Fliers denouncing relationships between black, white people falsely attributed to NU black student groups

Mariana Alfaro, Print Managing Editor

Fliers denouncing relationships between black and white people, reportedly seen on campus Friday, falsely listed five black student organizations as its creators.

The fliers said black people who date white people are “alt-right” and that such relationships “will not be tolerated.” None of the groups listed as its authors said they had any part in creating the posters.

The poster falsely listed the African Students Association, the Alliance of African Scholars, the National Association of Black Journalists, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and FMO as its authors.

Cheron Mims, outgoing coordinator of For Members Only, NU’s black student alliance and one of the five groups mentioned in the poster, said the groups did not create the poster and do not condone its statements.

“We support people regardless of who they choose to date or whatever they choose to engage in, that’s not our focus,” she said. “Our focus is on building community … and this flier is an attack on our ability to do so.”

Mims said her group was made aware of the poster Friday. She filed a complaint to University Police but had not heard back on any leads or updates on the case as of Monday morning. Though Mims said she has not personally seen one of the fliers on campus, friends and community members concerned by the fliers’ contents reached out to her.

UP communications officer Carl King deferred comment to University spokesman Bob Rowley. Rowley told The Daily in an email that the posters have been removed since posting signs of campus is reserved for members of the Northwestern community. Rowley said the beliefs expressed in the flier “are in direct contradiction” of NU’s values of inclusion and community.

“(NU) is also committed to the principles of free inquiry and free expression, which are central to the mission of the University,” he said. “Incidents of hate and bias that violate Northwestern’s rules, regulations and policies are not the proper exercise of academic freedom.”

Kasey Brown, FMO’s incoming coordinator and AKA treasurer, said the groups immediately sprung into action after finding out about the poster. To avoid public distress, especially among NU’s black community, Brown said the groups tried to keep the issue among their leaders, but the fliers began circulating on social media after being shared on a Facebook group for NU’s black students.

“Our main concern here is the safety of our community and making sure that … black students feel safe and welcomed, and a flier like that is definitely alarming and startling to us,” Brown, a Weinberg junior, said. “When we first saw it, we just wanted not to hide it or anything but also not raise too much concern or shake the community as much as it shook us.”

Both Mims and Brown said they do not know where the fliers were found on campus but did not hesitate in reporting them to UP due to their inflammatory content. A picture of one of the fliers was shared in a Facebook group by Weinberg senior Ima Samba, founder and outgoing president of the Alliance of African Scholars, who said someone had emailed it to her.

The five groups released a joint statement Monday afternoon condemning the fliers.

“We are hopeful that the individuals responsible for the creation of this flier are identified and reprimanded,” the statement said. “We feel deeply disrespected by those who created this flier in our name.”

Samba told The Daily in an email that she was glad the groups collaborated to prepare the statement, as it demonstrates the “strength of our community’s integrity despite the flyer’s inflammatory message and objective.”

This story was updated Tuesday at 4:50 p.m. with comments from Ima Samba and her position in the Alliance of African Scholars. 

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated Kasey Brown’s position in Northwestern’s chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Brown is the group’s treasurer. The Daily regrets the error. 

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