Oberlin College in Ohio, which has a rich history in the education of African Americans going back to the early 1800s, called off classes on Monday after a person wearing what appeared to be a robe and hood resembling a Ku Klux Klan uniform was spotted near the college’s Afrikan Heritage House. The incident was the latest in a series of offensive racial behavior on the Oberlin campus.
College officials decided to suspend formal classes and all non-essential activities on Monday, March 4, 2013, and hold a series of discussions regarding the incidents and other events aimed at uniting the campus community. In a statement, senior administration officials said, “When faced with difficult situations, Oberlin has consistently met the challenges and affirmed its commitment to the highest quality of education and the noblest aspirations of its community members. We believe that today’s events — and our ongoing work and discussions — will strengthen Oberlin and will strengthen us all.”
In February, Black History Month posters in the college’s Science Center were defaced with the word “Nigger.” A note found in the Multicultural Resource Center referred to the “Nigger + Faggot Center.” In a residence hall, the words “Whites Only” were written above a water fountain and “No Niggers” was written on a bathroom door.