Students at Gustavus Aldophus College were surprised to find flyers posted about the campus on the morning of Monday. March 20th. The flyers read:
A NOTICE TO ALL WHITE AMERICANS IT IS YOUR CIVIC DUTY TO REPORT ANY AND ALL ILLEGAL ALIENS TO U.S. IMMIGRATIONS AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT THEY ARE CRIMINALS AMERICA IS A WHITE NATION
By 10:30 am a report had been filed to the campus Bias Response Team, a group which, based on the name, I can only assume responds to reported incidents of bias in Mighty Morphin’ Power Ranger kind of style.
Response Team, form up!
Speculation ran rampant on the school’s popular Facebook group, and images of the flyers began to circulate social media.
Just who were the culprits behind the bizarrely and needlessly racialized message? Turns out it was these fuckin’ guys:
Meet the Gustavus Diversity Leadership Council, the group that eventually took credit for the flyers and sent out the following email:
At approximately 10 a.m. this morning, the Diversity Leadership Council (DLC), a student-run organization that represents 21 student groups on campus, posted signs in Beck and Olin Hall which attacked “Illegal Aliens” by suggesting that “they are criminals.” These posts were quickly torn down and shared with members of the campus community via the Facebook Group Overheard at Gustavus.
It is the mission of the Diversity Leadership Council to formulate a collective voice when our organization recognizes the need to promote, preserve, and protect on-campus diversity. Thus, a subcommittee of the DLC, in collaboration with social justice theatre troupe I Am We Are, posted these signs and accompanying A-frames with bystander intervention tips in academic buildings on campus in an effort to help educate our peers and campus community about issues of bias, and the importance of being an active bystander. We want to help put an end to bias-related incidents that happen on our campus, social media, and in our communities by challenging individuals to have dialogues about forms of hate and bias.
We hope that members of the campus community will reflect on today’s events and join us in ensuring that no one student or group of students are ever a victim of this form of discrimination. We ask that everyone help prevent bias on-campus by educating yourself on ways to report bias, staying informed about bias incidents that have occurred, and assisting the Bias Response Team in identifying perpetrators. This can all be accomplished by visiting the College’s Bias Response Team website. We also hope that everyone will be an active bystander and utilize the 3-Ds (Direct, Delegate, Distract) as encouraged by the Bystander Intervention Team.
We understand that the language in these images may be hurtful – we apologize to those who were negatively impacted.
Members of the Gustavus community are invited to conclude this educational experience by attending a spoken-word performance by I Am We Are and DLC representatives on Thursday, March 23 at 12:15 p.m. in the Evelyn Young Dining Room.
We encourage students to utilize campus resources (i.e. Counseling Center, Dean of Students, Residential Life, and the Diversity Center) to help get through these difficult times. For more information about bias or hate, or to report a bias-related incident, please visit www.gustavus.edu/bias.
Diversity Leadership Council Action Piece Committee
I was also able to obtain a copy of the responses being sent out by the Bias Response Team™
What a fantastic way to “put an end to bias-related incidents that happen on our campus, social media, and in our communities by challenging individuals to have dialogues about forms of hate and bias.” It’s great knowing that anyone can act like a total asshole, framing up members of a specific group to look bad (white people) and then say, haha just invisible theatre, just starting a dialogue!
Not everyone was impressed by this, with one Facebook user leaving the following message:
Some have even speculated that this was meant to be passed off as a real flyer coming from a real hate group, but when the investigation started pointing towards the DLC, the perpetrators got cold feet and quickly crafted this “invisible theatre” narrative. Me. I’m speculating that. Right now.
Big thanks to the follower of the I,Hypocrite Facebook page that sent me all this info yesterday. I could have had my first real scoop if I hadn’t been too busy last night thinking of ways to make my ex jealous and catching up on old episodes of Into The Badlands.