Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Great Oberlin College Racism Hoax of 2013

...[A] large handmade poster of a Nazi flag with a swastika was discovered taped inside the windows of the second floor of the Science Hall.

Is Oberlin College's fake hate uproar due to: a "self-victimization/manufactured racism impulse"?

The Great Oberlin College Racism Hoax of 2013
Posted by William A. Jacobson
August 22, 2013

A massive racism hoax took place at Oberlin College in February 2013 in which two students made seemingly racist, anti-Semitic and other such posters, graffiti and emails for the purpose of getting a reaction on campus, not because they believed the hostile messages. At least one of the two was an Obama supporter with strong progressive, anti-racist politics.

School officials and local police knew the identity of the culprits, who were responsible for most if not all of such incidents on campus, yet remained silent as the campus reacted as if the incidents were real. National media attention focused on campus racism at Oberlin for weeks without knowing it was a hoax.

The hoax was confirmed when Chuck Ross of The Daily Caller recently obtained police records. Now it’s out in the open. Here is the history of how the hoax developed, played out in the media, and was covered up by the Oberlin administration.

The “hate” incidents cause campus and the media to erupt in protest

During February 2013 into early March, there were racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic postings on an Oberlin message board and in graffiti and signs around campus.

The issues burst onto the national media scene when a student claimed to see someone walking in a Klan robe late at night.

Left-wing websites like ran with the story with dramatic flair:

It turned out that the Klan sighting at Oberlin likely was just a woman wrapped in a blanket, but no matter, Oberlin erupted in protest and classes were cancelled to that on campus solidarity rallies could be held.

...The Oberlin Administration put up a Wall of Silence

I smelled a rat, and investigated rumors that this was a hoax. I was met with a stone wall of silence from the Oberlin administration and students, Oberlin declines to comment on motivations of students behind writings (March 6):

I asked [Press Spokesman]Scott] Wargo if the Oberlin administration had any reason to believe that these were a hoax. He said that he “can’t speak to the motive behind the writings.” I tried that question several different ways and the response was similar.

Wargo refused to confirm that these were acts motivated by racism not a hoax:

Q. “Does the administration believe these were acts of racism?”

A. “Again, it’s an ongoing investigation and I can’t add anything beyond that.”

Oberlin went into communications shut down, Oberlin pretty good at keeping secret the identities and motives of perps (March 7):

Local police are quoted as saying they have identified two students possibly connected to the rash of racist, anti-Semitic and anti-gay writings on campus, but were uncertain as to their motives...

Oberlin, despite the campus having devolved into an online spitting war, is keeping those secrets pretty well covered.

The students and administration had to know early on in March that this was a hoax. The student newspaper published a report that the connections between the online postings and the campus graffiti already was made:

The Oberlin student newspaper indicates the hunt for the perpetrators continues, which would be contrary to what the police have said...

Incredibly, Oberlin referred the matter to the FBI for investigation, but Oberlin and local police already knew, or soon would learn, it was a hoax.

The Oberlin College President had multiple opportunities to set the record straight, including when CNN Interviewed him live on national television, but he just played along with these being hate incidents:

I didn’t give up, and followed up, Oberlin update — two white male student suspects but motives unclear (May 3)

“The college’s investigation into the bias incidents led to the identification of two students who may be responsible. Both have been removed from campus.”

...The Hoax exposed through police records

It all turns out this was a hoax perpetrated by two progressive students on campus.

Chuck Ross of The Daily Caller obtained the police report through a public records and identifies the two students who admitted to doing most, if not all, of the graffiti and signs as a hoax to get a reaction from campus.

The Daily Caller identifies the two culprits as Dylan Bleier and Matt Alden...

On February 13, a student reported to campus officials that a racist flier had appeared on her door. The flier made a derogatory reference to Black History Month and — in all capital letters — the sexual assault of “A WHITE WOMAN!”

The unidentified student said she believed that Bleier and Alden were “responsible for this flyer being posted on her door.”

