One of 10 fliers found on American University’s campus Sept. 26, 2017, in Washington, D.C. (NBC 4 Washington screenshot)

American University (alas, a perfect metaphor for America) continues to be the site of racist paraphernalia meant to intimidate and terrorize black students.

NBC 4 Washington reports that at least 10 fliers with Confederate flags were found in four different buildings on the campus Tuesday night.


The fliers featured an image of a Confederate flag and the words “Huzzah for Dixie” and had cotton branches attached to them.

The school has released photos (pdf) of the man they believe is responsible for hanging the fliers. He is described as 40 years old and 5 feet 10 inches tall. In the photo, the suspect is walking down a hallway inside the Mary Graydon Center, wearing an orange hard hat and yellow safety vest. The man is also carrying what appears to be a tool kit.

Some believe this latest act of racial intimidation is in response to a presentation given by historian Ibram X. Kendi at the school’s new Anti-Racist Research and Policy Center.


The center was created earlier this year in the wake of a May incident in which bananas and nooses were hung around the Northwest Washington, D.C., campus after the first African-American woman was elected student body president.

“We must stand together strongly against this act, which was intended to frighten and divide our community,” American University President Sylvia Burwell said in a statement Wednesday morning. “I ask you to join me in standing together and show that we will not be intimidated. When one of us is attacked, all of us are attacked.”


Students affiliated with Howard Resist, which has been behind campus protests at that HBCU, tweeted its support of the students at AU:


In May the school offered an award after the bananas-and-nooses incident.


I’m no lawyer, but it seems to me that those black students at American need to ask for a refund of their tuition, since the school is clearly not able to provide an equal education under the law, one free from harassment and racial intimidation.

I mean, if white folks can get refunds because they are so offended by seeing sitting NFL players before a football game, how about trying to learn at a school where nooses, bananas and Confederate flags show up on the regular?


I bet once the school sees those black dollars going out the door, these acts of intimidation will cease and desist immediately because the school will make an example out of someone.


Editor’s note: This piece has been updated to note that American University has released photos of the suspect.

Read more at NBC 4 Washington.

Ms. Bronner Helm is the Deputy Editorial Director at Colorlines. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.

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