Campus Racist Incidents Were a Hoax But Oberlin College Reiterates Its Outrage

oberlin-collegeDuring the 2013 spring semester at Oberlin College in Ohio, there were reports that 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. 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.

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.”

Now the Oberlin police department has concluded that the incidents were a series of hoaxes perpetrated by Oberlin students to generate a reaction by the campus community. But regardless of the motivation for the incidents, college officials have issued a statement that reiterates its condemnation of the actions that took place earlier this year.

The statement reads in part, “These actions were real. The fear and disruption they caused in our community were real. We will not tolerate acts of hatred and threats of violence regardless of motivation. We take all such threats seriously and recognize that our obligation is to assure the safety of all members of our community. Many students, faculty and staff raised reasonable concerns about their security on our campus, based on these incidents and threats. Oberlin College will not tolerate an atmosphere in which people feel threatened on the basis of their race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, under any circumstances.”

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    • Good for Oberlin? It was race hoax perpetrated by the perpetually aggrieved in order to gin up sympathy and impugn fellow students of another race. Oberlin should have condemned in the strongest possible terms the hoax and the attempt to besmirch an entire class of innocent students solely based on their sharing the same race as the supposed perpetrators. SHAME on Oberlin.

  1. Clearly, these hoaxes are needed to give Oberlin and the disingenuous administrations of other institutions an opportunity to double down on their narrative about the horrors of racism lurking around every corner. One wonders if the hoaxers aren’t in cahoots with the administrators; the precise timing of the hoaxes and the immediate proselytizing that always follows is a bit suspicious.

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