Three photos showing students of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh have set off a viral social media firestorm. The photos first appeared last week, showing a white board with the message “No… Liberals, Jews, Muslims, Queers, or Hmongs” written on it. Another image shows a room with a large banner with a hand-painted white swastika.
The photos were shared by a student, Allison Keegstra, who told USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin she took the photos and posted them on Twitter, said she did so to expose the students who wrote the messages.
According to the university, there is an investigation ongoing and the school has condemned the images and messages, although a representative for the school has said they can’t expel the students responsible for “free speech.” The university has already identified all of the students involved and wants to “talk” to them.
According to the Oshkosh Northwestern, some students on campus are not surprised. Senior Emily Belongia told the Northwestern that racist and homophobic situations happen on campus and the school still isn’t doing enough to protect minority students.
“I personally think it comes down to diversity training. We need to make people aware that not all kids are white or heterosexual. You have to be understanding of other people,” said Deja Johnson, president of the Black Student Union at UWO.
This is the second time in the last few months that the university has had to grapple with racist messaging on campus student-to-student on social media.
In March, a Snapchat image went viral showing two white, male students running for student president and vice-president with an endorsement underneath that said “UWO Vote for these guys today unless you want a lesbian or a hmong to win.”
The targets of the racist Snapchat were the other students running for office: Alina Xiong, Pa Houa Xiong and Alicia Obermeier.