Oberlin College Holds “Day of Solidarity”

by Evette Dionne

OberlinOberlin College commemorated a “Day of Solidarity”  Monday after a month rife with race-fueled vandalism targeted toward the school’s black, Jewish and LGBT communities. Administrators suspended classes to promote school-wide discussions of racial tolerance and counter-narratives. The “Day of Solidarity” was organized in the wake of a Ku Klux Klan-clad person traipsing through campus near the school’s Afrikan Heritage house. It was the seventh incident to occur at Oberlin since the beginning of Black History Month.

Other reports from the Office of Communications note the defamation of Black History Month posters with racial slurs, swastikas drawn throughout the campus and “Nigger Oven” written in an elevator.

Oberlin’s students are responding vigilantly, using the campus newspaper and other outlets to express their disbelief and disgust.

Eliza Diop, liaison to the Student Senate, penned an email to the student body. She wrote, “This has been another event in a string of several reflecting a terrible pattern of racism, prejudice, queerphobia, anti-semitism and other bias attacks that are happening on Oberlin’s campus. At this time, advocacy, support and solidarity are necessary emotionally, physically and spiritually.”

Students have also created a blog detailing the vandalism through photos and testimonies. Obie Microaggressions was created in an effort to “expose the truth and dispel the false narrative that all of our students are ‘radical,’ ‘liberal,’ or ‘progressive,’ and that our campus is free from marginalization.” The blog’s creators are using it promote education and empowerment.

Oberlin was one of the first colleges in the United States to admit black students and want to continue promoting racial inclusivity. The college has scheduled convocation on Wednesday to align with the “Day of Solidarity,” but classes will resume tomorrow.

Is Oberlin College doing enough to address racism at its campus?

  • Fa

    Finally someone (or school) is getting it right!

  • http://www.myblackfriendsays.com myblackfriendsays

    Who the hell goes to Oberlin and then wants to wear a KKK uniform?

  • Pseudonym

    That’s what I was wondering? I always thought Oberlin was the most pro-diversity pro-LGBTQ university in the USA! A modern hippie commune, of sorts. Interesting…

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    may not be a student?

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    where were the thugs when they were needed?

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  • Gigi Young

    I’m just…shocked at the irony. Oberlin was one of the first American universities to extend higher education to blacks–and this was before the Civil War.

  • Pseudonym

    That’s what I was thinking. Would make sense.

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    Lena Dunham is from oberlin. hmmmm….

  • http://gravatar.com/jadenoellesblog Jade Noelle

    And there are STILL people saying we don’t need a Black History Month? If such things get a rise out of people, there may still be a need for it.

  • Anthony

    Black folks have attended Oberlin for 180 years and all you can think of is Lena Dunham? How on earth has this one chick gotten so deep inside black folks heads?

  • Anthony

    I was really annoyed at media reports of Oberlin students being fearful at the sight of some fool in a clan robe. If the students had some backbone, they would have confronted that clown and kicked his ass. A real klansman would not be wearing a robe if he wanted to do some dirt. For what it was worth I faced the klan twice when I was in college, those jackasses are nothing to be afraid of.

  • http://melodymoose.deviantart.com/ Catpopstar

    That sounds like a reason why they’d wear a robe. Can’t have humanity make progress, can we?

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