Antisemitic messages seen at multiple places in Jacksonville this weekend


CNN
 — 

Officials in the Jacksonville, Florida, area condemned multiple antisemitic messages that appeared in public spaces this weekend including a football stadium, highway overpass and downtown building.

An antisemitic message referencing rapper Kanye West was seen scrolling on the outside of TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville during the Georgia-Florida college football game on Saturday, according to video shot by a relative of Vic Micolucci, a reporter for CNN affiliate WJXT.

In the video, the words “Kanye is right about the jews” are visible scrolling across the exterior of the stadium structure, referencing recent antisemitic comments from the rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West.

CNN has reached out to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and TIIA Bank Field for comment.

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It is unclear how the message was projected onto the stadium wall. It is also unclear how long the message was visible outside the stadium.

In other videos circulating on social media, the same message was also visible on at least one building in Jacksonville on Saturday night.

And on Friday, banners were also visible from a highway overpass on Interstate 10 in Jacksonville, according to a tweet from a local reporter. They were also referenced in a statement by Florida Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried.

The banners read “End Jewish Supremacy in America” and “Honk if you know it’s the Jews.”

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The language in the scrolling messages in Jacksonville mirrors banners that were hung from a freeway overpass in Los Angeles last weekend by a group appearing to make Nazi salutes.

Several officials condemned the messages in statements Sunday morning.

“The first step is to ensure we do not normalize this behavior,” Fried said. “Do not normalize Antisemitic messages above a freeway, or anywhere else.”

US Rep. John Rutherford, whose district includes Jacksonville, said in a statement on Twitter, “There is absolutely no room for this sort of hate in Florida. I continue to stand in support of the Jewish community in Jacksonville and across the nation.”

In a tweet on Sunday morning, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said the city is made better because of its diversity.

“Those who spread messages of hate, racism and antisemitism will not be able to change the heart of this city or her people,” Curry wrote in the tweet. “I condemn these cowards and their cowardly messages.”

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The University of George and University of Florida jointly issued a statement condemning the messages.

“We strongly condemn the antisemitic hate speech projected outside TIA Bank Field in Jacksonville after the Florida-Georgia football game Saturday night and the other antisemitic messages that have appeared in Jacksonville.

“The University of Florida and the University of Georgia together denounce these and all acts of antisemitism and other forms of hatred and intolerance. We are proud to be home to strong and thriving Jewish communities at UGA and UF, and we stand together against hate,” the statement said.

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