WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — The Purdue Social Justice Coalition held an emergency meeting Wednesday night after several white supremacist posters showed up in campus buildings. Students and faculty say this won’t be tolerated and demand action.
“On Purdue’s campus, I’ve been told to go back to China and some other stuff,” said Allen Chiu, a student. “I’ve had beer bottles thrown at me.”
Chiu said he didn’t think he could feel more like an outsider – until he woke up Wednesday morning to several white supremacist posters put up across campus buildings.
The posters stem from a white supremacist group called American Vanguard. According to the group, it has Purdue allies and expects that number to grow.
Each poster is marked with a fascist symbol at the bottom and reads: “White guilt, free yourself from cultural Marxism” or “We have a right to exist.” Each poster shows the picture of a white man and woman.
“It’s about the scariest thing that I think can happen to a lot of people,” said American studies professor Bill Mullen. “People at Purdue tonight – women, men, Jewish, Muslim, black, white – all feeling threatened by the appearance of a fascist group of people on this campus.”
Hundreds of angered students and faculty are demanding action.
Mullen and others were part of a “No White Supremacy at Purdue” emergency meeting Wednesday night. The group discussed what step is next.
“I think the people here in this room want to know that Mitch Daniels is their president,” Mullen said. “They feel under siege.”
Purdue President Mitch Daniels released a statement, saying he refuses to give the group the attention it does not deserve.
But many at Wednesday’s meeting want more from Daniels.
“Silence is a political statement, and that’s not the statement that I want him give out. I want him to be on the side of the oppressed,” student Octavia Nettles said.
In his statement, Daniels said, at first glance, you may not know what the posters represent. But after looking into the group behind them, they go against Purdue’s values.
“Everybody in this room understands what it means, and they’re disappointed that he’s trying to act like he does not,” Mullen said. “If he doesn’t understand it, then what is he doing as president?”
The group at the meeting decided to have a protest and town hall meeting on Monday. It’s asking Daniels to get involved. The event will start at noon.