Tennessee's famous Rock vandalized with hate speech again; chancellor responds
For the third time in a year, Tennessee’s famous Rock was vandalized, this time with hate speech that centered on an anti-Semite message about Sept. 11.
“JEWS DID 9-11” and “Google: Dancing Israel” were the messages that covered up the previous painting that supported a young Tennessee fan’s homemade shirt design, UT’s Daily Beacon reported.
Chancellor Donde Plowman emailed the campus community on Thursday morning about the incident.
“In one week, the Rock has brought out the best and the worst,” Plowman wrote. “We celebrated the outpouring of love for the young Volunteer who made his own T-shirt, and someone beautifully depicted the shirt on the Rock. Last night, someone covered that message of love with an anti-Semitic hate message. We condemn that hate aimed toward members of our Jewish community, and we understand that words are not enough.”
This is the third time in less than a year that the Rock has been the site of anti-semitic hate crimes; just last October, Hillel, a Jewish organization on campus, held a vigil at the Rock in memory of the victims of the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue shooting. Hillel painted the Rock with the message “Stronger than Hate,” alongside the Star of David.
Plowman said she would address the issue by meeting with members of the Jewish Volunteer community. Meanwhile, the UT Police Department said it would co-hosting a training on hate crimes.
A previous vandalism incident also happened in December 2017, when the words “white pride” were painted on the monument, the Daily Beacon reported.