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Material from extremist group appears on Xavier campus

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Posted at 9:06 PM, Jan 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-01 15:09:57-05

CINCINNATI — Material from "a group that advocates extremist ideologies and hate speech" was placed in public areas around Xavier's campus, according to a spokesperson from the university.

Xavier did not confirm the name of the group associated with the fliers and materials they discovered, but Thomas More and Northern Kentucky University reported finding materials from the white supremacist group Patriot Front on their campuses earlier in the week.

Thomas More officials discovered and removed stickers in support of Patriot Front and NKU reported finding materials and graffiti supporting the group on their campus.

"Let me be clear, because I must, these incidents were an attack on our community," reads a statement from Fr. Michael Graham, president of XU. "I feel a strong sense of violation, really—desecration, in response to this attack. I am aware, nonetheless, that part of my privilege as a white man is not fully feeling the injury and impact of these acts. These acts are intended to intimidate, to threaten, and to assault. These acts demand a response. And we shall respond, in a multiplicity of ways."

In the statement, released Monday, Graham said said University officials also believe the group, while on campus, destroyed a sign outside Bellarmine Chapel that read, "Racism is a sin -- Black Lives Matter."

Xavier University Police have removed the material and is investigating, the university said. There is no indication that anyone involved in the campus's community is responsible for the materials, but Xavier said police told them fliers from the same group have appeared on other nearby campuses.

After students were made aware of the vandalism, students at Xavier filled the area with smaller, handmade signs on Sunday.

"I would like to borrow from a letter written by Jamie Trnka, our chair of Classics and Modern Languages, who wrote in response to the destruction of the sign in front of Bellarmine Chapel: 'Where one banner was cut down, let us raise fifty more.'" wrote Graham in his statement.