WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Many Boilermakers were alarmed to find posters promoting white supremacy scattered around the Purdue University campus Wednesday morning.
The posters seem to be from a group called “American Vanguard,” which says it “fights for White America” on its website, reactionamerica.com.
One of the posters read, “We have a right to exist,” accompanied by a drawing of a white man and woman on it. Another sign said, “Defending your people is a social duty, not an anti-social crime,” with a drawing of a white woman with a baby. A fascist symbol appeared at the bottom of the posters.
The posters caused quite a stir amongst students and staff, many of which called for Purdue’s administration to condemn the signs.
Purdue President Mitch Daniels did just that, saying the posters don’t represent the university’s values and principles:
“Reading the dozen or so words on the posters in question, it’s not at all clear what they mean. But if one looks behind them, as I did, to the organization’s website, there are views expressed there that are obviously inconsistent with the values and principles we believe in here at Purdue. This is a transparent effort to bait people into overreacting, thereby giving a minuscule fringe group attention it does not deserve, and that we decline to do.”
Several of the posters were found on and inside Stanley Coulter Hall, which houses the School of Languages and Cultures. Madeleine Henry, the head of the school, told the Lafayette Courier and Journal that their large international graduate student population is quite alarmed.
A sign in the hall that read, “Intolerance will not be tolerated,” was also ripped down and replaced with one of the white supremacy posters, said Henry.
Henry says faculty has reported the incident to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate crimes and hate groups in the U.S.
Purdue isn’t the only American campus who saw these posters pop up overnight. They were also found at University of Central Florida Wednesday. The supposed white supremacist group took responsibility for those sings on Twitter.
The group’s website boasts of its propaganda campaign and includes the group’s manifesto.
“White America is under attack. Through subversion, the forces of Marxism have brought our nation to its knees by rotting it from within,” reads part of the manifesto.