St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota has been reeling after a series of racist incidents on campus targeting the black community, the Star Tribune reports.
A threatening note was left on the windshield of a black student’s car, reading: “I am so glad that you are leaving soon. One less [N-word] this school has to deal with. You have spoken up too much. You will change nothing. Shut up or I will shut you up.”
This isn’t the first threatening incident, either; anonymous notes have been left around campus targeting students of color since the fall.
“It’s been something thats been going on all year,” senior Samantha Wells told the Northfield News, “The administration needs to do something that stops it indefinitely.”
Another student, Amanda Vergara, pointed out that this is the “third time” a black student has been “individually targeted with an anonymous letter.”
St. Olaf has 3,000 students, with only 2 percent identifying as black or African-American. The overwhelmingly white student body has given at least one racist student the sense that he or she can incite hate crimes on-campus.
David Anderson, president of the college, sent out an e-mail to students referencing the incidents. Anderson is under the impression that the incidents are organized by the same person or group of people.
“I am as angry and frustrated as you are at the repeated violations of our values and community norms by someone who defaces the campus with scrawled racial epithets,” he wrote. “I would love nothing more than to discover who is responsible for these acts and to remove that person from our community.” He also explained he has been refraining from addressing each individual incident because he believes to do so would “give this person the power to evoke at will a message to the campus from the president.”
That silence does not seem to be adequate for many upset students on campus. Nearly 1,000 students turned out to protest on Saturday with a sit-in, arguing that the administration is complacent to the racism on-campus, and many plan to protest with a boycott of classes on Monday.
Hopefully the school will take action to eliminate its role in perpetuating systemic racism on-campus and counter the threatening notes.