By Nathan Damigo
Several days ago we reported on an intimidating effigy that appeared on the campus of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. I was informed that the students there felt that the structure was aimed at white students. Many of them felt uncomfortable and on edge. I took to twitter to ask the school why they would allow such blatant ethnic intimidation on their campus to occur. Many joined in, forcing the U of I to make a statement.
It was not clear if the school was trying to say that the intimidating effigy was part of the candlelight vigil for the victims of the Middle Eastern terrorist attack in San Burnadino or if it was part of an art assignment by a student with negative implications, so I told them I would contact the school for verification.
Yesterday I heard back from the school’s public affairs office on Monday, and they claimed that the effigy was part of an art project, saying nothing about it being part of the vigil for the shooting. When I asked if they cared to make a comment about the meaning of the effigy, they did not respond. After hearing from a student that the campus police had launched an investigation, I contacted them to obtain the report number, which is standard procedure anytime police are contacted. I received an email in response saying that they investigated and found that the effigy was part of an art project and that no case number was created. Again I received no response when asking what the effigy represented.
I spoke with a second student there today who told me she felt the structure was hate art aimed at white students, and that the white students were terrified. They are frustrated that nothing is being done and feel that they will be ostracized if they say anything.
This whole affair reeks of a cover up, and the school has a responsibility to ensure the students safety. Right now they are scared, and the school is not providing them with answers. The campus police have failed to conduct and properly document their investigation. Just because this effigy was part of a school project doesn’t keep it from being a hate crime anymore than an effigy of nooses to end blackness would be. It is time that people be held responsible for this. We will continue to expose this incident until the proper action is taken. Here is what you can do to help us.
Post the picture of the effigy in the comments section on the school’s Facebook page and ask why the school is covering up this incident. You can also message their twitter page, doing the same thing. Demand answers, and let the public know that they are covering up this incident.
Once you are done with that, email President Timothy L. Killeen.
Timothy L. Killeen
We are going to get to the bottom of this. If the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign wants to play games, then let the games begin.