The University of Massachusetts at Amherst has come under fire this week for telling a student that her anti-Nazi sign was not “inclusive” enough.
A student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst placed an anti-Nazi phrase on her door in response to a swastika that appeared on campus earlier this semester. The phrase, “F*ck Nazis,” according to a school official, created “mixed emotions” in the Amherst community. Now, Americans around the country are baffled at the school’s decision to urge the student to take the sign down.
In an email to the student, a school official encouraged the student to take the sign down and replaced it with a more gentle anti-Nazi phrase. “From this conversation it appears to be that the sign in mention can be paraphrased as: ‘Nazis are not welcome here,’ the email read. “There are some in the community who have expressed that that the sign should be taken down as it has created mixed emotions in the community on how to proceed, issues of inclusion, and the ability to be active members of their community.”
The university posted on Facebook after news outlet began to report on the incident. In the statement, the university claimed that the email was poorly worded and that the student has the right to display the original anti-Nazi sign on her door.
EDITED FOR CLARIFICATION: A student placed a sign in their window that said, “F— Nazis.”
A poorly worded email from Residence Life staff asking students to take down the sign does not reflect the values of the campus, and it should not have been sent.
UMass Amherst emphatically rejects Nazis, and any other hate group, a view expressed in the students’ sign. However, we are sensitive to the use of profanity, which some could find inappropriate. The university respects the students’ right to display the sign and it may remain up.