A ‘fabricated’ racist note triggered a college protest big enough to cancel classes

The president of St. Olaf College in southern Minnesota says a note left on a black student’s car with racist content was fabricated and not a genuine threat.

In emails to students Wednesday, David R. Anderson said it was apparently meant “to draw attentions to concern about the campus climate.”

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Citing student privacy laws, his emails did not name the author who confessed or say whether the person is a student or otherwise affiliated with the private Lutheran college. The student body is 74 per cent white and 2 per cent black.

The April 29 incident prompted a rally that night and a bigger protest May 1 that led administrators to cancel classes for the day.

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Shutting down the caf during dinner to packing the Commons with thousands of students, faculty, staff, and allies. The St. Olaf students of color are some of the most courageous, powerful, and incredible people I’ve ever experienced. Think racists can get away with hate crime and any slurs here? Ask the students: think again.

A post shared by Annna Wolle (@annalillian15) on Apr 29, 2017 at 9:57pm PDT

Anderson says the college continues to investigate other reports of racist messages since last fall.

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