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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Editorial: United we stand

Published: December 3, 2010
Section: Editorials

Today, members of the Westboro Baptist Church from Westboro, Kans. will picket outside of Brandeis to protest the university’s Hillel organization.

The church, well-known for it’s anti-gay protests during funerals of soldiers, whom they claim fight for a country of sinners is coming to our university to “remind these Jews that they bear the curse of their forefathers’ murder of Christ,” according to the church’s website.

Upon hearing this news, The Hoot was at first concerned about the campus’ response.

While the views of the Westboro Baptist Church are clearly abhorrant, but we worried that at a campus that so prides itself on social justice, students would resign themselves to the climate of hate and insist on instigating fights with these picketers, giving the picketers more attention and clout than they deserve.

We were wrong.

Instead, through collaboration of multiple student groups and organizations, students decided to use this opportunity to express not loathing, but love.

Today, we are proud to be a part of a university community that, when confronted by vile hatred, has responded in a constructive manner.

We encourage everyone on campus to participate in the Celebrate Brandeis event today to peacefully and respectfully show not our opposition to the protesters, but our support of Hillel and of our university.

Furthermore, in this issue, at the suggestion of Hillel, The Hoot editorial staff has decided to print a chanukiah on our editorial page. Echoing the tradition of the community newspaper of Billings, Mont., which printed a menorah on its pages to protest anti-semitism in its town in 1993, we urge everyone to hang this chanukiah it in their dorm windows to show solidarity with the university.

In times of conflict, it is important for the university to make a united front.

This editorial board is proud that in this case, we did.