Several different antisemitic stickers, all with the same white supremacist website listed on them, were placed near the campus areas of the University of Minnesota, Minnesota State University, Mankato, and Gustavus Adolphus in St. Peter over the last week and a half.
The first, which read “Hitler Was Right,” was seen in Mankato on Yom Hashoah, April 7, in the vicinity of the MSU campus, according to Marian Broida, who made the report of the stickers to the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas.
“There were 20 or 30 of them on streets bordering the campus,” said Broida, the interfaith program coordinator in the office of the chaplains and visiting assistant professor in religion at Gustavus Adolphus College. “One of the things that we have been really careful to do is not to name the website, because we know, they’re clearly trying to drive traffic to that website. And we did not want to support that goal, nor do we want to amplify.”
There was a rally that was quickly planned for Sunday, April 18, although in the wake of the killing of Daunte Wright, the focus became less about antisemitism, Broida said, and more about the general concern of white supremacy.
“The general gist was that there are a lot of groups being targeted by white supremacists right now,” said Broida.
JCRC Executive Director Steve Hunegs, one of the speakers at Sunday’s rally at around the 37-minute mark of this video, quoted Rabbi Joachim Prinz, who spoke prior to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the March on Washington.
“He said: ‘Neighbor is not a geographic term. It is a moral concept. It means our collective responsibility for the preservation of man’s dignity and integrity.’ Can we keep that in mind? People’s dignity and integrity,” Hunegs said. “I appreciate this fact, that it can be such a formidable task in front of us when we’ve seen all that has happened in our country. The Talmud teaches us that it’s not our obligation to perfect the world, but we can’t desist from the effort either. Each of us has something we can do.”
Another set of stickers read “White Lives Matter,” and Dan Plekkenpol, the JCRC’s director of community security said that timing of those may have had to do with a number of “White Lives Matter” rallies that, while scheduled nationwide — including a number of Minnesota cities — were poorly attended.
The stickers in Dinkytown, were different but had the same organization — Folks Front — like the ones in Mankato.
“Those had a photo of a man with a Star of David above his head and said ‘Breaking the Chains of Debt.’ In sense of, break your bond of debt to the Jewish people,” Plekkenpol said. “We don’t know if this particular group had put up the [stickers] or someone had made them and weren’t affiliated with the group. You just never know.”