Walking while not black: an account of Vassar’s approval of violent silencing

Students and security gathered outside the library on Saturday to watch as a police officer questioned Poughkeepsie residents who had spurred a noise complaint. Photo By: Ruth Bolster

Last spring, the Poughkeepsie police were called to address a noise complaint in the library concerning four teenage boys of color. Dave and [Name Redacted] cite this incident as one of many racial profiling incidents that have punctuated Vassar’s history with the issue. (Photo courtesy of Ruth Bolster)
[Sept. 4, 2018, Editor’s Note: At the request of one of the authors of the article, their name has been redacted.]

The Vassar Community Mural Project was erected in the College Center amid a highly political and emotionally charged campus environment, following the interrogation of four Black teenage boys from Poughkeepsie who were making too much noise in the library one Sunday evening. The mural was an attempt to create a public space for the Vassar community to use art as a form of resistance and healing: a space to visually represent current campus climate issues and to publicly demand that we do not forget about Vassar’s long history of institutional racism and profiling.

Despite the intention, the mural immediately became a space for white guilt, with anonymous posts such as,  “This mural is disrespectful. VC should be ashamed,” and white critique, including, “#abolishharmlesswhitegirls2k14.” The morning the mural was supposed to come down, two white male-identified Vassar freshmen entered the College Center at 4 a.m. with a bag containing two hacksaws. We know this because one of the perpetrators told us.

Although several students watched as the two men proceeded to saw the community mural in half, the investigation was deemed inconclusive, according to the Office of Safety and Security: “The video did show two males in the area of the mural, and a bag which we believe contained the saw…I am very sorry that we could not determine who did this to your project” (Kim Squillace, Email Correspondence, 6.5.14).

While they were sawing the mural, the student explained, a white Vassar security officer approached them and asked them what they were doing. Rather than immediately reporting the two students for the destruction of the mural and the possession of a violent weapon, the Vassar security officer talked to the students for 40 minutes and debated with them about whether this was a violation or “political statement.” As the security officer looked the mural up and down, he pointed to a section that read “white privilege” and remarked, “Well, isn’t that racism?” to the two students. At that point, the security officer left and went to check in with his supervisor and then returned, declaring that they were “all good,” letting the two students continue sawing and even making a crude joke about giving them scissors because they were going to ruin their hacksaws. The security officer left without recording their names or asking for their Vassar IDs.

Two white men walked around the College Center with saws and no one questioned their presence or asked for their IDs. Meanwhile, Brown and Black men and women doing laundry, going on a run, working in their faculty offices and hanging out with their friends on the quad are routinely asked to prove that they deserve to be here and that they are not a danger to this campus.

After the mural was destroyed—and with three all-campus emails from President Catherine Hill already in our inboxes calling for “respectful debate” regarding Israel-Palestine dialogues—we waited patiently for Cappy to publicly address and take responsibility for the violent destruction of this form of “respectful debate,” as well as the racist profiling of the boys in the library.

We are still waiting.

Cappy, however, is not the devil: This institution, its faculty, staff, students and community members are also responsible for the over-policing of Black and Brown people, who must constantly justify their existence and actions on this campus.

When the police were called on four teenage Black boys and students walked by casually, knowingly, we told Black cis and trans men and women exactly what we thought about them. In an act of solidarity, student activists flyered the campus with “Racial Profiling Happens Here.” When the flyers were taken down and some were graffitied with, “They got what they deserved,” we told our Black and Brown peers that we refuse to implicate ourselves in this violence. When Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) filed a report about the “Wall of Truth” erected in the College Center that inaccurately debunked “myths” about the genocide in Israel and made racist accusations about Palestinians, the Administration’s silence reminded us which bodies matter.

Cappy speaks about racism when it suits her political agenda, keeping white wealthy donors happy. The first time President Hill spoke to condemn racism was after SJP issued a public apology for a racist graphic that had been posted on their Tumblr. Cappy sent an all-campus email notifying everyone of the event, commanding an investigation into the bias incident and requesting a full review of their pre-org status. Cappy’s condemnations of racist, hateful speech have consistently ignored the realities of Black and Brown people on this campus.

As they took our flyers down, we put them back up, and on May 20, we invited President Catherine Hill, Interim Dean of the College Eve Dunbar, Director of Security Don Marsala, Dean of Students D.B. Brown and Director of the Committee on Inclusion and Excellence (CIE) Kiese Laymon to answer our questions about racial profiling.

