Anti-Semitic valentine sparks uproar at Central Michigan University

Central Michigan University’s president said he was “deeply disappointed” about an anti-Semitic message on a Valentine’s Day card that was distributed during a campus Republican group meeting, according to several media reports.

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The card was in a bag that was given to a pair of students by a member of the College Republicans at the Mount Pleasant, Michigan, university, the Washington Post reported. The card sports a photograph of Adolf Hitler, with the words "my love 4 u burns like 6,000 jews," and signed "XOXO Courtney," according to the school's newspaper, Central Michigan Life. The photo was posted on Facebook and shared hundreds of times.

In a statement released Thursday, CMU President George E. Ross blasted the valentine’s “hurtful, offensive language” and called it “unacceptable” and “not consistent with our values and standards.”

"We caution against concluding that the action is representative of the entire student organization or its members and remind all that threatening others as a result of such an incident can have legal consequences,” Ross said in his statement. "At Central Michigan University, we stand up against hate, protect the safety of all, and build bridges of understanding that bring people together."

Members of the College Republicans said the valentine was unauthorized, according to MLive. On its Facebook page, the organization apologized and said it did not "as an organization" distribute the valentine.

"We in no way condone this type of rhetoric or anti-Semitism,” the organization posted. “We apologize for any offense, and want students to know that we do not tolerate this sort of behavior."

Ross said campus leaders met Thursday to "to review the situation and determine next steps," the Washington Post  reported. In response to the card, several dozen people participated in a rally against hate speech on campus, according to the Morning Sun of Mount Pleasant.

It's unclear who made the card, MLive reported.

Mackenzie Flynn, president of the CMU College Republicans, told Central Michigan Life that one of the club’s members printed out some Valentine’s Day memes — including one that referred to the Holocaust — and put them inside the bags.

“While still not appropriate, I want to clear up that they did not create it themselves,” Flynn told Central Michigan Life.

Cindy Hughey, executive director of the Hillel Jewish Student Center at the university, told the Washington Post that the Jewish community on campus is “deeply concerned and disappointed that students would use anti-Semitic rhetoric and references to the Holocaust in a joking manner.”

“We find these references … trivialize an incredibly dark period in history when more than 6 million Jews perished,” she said in a statement.

At tonight’s College Republican meeting, we had a Valentine’s Day party, in which each member decorated a bag and other...

Posted by College Republicans at Central Michigan University on Wednesday, February 8, 2017