WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Some Purdue University students are concerned about white supremacy posters found around campus Wednesday.
But Purdue President Mitch Daniels is paying the posters no mind, claiming the group responsible is baiting people into overreacting.
In response, Purdue President Mitch Daniels released this statement:
“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.”
International Student Andy Chen agrees with Daniels.
“We feel pretty welcome here and everything,” Chen said.
The Purdue Social Justice Coalition hosted an emergency meeting Wednesday at the West Lafayette Public Library.
The meeting is in response to the posters found on campus that provide a link to a political organization known as American Vanguard.
Some of the posters they are referring to said: “White guilt, free yourself from cultural Marxism” and “We have a right to exist” with a picture of a white man and woman. But other posters on the group’s website said things like, “American Vanguard, for a white America” and “Imagine, a Muslim-free America.”
The posters have since been taken down around Purdue’s campus. The group told 24-Hour News 8 sister station, WLFI, it isn’t surprised, but said they have allies at Purdue and they expect those numbers to grow.
Here’s the full statement from American Vanguard:
“Our mission is simple. We work to defend the zeitgeist of the United States, and to preserve and defend our culture, our people, and our nation from the forces that seek to destroy them.
Regarding your inquiry, it was not frustrating to have the posters taken down. We expected it. Yes, we do have allies at the University, and we expect those numbers to grow.”
One Purdue student said she is all for voicing your opinion, but those posters are taking things to the extreme.
“That’s not OK. I can understand some anger, but I think that the Muslim community has that same anger toward people who are an extreme because that is not really what their religion stands for,” said Hayley Toth. “And I think people need to do their research and understand more about Muslim Americans in order to understand that.”
Some students felt they needed to reiterate a positive message after feeling a racist tone from the posters strewn across campus.
“You guys are welcome here, both of you guys,” said someone walking past Alonzo Smiley and another Purdue student.
“It’s just sad that we’re still going through this today,” said Smiley.