White nationalist posters have been spotted around St. Cloud regularly since the Fall of 2017. Since the banner drop by Identity Evorpa in December, a new round of posters have been spotted around the St. Cloud State neighborhood each week. The latest round of posters, put up on Friday, January 12th, include the "signature" of a group calling themselves the "SCSU White Student Union".
We have taken a couple steps to ensure that more of our community is aware of this most recent escalation by white nationalists in this area:
1. We have talked to Assistant Chief Jeff Oxton at the St. Cloud Police Department and have encouraged the individuals who found each round of banners to talk to him as well. He has committed extra patrols to the areas where the posters have been found. (It is not legal to hang signs on telephone polls.) We are glad that individuals report this type of activity to us so that we can continue to track it, however, we would also like anyone that sees these types of posters to report it the SCPD as well. If you don't feel comfortable going to the police alone, someone from the #uniteloud leadership team will be happy to go with you or call on your behalf.
2. We talked to Stearns County Commissioner Joe Perske to alert him of this escalation happening in his county. He was glad to hear the SCPD is involved and also encouraged us to talk with the mayor. We have requested a meeting with Mayor Dave Kleis to discuss this ongoing problem.
3. We sent an e-mail to SCSU President Ashish Vaidiya to alert him to this issue and called on him to make a statement:
We want to make you aware of an incident that happened last night. There were racist/demeaning posters put up in St. Cloud. The posters were "signed" by the "SCSU White Student Union". Unfortunately, we found that there is now a Facebook page for this "group". Here is the link to their page: https://www.facebook.
While we do not believe that this is a recognized student group at SCSU, many students are feeling increasingly unsafe because of the white nationalist banner drop over the winter break and the posters that have been put up each week since then. We have contacted Asst. Police Chief Jeff Oxton and he has committed to sending extra patrols around the area.
We are calling on you to make a public statement about these posters and this group so that the campus community and the community at large feel safe and secure.
We do not know who the individuals are that are behind this continued escalation in St. Cloud. If you are the person or part of the group behind this racist work, you are working in cowardly ways. Putting up posters in the middle of the night is a coward's work. Not attaching any names or contact information to your Facebook page or propaganda is cowardly. What are you so afraid of? If you are proud of what you are doing, let us see who you are. Let us know how we can challenge you, face to face.
For now, we will assume that you fully understand that the forces of radical welcome and love for our neighbor vastly outpower and outnumber you. That being true, I guess we can understand why you are in hiding.