A Central Michigan University Republican student group is apologising for a Valentine's Day card that mocks Jews who died in the Holocaust.
The College Republicans group handed out gift bags to students Wednesday night, including one with a card that said "my love 4 u burns like 6,000 jews." It had a photo of Adolf Hitler and was signed "XOXO, Courtney."
The group apologised on Facebook, saying it doesn't condone anti-Semitism and that the card was made and placed in the bag without its knowledge. The group didn't identify the member who placed the card in the bag.
"At tonight's College Republicans meeting, we had a Valentine's Day party, in which each member decorated a bag and other members placed valentines inside of others' bags," their statement read. "Unfortunately, a very inappropriate card was placed into a bag without other members' knowledge. A bag was then given away to students sitting in Anspach [Hall], once again without members' knowledge of its contents. The College Republicans as an organization did not distribute this valentine. We in no way condone this type of rhetoric or anti-Semitism. We apologise for any offence and want students to know that we do not tolerate this sort of behaviour."
Central Michigan spokeswoman Sherry Knight told Mount Pleasant's local paper, The Morning Sun, that the school is "deeply disappointed." She says campus leaders are meeting Thursday to discuss the incident.
Cindy Hughey, executive director of the Hillel Jewish Student Center at the university, said the Jewish community on campus is "deeply concerned and disappointed that students would use anti-Semitic rhetoric and references to the Holocaust in a joking manner."
"We find these references ... trivialise an incredibly dark period in history when more than 6 million Jews perished," she said in a statement.
Unsurprisingly, many people commented on the Facebook post.
One wrote: "No matter what your political stance is (this is coming from a conservative), this is sick and unacceptable. I am disgusted at how a group that is supposed to be representing the same views I hold could say something so offensive and not see an issue with it. Absolutely ashamed."
"Hey I agree this is crude, but don't group all Republicans together based on this stupid person," one person added. "This person obviously is on the far end of the spectrum. I don't find this to be funny and I'm a Republican. Thanks."