Racist and anti-Semitic leaflets found in books at Williams College library

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Copies of racist and anti-Semitic leaflets were discovered in history books in a library on the Williams College campus.

College officials posted a sign at the entrance to Sawyer Library alerting library users to the flyers and asking anyone who finds additional flyers to notify library officials.

The flyers are designed to resemble the currency of the Confederate States of America, including images of the Confederate flag and a profile of Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. The flyers also include Bible verses and Star of David images.

The leaflets were discovered in books last week.

Campus security officials were notified and a bias incident report was also filed, according to officials who said library staff searched the collection and removed flyers when found.

Libraries Director Jonathan Miller said the flyers were similar to those found in the library in 2018. The person who put the flyers in the books then was not connected to the college or the Williamstown community, according to Miller.

“In 2018, we looked at this area, but we may have missed this shelving area,” Miller told the campus newspaper The Williams Record.

He said the leaflets could have remained in unnoticed books since 2018 or they could be part of an ongoing problem.

“It’s possible someone came at some point more recently and put him in there,” Miller said.

Among those who condemned the flyers was Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, executive director of the Massachusetts chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, who said the group stood in solidarity with students at Williams College.

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