Yesterday, an unidentified male suspect allegedly desecrated a Claremont McKenna College sign to spell ”KKK,” the abbreviation of the Ku Klux Klan, a racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-LGBT hate group.
Late Friday night, Claremont McKenna College students received an email detailing the incident, as “someone desecrated the Claremont McKenna College sign on Sixth St. and Claremont Blvd. by using black tape to cover the ‘C’ in Claremont and the ‘C’ in McKenna with the letter ‘K’ to spell ‘KKK’, a symbol of racism and hate. Officers immediately responded to the scene and removed the tape from the sign.” The sign was not permanently damaged.
The Claremont Police Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation are aware of the incident and “every effort is being made to investigate this matter,” read the email. CMC asked anyone with additional information on the incident to “contact Brian Weir, Director of Public Safety, firstname.lastname@example.org, with any information you may have about this incident. Anonymous information may be provided through the CMCListens Reporting Link.”
The suspect was captured by a CMC CCTV camera, “observed as an adult male, approximate age-mid to late twenties, ethnicity unknown, light hair color. Approximate height and weight 5’8 tall, 170 lbs. Wearing an orange winter coat, light pants, dark color shirt and shoes.”
Claremont Colleges students learned that CMC was hosting training for local police officers less than 24 hours prior to the incident. Some in the Claremont Colleges community objected to the trainings, arguing that the police are racist and that CMC is not upholding antiracism promises. It is unclear if this act was in protest against the police training (accusing CMC as a racist institution), or if the message was intended to spread hate in support of the Klan. According to the LA Times, white supremacist acts are on the rise in Los Angeles County.
The College wanted to “take this moment to affirm our values of inclusion, and our shared commitment to anti-racism” and encouraged students to “reach out for support as needed.” CMC provided students with the emails of the Dean of Students Office and Office of Civil Rights as well as the phone number of Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services, the Claremont Colleges’ main mental health resource.
This article was updated to include additional context to the incident.