The South Carolina Senate passed a new bill regarding antisemitism on campus on Thursday, April 27. An article posted by the Jewish Press on Friday, April 28 written by JNi.Media describes the bill and what is hopes to achieve, the bill “will address growing anti-Semitism on campus and protect students’ right to a learning environment free of unlawful discrimination” (Jewish Press 2). The bill was passed through the South Carolina House of Representatives with an overwhelming 103-3 vote.
The purpose of the bill is to give a concrete definition of antisemitism so authorities know it when they see it. This bill will not inhibit free speech or academic freedom, rather the definition will be considered by police and other authorities in cases of assault, battery, and vandalism. The bill will give authorities the proper information to determine whether or not something was a hate crime.
The bill says it will not hinder public free speech, so unfortunately, that means that anti-Jewish protestors will not be silenced or pursued legally. The legal repercussions of the bill is only to form a legitimate definition of antisemitism so it will be useful in cases where the law is broken, such as graffiti swastikas that we have seen throughout the whole semester, or when a Jewish person is assaulted for antisemitic reasons. The state of South Carolina is taking some large progressive steps forward. Forming a concrete definition of antisemitism can inform the public on an issue that is growing to plague our country. Hopefully, the state of South Carolina becomes more educated on antisemitism and can help prevent it in the future.
JNi.Media. “South Carolina Senate Committee Unanimously Approves Campus Anti-Semitism Bill.” Jewish Press. N.p., 28 Apr. 2017. Web. 28 Apr. 2017.