Black and Brown Coalition Releases Statement on Recent Harassment in Wake of BDS Support
April 17, 2018
Sunday afternoon, the Black and Brown Coalition at NYU posted a statement on its Facebook page addressing recent backlash that has been directed toward their organization as a result of their endorsement of boycott, divestment and sanctions of the state of Israel and subsequent institutions supporting the state last week.
The BDS movement amassed a group of 50 NYU student groups, including the Black and Brown Coalition at NYU. The statement released today stated that some of the groups have received demeaning emails insulting the members’ intelligence and calling them anti-semitic. The emails were sent from non-NYU addresses, causing group members to worry that student contact information may have been released to the public.
The Black and Brown Coalition emphasized in their statement that harassment has been aimed at NYU groups representing people of color.
“People of color are being targeted for speaking up for what they believe in,” the letter reads. “The pattern here is clear.”
Brittany Baez, Steinhardt senior and president of Hermandad de Sigma Iota Alpha, Inc. and Community Chair of Latinos Unidos Con Honor y Amistad at NYU, received such harassment from one of the boycotted organizations who wanted to arrange a meeting to discuss her group’s endorsement of the BDS. The statement says that after declining, Baez came home to messages in support of Israel posted on her hallway bulletin board and has since experienced attempted break-ins into her suite.
In the Facebook post, members of the Black and Brown Coalition emphasized that they will not be silenced by harassment, and will continue to stand in solidarity with NYU Students for Justice in Palestine and NYU Jewish Voice for Peace.
NYU spokesperson John Beckman responded to the statement by stating that with disagreement, conflict will undoubtedly arise.
“Disagreement and opposing views are a natural consequence in a diverse scholarly community,” Beckman said. “We consider it an important part of the academic experience that community members engage one another and find a way to have civil, respectful discourse even in the face of profound disagreement.”
Both the Black and Brown Coalition at NYU and Brittany Baez were not immediately available for comment.
Email Kristina Hayhurst at [email protected].