Johnson City

Apparent racist fliers found posted on ETSU's campus

Controversial fliers posted at ETSU

A national campaign now targeting students at East Tennessee State University.

News 5 received an email from a concerned student, of fliers they say are racist, hanging around campus.

This comes ahead of a lecture Tuesday night on campus from a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Some of the fliers in apparent opposition read "it's okay to be white." Others promote a white nationalist group, the League of the South.

Minority students we talked to say seeing fliers like these at their school makes them uneasy.

"You can hate me because my skin is darker than yours? It just doesn't make sense to me, God gave me this skin so I don't understand," student Seania Overton said.

ETSU officials said they don't know who's behind the fliers, but they said there is a protocol to get things posted on campus, and whoever did this didn't get approval.

"These messages are part of a nationally coordinated campaign targeting higher education institutions across the country," ETSU spokesman Joe Smith said.

Students surprised to know there's a sense of hate.

"I've never seen any kind of deliberate non-inclusive," student Alicia Gwaltney said.

This comes ahead of a lecture from activist Opal Tometi. She's a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter group speaking at ETSU.

One neo-Nazi flier covered a poster promoting this event.

"It was like it was deliberate. They didn't want that to be seen but they wanted their posters to be seen," student Bailey McLaughlin said.

But another student we talked to said whoever hung up these fliers has a right to.

"We got to realize everybody has an equal voice. No ones perfect no ones above each other," Alexandro Escobar Pena said. "Black lives matter, white lives matter, all lives matter."

School officials say if it's thought to promote inequality, it isn't welcome.

"While a campus community is a place where the differences of opinion are encouraged they are respected, anything that entices hate will not be tolerated that does go against our mission and values," Smith said.

ETSU is working to remove the flyers in question.

 

 

 


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