Classes at Oberlin College in Ohio were canceled on Monday after an unidentified person described as wearing Ku Klux Klan attire was found near a "designated safe space" for black students.
Gawker reported Monday morning that the individual, clad in a robe and hood reminiscent of the racist group was spotted near the Afrikan Heritage House, a residential building described on the school website as "a designated safe space for residents and students of the African Diaspora."
Oberlin president Marvin Krislov and other administrators sent a campus-wide email Monday morning announcing that classes were canceled and encouraging students to attend a series of events including a teach-in at the building led by the school's Africana Studies Department and a "demonstration of solidarity" gathering.
"We hope today will allow the entire community-students, faculty, and staff-to make a strong statement about the values that we cherish here at Oberlin: inclusion, respect for others, and a strong and abiding faith in the worth of every individual," the email said. "Indeed, the strength of Oberlin comes from our belief that diversity and openness enriches us all, and enhances the educational mission at its core."
Monday's incident follows a string of hate-speech related activity, as the college newspaper, The Oberlin Review, reported on March 1. Among other incidents, posters Affirmative Action and LGBTQ rights-related events were found defaced on Feb. 26, with a swastika drawn on one of them; and racial and homophobic slurs were found both inside a residence hall and at the school's Multicultural Resource Center.
[Image by Flickr user "Arete13" via Flickr Creative Commons]