CHARLESTON, Ill. (WCIA) – It most likely looked like trash if you were just walking by, but it was actually filled with racist propaganda.
Fliers telling people to join the KKK and how to do it. It’s something no one wants to hear happens in their town.
“I was actually shocked, because it’s rare that you hear people do stuff like that,” Makayla Brown, an EIU student, said.
Several people in Charleston and on Eastern Illinois University campus were met with the racist propaganda this week. When bags filled with KKK fliers were strewn across town.
“I feel like it’s cowardly for people to come out and do that stuff. This campus, this town is supposed to be more diverse and welcoming to students, and it makes the students not feel safe being in Charleston,” Demetrious Johnson said.
EIU President David Glassman put out a statement about what happened.
“Dear campus community,
Yesterday, despicable racist and bigoted propaganda were discovered on and off campus. Please know the University Police Department is investigating these incidents and has reported the incident to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and will continue to work to identify those responsible. Once identified, they will be banned from our campus and we will move to prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law. We do know that those responsible are NOT from our university or local community.
Materials like these, sadly, are too often distributed on campuses across Illinois and the country with the purpose of fueling hatred, disharmony, fear, and intolerance. Campuses are common targets of these racists since we are institutions dedicated and committed to the teaching and practice of embracing diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice—all things these racists and bigots ignorantly despise. By creating responsible, thoughtful citizens and leaders, EIU and other institutions of higher education are working every day to break these cycles of ignorance and intolerance, helping to end the proliferation of such racism and bigotry.
As president, I can assure our students, faculty, and staff EIU will continue to vehemently condemn such hateful and disparaging messaging. They have no place at Eastern Illinois University, in Charleston, or in the increasingly diverse world we share. We are a campus committed through our words and actions to be welcoming, supportive, and protective of our diverse students and employees.”
That made students on campus feel they made a good choice in where they go to school.
“It just made me feel positive about how I’ve been feeling the whole time. He never made me doubt it,” Brown said.