The panel was inconclusive. While President Hill and Dean Dunbar did not admit to the racial profiling, Marsala and Brown did their part. Clearly uninterested in the conversation, Marsala and Brown said virtually nothing, stopping their daydreams only to regurgitate what had already been said. Fortunately for us, they listened well: “Uh, yeah racial profiling happens here,” said Marsala as he passed the mic to Brown. Within a couple months, Marsala and 67 other staff and security members were given incentive packages to leave.

In the meantime, racism continued, and Vassar was doing everything they could to hide it. Enter “Lord” Margolis Healy, the catch-all solution to Vassar’s issues with racial profiling and, as we were told, sexual assault and anything else students complained about. In a meeting with Dean Roellke about the way security handled a domestic violence incident, Roellke excitedly assured us that Margolis Healy would be coming and that they had “women and people of color” on their team.

Margolis Healy came. They set up meetings with small groups of students and held a conversation in the Villard room. Curiously, they didn’t bother to reach out to Dunbar, Laymon or Associate Professor of Political Science Luke Harris, three Black professors who have been extensively involved in confronting racial profiling on campus.

Thinking that venting to Margolis Healy was finally our chance to be listened to and heard, we told stories about injustices faced by students in a multitude of marginalized positions. We talked about the fact that no Sexual Assault and Violence Prevention (SAVP) coordinator had been hired, we recounted the stories of Black and Brown friends and the ways they had been profiled, we talked about endless meetings behind closed doors with senior administrators who always made promises that were never fulfilled.

We told them that student activists have to carry the burden of this work when administrators fail to because this work is about survival. We told them we were running on a treadmill. They asked for our suggestions and we told them to do their job. We wanted administrators to think and stop asking students to figure it out for them.

A couple of months later, Margolis Healy issued their report. It states, “There is absolutely no doubt that many members of the Vassar College community believe that the Safety and Security Department routinely engages in racial profiling. It is troubling to note that these complaints appear to be consistent over the years, which implies that the Department has not changed the way it engages with traditionally underrepresented groups and that the College has not held those responsible for enacting change accountable.”

Students and select faculty members have been screaming these words for decades. We have said to them over and over again: Racial Profiling Happens Here. Black and Brown bodies have been targeted, have been victim to hateful crimes and have been revictimized when reporting their stories through this Institution’s puppet policies. The number of hate crimes remains “zero” on Vassar’s website, because when the Institution is responsible for the worst of it, who’s going to hold them accountable?

Even then, if Vassar makes some substantial change, what does that say to Black and Brown students? Your lives don’t matter until a professional firm tells this school they do.

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A Timeline of Racial Profiling at Vassar College, 2014*

Note: In 2011-2012 The Committee on Inclusion and Excellence proposed to Dean Roellke that policy changes be made due to issues of racial profiling. Dean Roellke said the administration was in the middle of an investigation about racial profiling and that CIE should not make recommendations about policy change. The next year, CIE submitted a 13-step action plan to Dean Roellke, addressing policy and practice to reduces the perpetration of racial profiling. During 2012-2013, Dean Roellke and Interim President Chenette accepted the recommendation and moved it to an action plan. By spring of 2014, nothing had been implemented.

  • Feb. 27: President Catherine Hill calls for “respectful debate” around the politics of the relationship between Israel and Palestine.

“Whether we are on campus or in the broader world, we need and seek to model respectful learning and discussion at a time when public debate is so often inflamed and unproductive” (Office of the President, Email, 2.27.14).

  • March 1: 39 faculty members write an open letter supporting ASA academic boycott of Israel.
  • March 3: International Studies trip to Israel conversation in CCMPR sponsored by the Committee on Inclusion and Excellence. White woman professor yells at a student of color and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) member during meeting, but still calls for “civility” from students.
  • March 7: President Hill emails campus before spring break about lack of “respectful discourse.”

“Some in our community have felt distressed with a lack of respectful discourse, and some have felt that their views are marginalized” (Office of the President, Email, 3.7.14).

  • March 26: Fairness to Israel, a group of alumni and parents, publishes article in The Miscellany News condemning faculty’s letter in support of the ASA boycott, stating,

“Rather, faculty and student supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel have hijacked campus discourse and imposed an anti-intellectual atmosphere in which professors are ranting activists, not scholars, and students who disagree with the prevailing ‘progressive’ ideology are intimidated into a deafening silence” (“Faculty letter squelches campus voices,” The Miscellany News, 2.26.14).

  • April 11: President Hill emails campus again about the value of “civil” discourse.

