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Oberlin issues statement: “These actions were real”

Oberlin issues statement: “These actions were real”

“Real” but part of a “hoax” about which Oberlin never told students.

I just received an email from Scott Wargo, press spokesman for Oberlin:

I would like to direct you to a statement the college has issued. You will find the statement posted online at

The president has no additional information or comment.

The statement does not deny that the student perpetrators did these actions as a “prank” or “hoax” but states that “actions were real” and inflicted real pain on students.  As discussed in the post earlier this morning, this does not resolve the real issue, which is that the Oberlin administration knew there was no real bias behind the actions, but let students think there was, How could Oberlin be so cruel as to play along with the racism hoax?

Oberlin doesn’t get it.  Someone sounded a fire alarm on a crowded campus, and the Oberlin administration knew there was no fire, someone had pulled the alarm as a prank.  But rather than telling people it was an inexcusable prank, Oberlin permitted students and the nation to think there really was a fire.

Here, is the Oberlin statement in full (emphasis mine):

A report issued by the Oberlin Police Department regarding racist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic incidents which occurred on the Oberlin College campus this past February and March has generated speculation on some web sites regarding the motives of the alleged perpetrators.

These actions were real. The fear and disruption they caused in our community were real. While Oberlin College takes great pride in its historic and ongoing commitment to diversity, inclusion, and respectful discussion of ideas, we draw the line at threats and harassment of any kind.

We will not tolerate acts of hatred and threats of violence regardless of motivation. We are proud of the way our community came together to respond to these incidents with education, discussion, and reflection. As Oberlin’s people have since our founding in 1833, we will continue striving to make the world better for all through education and discourse based on reason, facts, and respect.

Oberlin College, like every institution of higher education in the United States, is legally bound to comply with the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. In accordance with that obligation, in March, the college community was notified that the administration’s investigation had led to the identification of two students who might be responsible for the incidents, and both had been removed from campus. The timing of this announcement was decided in consultation with law enforcement and considered both the integrity of the ongoing investigation and the need to communicate with the community in as timely a fashion as possible. The college cannot provide any further information on who might have been responsible for these acts or their motivation.

Some commentators have suggested that the perpetrators engaged in these actions merely to provoke a reaction from our community.

As we have stated, these incidents occurred on a virtually daily basis over a period of weeks. The acts in question included racist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic graffiti, flyers, and Internet postings, as well as written harassment of targeted individuals including threats of bodily harm and rape.

We take all such threats seriously and recognize that our obligation is to assure the safety of all members of our community. Many students, faculty and staff raised reasonable concerns about their security on our campus, based on these incidents and threats. Oberlin College will not tolerate an atmosphere in which people feel threatened on the basis of their race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, under any circumstances.



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casualobserver | August 24, 2013 at 12:14 pm

I’m still convinced the school admin has some kind of “teachable moment” rationale in their heads.

And to call these actions “real” ignores some of the other factors like context, intent, etc. I guess if we follow the “real” filtering of racial actions, we should also be taking action against rappers and others who so casually use the N word. Is it not “real”???

The entire administration of Oberlin and possibly many more colleges and universities are totally devoid of any measurable amount of plain old common sense.

Kat Von Clawswits | August 24, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Summing up, Oberlin takes its teachable moments from the Clintons. From master parser Bill, it just depends on what your definition of “real” really is. And, may we never forget Hillary’s defense of the indefensible: “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

Someone sounded a fire alarm on a crowded campus, and the Oberlin administration knew there was no fire, someone had pulled the alarm as a prank. But rather than telling people it was an inexcusable prank, Oberlin permitted students and the nation to think there really was a fire.

Perfect analogy.

“These actions were real.”

We’ll drink to that! Two martinis, please. The other one? It’s for my rabbit friend, Harvey. He’s real. I can see him, and that’s all that matters.

NC Mountain Girl | August 24, 2013 at 12:30 pm

If Henry Kissenger had to deal with the Oberlin administrators he’d rethink his famous line that even paranoids can have real enemies.

    LukeHandCool in reply to NC Mountain Girl. | August 24, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Hysteria is real and what difference does it make?!

    LHC (who, by Jove, I think is getting the hang of this post-modern reality, My-Fair-KKK-Robed-Lady thing)

Oberlin College will not tolerate an atmosphere in which people feel threatened on the basis of their race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, under any circumstances.”

Actually I think this is concise and not at all vague. Notice that there’s no indication that the threatened feeling can’t come because the victim hears ideas he doesn’t like.

