Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Neo-Nazi night ambush has campus questioning safety

Deyounte+Ramsey+speaks+at+the+town+hall+meeting+in+the+Warhawk+Connection+Center+on+Jan.+23%2C+2024.+
Deyounte Ramsey speaks at the town hall meeting in the Warhawk Connection Center on Jan. 23, 2024.

Following a neo-Nazi demonstration outside Knilans Hall Jan. 21, the Warhawk Connection Center opened its doors to the campus community for a town hall meeting that discussed the impact of the hate group, as well as campus support and safety moving forward.
The unprecedented start of the spring semester left many students and employees with concerns and questions about campus safety.
“Personally, I feel hopeless,” said one student in attendance who didn’t want to be identified. “Before we even got to come back to school all positive for the semester, we’re now asking what we are going to do. Even now, I do not see a clear answer as to how we can better the situation.”

No warning

Many town hall attendees were upset because no emergency alert was given through campus communication channels.
Just days earlier the InformaCast Emergency Alert System was tested on January 18. But no messages were sent out when the hate group was identified on campus right outside residence halls where some minority students are housed.
The night before the first day of school, the hate group lit off firey red flairs and shined a red swastika on the side of the building while chanting ominous racist threats such as “we are everywhere” and “there will be blood,” among others specifically targeting Hispanic people.
Chancellor King sent a university-wide response the following day encouraging members of the campus community to “reaffirm our commitment to our core values and not let the actions of an outside group that seeks to incite hate, division and fear take us off course.”
Several at the meeting felt the response was too little too late since the threat had already passed. They wondered why police hadn’t informed them that a hate group with a history of violence was right outside their rooms. While campus demonstrations aren’t uncommon, they typically occur in daylight on the campus mall.

Taking action

“I think it is important for you all, especially as young people, to think about the world as it is and not how you want it to be,” said an unidentified attendee. “I want to implore you all to not just sit here and say what administrators should be doing, but what you can all do to start plotting, planning, organizing, strategizing and mobilizing what you all can do everyday.”
The Whitewater Student Government issued a statement saying it has zero tolerance for any calls for violence, placing the highest value on inclusion. “Let’s work to drive our hateful and harmful behaviors away from our campus.”
Several attendees at the town hall meeting theorized that the threatening demonstration was due to increased attention to immigrants in the city of Whitewater, which has been politicized by local leaders in recent meetings and media.
“It is scary to think this has happened on our campus,” sophomore Hannah Dewhurst said. “Coming to events like these help show that our campus is a community and we will find a way to support each other.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center states that neo-Nazi groups share a hatred for Jews and a love for Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. They also hate other ethnic and racial minorities, as well as LGBT+ populations.
According to the center, “Much of the momentum behind the neo-Nazi movement today continues to come from smaller, more decentralized cadres and online social networks with a terroristic focus.”

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Katie Popp, Campus News Editor

Comments (0)

The Royal Purple encourages readers to voice their opinions via the online comments section. Comments may be monitored for appropriateness and viewer safety. If a comment is harassing, threatening or inappropriate in nature, it may be taken down with editor's discretion.
All Royal Purple Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *