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Oberlin College Shuts Down After Slew of Hate Speech Incidents

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Oberlin College in Ohio has been on edge as of late due to an increase in hate-speech incidents around the campus. This led to the school cancelling Monday’s classes after an alleged sighting of person in a Ku Klux Klan outfit.

According to the school, classes were cancelled after someone reported seeing someone in a KKK-like hooded robe near an African Heritage building. The school dedicated the day as a “Day of Solidarity” to focus on stopping its hate-speech incidents.

Oberlin College investigated the incident, but has revealed that the KKK sighting was likely just someone wearing a blanket, according to the local Chronicle-Telegram.

The school’s paper, The Oberlin Review, published a list of the incidents leading up to the KKK incident. The hate speech started on Feb. 9 when vandalism was discovered in the Science Center after someone drew swastikas and replaced the word “Black” on Black History Month Posters with the word “nigger.” Over the course of the month, a few more similar incidents were reported where the n-word was used in a degrading manner, such as over water fountains or on bathroom doors. Incidents also included use of the word “faggot” to degrade students’ sexual orientation.

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Another alarming incident involved a strong-arm robbery of a student who stated that the robber made a derogatory statement about his ethnicity before knocking him to the ground.

The KKK sighting, then, was likely the result of the on-edge atmosphere surrounding the campus culture this past month.

"We believe these actions represent the work of a very small number of very cowardly people," said Marvin Krislov, the school’s president. "I am shocked that this happened at our college, which I love. It hurts all of us."

One of the more notable facts about the college is that it was used as a stop on the Underground Railroad to help slaves escape.

Notable alumna Lena Denham chimed in about the school’s history by tweeting, "Hey Obies, remember the beautiful, inclusive and downright revolutionary history of the place you call home. Protect each other."

Sources: NY Magazine, The Oberlin Review