OGDEN (ABC4 Utah News) – Monday was the first day of the Fall Semester at Weber State University and some students got an unexpected lesson in racist ideology.
A series of white supremacist flyers were posted around campus Monday morning but they didn’t stay up for very long.
Riley French saw one the flyers on his way to Business Ethics class.
“It just said ‘Hey White People’ so I saw that in big letters and started reading beneath it,” French told ABC4 Utah News. “It said things like ‘Are you tired of being called racist for standing up for what you believe in?’ “
The flyers contained the web address of a racist alt-right website. Riley’s reaction?
“Shocked. I mean this is my 4th year at Weber State and I feel like this campus has a reputation for being really inclusive and open,” French said. “We have multiple students that come from other countries that share different religious backgrounds. I never ever thought I would see that on the first day of the year.”
Adrienne Gillespie-Andrews, Weber State’s Chief Diversity Officer, says she’s disappointed but not surprised.
“There were several different posters,” Gillespie-Andrews said. “The general themes of those posters were white genocide, anti-diversity, anti-immigration and more exclusion sort of a white pride perspective.”
Several of the flyers had been placed on top of existing free standing signs. By mid afternoon, they had all been removed.
“They actually were placed over existing posters which is pretty problematic,” Gillespie-Andrews said. “Because that’s actually overstepping somebody else’s free speech.”
Several flyers for the upcoming screening of a racial injustice documentary called “13th” were taken down or covered up.
Kestin Page, President of the WSU College Democrats, is organizing that screening.
“This is really an attack on all of us. Even though the majority of our students are from the United States, an attack on one of our students is really an attack on all of us.” Page said. “When I think of these sort of issues I think of 1967 not 2017. It doesn’t feel that it belongs to this time so the fact that we’re encountering it at this time says that we need to consign this to the dustbin of history.”
That documentary screening is still scheduled for 6 pm on Monday, September 25th at the Wildcat Theater on campus. It’s free and the public is invited.