Updated post: Oberlin College blames the blogosphere
The Oberlin College racism hoax of 2013 involved, among other things, a liberal pro-Obama “anti-racist” student activist who decided to “troll” the campus to get a reaction by posting racist, anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim and homophobic signs and messages.
It worked, as the campus erupted and the national media obsessed on what the racism meant in society, not knowing this was a hoax. The Oberlin knew this was a hoax, but never told students or the public. Instead, the Oberlin racism hoax exploited to advance “even more extreme policies”
A Police Report obtained in August by Chuck Ross of The Daily Caller exposed the hoax. The Daily Caller also identified two people believed to be behind many if not most of the incidents.
After reviewing that Police Report, on August 26, 2013, Legal Insurrection filed a follow up Open Records request because the Police Report was just a summary. We sought, among other things, the original police records including all communications with Oberlin College. We also sought the underlying Oberlin College incident reports which were given to the police.
The records release has been reviewed not only by Oberlin College officials — who warned students involved that the records release was coming — but also by the City Attorney in Oberlin.
After much delay, due in part to the desire of Oberlin College to make sure that confidential information was not released, the Oberlin police produced the records this morning. (added) It does not appear they provided everything we asked for, so there may need to be more follow up.
The records are heavily redacted, but shed great light on what happened, including that Oberlin College officials were closely involved in and monitoring the investigation. [Note: Redactions in black box format were added by us to protect the identity/cell phone numbers of students/staff who complained, although such information was not redacted by the police. While we were under no obligation to do so, we felt it appropriate.]
Oberlin President Marvin Krislov in particular was furious as to the creation and use of a gmail account in his name, and sought a prosecution of the culprit:
It will take some time for a complete review of these records, which are over 200 pages. So expect additional posts and updates to this post.
Here are the handwritten notes of the suspects during their interviews (the numbers next to redactions are the statutory ground upon which the redaction was made):
(Added) As part of the production of documents today by the Oberlin police department, the police released the interview notes of Oberlin College’s Director of Public Safey, Marjorie Burton, with one of the suspects. The interview was on February 27, and the suspect admitted involvement, but stated that it was just in “fun and jest.” The suspect then went on to smile when questioned about a photoshop placing Oberlin President Marvin Krislov’s head on Hitler, after being told Krislov was Jewish:
Here is one of the posters put up on campus. The funny/sick thing, is that this is the sort of thing we see routinely from anti-Israel BDS activists, except for the “Third Reich lives” language (note, we redacted in block the portion of the incident report to remove identifying information as to the complaining student, even thought the Police left that information in the production):
The poster also was used without the Third Reich reference:
The racist posters were worse than I had imagined: