Racist message on The Rock covered by words of love on UT campus

Racist message on UT's Rock covered by words of love. / Source: (WVLT)
Racist message on UT's Rock covered by words of love. / Source: (WVLT)(WVLT)
Published: Sep. 12, 2019 at 11:56 AM EDT
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Just hours after someone painted a racist message on The Rock on UT's campus new paint shows words of love instead.

The University of Tennessee issued a statement in response to an anti-semitic statement painted on The Rock on UT campus.

The person who did it covered up the picture of the young Vol Fan's tee shirt design to create the hateful message.

"In one week, the Rock has brought out the best and the worst," the statement from UT's Chancellor, Donde Plowman said. "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.

Vol is a verb. Being a Volunteer means taking action. We are seeking Volunteers to join us in uniting around how we respond to hate on the Rock. We want to work together to create a movement around what we want to be. I will start by meeting with members of our Jewish student community this morning. We will expand the conversation to all Vols so we can work together on an action plan and will share more in the coming days. There are activities planned across campus with the goal of bringing Volunteers together—like Dear World today and United at the Table next week. I invite you to join in.

To kick off the “Vol Is a Verb” campaign, students, faculty, and staff were energized last night to take part in the first part of Dear World. We wrote messages on our bodies that tell our stories. We laughed, we shared, we learned. Those are the messages of who we are. We will not let hate stop our drive to create a community that ensures the people behind our stories matter and belong."

Fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi posted a statement on their Facebook page in regards to the incident saying "The Psi Deuteron chapter stands firmly against this hate. We are sick and tired of University of Tennessee constantly doing nothing to address this. This happens time and time again and all the university has said is “this is unacceptable”. AEPi at UTK asks the Greek community to share this on their stories and to tag the University. It’s time something is done about this. Our chapter stands against hate of all forms, and simply want action to be taken. We ask that alumni, friends, and family share this and make no way for the University to avoid this topic this time."

Copyright 2019 WVLT. All rights reserved.

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