(January 23, 2020 / JNS) The University of Montana’s president condemned a “hateful email” that was sent to some staff and faculty on Saturday ahead of Martin Luther King Jr. Day that promoted anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about Jews.
“The email was an affront to our values, and what we as a community believe and seek to uphold,” wrote Seth Bodnar in an email to the “University of Montana family.”
“To all who received the email, we are saddened and diminished by this act of hatred, and we support you,” he continued. “We are investigating its origin and will take appropriate action.”
The email’s sender has not been identified. The message was received by at least 380 email accounts, the university’s chief information officer, Renae Scott, told the Missoulian on Tuesday.
The email reportedly consisted of an attached flier that included a link to the Nation of Islam’s book Jews Selling Blacks. Recipients were encouraged to print and distribute “a few hundred or thousand” copies of them.
The book falsely blames Jews for controlling the transatlantic slave trade.
The email also included a link to watch speeches by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who is known for anti-Semitic rhetoric and other bigoted statements, including calling Adolf Hitler a “very great man.”
Bodnar noted that “this is not the first time an email like this has been received on our campus, and it will not be the last. We will continue to receive them and each time, we will respond appropriately and in a timely manner. Be assured we will act swiftly and surely on behalf of our students, faculty and staff.”
“We believe in the freedom an education brings, but this freedom is only possible when we speak out against hate and continue the necessary work to be inclusive of all. We continue that work today on myriad fronts,” he continued. “The work of many on campus, including student groups, points toward a UM family that seeks to build a welcoming and inclusive campus for all. This is ongoing work that is, as the hateful email highlights, still necessary.”
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