Oberlin College Hate Crimes Sign Of Larger Problem On Campus
Despite their reputation of being one of the most liberal colleges in the country, the Oberlin College campus in Ohio has been the site of reoccurring hateful acts of vandalism this past month. The Oberlin Review reported that the acts targeted the black, Jewish, and LGBT communities with vulgar and explicit hate speech.
The college cancelled classes today as a "Day of Solidarity" following reports of "a person wearing a hood and robe resembling a KKK outfit ... in addition to the series of other hate-related incidents on campus," according to school administrators.
A convocation that was originally scheduled for Wednesday was moved to Monday afternoon and was preceded by a "Rally Against Hate." A similar march on the 13th of this month brought in around 460 students, according to one student.
Eliza Diop, liaison to the Student Senate, described the event as a reflection of a "terrible pattern of racism, prejudice, queerphobia, anti-Semitism and other bias attacks [happening on Oberlin's campus]" in an email to peers. She called for "advocacy, support and solidarity" which she deemed necessary "emotionally, physically and spiritually."
A blog called Oberlin Microaggressions posted photos of the hateful acts going on around campus. The blog identifies its mission as a way to "find strength and empowerment, to educate ourselves and to let others know that none of us is alone in our struggles." The blog urges others to submit photos of vandalism on campus so that they "may document hate speech on campus and demonstrate that these acts are not simply isolated incidents, but rather part of a bigger problem of racism on campus."