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Columns

We’re Really Sorry About That Antisemitic Cartoon, Guys

A School Outside Boston

By Emily N. Dial
By Yona T. Sperling-Milner, Crimson Opinion Writer
Yona T. Sperling-Milner ’27, a Crimson Editorial editor, lives in Hurlbut Hall. Some of her closest friends are Jewish. Her column “A School Outside Boston” runs bi-weekly on Tuesdays.

It has come to our attention that an image appeared on our organization’s Instagram account that made certain people uncomfortable. Now that we might face consequences, we want to take this opportunity to express how bad we feel.

Let’s make one thing abundantly clear: It wasn’t our fault.

It was a series of unfortunate accidents. Have you ever had a little cousin take your phone and ask your professor out by accident? That’s exactly what happened to us, only instead of someone’s cousin, it was an overenthusiastic freshman hacker who somehow guessed the password to our Canva account and copy-pasted an antisemitic cartoon into our infographic draft. And then a rock — a small one — fell from the sky and hit “publish.” Again, not our fault.

It is also not our fault that the proofreaders got LASIK surgery right before proofreading and therefore mistook the Star of David for the Hardee’s logo. Furthermore, we were under the (understandable!) impression that the “David” referred to David I. Laibson ’88, or maybe David F. Attenborough, neither of whom are Jewish (except for David I. Laibson ’88).

If you think about it really, really, really hard, it actually reflects rather well on our organization that we didn’t even think about the possible antisemitic connotations associated with dollar signs and lynching ropes. We just love Jews so much that we would never associate them with money, global domination, or — which other caricatures did the post play into? It’s crazy, we’re so detached from these stereotypes we can’t even remember what they are!

We would never do anything bad on purpose. We’re just kids, practically infants; how could you expect us to take responsibility for our actions? It’s not like any of our Instagram posts have ever attracted public scrutiny before!

Frankly, in our opinion, it’s ludicrous to believe that a group so dedicated to equality and inclusivity would purposely post anything remotely insensitive. Of all the clubs on campus, you have to admit that we are the most unlikely perpetrators.

If this were the Dungeons & Dragons Club, I mean, we can all agree they’re weirdos. They would probably do something like this on purpose. But with us, it’s so out of the blue that it was obviously a slip of the tongue. Slip of the rock, actually. And not a Freudian slip either. Although Freud was an anti-Zionist, fun fact.

At the end of the day, even if we did post the cartoon intentionally (and we absolutely didn’t, pinky swear), it reflects absolutely nothing about our organization. Do not, under any circumstances, allow the post to influence your perception of our coalition, my friends and me, or the anti-Zionist movement writ large.

“Pro-Palestinian activism” and “antisemitism” in the same sentence? Uh, doubt it! That’s why we took down the post the moment we all simultaneously, prophetically, spontaneously divined that the image was an affront to our core values. It was a pretty easy jump from there to: “Okay, we’ll just replace the cartoon with a picture of a guy who said the greatest white man was Adolf Hitler and the only good Zionist was a dead one.”

In conclusion, please stop yelling at us.

Yona T. Sperling-Milner ’27, a Crimson Editorial editor, lives in Hurlbut Hall. Some of her closest friends are Jewish. Her column “A School Outside Boston” runs bi-weekly on Tuesdays.

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