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Letter to the editor: Response to IUPD Receives Reports of White Supremacist Flyers



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A statue of alumnus and World War II correspondent Ernie Pyle typing on his typewriter sits in front of Franklin Hall. The building houses IU Student Media, including the Indiana Daily Student.  IDS file photo Buy Photos

In an Aug. 27 article from the IDS titled IUPD Receives Reports of White Supremacist Flyers, it was reported that IU Police Department chief Jill Lees told the IDS there was no reason to take any extra precautions at this time because they did not know the intentions of the flyers.  

Doug Bauder the director of the LGBTQ+ Culture Center at IU was quoted in an Aug. 28 IDS article titled Bloomington United Anti-Hate Rally Draws Differing Opinions, “We sort of see ourselves as a response team for hate.”  

After years of complaints, protests and suggestions to the City of Bloomington, due to the presence of a self-described identitarian vendor at the city-run farmers market. Mayor John Hamilton closed the market for two weeks in August.  

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, identitarianism is a racist European movement with growing braches in the United States that stands against immigration and multiculturalism. 

When it reopened, there was an increased police presence, cameras had been installed and physical barriers put in place to prevent cars from ramming the market as occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017.  

These examples demonstrate the extent to which our community — run mostly by folks with race privilege — doesn’t seem to get how cameras and cluelessness about the intention of white supremacist flyers and waiting for something to respond to are wholly insufficient ways of dealing with the growing threat of white supremacy in our midst. 

Bloomington — town and gown — needs to be bold, courageous and clear — in word and deed — that it is committed to proactively addressing white supremacy and ready and willing to strategically dismantle the structural barriers to true equity, inclusion and justice, particularly for marginalized communities.  

As a Jewish lesbian, I am scared.  As a white person and IU instructor, I have a responsibility to speak up, walk my talk and challenge our leaders to do better. Who’s in?  

Trish Kerlé
Bloomington, Indiana

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