Ten posters displaying the Confederate flag with a cotton stem attached to each have been discovered at American University – the latest racist incident targeting black students at the school.
The posters were found in three buildings across the university’s Washington campus on Tuesday, the same night the school introduced plans for an Antiracist Research and Policy Center.
“The significance of these posters appearing on the same night that Dr. Ibram Kendi shared his vision for the AU Antiracist Research and Policy Center cannot be ignored,” said the college’s student government in a statement. “The significance of this occurring as our country continues to struggle with its history of white supremacy also cannot be ignored.”
The posters were pinned to bulletin boards and left inside glass display cases. Each was emblazoned with the Confederate flag and the text: “Huzzah for DIXIE. I wish I was in the Land of Cotton!”
On Wednesday, the college released a video of a man suspected of putting the posters: a white male wearing an orange hard hat and neon vest. He is seen walking through a university hallway.
“We must stand together strongly against this act, which was intended to frighten and divide our community,” said college President Sylvia Burwell in the statement.
Earlier this year, a person dressed in black hung bananas on campus trees. All were tied with strings in the shape of nooses and specifically targeted the school’s first African-American student government president, Taylor Dumpson. Scribbled on the bananas was the phrase “AKA Free,” a reference to Dumpson’s membership in the historically black sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha.
Last year, students at a residence hall reported white students leaving a rotten banana at one black freshman’s door and throwing a banana at another black student, the school newspaper reported.
The Anti-Defamation League said, since September 1, 2016, it has documented 212 incidents of white supremacist flyers on 142 campuses in 37 states and the District of Columbia.