“Our Statement on Civility and Responsibility in an Academic Community, in stressing the importance of both free speech and an environment ‘free from intolerance, disrespect or harassment,’ ends with the powerful statement that ‘genuine freedom of mind is not possible in the absence of civility’” (Office of the President, Email, 4.11.14).

  • April 27: Security is called on young Black boys making noise in the Vassar Library. Poughkeepsie Police is called when boys cannot produce ID. One of the boys is visited later that week at school to be questioned about stolen iPods at Vassar. He knows nothing about the iPods. He is told not to return to campus.
  • May 2: Students meet with Director of Security Don Marsala and Assistant Director of Security Kim Squillace. Students of color share their stories. Squillace will not say the school has an issue with racial profiling.
  • May 7: Student erects Community Mural.

“The Vassar Community Mural gives students the opportunity to visually represent the issues that matter most to them in a public space”—Charmaine Branch ’14 (“Students to define Vassar experience through joint mural,” Miscellany News, 4.30.14).

  • May 8: VSA is notified of a Vassar student being paid by a Zionist organization to contribute to inflammatory discussions regarding Israel and Palestine.
  • May 9: Community Mural sawed in half at 4 a.m. by two white male freshmen on the day it is scheduled to come down. Security files a report.
  • May 13: SJP tumblr posts graphic with anti-Semitic iconography.
  • May 13: SJP issues a school wide apology acknowledging the post does not reflect the beliefs of the organization and was posted solely by an individual.
  • May 14: Interim Dean of the College Eve Dunbar sends an email regarding Security policy changes. The policy changes were an adaptation of recommendations made by the Committee on Inclusion and Excellence the year prior, which the school had not implemented by May 2014. No other senior administrators endorsed the email.
  • May 14: President Hill condemns racism for the first time, in response to anti-Semitic graphic:

“I am writing to condemn a racist, anti-Semitic graphic posted to the Tumblr online site affiliated with the Vassar chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). I also request that the SJP Vassar membership take responsibility for its actions and cease representing itself as an official Vassar group, pending these investigations. Vassar College is committed to free speech and academic freedom, but we condemn racist, hateful speech” (Office of the President, Email, 5.14.14).

  • May 15: Vassar Conservative Libertarian Union erected the “Wall of Truth,” a pro-Israel mural challenging claims of abuse and apartheid in Palestine. The mural is taken down because it was put up “illegally.”
  • May 16:  Student activists flyer the campus with “Racial Profiling Happens Here” and pieces of the mural. Flyers are taken down immediately.
  • May 17: Hundreds of students send a form email to President Hill, Dean Dunbar, Dean Brown and Director of Security Marsala, demanding their presence on May 20 to answer to students about recent events on campus.
  • May 19-29: Julian Williams interviews students regarding SJP incident.
  • May 19: President Hill endorses Dean Dunbar’s Safety and Security Advisory council email and confirms her attendance at the “Does Racial Profiling Happen Here?” panel.
  • May 20: “Does Racial Profiling Happen Here?” panel. Over 400 students attend. All panel members admit that racial profiling happens at Vassar, except President Hill and Dean Dunbar.
  • May 27: Williams emails students regarding an investigation of the library incident.
  • Aug. 7: President Hill emails campus an update about next steps school is taking regarding racial profiling. Announces that Margolis Healy, a consulting firm that specializes in Safety and Security, will audit policies in the fall.
  • Aug. 26: President Hill emails about retirement incentives. 71 staff members (including Marsala) take buyout. Squillace assumes position as Director of Security.
  • Aug. 27: The investigation into the sawing in half of the Community Mural is deemed inconclusive and closed.
  • Sept. 15: Margolis Healy begins interviews with groups of students, security and faculty/staff. Three Black professors involved in confronting racial profiling on campus submit written statements but were never interviewed as part of the audit.
  • Nov. 25: President Hill sends out email about Ferguson and Wilson verdict. This is the first time the school has addressed murder of Mike Brown. Additionally, this is the first time President Hill states she wants to end racial profiling at Vassar. She doesn’t say how this could be made possible, other than that Margolis Healy will be helping the school implement new policy based on the report.

“First, we must make changes to guarantee that no racial profiling occurs on our campus and that all members of our community and visitors to campus feel welcome” (Office of the President, Email 11.25.14).

*This timeline does not include all of the incidents of racial profiling, micro-aggressions or hate crimes during 2014, and none before.

Compiled by students [Name Redacted] ’15, Shivani Davé’ 15 and Emma Redden ’15.

