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Crime and Courts


Oberlin cancels classes to rally against racial slurs
A series of incidents involving hate-speech has led to soul-searching at the famously liberal college
by WKSU's JEFF ST. CLAIR


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Jeff St. Clair
 
Oberlin College has a history as one of the country's most progressive campuses. But a recent spate of hate-speech inspired a day of soul-searching and planning for next steps.
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Classes were cancelled Monday at Oberlin College after the latest in a string of hate-related incidents that fly in the face of the institution’s history, as WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair reports.

St.Clair - Oberlin cancels classes

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Oberlin was the first college in America to regularly accept black students, and the first to admit women.  The college is famous for its progressive causes, and that’s why many in the tight-knit community of 2,900 students are stunned by a series of hate-inspired slurs.

Over the past few weeks derogatory terms were scrawled on posters for Black History month; swastikas and anti-gay messages were also found on campus.

The latest incident involved a man walking near the Afrikan Heritage House in what appeared to be a Ku Klux Klan hood and robe.

Sean Decatur is dean of arts and sciences.  He says classes were cancelled to allow students to vent anger and work out what to do about the incidents.

He says students gathered to have,"conversations and discussions to understand what this means for the community and what the best paths are for moving forward.”

Campus and city police are investigating but will not say whether they believe non-students are behind the latest incident.

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