My guess…call me cynical…is that when Israel Apartheid Week comes accompanied by the usual rhetoric, that’s considered political commentary. And a male student who takes a women’s studies class and when he hears what he likely will hear about men generally and feels threatened, well, that’s something else entirely.

Actually, at one time I badly wanted to major in women’s studies. Turned out the program wasn’t what I hoped it would be.

Dan Rather has an honorary degree from them, doesn’t he?


Lefties: you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

I would like to ask the school how much money they raised in fundraising as a result of this hoax. These schools use these incidents to raise money from supporters, so why would they admit it to be a fake. I also question how much of their reaction and response is being coordinated by outside sources.

“Oberlin Trutherism is Real.”

That KKK Grand Wizard spotted walking on campus didn’t just explode and disappear on her own.

Yet the parents continue to pay the tuition, and send their children there with pride.


Harvey Issues Statement: “Oberlin Administrators’ Fears Real.”

Midwest Rhino | August 24, 2013 at 1:18 pm

Just two rogue agents in Ohio. This is a recurring theme, where institutional political corruption is systematically covered up and blame redirected down the chain of command.

Lois Lerner blames rogue IRS agents, but it really goes to the White House, and she’s been attacking conservatives for years.

In Benghazi rogue CIA agents misled in the talking points, but we now know the WH directed them to remove the terrorist language. Hillary testified ” was it because of a protest, or some guys out for a walk one night”. No Hillary, it was terrorists that you were warned about and refused added security.

This real incident (aka “The Administratively Approved Hoax”) was a manufactured crisis.

Do they really want to sensitize the nation to white racists that they feel exist but they can’t find? Or do they simply want to evoke racist hate toward any that don’t bow to “progressive” thought, and thereby promote racist quotas and laws? Their diversity has strict rules against conservative thought, which they tar as KKK types.

All that were involved should receive the same punishment a real KKK campus group, doing these acts, would receive.

boy I am so tired (is this phobia??) of the word homophobic.
anti-homosexual is a fitting term, much like anti-sematic, but no they need to lay the phobia card.
why not use the term sematicphobia? because its not usually a correct term.
but I digress.

“Oberlin doesn’t get it.”

Well, clearly somebody doesn’t.

Thinking that if you have a liberal dead to rights, and they’ll just admit their mistake, apologize, and move on..

Personally, I marvel at their ability to use Houdini-esqe wordsmithing to not mount a clean escape, but in the entire thing on it’s head, and it should be you that owes an apology.

It’s really quite fascinating.

Too many administrators. And, ALL of them get credentialed on this phoney PC stuff. Oberlin had a tip top reputation.

What the kids did was TRUTHFUL HUMOR. Kids being kids … they know all about “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”

That the administrators then slam their paying customers? No one will reign in the administrators.

Having a credential these days means nothing at all.

Even law credentials. All you need to do is look at the nine idiots sitting on our supreme’s … And, you know each one got their on their own developed political skills. And, how they honed their ideology.

And, then there’s so much debt worming out a credential.

The statement does not deny that the student perpetrators did these actions as a “prank” or “hoax” but states that “actions were real” and inflicted real pain on students.”

Unbelievable sophistry. The actions were a hoax but they were “real” because they “hurt” people. Like when fiction is dramatized on a stage, it is “real” because it affects people even though it is fiction? These people are so desperate to evade responsibility and not admit the disproof of racism. To the modern university, reality and truth mean nothing next to the agenda — to inculcate grievance, division and the notion of inextinguishable American racism.

The Duke 88 must be proud.

“There but for the gravy of Racism go I.”

—Unknown (but thought to be a University Dean of Campus Diversity & Multiculturalism)

These people clearly read Orwell, not as dire warning, but as an instruction manual.

The only irony is their total lack their of.

“Keepin’ it Real” will be that much more crucial when, inevitably, gay porno actors invited to campus as guest speakers are mistaken as cowboys, frightening the blonde, blue-eyed, high-cheekboned 1/32 Native American students.

PersonFromPorlock | August 24, 2013 at 3:28 pm

So, a question: I seem to recall that some of those signs purported to be from the KKK. Can the Klan now sue Oberlin for defamation?

PersonFromPorlock | August 24, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Or trademark infringement, at least?

Liberals firmly believe in fake but true.

These idiots must take the Dan “Fake But Accurate” Rather school of media relations. The incidents where only real until the admin found out they were fake, then they had a duty to inform the student body. That they don’t believe they had this responsibility reveals their desire, not to protect and nurture their student body, but to use them for selfish political aims and that sickens the hell out of me.

Did Oberlin hire Baghdad Bob to write their press releases?