A source at Columbia sends us Columbia President Lee Bollinger’s message to the community regarding one of the incidents reported yesterday at the school:
Dear member of the Columbia community,
I am saddened to report that one of the bathrooms in Lewisohn Hall was sullied with an anti-Semitic smear. It has been promptly removed and is now being investigated.
I want to make two points. When words are the offender, as in this incident, I am reluctant to draw attention to them and will exercise restraint in doing so going forward. I do not want to broadcast, in any way, the message they attempt to send or empower those behind them. Despite the irrational, destructive hatred that persists in our society and world, we do not accept this anywhere at this University. No one among us should feel marginalized or threatened by words of hatred. We are one community; and as one community, we will overcome these hateful acts and hold each other to the highest standards of respect for the dignity and diversity of every individual.
In response to questions students have raised, I also want to reassure you that we have utmost confidence in our Public Safety officials and in the NYPD. Not only do they have well established communications protocols in place when there is an immediate threat of harm; they distinguish crimes that threaten our physical safety from incidents like the one that occurred today.
Lee C. Bollinger
With respect to the emphasized words, our source comments: “It seems like either he learned something after being thrashed by Ahmadinejad in their debate, or he doesn’t include him as one who broadcasts irrational, destructive hatred.”