White supremacist group vandalizes banner, leaves stickers
BY HUNTER ELLIS AND CHLOE SALVESON, Managing multimedia editor and staff writer
Xavier Police (XUPD) and the Bias Action Response Team (BART) are investigating the vandalism of a “Black Lives Matter” banner displayed in front of Bellarmine Chapel, and stickers promoting the White nationalist group Patriot Front were found posted across campus earlier today.
The vandalism on campus happened concurrently with an admissions event at which many prospective students toured Xavier.
An XU Alert Me message sent this evening alerted students of the vandalism and stickers, specifying that there is no evidence at this time to indicate that the stickers were placed by a member of the Xavier community.
Part of the message read: “Xavier is aware that material from a group that advocates extremist ideologies (were found on campus)… and that a Black Lives Matter sign was vandalized… XUPD has removed the material and is investigating the situation. Hate has no home in the Xavier community.”
The banner, which read “Racism is a Sin: Black Lives Matter” has allegedly been sliced twice with an unspecified object, before it was taken down by XUPD on Saturday afternoon.
Additionally, at least 12 stickers have been found and removed by students and XUPD from several public locations across campus. Stickers were found on light posts across the Xavier Yard, specifically in front of Bellarmine Chapel and Gallagher Student Center.
These stickers had varying messages, including “AMERICA IS NOT FOR SALE,” “CONQUERED, NOT STOLEN,” “RECLAIM AMERICA” and “BETTER DEAD THAN RED.” Each listed the website for the organization Patriot Front, the group supposedly behind the slicing of the banner near Bellarmine.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Patriot Front is a “White nationalist hate group that was formed in the aftermath of the deadly ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville, Va., of Aug. 12, 2017.”
The Patriot Front manifesto found on their website states: “Membership within the American nation is inherited through blood, not ink. Even those born in America may yet be foreign. Nationhood cannot be bestowed upon those who are not of the founding stock of our people, and those who do not share the common spirit that permeates our greater civilization, and the European diaspora.”
For more coverage of Patriot Front, see the following articles by Buzzfeed News and ProPublica.
This incident is also not isolated, as Patriot Front stickers have been found on college campuses across the country over the past four months.
Most notably, stickers appeared at the nearby Northern Kentucky University (NKU) and Thomas More University two days prior to this occurrence at Xavier. In addition to stickers, a large rock in a common area at NKU was graffitied with Patriot Front markings. Both instances are currently under investigation.
Other recent incidents of Patriot Front propaganda on college campuses include: Colorado State University on Nov. 16, 2020; Miami University of Ohio on Oct. 6, 2020; and the area surrounding Penn State on Jan. 8.
Students across campus, including Newswire members, reported the vandalism to XUPD and to BART this afternoon. The incident is currently undergoing the university’s official bias response process, which is further explained on their website. Any community members with relevant information are encouraged to contact the XUPD non-emergency number, 513-745-2000.
Newswire will continue its coverage of the incident on social media and on our radio show, the Newswire Live at 7 p.m. on Monday.
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