‘White genocide’ graffiti found on campus
By Hannah Smith
The graffiti was found in various places, including outside the art museum, near Woodlawn Avenue, near the Kelley School of Business, near Wright and Teter quads and around Ballantine Hall and Dunn Meadow.
“#whitegenocide” is a slogan associated with a group by the same name, which claims the “white race” is being forced into extinction through assimilation and interracial marriage, according to its website.
Another common slogan of the group is “Anti-racism is a code word for anti-white.”
Mark Land, vice president of communications for IU, said at this point there is not much the IU administration can do about it, because the chalkings do not, as of now, appear to violate the IU Code of Conduct.
“They have a right to express their opinions,” Land said. “But, if they do it in such a way that it can be seen as intimidation or that you can categorize it as hate speech, that would be a violation of policy.”
He said an example of a violation would be if the graffiti were burned into Dunn Meadow rather than written in chalk on a sidewalk.
Land said it can be a challenge to know where free speech ends and hate speech begins.
“A college campus is supposed to be a place where people can speak their mind, and we embrace that, obviously,” Land said. “At the same time, there really needs to be a level of respect.”
Because of this distinction, Land said it’s uncertain how the culprits, if caught, would be punished, if at all. He said although there are cameras around campus, it can be hard to identify people, particularly if they’re hooded or wearing baggy clothing.
“It’s really hard to do a hypothetical,” he said. “A lot of that is a case-by-case thing.”
Land said the school doesn’t condone anything that indicates intolerance toward other races or sexual orientations. He also said incident team members are responding personally to all individuals who called the office of the Dean of Students to report the chalkings.
Associate Dean of Students Carol McCord said the school is trying to walk the line between facilitating free speech and protecting those in the IU-Bloomington community.
“We of course support First Amendment rights, free speech,” she said. “It’s a vital underpinning philosophically to university life. But we also want people to be sure to be respectful and civil in their communications with one another on differences of opinion, particularly about topics ... in which deeply held views can be widely divergent.”
Land and McCord both said plans are in the works for a campus-wide discussion in the near future to educate on free speech and First Amendment rights in response to these incidents.
“We have seen that there’s a growing concern about this, and so we are going to talk about having a symposium or discussion,” McCord said.
Land said in the meantime the administration will be monitoring the situation.
“We’re keeping a very close eye on it,” he said. “We’re doing everything we can to support any students who may feel threatened or unsettled by this.”