White nationalist fliers found on campus again, MTSU Black Student Union responds to derogatory remarks


Updated on February 13, 2018, at 2:10 p.m. to include MTSU President Sidney McPhee’s statement.

Photo courtesy of MTSU Black Student Union / Twitter

Fliers from Vanguard America, an identified hate and white nationalist group, were found on campus just weeks after a sticker from the same organization was found on an MTSU Black History Month event poster.

Early Tuesday morning, the MTSU Black Student Union reported the presence of the fliers, one of which was placed on a poster that advertised an on-campus discussion on race, via Twitter.

Vanguard America initially tweeted out pictures of the fliers on MTSU’s campus. The tweet came with a label that read, “Round 2 ‘n—-.'”

https://twitter.com/VangaurdTn/status/963387237470822400

In their second tweet, BSU representatives stated that they emailed MTSU President Sidney McPhee about the issue.

Later, McPhee released a statement regarding the fliers, which read,

“We are aware, and are closely monitoring, the posting of unauthorized materials on our campus by Vanguard America, a white supremacist group. Some of these posts have been done specifically to deface materials related to our campus celebration of Black History Month; others have been anti-Semitic. Media reports indicate that several universities across the nation, including some in Tennessee, have discovered similar materials on their campuses. Members of this group, and other similar groups, are targeting college campuses in the hopes that their hateful messages will bring attention and notoriety to their causes. As such, my note to you today shall be brief and to the point. There is no place here for hateful rhetoric, displays or actions that demean any member of the MTSU family. While we will respect the right of free speech when exercised within the policies of the University, we will also continue to take all appropriate action to make our campus as safe and inclusive as possible. We strongly condemn the views of white supremacists and other hate groups. We will maintain our focus on the enrichment that comes to our campus through the wide range of diversity represented by our students, faculty, staff and alumni, and we will refuse to give to hate groups the attention that they seek. The values of our True Blue Pledge commit us to reason, not violence; to both listening and speaking; and to our membership in this diverse community. I am proud that our community celebrates and supports the differences among us, as we also seek to build upon our commonalities.”

McPhee’s condemnation of Vanguard America is similar to that of a statement the university president released in October 2017. The statement came after fliers for Identity Evropa, another identified white supremacy group, were found on campus.

Derogatory terms were also aimed at BSU on Twitter after the publishing of the initial tweets. Paul Nehlen, a white nationalist and U.S. Representative candidate, commented on the BSU tweet that displayed the photos of the fliers and said, “VA triggers n——.”

Simon Nig, a recruiter for Vanguard America, commented on BSU’s second tweet and said, “WHITE REVOLT AGAINST JEWS IS COMING, N—–.”

The fliers attack African-Americans and Jews, placing responsibility for deaths and violent crimes on both.

A Vanguard America sticker was found on a Black History Month poster in late January, and, according to the Anti-Defamation League, an organization that works to combat bigotry and tracks hate groups, Vanguard America often attempts recruiting efforts on college campuses through fliers and stickers.

The discovery of the fliers on Tuesday also comes days after the Black Student Union hosted a discussion, entitled “Current Day Warriors for Social Justice,” on campus. In the event, the first Vanguard America sticker was discussed, and Louis Woods, the director of the Africana Studies program at MTSU, said, “White supremacists have felt empowered in the last year and a half.”

In the last several years, white nationalist and hate organizations have been more frequently active and identified in the United States. 917 hate groups were operating in the United States as of 2016, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center Hate Map. This is an increase from both 2014 and 2015.

To contact News Editor Andrew Wigdor, email newseditor@mtsusidelines.com.

For more news, follow us at www.mtsusidelines.com, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter at @Sidelines_News.

 

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