Reports of vandalism surfaced on the morning of Friday, April 5th, with several instances of racist and anti-semitic graffiti found on both Queen’s University and St. Lawrence College campuses.
Kingston Police confirmed that they were aware of multiple acts of vandalism at the BioSciences complex, Arch St by the park, Summerhill, Theological Hall, Mac-Corry, and Jeffery Hall. Additionally, students at St. Lawrence College reported 2 instances of vandalism. It was not confirmed whether the incidents on both campuses were perpetrated by the same culprit(s), or whether they were otherwise related.
A vinyl banner at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre advertising the SOUNDINGS exhibition on Indigenous decolonization was found vandalized. The graffiti, pictured below, stated “13% = 50?”
“13% = 50?” or “13/52” or “13%” is a frequently used statement on Alt-right and white supremacist forums. It alleges that 50 (or 52) per cent of those incarcerated are black, and wrongfully infers that black people are therefore inherently more violent since only 13% of the population is black. It is important to note that people of colour, notably black and indigenous people, are often overrepresented in the justice system due to institutionalized racism.
Graffiti was also found at Summerhill on Queen’s campus early this morning. It reads “The Goyim Know”, with the “O” in “know” substituted for a Star of David.
Credit: Solomon Segal.
While the word goy (or plural goyim) means “nation” in biblical Hebrew, it has long been used to refer to non-jewish peoples. While not inherently any more pejorative than the term Gentile, many non-jewish people find the term “disparaging” or believe it to have derogatory connotations. Historically Alt-right, white nationalist, and far right individuals have used the word “goy” ironically in reference to themselves and other non-Jews.
Often used on Neo-Nazi and Alt-right message boards, the phrase “the goyim know” is a reference to the longstanding anti-semitic myth that Jewish groups are controlling, or attempting to control, the world through manipulating the press and the world economies, or otherwise undermining the morality of Gentiles and non-Jewish societies.
The phrase is often said while impersonating a Jewish person reacting to non-Jewish people (goyim) discovering the “Jewish conspiracy”, and trying to prevent the public from catching on.
Additional graffiti found on campus reads “USS Liberty”, which was an American intelligence ship that was sunk by the Israelis while stationed outside Israel in 1967. That day, 34 American servicemen were killed and 174 were wounded. While Israel explained that the bombing, which happened by aircraft over several hours, was an accident, some claimed that the Israelis sank the ship intentionally because they didn’t want the Americans tapping their communications. Both the Israeli and U.S. Governments conducted inquiries and reported that the attack was due to mistaken identity, but there is still controversy surrounding the incident.
Additional graffiti stating “HisTory Repeats” (pictured below) was discovered in the parking lot at the rear of St. Lawrence College. A staff member attempting to remove the graffiti said that the “whole thing” would likely need to be repainted.
Credit: Abigail Kary
The incidents follow reports two weeks earlier that residents had reported seeing signs stating “IT’S OKAY TO BE WHITE” around campus and the community. The statement on the posters, which were found in Kingston on May 20th, originated as part of a campaign by the Alt-right subreddits and other white nationalist channels on a website forum called 4chan.
Those who may find themselves affected by these events can reach out to the following resources for support:
Queen’s Inclusion and Anti-Racism Advisor: Lavie Williams, [email protected] 613-533-6886 ext. 77581
Queen’s Coalition against Racial and Ethnic Discrimination: [email protected]
Queen’s Hillel: Director, Ashira Prizant, [email protected]
Four Directions Indigenous Student Center: [email protected], queensu.ca/fdasc, 613-533-6970
Queen’s Intercultural Advisor: Dr. Arunima Khanna, [email protected], 613-533-6000 ext. 75774
Office of Faith and Spiritual Life: Kate Johnson (Interfaith Chaplain) [email protected], 613-533-2186
Student Wellness Services: queensu.ca/studentwellness/home, 613-533-2506,
Peer Support Centre (PSC): [email protected], amspeersupport.com, 613-533-6000 ext. 7511