The University of Michigan hosted speaker Emory Douglas as part of a mandatory lecture series required for the university’s art students, who compared Benjamin Netanyahu to Adolf Hitler, labeling both “guilty of genocide,” in a presentation students called anti-Semitic.
A lecture on Thursday projected a slide that compared Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Adolf Hitler, with the words “Guilty Of Genocide” written across their faces, and the definition of the word “genocide” displayed below.
The lecture, which featured speaker Emory Douglas, a supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) and a former Black Panther, is part of the “Penny Stamps Speakers Series Presentation” hosted by the Stamps School of Art & Design.
A student at the University of Michigan expressed her dismay on Facebook, after attending Thursday’s lecture.
“I was forced to sit through an overtly antisemitic lecture as part of the Penny Stamps Speaker Series,” wrote Alexa Smith, “In what world is it ok for a mandatory course to host a speaker who compares Adolf Hitler to the Prime Minister of Israel?”
“I sat through this lecture horrified at the hatred and intolerance being spewed on our campus.” Smith continued, “As a Jew who is proud of my people and my homeland, I sat through this lecture feeling targeted and smeared to be as evil as the man who perpetrated the Holocaust and systematically murdered six million Jews.”
Smith added that Douglas’ lecture wasn’t the first antisemitic event she was forced to attend, stating that the administration had failed to properly respond to anti-Semitism growing on campus, causing it to get “worse and worse each time” throughout her experience attending the university.
“Today’s experience was not unique. Two years ago I was forced to sit through another mandatory Stamps lecture in which the speaker, Joe Sacco, made references to Israel being a terrorist state and explicitly claimed that Israeli soldiers were unworthy of being represented as actual human beings in his artwork.” Smith wrote, “This time I will no longer sit quietly and allow others to dehumanize my people and my community.”
The Penny Stamps Lecture Series is mandatory in order to obtain an undergraduate degree from the Stamps School of Art & Design, according to the university’s website.