“Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.”
These three sentences seem far from controversial, and in fact seem to actually be inspiring. However, the fact that Golda Meir said them led to controversy at Kent State University, where students asked Kent State to remove an exhibit on campus featuring the quote, along with a picture of Golda.
Golda Meir was Israel’s first female Prime Minister, and is remembered for much, including her commitment to peace in the region. She famously said that “we will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.” However, the president of Students for Justice in Palestine on campus wrote in a student website that the presence of the Meir photo “contributes to a climate that makes us feel like we do not belong here.”
In the aftermath of this letter, a Kent State official responded to say that the school would consider removing the mural. After an influx of attention, including repeated articles from The Algemeiner, Kent State let its decision be known.
It has just been reported that Kent State will not remove the exhibit featuring Golda. Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Todd Diacon informed students seeking the removal of the exhibit that following their wishes “would be counter to our core institutional value of supporting a diversity of cultures, beliefs, identities and thought.”
This is welcome news, because it is likely that such a request would have been immediately honored at far too many other schools.