On February 15, a large handmade poster of a Nazi flag with a swastika was discovered taped inside the windows of the second floor of the Science Hall. Bleier was later found to have after-hours access to the Science Center.

The police report shows that school officials questioned Bleier and Alden. The report says that the two students admitted to leaving at least some of the markings, literature, and other paraphernalia across campus as a “joke” or a “troll.”

Oberlin police later subpoenaed IP records from Google and determined that Bleier was behind the fake Krislov account. Krislov initially indicated that he wanted to pursue an investigation but he did not follow through with the complaint, the police report says.

On February 27, Oberlin security officers finally caught Bleier and Alden — apparently red-handed — in the process of their hateful message circulation. At the time, according to the report, one of the students had discarded a piece of paper reading: “Islam. It kills.” …

...The two denied involvement in prior incidents, but the incidents to which they admitted constituted the bulk of the incidents reported by the student newspaper as having taken place, including the one involving a Nazi flag, as reported by The Daily Caller:

“I printed out a page of racist ‘niggermania’ cards to show to friends as a joke/for the shock value,” he allegedly wrote, adding that he had somehow accidently left them sitting in a lounge on campus.

“Matt Alden and I made a giant Nazi flag as a joke to troll people and put it up in the science center,” Bleier also confessed, the police report says.

He claimed to have had nothing to do with any of the other swastikas strewn around campus, but then allegedly wrote, “I posted Krislov’s head photoshopped onto Hitler’s body LoL.”

Comments left by Bleier on an official campus blog suggest that Bleier disagreed with an article Krislov wrote addressing some of the name-calling on a contentious discussion board called ObieTalk. Bleier asked what moral authority Oberlin had in the first place, “especially after approving the switch to frack gas…”

Alden categorically denied involvement in spreading the Nazi imagery, writing in a statement, “I had nothing to do with any swastika banner or other sickening Nazi paraphernalia.”

School officials and police also knew it was a hoax, not intended to express actual racist or other such sentiments, but to get a reaction on campus, yet they allowed the campus and the nation to go through hand wringing as if these were real acts of racism.

A student interviewed by The Daily Caller who knew Bleier and Alden did not think they were racist, did it as pranks, and were behind all of the incidents:

“I wouldn’t consider the individuals involved to be racists,” he said. ”I think they were kind of troublemakers trying to stir up the pot a little bit.”

The student, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, also suggested that Alden got a kick out of messing with people. “Matt was more of the prankster,” he explained. “Considering they were trolls, they were kind of getting what they wanted out of people getting so upset about it.”

But “then it got to the point where they realized it was bigger than they imagined it could become,” the student added.

The student thinks that Bleier and Alden were likely behind all of the hateful graffiti that marred that campus during the string of incidents in February. He also said that Alden and Bleier had been suspended and removed from campus before the March 4 report of someone wearing KKK attire...

Just another campus racism hoax, but bigger...v “Oberlin allowed the entire country to go through months of handwringing over supposedly racist incidents knowing full well it was a hoax,” Jacobson told TheDCNF. “If the president of Oberlin knew of this hoax and allowed Oberlin falsely to be portrayed as a racist campus, he should resign.”

... So, as soon as I read the fresh reports this week about a purported racist in a “KKK” hood lurking on Oberlin’s campus and reports of bigoted graffiti/vandalism, the fake hate crime alarm bells went off.

And so it goes. The “KKK” hood appears to have been a student in a blanket and it is not clear if the “hate speech” was of malicious intent or meant to be a purposely provocative exercise of free speech by sympathetic students….

Nothing has changed. The self-victimization/manufactured racism impulse at Oberlin — and at so many higher mis-education institutions across the country — is as strong and poisonous as ever...

The enormity of the hoax cannot be overstated, and it could not have taken place without the cover up by the Oberlin administration. Had Oberlin’s President gone on television or issued a statement that the acts were a hoax, the campus and media would not have devoted weeks to portraying Oberlin as having a racism problem.

The Oberlin administration has a lot of answering to do to the community, the nation, and to Oberlin alumni....

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