I reported earlier this morning about The Great Oberlin College Racism Hoax of 2013.
An open question is who knew what and when. Clearly the Oberlin administration and the local police were aware of the culprits and that it was a hoax prior to the campus rallies.
But what about the Board of Trustees, which would have been watching these events unfold as the reputation of Oberlin was sullied?
I reached out to several Board members today.
Clyde McGregor, Chair of the Oberlin Board of Trustees, told me that he was “not aware” of the reports today revealing it as a hoax. When pressed as to whether the Board of Trustees had been informed previously as to the hoax, he stated that he “had not heard” the word “hoax” used with regard to it. When asked whether, regardless of the term “hoax,” the Board had been told that two students perpetrated the incidents to get a reaction, not because of racism, he stated that there were important issues of educational privacy which prevented him from answering. When pressed further to discuss the issue without regard to student identities, he declined to comment and we ended the phone call.
A call to Vice-Chair Diane Yu has not been returned. I also spoke with Karen Buck Burgess, one of the Trustees. She refused to comment at all and abruptly ended the call, promising to look at my website.
An email inquiry was made at 10:30 this morning to Scott Wargo, press spokesman for Oberlin College:
Can you tell me whether the Board of Trustees, or any of its members, were informed that the students who perpetrated the alleged hate acts on campus did it as a hoax (use whatever other word you think appropriate) for the purpose of creating a reaction, not because they believed the hateful language? If so, when were they informed, and what were they told.
Please respond as soon as possible.
No response has been received as of this writing.
Wargo also failed to respond to inquiries from The Daily Caller regarding the hoax.
Oberlin continues the wall of silence which delayed for months disclosure of the hoax. It’s time for Oberlin to reveal who knew what, and when, particularly as to the oversight exercised by the Board of Trustees.
Update 8-23-2013: At 9:44 a.m. I received the following email response from Scott Wargo:
Dear Mr. Jacobson,
Thank you for your email, but all communications with the Board of Trustees are confidential.
To which I responded:
Why didn’t the President simply tell the community that the perpetrators claimed they were not motivated by racism, anti-Semitism, etc., but seeking to get a reaction from the community? That could have been done generically without identifying names.
I’ll let you know if I get any further response.
Update 8-24-2013: How could Oberlin be so cruel as to play along with the racism hoax?