropriately. That is not how this issue was handled. And the University is addressing that right now as well. Also, I’m assuming most everyone who comments here is KSU alum. Or student so let’s be more constructive towards each other as well as presenting facts rather than assumptions. Think of it as writing a report. What grade do you think you’d get if you just started spewing out assumptions without evidence to back it up?

    • Aviyah

      Unless you have ever been in a minority situation, please do not try to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. A young, Jewish woman has every right/reason to feel unsafe if anti-semitic actions have taken place around her. This is not a result of parenting, it is a result of the anger in this world.

      • Wxlr

        You mean angry storms, I’m guessing? So she feels unsafe because of the storms? How do you know I’m not a minority?

        • Anon

          It’s clear you’re not a minority from your lack of compassion.

          • Skeptical

            Really? That’s a fascinating opinion but not at all true. Are we going to get out our minority cards and compete for who is most oppressed?

  • GlobalCop

    I’m guessing it might have had something to do with the massive storm that left Manhattan streets blocked by fallen tree limbs. And the fact that it was a tarp stretched between poles.
    It was knocked down by the storm, not a stormtrooper.

    • Anon3456

      It was not knocked down by a storm? It was staked to the ground and it was placed ****perfectly around Glenn Buickerood’s Car. The same person who is in charge of diversity for housing and dining services and who arranged to have the Sukkah put up. The metal poles were also bent in a way that would not have been possible, even in extreme winds, without causing damage to something else in the same area, which didn’t happen. The President of K-State came out with a statement saying that someone or some people decided to damage the Sukkah. But, you are a white male and have never been a minority, so I don’t expect you to be able to step in anyone else’s shoes.

      • Conclusions

        The police disagree with you.

    • GlobalCopIsAMoron

      Since when do winds untie knots and leave stakes in the ground? If the wind did this the stakes would have been uprooted along with the rest. Up to this point tho I don’t believe the wind has ‘thumbs’ so that makes your comment discredited. Sorry!!!!

      • Conclusions

        You must feel pretty foolish now. I hope you apologize for calling that guy a moron.

  • Wxlr

    I’m wondering how quickly Wexler will write a follow-up apologizing for jumping to conclusions about this incident and further embarrassing KSU with unfounded accusations.