8 Comments

  1. I am sick and tired of having aggrieved people set against each other like this. And I am sick and tired of the dishonesty here. You left out the fact that SJP picketed the international studies class. You left out the fact that the trip was to Palestine as well as Israel. You left out the fact that some Jewish students were shouted down at the meeting when they were speaking.

    Your assumption that Cappy only responds to “white wealthy donors” because of how Cappy responded to SJP is racist and ignorant. It is racist because you have no goddamn clue who it is who wrote to Cappy. It is ignorant because neither the Jewish community nor the pro-Israel community is all-white (and the Arab community is not all-PoC, by the way)

    The posting to Tumblr, which was also tweeted, was a reprint of a NAZI CARTOON. Thus, your placing the word racist in “quotes” is not well-taken. Believe it or not, despite the fact that Jews are mostly white (about half of the Jews in Israel are black and brown, by the way), they are a MINORITY on campus, and it IS possible for them to suffer from bigotry and from microaggressions, and this went way beyond a microaggression. And it is also possible for the SJP community to make all sort of bigoted comments and statements about Jews and Israelis, including your attempt to demonize those who believe in a Jewish state (a group which includes the vast majority of Jews worldwide) with unsubstantiated claims that students on campus are being paid by Zionist orgs, as if believing Jews have a right to self-determination was wrong.

    Let me give you a word of advice, as someone who has long been aware of the racial profiling problem at Vassar, and has no trouble acknowledging it, or finding solidarity with those who want the administration to do more about it. Complaining that the college takes antisemitism too seriously in relation to racial profiling is not going to be a workable strategy; if you can’t condemn antisemitism and you can’t applaud those who do, you have no business calling yourself an anti-racist or a human rights activist. You should be working to build solidarity among all people, whatever their race.

  2. It is deeply troubling that your timeline includes references to responses by students and alumni to the many anti-Israel and anti-Semitic activities on campus last year, as well as a reference to the administration’s condemnation of the SJP’s posting of a Nazi propaganda cartoon. The efforts of concerned students and alumni to fight back against the delegitimization and demonization of Israel (the only Jewish state in the world) in no sense constitute acts of racial profiling. Groups like SJP cynically try to merge concerns with racism into their agenda, but thoughtful people shouldn’t allow themselves to be so manipulated.

    Megan Tallmer, Esq.
    Class of 1973

  3. Why on earth is “racist” in quotations in the description of the Nazi cartoon that was posted last year? While I agree with nearly everything written, there’s no reason to refrain from condemning that poster. It was really anti-Semitic and whoever posted it was an idiot. Probably not really such an anti-Semite, but definitely an idiot.

  4. I don’t understand how the authors, with all that they have personally suffered, can be so hateful towards others. Antisemitism is not ok!

  5. Really?? Scare quotes for “racist”? How is posting an *actual* Nazi propaganda cartoon anything less than obscenely bigoted? The fact that this tripe was even published in The Misc shows that the Vassar student body does not care one iota about the plight of its Jewish students. Absolutely disgusting.

  6. I went to Vassar twenty five years ago. I don’t remember fighting between blacks and whites. Women’s rights and gay rights were big issues, but “racial profiling” wasn’t a commonly heard complaint.

    In my recollection, the black males were extremely popular amongst the white females at Vassar and seemed to be having a great “college experience,” if you know what I mean.

    Why can’t everybody just hold hands, get drunk, and party. . . like in the old days!

  7. “March 3: International Studies trip to Israel conversation in CCMPR sponsored by the Committee on Inclusion and Excellence. White woman professor yells at a student of color and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) member during meeting, but still calls for “civility” from students.”

    I was there. No white woman professor yelled at a student of color nor SJP students. That did not happen. What DID happen was heckling and rudeness from SJP students towards anyone in the CCMPR not on their side. What DID NOT happen was Profs. Laymon and Mampilly moderating a discussion that they agreed to moderate. “Cardboard notions of civility” is exactly what was served up and SJP members, Laymon acolytes all, suckled that up like calves at the teet. What DID happen was Luis Inoa condescending to the white women professors in the room and saying that “if someone protested my class, I’d invite them in.” Meanwhile, Mr. Inoa is NOT a professor, but I guess he was on the tribunal panel because he is a “man of color” and that counted for something. What DID NOT happen was civil discourse. What DID NOT happen was early action on the part of Interim Dean Dunbar, Ed Pittman, Sam Speers, and Luis Inoa to help SJP students figure out how to air their gripes in a productive manner, rather than through taunts, threats and tirades at professors and their students. Instead, the SJPs had only the CIE faculty advisor to go to. Dunbar, Pittman, Speers and Inoa didn’t do their jobs, as administrators, to keep the dialog civil, productive and as accurate as possible.

