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Klan sighting at Oberlin likely just woman wrapped in a blanket

Klan sighting at Oberlin likely just woman wrapped in a blanket

Oberlin — mass hate crimes, mass hysteria, or some combination?

Oberlin College experienced some campus drama Monday with a report of someone dressed in KKK garb on campus.  Via Slate:

Oberlin College canceled classes Monday after someone reported spotting a person walking on campus wearing what appeared to be a Ku Klux Klan-like hooded robe, the latest in a month-long string of racial incidents on the campus of a college that was among the first in the nation to begin regularly admitting black students nearly two centuries ago.

School officials say that security and local police are investigating the report and that all classes and “nonessential activities” on campus have been suspended in order to hold a school-wide discussion on the “challenging issues that have faced our community in recent weeks.”

I was skeptical when I started drafting this post and read in The NY Times that the sighting was by someone driving by in a car at 1:30 a.m.:

There were few details of the sighting, which occurred at 1:30 a.m. on Monday, Mr. Wargo said. The person who reported it was in a car “and came back around and didn’t see the individual again,” he added.

My skepticism seems justified by this report, just breaking, that the Klan outfit likely was just a woman walking wrapped in a blanket (emphasis added):

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.”

What is going on at Oberlin?  Are these all true acts of hate, or just someone or some people creating apparent hate crimes?

I am not the only one who has doubts about the culprits or motives. An analysis in The Atlantic Wire by J.K. Trotter notes theories range from student pranks, to staff members, to unhappy citizens of the college town. No matter who did it or why, there was only one way it was going to end:

This history doesn’t really explain how these incidents occurred, but it does explain how Oberlin’s administration decided to react, by canceling classes and devoting a day to discussion about what happened. There’s no way to tell, of course, if this will stop these incidents from happening again.

The identities of the students who perpetrated earlier acts, such as scribbling the “N” word at various places on campus, have not been revealed, but The Guardian suggests the students were caught but have uncertain motives:

“My understanding is that the individuals are college students and they have been identified. They are no longer on campus. The college is dealing with it internally, and we have been working in co-operation with the college.”

He added: “Charges could be happening, depending on prosecutors’ review. Our case file has been forwarded to prosecutors.”

Two students are thought to be behind the vandalism, but it is unclear if they were motivated by racial hatred, or – as has been suggested – were attempting a commentary on free speech.

And it seems that Oberlin College has a real history of race-based drama. Michelle Malkin recalled an incident from her alma mater:

Back in the 1990s, race-obsessed nutballs at Oberlin College in Ohio cooked up a horrid hate crime hoax. Asian-American students claimed that a phantom racist had spray-painted anti-Asian racial epithets on a campus landmark rock. Turned out that it was a warped Asian-American student who perpetrated the dirty deed. Whoops. Never mind.

Malkin’s piece also has a detailed list of manufactured racism incidents.

Even Mark Potok, who runs the Hatewatch blog at the Southern Poverty Law Center (known to falsely accuse the Tea Party of violence and racism), admits that there is a wave of fake hate crimes, Bogus hate crimes all the rage.

My own alma mater, University of California-San Diego suffered from a “fake hate hoax”, in which a minority student said she found a noose in a library. That generated protests and tension, too — all, based on fiction.

So what’s going on at Oberlin?

There’s drama, for sure, but is it based on fact or fiction?


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Its time to put public schooling under Adult Supervision

I bet it was a white burka.

stevewhitemd | March 5, 2013 at 1:38 pm

The progressive activist community must have a target, and must have one at all times. If no target is available one shall be manufactured.

There is no KKK at Oberlin College. Whatever animosity might exist is due in substantial part to the divisive rhetoric of the Left: after all, when you take long, careful considered pains to categorize and pigeon-hole everyone by race, gender and sexuality, you may be sure that people shall begin to behave in ways that reflect race, gender and sexuality. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

There must always be an ‘other’. Orwell understood this very well in Nineteen Eighty Four: there was never a moment when Goldstein was absent in the state propaganda. With this in mind, there is no ‘bogus hate crime’: such incidents further the cause by providing more evidence of the ‘other’. If caught, it shall be washed away.

There must always be a target.

The school’s reaction could be more of the stultifying effect the race card creates when it is played by the MSM to create backlash against someone.

see Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate by Greg Lukianoff

casualobserver | March 5, 2013 at 2:23 pm

It appears the trend of “manufactured racism incidents” at Oberlin continues in full.

    TrooperJohnSmith in reply to casualobserver. | March 5, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Otherwise, nobody could give two sh!ts about Oberlin College. This buys them a lot of Left Wing Cred, sympathy and free publicity.

    If Oberlin College was a 16-year old girl, it would be placing self-shot photos on Facebook of itself making gang signs and duck lips.

      casualobserver in reply to TrooperJohnSmith. | March 5, 2013 at 4:14 pm

      You might be right about motive. I’m not so sure about the need. The most progressive colleges stay popular within certain crowds, and Oberlin is one of those. Not far from me you’ll find Hampshire College. For the most part it stays out of similar news cycles, with an occasional public statement by an uber-progressive academic showing up. Yet they have no problem enrolling people. Of course, using “narrative evaluations” instead of grades is probably one of the big attractions.

they are all for free speech and tolerance unless its a kkk member, then free speech and tolerance cannot be followed.
damn, never thought I would be defending a possible action of a kkk type.
I know this one wasn’t, just thinking out loud. thinking sucks.

Oh noes. Not one of those dangerous high capacity hooded robes, purchased via the ‘robe show loophole!’

Halp us, Obama-wan. You’re our only hope.

No Dark Things | March 5, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Madonna Constantine taught me if you’re about to be fired then place a noose on your own door. Not only does it buy you some time and good will, your employer will stonewall the police hiding security footage that probably shows you placing said noose on your own door.

Or does that only work for people like me with all year tans?

The KKK was pretty much dead and buried years ago when Morris Dees and others won a lawsuit against the only entities which had any discernible assets. Since then, its primary function has been to serve as the Ultimate Boogey Man fund-raiser for SPLC.

But after a while, not even the wealthy guilty white liberals who keep Morris in Porsches believed there was still a KKK that actually met anywhere in the US, so Dees shifted his scare-mongering to “White Supremacist Militias” and the like, although there were even then about as many of them as there are KKK Kommunity Centers.

Now he also shakes the money tree with gay-haters and climate-change-deniers, I think. Celebrate diversity!

TrooperJohnSmith | March 5, 2013 at 3:50 pm

So, what if someone was wrapped in sheet with eye holes? When I was a child, this was called a ghost costume.

Ann Althouse reports:

According to a person with access to the faculty mailing list, faculty members had been told—”unofficially,” (i.e., not through official channels)—that “the investigation into this incident was dropped when it was discovered that the person responsible was someone within the MRC [the Multicultural Resource Center], who would be disciplined internally”….

BannedbytheGuardian | March 5, 2013 at 5:34 pm

That is just Blankie Hate.

pomeroyjohn | March 5, 2013 at 8:30 pm

My wife told me it was probably some poor woman who had been ‘sexiled’ from her dorm room for the night.

[…] After the lie was exposed today, my College Insurrection colleague Leslie Eastman wrote an excellent report at Legal Insurrection. […]

Mister Natural | March 6, 2013 at 2:59 am

Gee! I didn’t know that “Snuggies” came in white!

[…] persistence of white supremacy in the tiny town of Oberlin, city police told a local reporter that eyewitnesses saw no one in KKK garb — but instead saw a pedestrian wearing a blanket. Yes, the dreaded Assault Blanket of Phantom […]