Oberlin College cancelled classes today after a hooded figure (think: Kl@n attire) was spotted on campus near the school’s African Heritage Center this morning. In response to a month-long rash of hate crimes, the student body is banding together to address the issues in a series of community events this afternoon.
The Chronicle-Telegram reports that Oberlin came to the decision to shut down after racist and h0mophobic statements began appearing on posters around the school. Today’s event with the unknown person in the hood and Ku Kl@x Kl@n-inspired robes was the final straw according to an open letter from school president Marvin Krislov.
Marvin Krislov on the decision to cancel classes:
Early this morning, there was a report of a person wearing a hood and robe resembling a [Kl@n] outfit between South and the Edmonia Lewis Center and in the vicinity of Afrikan Heritage House. This report is being investigated by both Safety and Security and the Oberlin Police Department. This event, in addition to the series of other hate-related incidents on campus, has precipitated our decision to suspend formal classes and all non-essential activities for today, Monday, March 4, 2013, and gather for a series of discussions of the challenging issues that have faced our community in recent weeks.
Krislov continued the letter by announcing a trio of events staged to show solidarity among students and faculty, and promoting Oberlin’s message of inclusion.
A liberal arts school in Ohio, Oberlin is most known for being the first institution of higher learning to admit female and Black students regularly. The school also prides itself in having some of the most politically active students within the liberal arts sphere.
For more information about the Oberlin College events, follow this link.
Photos of the racist messages appear on the following pages. A warning: the language is offensive.