A group calling itself "The Coalition of Concerned Students" has admitted to circulating a flyer that "plays into anti-Semitic tropes" while protesting an upcoming campus visit from famous conservative and Orthodox Jew Ben Shapiro.
What are the details?
The flyer was published in Stanford's student newspaper, The Stanford Review, and calls for supporters to join in a silent rally against Shapiro during his sold-out speech slated for Thursday evening. The poster displays an image of what appears to be a bug spray bottle labelled, "Ben B Gon," with pictures of Shapiro's face interspersed with images of various insects.
Nothing says fighting intolerance like depicting your political opponents as insects to be exterminated. Well done,… https://t.co/ZZ1xstAkD2— Ben Shapiro (@Ben Shapiro)1573070333.0
"We are tired of Stanford Administration's complicity in putting Black, Brown, Trans, Queer, and Muslim students at risk by allowing (Stanford College Republicans) to bring Ben Shapiro to campus," the flyer read.
The Coalition of Concerned Students argued, "We do not protest because we are too sensitive to hear opinions we don't like. We protest because we are strong enough to defend ourselves."
The Stanford Review's editorial board condemned the poster as "inane," and called on the Coalition of Concerned Students to stop displaying the imagery and apologize.
Conservative campus organization Young America's Foundation reported that it obtained an email from Coalition of Concerned Students on Wednesday afternoon, wherein the Stanford activists apologize for the imagery on their flyer but then accuse Shapiro himself "unwavering" anti-Semitism.
"We would like to apologize to the Jewish community for the flyer put out with the 'Ben B Gon' bottle that resembled insect spray," the email begins. "We understand that this imagery plays into anti-Semitic tropes that say Jews are insects and pests that need to be exterminated. This trope has been used to justify violence against Jews in many instances throughout history, and is never acceptable."
The group went on to claim, "As a coalition of concerned students that includes Jewish students, we are very sensitive to antisemitism, as well as other forms of white supremacy." The coalition added that they "condemn Shapiro's unwavering Islamophobia and antisemitism through his belief that only way to be a real Jew is to agree with him and through his strong support of Zionism."