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When asked whether she agreed with the insinuation leveled by Oberlin police lieutenant Mike McCloskey yesterday that her report of a person wearing KKK garb early Monday morning near Oberlin College’s Afrikan Heritage House was a “mistake”, Sunceray Tabler told GLP via email, “I do not I agree with that statement.”
Tabler, who majors in both Music and Native American Studies implied that racially hostile incidents continued even after she spotted the suspected Klanperson at around 1:30 a.m. “There have been 4 instances of students being chased down by various vehicles last night alone.”
As of this writing, school officials and Oberlin police, including McCloskey, have not responded to questions about students being chased by cars. Tabler has also not responded via email to follow-up questions.
The internet was besieged yesterday with reports of Oberlin suspending classes for the day in order to hold a campus-wide discussion on race and racism at the College and throughout society. The decision seems to have been made based upon Tabler’s reported sighting of a person in KKK attire. Police uncovered a witness who says they saw a woman walking in the vicinity while wearing a blanket.
The first shred of doubt was cast by Gawker’s Max Read who reported that unofficial statements had been made which implicated members of the school’s Multiculutral Resource Center. The Guardian reported Lt. McCloskey’s statement which implied that Tabler’s account was not entirely correct, though he didn’t say anything about her being involved in the perpetuation of a hoax. Michelle Malkin, one of the most famous Oberlin alums, along with Girls creator Lena Dunham who also weighed in, relayed her experience with hate crime hoaxes during and after her time at the College. These hoaxes included one that occurred in the early 1990s involving an Asian-American student who scrawled anti-Asian markings on a monument celebrating the Boxer Rebellion. According to Malkin, the frenzy surrounding those events are similar to the ones currently infecting the campus.
Corrective reports filtered into the news stream today with New York Magazine, Reason, and Slate carrying the new twist of doubt. Gawker’s Read also carried a further update but with a headline that fingered racist elements on campus for scrawling bigoted statements throughout the past month. Read wrote:
“My understanding is that the individuals are college students and they have been identified. They are no longer on campus,” Lt. Mike McCloskey told The Guardian. “The college is dealing with it internally, and we have been working in co-operation with the college.”
We reported yesterday on rumors that faculty and administration members had been informed that the person responsible was associated with the Multicultural Resource Center and would be “disciplined internally.” A student source tells us that all MRC staff and student staff are still on campus, which, if the police are correct, exonerates them.
According to the Guardian, there are two students responsible, “but it is unclear if they were motivated by racial hatred, or—as has been suggested—were attempting a commentary on free speech.”
The article headline carried copy which read “Racist Vandals ‘Being Dealt With’” though no reports have confirmed that any of the previous incidents – which included anti-black, anti-gay, and anti-Semitic markings throughout the campus – were perpetuated by racists.