Education

Students Calling for Removal of Food Science Professor Behind Anti-Semitic Facebook Posts

fb5a1a9d4a9824063540_bf2d5d442c2ceba8127d_unnamed.jpg
fb5a1a9d4a9824063540_bf2d5d442c2ceba8127d_unnamed.jpg

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Student activists are pushing for the suspension of a professor ​who has allegedly posted dozens of ​outrageously ​anti-Semitic posts on his Facebook profile.

The petition, started by Rutgers first-year-student Miriam Waghalter, asks that the university take “swift action” against Michael Chikindas, a microbiology professor at the food science department, for a myriad of racist and anti-Semitic posts.

Chikindas’ Facebook contained anti-Semitic characters, posts where he called “motherf***ing Jews,” the “most racist religion in the world,” and referring to Israel as a “terrorist country.” His Facebook has reportedly been deleted.

Sign Up for E-News

The ​startling ​revelation comes days after recruitment flyers for the white supremacist group Identity Evropa, were posted across campus, along with a flyer on one of the Rutgers buses which read “Black lives don’t matter.”

“It’s disturbing,” Waghalter said. “Even though we’re young adults, we still look up to faculty in order to help continue to shape our opinions of the world, and for someone of that stature, to be preaching these views, is problematic in that sense.”

Waghalter identifies ​herself ​as an Orthodox Jew, and since starting at Rutgers just over two months ago, has become involved with Rutgers Hillel, one of the university’s two Jewish student centers​ prominent on College Avenue.​

“It’s still an amazing place for Jews, the most amazing place for Jews,” Waghalter said, adding that she’s been involved with Hillel prayer services and the Scarlet Knights for Israel student organization.

As of 11:42 a.m. on October 26, the petition garnered 162 signatures.

“Faculty are the heart and soul of the university,” reads the petition. “If they are not held accountable when they promote racism and prejudice, then hatred and division will grow, to the detriment of our students, our beloved university and our whole society.”

Chikindas’ posts were first brought to light by blogger Aussie Dave and his page, IsraellyCool, which featured dozens of screenshots from Chikindas’ page, depicting anti-Semitic rants, photos and interactions with other Facebook users.

One of the posts Chikindas shared on May 25, from the page “End AIPAC,” depicts an “Anti-Semitism Card,” which reads “Get Out of Jail Free,” and shows the Monopoly game’s mascot flying out of a bird cage.

“When your Zionist Agenda gets busted, play the Anti-Semitism Card,” the post reads. “Claim everything. Admit nothing.”

Another post on Chikindas’ page read, ““They can go f*** each other in their fat arses — you see, I do not have anything to loose, hence nothing to be controlled.”

In another post, Chikindas shows a woman carrying dozens of hundred dollar bills. Below the photo, Chikindas wrote in a comment that “One may only wonder: why on earth the simple Jewish female is carrying the $10K in her bag… Doesn’t it make you suspicious?”

Many of the​se unbelievable, wildly ignorant​ posts featured caricatures of Jews, depicting a Jewish man with a large nose, a yellow Star of David and malicious grin.

Rutgers-New Brunswick Chancellor Deb Dutta said that the university was certainly considering suspending Chikindas, and that they plan to be further investigating the violations​, as students across the campus express revulsion.​

“Rutgers’ position on free speech is clear: All of the members of our community, including faculty and staff, are free to express their viewpoints in public forums as private citizens,” wrote university spokesperson Neal Buccino. "Yet at Rutgers University we must also foster an environment free from discrimination, as articulated in our policy prohibiting discrimination.”

Buccino also confirmed that the university will be investigating Chikindas posts and determine the best course of action.

Other students​ expressed disbelief and shock​ as well, such as Rutgers sophomore Elisheva Strauss, who’s studying cell biology and neuroscience and also identifies as Jewish.

“Honestly, it’s something that scares me,” Strauss said. “It’s being in that class or being in that department, that’s something that I’m nervous about.”

Yet Strauss remained confident the university would stand up for her, and any ​other Rutgers ​student, who was being penalized by a professor or other university employee for their religious beliefs.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Millburn/Short Hills

Merry Christmas from TAPinto Millburn-Short Hills

December 24, 2017

MILLBURN, NJ - The staff at TAPinto Millburn-Short Hills wish all our readers who celebrate a Merry Christmas.  

Millburn Police Investigate Theft by Nordstrom Employee

February 14, 2018

Press Release February 13, 2018

 

On February 6, 2018 Millburn Police Officer Royce stopped a 2009 Jaguar XKR as it exited the mall for having no front plate. The investigation led to the arrest of 50 year old Christopher Garibian of Morristown on an outstanding traffic warrant out of Morris Township. Mr. Garibian was placed under arrest, issued summonses, and released after posting ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast Medical Minute: Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center

On this episode of the AtlantiCast Medical Minute, we’ll take you inside the Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center, with the center’s director, Jason Lowenstein, MD.

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M7euCp86-c

AtlantiCast Episode 011

Breaking Atlantic Health System news on this week’s AtlantiCast! Plus, find out why Morristown Medical Center is one of the best hospitals in the nation when it comes to recovering from joint surgery, see the newest center for fighting brain cancer and an Atlantic Health System red-carpet premiere!

 

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_a35b701eea3f279a7b45_533a49c3d524bfd86a9f_1-2

Sat, February 17, 11:00 AM

PetSmart, Millburn

Dog Adoption Event

Carousel_image_ab8f5d9efb4317e5a445_hiawatha

Sun, February 18, 3:00 PM

Lawton C. Johnson Middle School , Summit

New Jersey Intergenerational Orchestra Free ...

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_5d123ce5c4d1e1aff10d_bd8cb329891587dd07a9_programs_orchestras-header-photo-1024x312

Sun, February 18, 3:00 PM

Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School, Summit

Come to NJIO's Winter Concert on Sunday, February ...

Arts & Entertainment

Harry Connick, Jr. to Appear in the World-Premiere Production of "The Sting"

February 16, 2018

Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Producing Artistic Director, Todd Schmidt-Managing Director), recipient of the 2016 Regional Theatre Tony Award, has announced that Harry Connick, Jr. will star as Henry Gondorff in the world-premiere production of The Sting.  The musical is based on the 1973 film, and will have its world premiere at Paper Mill Playhouse for a limited run from March ...

Millburn Church to Host Renowned Organist Christopher Houlihan

On Sunday, February 18, at 4 pm Christopher Houlihan, hailed as “dazzling” by the Wall Street Journal, will play the renowned Baroque-style Beckerath tracker organ at St. Stephen’s Church, 119 Main Street, Millburn, New Jersey, in a program featuring works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Robert Schumann, Louis Vierne, and Leo Sowerby.   Mr. Houlihan will offer his own ...

Millburn Recreation 2018 Spring/Summer Program Registration Now Open

Millburn Recreation Parents and Families:
Thank you for being a part of our programs in the past.  Spring programs are now open for registration and Summer Camp registration will open up Friday February 9th at 8pm.  Be sure to register your child as soon as possible because space in all programs is limited.

Please see our website ...