Racist fliers were found posted in several locations on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. The fliers depicted a racist caricature of an African American holding a knife with the caption: “Around Blacks, Never Relax.” The fliers were posted after four students were stabbed on campus. One of the students died from his wounds. An African American man was arrested in connection with the incident.
Gregory L. Fenves, president of the University of Texas at Austin, issued a statement that read in part: “The words and ideas on these fliers are deeply offensive. In these difficult times, it is even more important for the campus community to come together. We will not tolerate the actions of those who seek to divide us.”
At American University in Washington, D.C., bananas were hung by nooses from trees and lampposts on campus. The bananas were found on the same day that a Black woman became student body president. On some of the bananas, the words “Harambe Bait” were written. Harambe was the name of a gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo that was shot and killed last May when a young boy had entered the gorilla’s habitat.
Neil Kerwin, president of American University, stated that “American University remains committed to principles of diversity, inclusion, common courtesy, and human dignity, and acts of bigotry only strengthen our resolve. Anyone who does not feel similarly does not belong here.”
Racist notes were found on the campus of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. One Black student who took his dog out for a walk, returned to find a piece of paper with the word “Nigger” written on it. Another Black student found a note that had been placed in her bag that read, “Go back to Africa.” A third Black student found a note on her car that read, “I am so glad you are leaving soon. One less nigger that this school has to deal with. You have spoken up too much. You will change nothing. Shut up or I will shut you up.” Update: The president of St. Olaf College said that this third note was a fabrication meant as “a strategy to draw attention to concerns about the campus climate.”
A noose was found in a kitchen at a fraternity house at the University of Maryland, College Park. Police are investigating the incident as a hate crime. Wallace Loh, president of the University of Maryland, stated “I resolutely condemn the use of a symbol of violence and hatred for the purpose of intimidating members of our University of Maryland community. All of us — students, faculty, staff, alumni — stand united in our commitment to core values of human dignity, diversity, inclusiveness, and intellectual freedom. We stand against such craven expressions of bigotry.”