Sacramento State employee finds another Nazi swastika defacing campus sign

Rosalio Ahumada/rahumada@sacbee.com

An employee at Sacramento State found another Nazi swastika on campus. This time, the hateful antisemitic image was found defacing a sign in the Arboretum.

Sacramento State President Robert S. Nelsen announced Thursday evening in a message to the campus community that he was “saddened and disgusted” after the swastika was found along side the words “White pride nation wide” defacing the Arboretum sign.

“The sign has been taken down so that the hate symbol and accompanying hate language can be removed, and we have asked campus police to investigate,” Nelsen wrote in his message to the campus. “We must continuously and vociferously condemn hate speech and hate symbols.”

He said this type of vandalism “is deeply troubling and hurtful” and does not reflect the Sacramento State campus community. The university president also said they are planning a campus town hall to show solidarity with Jewish and other communities targeted by hateful messages, raise awareness about antisemitism and publicly condemn all instances of hate.

Nelsen said university officials will share the time, date and location of the event once plans have been finalized.

“The town hall will provide an opportunity for us to come together as a Hornet Family to listen, to learn, and to support one another,” Nelsen said. “We are consulting with rabbis and other leaders of local faith communities to identify a date for the town hall that will not interfere with the Jewish High Holiday of Yom Kippur and other holidays.”

Law enforcement officials reported 78 hate crimes in Sacramento County during 2021, triple the number that occurred in 2020 and more than any other year since 2003, state data shows. The most common type of hate crime reported was vandalism or destruction of property, which accounted for 27 incidents.

In late August, the UC Davis Police Department launched an investigation after antisemitic banners were displayed on a campus overpass.

In early September, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg gathered community groups and elected leaders to denounce images of a swastika found on a classroom wall at Sacramento State and along J Street near the campus entrance. After that vandalism was found, university officials committed to conducting regular campus walk-throughs. The first of those is scheduled for early October.

In mid-September, maintenance crews found a large Nazi swastika and an antisemitic slur carved into a putting green at the Cherry Island Golf Course operated by Sacramento County.

“If you see something, please report it immediately,” Nelsen said. “We must work together to create and maintain an anti-racist campus where everyone feels welcome and safe.”