Oberlin canceled classes yesterday after someone reported “a person wearing a hood and robe resembling a KKK outfit” near Afrikan Heritage House early in the morning. Instead, the college scheduled a teach-in by the Africana Studies Department, a demonstration of solidarity and a convocation.
A series of incidents in February — swastikas on Year of the Queer posters, “n-word” scrawls, etc. — have unsettled the campus. Even an elite and very liberal college community is bound to include a few people capable of stupid, nasty or crazy actions.
I suspect the “KKK” report will turn out to be a hoax or a person in a hooded white bathrobe heading home after a night of debauchery, though it could be some bozo’s idea of a joke. The Klan on the rise in Oberlin? I don’t think so. In any case, canceling classes is feeding the trolls.
Oberlin should not have let yahoos disrupt the college’s core function, writes Conor Friedensdorf.