ADL Praises Wayne State University For Pulling Helen Thomas Diversity Award

Detroit, MI, December 6, 2010 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today praised Wayne State University in Detroit for its decision to discontinue the "Helen Thomas Spirit of Diversity in Media Award" in light of widely reported anti-Semitic remarks Thomas made at an Arab American conference in Dearborn on December 3.

Ms. Thomas said at the diversity conference that, "Congress, the White House and Hollywood, Wall Street are owned by Zionists." She also said that the Zionists "put their money where their mouth is…We're being pushed into a wrong direction in every way."

In a statement,Wayne State University said that while it encourages free speech and diverse viewpionts, "…the university strongly condemns the anti-Semitic remarks made by Helen Thomas … As a result of these remarks, Wayne State will no longer offer the Helen Thomas Spirit of Diversity Award."

Betsy Kellman, ADL Michigan Regional Director and an alumna of Wayne State's graduate school, issued the following statement:

We commend Wayne State University for making the right decision to revoke the "Helen Thomas Spirit of Diversity in Media" award and for making clear that what she said amounts to anti-Semitism.

No academic institution or professional organization should want to be connected to Helen Thomas after the outrageous anti-Semitic remarks she made to a public forum.

We hope that other Journalism schools and professional organizations who have similarly honored Thomas in the past will follow suit and distance themselves from this unrepentant bigot.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.