Mitchell pointed me to this story, courtesy of Rod Dreher:, of a panic attack at Oberlin College (or, as one commentator put it, they "got their knickers in a knot." The memo as follows:
To the Oberlin community:
Early this morning, there was a report of a person wearing a hood and robe resembling a KKK outfit between South and the Edmonia Lewis Center and in the vicinity of African Heritage House. This report is being investigated by both Safety & Security and the Oberlin Police Department. This event, in addition to the series of other hate-related incidents on campus, has precipitated our decision to suspend formal classes and all non-essential activities for today, Monday, March 4, 2013, and gather for a series of discussions of the challenging issues that have faced our community in recent weeks.
We hope today will allow the entire community-students, faculty, and staff-to make a strong statement about the values that we cherish here at Oberlin: inclusion, respect for others, and a strong and abiding faith in the worth of every individual. Indeed, the strength of Oberlin comes from our belief that diversity and openness enriches us all, and enhances the educational mission at its core.
We ask that all students, faculty and staff participate in the events planned for today:
12PM | Lord Lounge, Afrikan Heritage House Teach-in led by Africana Studies Department
2PM | Wilder Bowl Demonstration of solidarity
3:30PM | Finney Chapel Community convocation: “We Stand Together” (previously scheduled for Wednesday 3/6 at 12PM)
When faced with difficult situations, Oberlin has consistently met the challenges and affirmed its commitment to the highest quality of education and the noblest aspirations of its community members. We believe that today’s events—and our ongoing work and discussions—will strengthen Oberlin and will strengthen us all.
Dean, Arts & Sciences
Dean, Conservatory of Music
Dean of Students
Dreher notes that "These are actual adults. Who run a college. Attended by adults. In theory, at least." Couldn't have said it better, especially when you read on and find out they're not even sure there was a Klansman running around:
Lt Mike McCloskey of Oberlin police told the Guardian on Monday that officers were still following up the KKK sighting, but suggested that the only witness may have been mistaken. “Officers checked the area and were unable to locate anybody. College security later saw a student wrapped in a blanket.”
You just have to love this, don't you? Talk about shoot first, ask questions later. Speaking of which, if you shot someone you claimed was invading your home based on the kind of information, I suspect these same Oberlin people would be the first ones clamoring to have you thrown in the pokey. Perhaps they think racism is more dangerous than robbery.
Dreher concludes with the observation that "it costs over $50,000 per year to attend this pants-wetting academy" - money that you and I, as taxpayers, are probably helping to subsidize. But I think Dreher's being much too kind - I'd call this school a nursery full of nannies for ninnies. ◙