Ohio liberal-arts school Oberlin College has been plagued recently by an uncomfortable amount of hate-speech incidents, mostly in the form of ugly graffiti, but it was the eyewitness account of a person in a KKK-like outfit that put things over the edge: Classes were canceled and “A Day of Solidarity” arranged instead. “We have made significant progress in the investigation of these instances,” school president Marvin Krislov told students yesterday, but the local Chronicle-Telegram reports a more innocuous explanation: “Oberlin police Lt. Mike McCloskey said that authorities did find a pedestrian wrapped in a blanket. He said police interviewed another witness later in the day and that person also saw a female walking with a blanket.”
It does make sense that the campus would be a little jumpy. The student paper ran down the more substantiated events leading up to the sighting, including a robbery with racial undertones, along with swastikas and the words nigger and faggot scrawled around campus. “We believe these actions represent the work of a very small number of very cowardly people,” said Krislov. “I am shocked that this happened at our college, which I love. It hurts all of us.”
Two notable Oberlin alumni also chimed in, representing the full spectrum of reactions. “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,” wrote Michelle Malkin, who has come a long way on her journey to loony right-wing sainthood. Lena Dunham, meanwhile, tweeted, “Hey Obies, remember the beautiful, inclusive and downright revolutionary history of the place you call home. Protect each other.”
It takes all kinds.