Thursday, March 7, 2013

Oberlins KKK sighting

The article posted on Huff Post called Oberlin’s KKK Sighting May have Been Person In A Blanket talks about the alleged sighting of a KKK member on the campus grounds of Oberlin College last month. Several people saw this KKK looking person roam the campus near the African Heritage house around 1:30. Campus security was sent out to try to locate this person soon after but they were unable to locate the individual. The Next day the college canceled classes in order to have rallies as a response to this sighting. Campus security said it could have been a student walking back to their dorm with a blanket. This is a possibility but there has been a rash of racist vandalism on the campus grounds in recent weeks, which makes a sighting of a KKK dressed person certainly in the realm of possibilities.

Around half of the 2,800 students attended the rallies with most of them not realizing the past nights events "Some students would not have had the time ... some students would probably not have known about last night's events without this kind of attention," Cortés told The Huffington Post. Oberlin is known for being one of the most liberal schools in the United States as it was one of the first to accept black students.

I find this article interesting because Oberlin College is so liberal that it has become a target for racist individuals. The KKK sighting most likely did happen as the article had said that racists related vandalism had sprung up in the college weeks prior. This is terrifying as schools are seen as safe havens for people and to see this racial attack in a place where you live and work is a terrifying reality that minorities have to live with.

My question is how would you respond to events such as this if it had been Rhodes instead of Oberlin.

The article can be found on this website


  1. Scary. When Obama was first elected in 2008, there was a meeting held at a famous restaurant called the Beacon that was essentially a militaristic pre-Tea Party gathering. I attended to write an article for our school newspaper, and I've never been more scared for my life. The topic that got the most attention was how they were going to assassinate Obama. Four people showed up in Klu Klux Klan robes. One person had a swastika tattooed on his forehead, and several others with swastikas on their arms. Two state troopers and one sheriff was there participating in the discussion. Now don't get me wrong, South Carolina is about the furthest thing from a liberal safe haven like Oberlin College, but it is still terrifying to see that there are still people like that trying to engage in such hateful and racist actions.

  2. I've been keeping up with the situations occurring at Oberlin. I think the reason it has gained so much media attention is due to the KKK reference and also its reputation as somewhat of the ideal liberal arts campus. Oberlin was not only one of the first campuses to accept black students, but the first campus to accept women, and subsequently black women as well.

    The context of this conflict is what I think is making it so shocking. If this happened at Rhodes I believe there would be similar student protests and news media attention. The KKK possibly being a student in a blanket is also an interesting note on assumptions regarding the possibility that racist vandalism could jump straight to a connection to Klan activity. I'm impressed by the spirit of the students at Oberlin, there has been a lot of positive inclusive language coming out of their protests against these actions.