Holding Antisemites Accountable.

Close this search box.

Antisemitic Vandals Hit the University of Tennessee for the Third Time in 2019

The Rock at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville was defaced with an anti-Semitic message on Wednesday night. 

The Rock previously had been painted with the viral T-shirt design done by a young fan from Florida, who was bullied after wearing a homemade Vols T-shirt to school. That painting was covered with an anti-Semitic message, including the phrase “Jews did 9-11.” Chancellor Donde Plowman issued a statement on Thursday, condemning the anti-Semitic message. 

“Last night, someone covered that message of love with an anti-Semitic hate message,” Plowman said in a statement. “We condemn that hate aimed toward members of our Jewish community, and we understand that words are not enough.” The message has since been painted over. 

This is at least the third time in the last year the Rock has been painted with anti-Semitic messages or symbols. The first occurred last November, when a vigil was held at the Rock after the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, where 11 people were killed and seven were injured. 

At the vigil, the Pittsburgh Steelers logo along with the phrase “Stronger Than Hate” was painted on the Rock. In the days after the vigil, the phrase was changed to “Stronger Through Hate” and a swastika had been painted. 

Shortly after, swastikas were again painted on the Rock, along with “messages of hate.” Surveillance was increased in the area following the second incident.

In her statement on Thursday, Plowman asked “Volunteers to join us in uniting around how we respond to hate on the Rock.”

“We want to work together to create a movement around what we want to be,” Plowman said. “I will start by meeting with members of our Jewish student community this morning. We will expand the conversation to all Vols so we can work together on an action plan and will share more in the coming days.”

Source: https://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/education/2019/09/12/anti-semitic-message-painted-rock-university-of-tennessee-knoxville/2299505001/