Two students posted at least some of the racist messages around campus this spring to elicit a reaction from the historically progressive-minded college town. Just a little "joke" meant for the greater good, as one student explains. Somewhere in the students' brains, they were hoping prove some sort of point by drawing out the same overreaction that legitimate, non-joke hate screeds had garnered earlier in the school year.
Gawker published the Oberlin police report online, and it contains some of the over-the-top messages spread around campus by these numbskulls.
Here's a deeper explanation from one of the students, obtained within the police report:
I printed about 1,000 anti-Islam fliers to put up as a joke/troll (to get an overreaction, in the context of the racist crap that has been going on on campus). I met —— along the way in the Science Center and kept posting them. I thought the reaction to the racist garbage was irrational and out of proportion. It seems clear to me that whatever racist scum or Nazi did that shit, he was just looking for a big reaction. People need to take everything with a grain of salt, and decide what kinds of things are worth engaging with and which are not. Instead of holding a sit-in, a march/rally, and a community meeting, if I were in control, I would have torn any Nazi or hate speech down and told people that it is wrong to put shit like that up. Whether the people doing the racist hate speech are racist assholes, or just trolls, they clearly are just seeking attention. Don’t give them what they want, and they will stop. I put out these fliers to get a similar over-reaction to prove this point.
...OK... It's unclear what point was proven, save for the fact that hate speech is, you know, hateful stuff.
Oberlin spokesman Scott Wargo told the AP: "You had fliers with threats of violence and hate speech and rape that are being posted on doors and in hallways and on mailboxes," Wargo said, adding: "It didn't make it less real for those who had to endure it firsthand, and creating an atmosphere where people are afraid and feel threatened — it isn't a joke."