  8. Earlier today, December 7, 2014, two Jewish-Israelis minors, one a young boy and the other a teenager, were detained by police at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem for breaching the rules in place regarding access to the Holiest site of the Jews. Where is the outrage at Vassar regarding this act?

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    On April 27, 2014, Vassar Campus Security was called when young Black boys from outside of Vassar were making noise in the Vassar Library. Poughkeepsie Police was called when one or more of the boys could not produce ID. The boys were then released. This incident galvanized a maelstrom of accusations of racial profiling, meetings, rallies, commissions, and claims of daily attacks on brown and black bodies occurring for years on a daily basis at Vassar College. Subsequent investigation of this incident failed to prove that a similar action by non-Black youths would or would not have led to the same result. The repercussions of this event are more apparent today than ever.
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    There a number of parallels on first hearing these stories, yet, with an understanding of historical fact, the differences far outweigh any similarities.
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    1. The first important distinction is that there will be no Vassar voices raised or demonstrations arising as a result of the racial profiling of the Jews at the Temple Mount. The Temple Mount, controlled today by the Jordanian Muslims Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, is the most holy site in the entire world. It is revered and honored by the Jews, Christians, and Muslims. It is holy to the Jews because from that place God commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac in Genesis 22, Solomon built the first Jewish Temple, Nehemiah built the second Jewish Temple from which the Jews were exiled for 2000 years before establishing the nation of Israel. Today millions of Jewish people come to the Western Wall of the Temple Mount to pray. To the Christians the Temple Mount is sacred because it is the place Jesus was dedicated to the Lord and where He taught. To the Muslims the Temple Mount is considered the third most holy site in Islam. In Muslim tradition it is believed that Muhammad ascended to Heaven from Mount Moriah on the Temple Mount. The Dome of the Rock was erected as a Muslim shrine to mark that location. The Al-Aqsa Mosque sits at the southern end of the Mount. It is worth noting that neither Jerusalem nor the Temple Mount is ever mentioned in the Koran, Mohammed never visited Jerusalem in his lifetime, Muslims west of the Temple Mount pray to Mecca with their rear ends pointing towards Jerusalem, and both the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock were built after the death of Mohammed, 1500 years after the building of the First Temple on Mount Moriah and 700 years after the large platform (the Mount) was built by Herod to serve as the bulwark for the Second Jewish Temple.
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    2. The second distinction is that, unlike at Vassar, there is definite institutional policy at the Temple Mount to racially profile and segregate Jews. Such policy has resulted in physical harm to Jews, including the recent assassination attempt on Yehuda Glick, one of the prominent advocates of Jews’ right to pray on the Mount, on October 29, 2014.

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    3. Third, the Temple Mount has become a truly, rather than figuratively, unsafe place. Rather than just a place of worship for Muslims, it has become a pan-Islamic religious-national symbol, and a tense place of national and religious conflict between the Jewish world and the State of Israel on one side, and the Muslim world, the Arab states, and the Palestinians on the other. Muhammad Issa Toameh, a senior Hamas member and member of its General Shura Council has said that Hamas, a recognized purveyor of violence and terrorism, financially supports hundreds of activists who patrol the Temple Mount compound to prevent visits there by Jews.

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    .
    4. Fourth, unlike the private nature of Vassar College’s campus, the Temple Mount is a public area. This small sacred site has been passed from hand-to-hand over the past 3,000 years as a result of armed conflict. The only documentation of any legal sale of the property is in the book of Samuel II in the Bible when King David bought the land from Araunah the Jebusite 3000 years ago. Whether or not one believes in the Bible as historical truth, that is indeed the only record of peaceful transfer of land rights. Araunah actually wished to give the site to David but the latter insisted that conveyance of ownership could not be recognized in the absence of a monetary transaction. The ancient Israelites then controlled it, as later did the Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Crusaders, Mamluks, Ottoman Turks, British, and Jordanians. In 1967 during the Six-Day War the Jordanians, who had control of East Jerusalem and the Temple Mount since 1948, attacked Israel with the help of Syria and Egypt. The Israelis pushed the Jordanians out of Judea and Samaria and as a result took East Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. Within a few days, Israeli Prime Minister Eshkol returned the authority of the Temple Mount to the Islamic Waqf. The Jordanian Waqf are the Islamic guardians of Muslim holy sites. They watch over them and make sure they are being managed properly. Eshkol wished the return of the Temple Mount to the Islamic Waqf to be a gesture of peace to the Arab world, saying “No harm whatsoever shall come to the places sacred to all religions.”

