VALHALLA, N.Y. — Westchester Community College announced it will hire a full-time diversity officer after fliers for a white nationalist organization turned up on campus. The school swiftly removed fliers for the group Identity Evropa when they appeared on bulletin boards at the Valhalla campus.
Westchester Community College said it was already searching for a full-time diversity officer when a white-nationalist campus group’s fliers were found on the Valhalla campus two weeks ago.
James Castro-Blanco, executive director of the county’s Human Rights Commission, said during a county Board of Legislators committee meeting on Monday that the new position will be filled after Identity Evropa posters were found on WCC bulletin boards, Lohud reports.
The position, expected to be filled in the next three or four weeks, will handle diversity, inclusion and hate-crime prevention, he told the Public Safety & Social Services Committee at the county office building in White Plains. WCC spokesman Patrick Hennessey said the decision to hire a diversity officer was made before the Identity Evropa posters were found on campus.
“We promote an open and safe environment and denounce hate groups,” Hennessey told The Journal News/lohud today, adding that the college was investigating the incident and has not received any more reports of such fliers on campus. “We have dedicated resources for diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives to elevate college-wide cultural competence, including hiring a chief diversity officer who starts later this month.”
Westchester Community College
— IDENTITY EVROPA (@IdentityEvropa) October 2, 2017
Identity Evropa on Oct. 2 tweeted pictures of its posters on WCC bulletin boards. Later that week the college said that the fliers had been removed.
“Please be advised that this is not a recognized student group at Westchester Community College,” the school said in a statement. “The posters are in violation of college policy and have been removed.”
“As a community, we reaffirm our commitment to the diversity of our members and the self-worth of all individuals,” the statement added. “The college has zero tolerance policy on hate groups and violence.”
Evan Bernstein with the Anti-Defamation League said clean-cut members in khakis and polo shirts of groups such as Identity Evropa are just putting a glossy veneer on an old message of hate, WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reported.
“The white supremacist groups in this country like Identity Evropa are trying to look more mainstream,” Bernstein said. “You’re seeing now these groups that were maybe considered slightly more fringe a few years ago that are now starting to get more and more traction, and you’re starting to see them pop up more across the United States and we’re seeing a concerted effort now to really go after students on college campuses.”
Identity Evropa claims to promote European heritage and tells The Journal News that it encourages public institutions to respect free speech.
On their website, they describe themselves as…
We are a generation of awakened Europeans who have discovered that we are part of the great peoples, history, and civilization that flowed from the European continent. We reject the idea that our identities are mere abstractions to be deconstructed. We oppose those who would defame our history and rich cultural heritage. In a time when every other people are asserting their identity, without action, we will have no chance to resist our dispossession.
In a county like Westchester, many including several elected officials, county and citywide will tell you this type of thing doesn’t happen here. Where words like homelessness, poverty and systematic racism and corruption don;t exist are stories informing otherwise are just #FakeNews, I tell everyone reading this we need to Stay Woke and not fall for what they are selling!