WASHINGTON — Racist symbols were found posted on bulletin boards throughout American University’s campus on Tuesday night.
On each board was a confederate flag with cotton attached to it. Ten flags, each with a stalk of cotton, were found in three locations on campus. A statement from AU’s vice president of university life, Fanta Aw, said campus police are investigating the incident.
The racist symbols were posted the same night a presentation introducing AU’s Antiracist Research and Policy Center occurred. The presentation was headed by Ibram X. Kendi, a new professor of history and international relations at AU, who discussed his vision for the center.
According to the Black Print, a student news source created by the AU Association of Black Journalists, the incident occurred just hours after the presentation.
This incident is only the most recent in a string of racist symbols found on campus. In May 2017, bananas were found hanging from rope tied in the shape of nooses in three locations throughout the campus.
American University isn’t the only school grappling with racist incidents and hate crimes. In August, students from the University of Maryland told WTOP about fears for their safety following the fatal stabbing of Richard Collins III, a Bowie State University student near a bus stop.
Just a week after a white nationalist rally turned deadly in Charlottesville, University of Virginia students began moving back into their dorms. The racial tension has led administrators at some colleges to rethink safety procedures.
Last night’s incident at American will not interfere with the establishment of the anti-racist research center, Aw said in a statement.
“AU is committed to the vision of the Center and Dr. Kendi’s work, and we will not be deterred by this cowardly attempt at intimidation,” he said.
Anyone with information about the incident is urged to call campus Public Safety at 202-885-2527.
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