Racist Note at St. Olaf College Was Fabricated, President Tells Students

A racist note that resulted in a student protest and the cancellation of classes at St. Olaf College was found to have been fabricated.

The Minnesota college’s president, David R. Anderson, told students in an email on Wednesday that the note was “not a genuine threat,” and he later said there was not racist intent behind it, the Star Tribune reported.

The note, which had been placed on the windshield of a black senior’s car, threatened, “shut up or I will shut you up.” Its appearance was among a series of recent incidents at the college, including a note tucked into a student’s backpack and racist graffiti. Students protested, made a list of demands for administrators, and boycotted classes, which had to be canceled. St. Olaf continues to investigate the other incidents, which have occurred since last fall.

Mr. Anderson wrote in a statement that student-privacy laws prohibited identifying the author of the note or detailing the college’s response. But Mr. Anderson said that the author had confessed it was “a strategy to draw attention to concerns about the campus climate.”

“Despite this fact, those concerns are real, and as I said earlier, we are committed to the process we have begun to address them,” the president wrote. “We also continue earnestly to investigate all of the other racist and hateful messages that have been reported.”

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