Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts criticized University of Nebraska-Lincoln for a “dangerous’ plan’ to ban Y2K bracelets commemorating the victims of the Rwandan genocide.
Ricketts, a Republican who’s running for President, lashed out at the university for what he perceived as an overreaction to the anti-Semitic bumper stickers inscribed with: “Hitler was right. The Jews need to get out of Germany. Or maybe not. You decide.”
In a strongly worded statement, Ricketts called the plan, known as “Moving Nebraska Forward 2016,” a “risky’ and deeply troubling’ idea that would go against our campus community’s mission.”
“A school with a ‘mission’ to ‘educate leaders’ shouldn’t be radicalizing its students by preventing them from participating in a spontaneous anti-genocide protest,” he said.
The NCAA, Ricketts said, has long prohibited wearing apparel that depicts, or display images of, imagery “designed to promote, advocate or glorify any form of hatred, bigotry, racial, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation or religious intolerance, hatred or discrimination.”
According to university officials, “using the phrase ‘Hitler was right’ is offensive to some people around the world.”
The university has not released details about how it intends to enforce the ban.
Ricketts tweeted that he would ask the university to drop the plan, and has asked the President of the Association of American Universities to help the university “find alternative ways to ensure our students learn about past tragedies and questions they face.”
CNN has reached out to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for comment.
A spokesman for Ricketts was asked whether Ricketts believes the “Hitler was right” bumper stickers are anti-Semitic. But spokesman Clark Stevens didn’t respond directly, saying: “As we have said over and over again, this is a bad idea and strongly oppose it.”