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    5. Fifth, there is nether a sense of gratitude or sympathy on the Vassar campus, the Arab world or most of the Western World that Israel is willing to subject itself to this segregation and profiling in the interest of peace. While the Muslims have authority to manage the Temple Mount according to their laws, traditions, and practices, the Israelis technically have control over the Temple Mount. The Israeli police manage the Temple Mount, standing guard at the entrances and exits. The Israeli police work with the Islamic Waqf to provide safe entrance at very limited and specific times during the day for non-Muslims to tour the Temple Mount. Since 1967, there has been a Muslim ban on Jewish prayer at the Holiest site of the Jewish People, enforced by Israeli police. There have been innumerable arrests when Jews have tried to pray on the Temple Mount. There has been a policy of arresting Jews who go up onto the Mount even in the absence of praying. Since 1967, Muslims have been allowed to pray whenever they wish to do so at the same location. Jews who are able to bypass the Israeli police and access the Holy site are often stoned by Arabs. Muslim youths continue to desecrate the holy site by playing soccer there despite this action being against the law. The Jordanian Waqf has forbidden Jewish prayer and the Israeli police have submitted to their directives despite Israeli law guaranteeing religious freedoms of worship. Jews who ascend the Temple Mount are routinely verbally and physically attacked by Palestinian worshipers, often leading to closure of the entire Temple Mount. All of this truly and clearly is racial profiling against the Jews.

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    6. Sixth, in the absence of any outcry, there has been further marginalization and segregation of Jews with respect to their access to their Holiest site. It has been decided that the only entrance to the Temple Mount through which Jews are permitted to visit, albeit at very limited times, is the Mughrabi Gate, located in the center of the Western Wall, whereas Muslims are able to enter the Mount through its many other gates. The ramp to the Mughrabi gate has for the past decade been declared unsafe, but the Jordanians have decided that restorations of this ramp would be sacrilegious to their Muslim faith and that closure of this sole access ramp for Jews would be preferred over restoration of it by infidels.

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    7. Seventh, unlike Vassar, which has actively recruited marginalized students and financially assisted them in obtaining an excellent education and becoming part of the institution, the Jordanian religious authority and the Palestinian Authority have encouraged a situation where the entire Temple Mount is well on the way to becoming only a place for Muslims, just as the entire country of Jordan does not allow Jews within its borders. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has encouraged Muslims to continue their violent efforts to prevent Jews from ascending the Temple Mount. Over the years the raising of flags of any kind was prohibited on the Mount. The prohibition on raising flags on the Temple Mount is enforced only in the case of Israeli flags. When demonstrations and assemblies are held on the Mount, flags of movements are often raised, even those of terrorist movements such as Hamas. The considerable expansion of the Muslims’ prayer areas on the Mount is part of a proclaimed intent of the Muslims and the Waqf to turn the whole compound into a prayer area, thereby precluding any possibility in the future of even allocating a corner for Jewish prayer. In the period 1947 through 1967, Muslims on the Temple Mount prayed only in the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Over the years, however, the areas of Muslim prayer on the Mount have greatly expanded. The Dome of the Rock, which originally was not a mosque, has become a mosque in practice, particularly on Fridays for Muslim women. Ten years ago, the Muslims began to use two additional prayer areas in the compound: Solomon’s Stables in the underground space in the southeastern part of the Mount, where the Al-Marwani Mosque was built, and the ancient Al-Aqsa areas under the existing Al-Aqsa Mosque. Likewise considerable open parts of the compound have been paved and serve for mass prayer, especially on Muslim holidays and commemorative dates. The anti-Jewish Jordanian influence has spread to the outer walls of the compound and in certain cases to the areas that surround it. A Jordanian veto is also what prevents Israel from clearing out Muslim construction refuse and garbage from behind tin sheets that years ago were affixed to the continuation of the Western Wall, about six hundred feet north of the Jewish open prayer compound at the Western Wall base, well below the Temple Mount.

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    Jews, Christians and all non-Muslims are forbidden from praying or conducting any religious rituals on the Temple Mount. Their access to this Holy Site is severely restricted and, even when possible, threatened by bodily harm. This is truly racial profiling. Where is the Outrage at Vassar?
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