Fascists Return to College: A Challenge for a Community

Photo credit: Alice, wallstalking.org, "anti nazi graffiti" cropped. Flickr. (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Just over a week before final exams, white-supremacists have returned to Kutztown University to plaster the campus with hate. On Thursday, students began finding the fascist posters linking to the neo-Nazi website, Daily Stormer. This is at least the third time this semester that Kutztown has been targeted by alt-right and anti-semitic groups.

The Daily Stormer is run by the neo-Nazi, Ohio native Andrew Anglin. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center,

Andrew Anglin is the founder and editor of the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer website. Styled after popular image-heavy Internet forums like 4chan and 8chan, the Daily Stormer is dedicated to spreading anti-Semitism, neo-Nazism, and white nationalism, primarily through guttural hyperbole and epithet-laden stories about topics like alleged Jewish world control and black-on-white crime. As of April 2017, the site ranked 13,137th globally and 5,597th within the United States.

The people posting the flyers seem to be following the call of Anglin to create a hostile climate for any social group that doesn’t fit the narrow ideology of white supremacy.  “Fear. Now is the time for it,” according to Anglin. “We want these people to feel unwanted. We want them to feel that everything around them is against them. And we want them to be afraid.”

The flyers posted below were found outside Kutztown University’s Women’s Center, not a coincidence it would seem.  Now the Kutztown University community is trying to decide what to do.

Kutztown University President Kenneth Hawkinson, issued a statement this afternoon calling for the creation of a “task force in August consisting of faculty, staff, community, and student leaders to establish protocols on how to address these situations.” Hawkinson stated,

I am writing to reaffirm the importance of advocating for an environment wherein all those associated with Kutztown University can feel valued and safe.

Once again, we have had posters displayed on campus promoting a group not affiliated with the university.   These posters also express values not consistent with our university values.  While we must keep in mind that all individuals have the right to free speech on our campus, our university rejects all forms of racism, bigotry and discrimination.

…Understanding the wide boundaries our first amendment provides to our citizens, there are actions we can take to ensure that our university is defined by our values – not the values of outside groups.  We must fight speech that is inconsistent with our values with more speech that addresses our tolerance, strength of our diversity, and respect for all people.

Hawkinson notes that the flyers promote a “group not affiliated with the university”–The  Daily Stormer–however, it is not known at this point if the people posting the flyers were members of the Kutztown community, Kutztown University, or the surrounding region.

Students took to social media to express their outrage, concern, and frustration with what they see as a lack of action by the university administration to prevent an escalating hostile climate on campus. Students are meeting today to discuss an action plan.

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