An Oregon State University student was arrested Monday for slapping racist bumper stickers on the cars of social activists. The incident has upset many in the Corvallis community. KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.
Andrew Oswalt was charged with misdemeanor criminal mischief for an incident last June. Police say Oswalt and an accomplice put stickers on cars owned by members of a racial justice advocacy group. The stickers used a racist slur for African-Americans and covered up pro-diversity and immigrant stickers.
The arrest coincided with Oswalt’s interview in the student newspaper, where he shared inflammatory views on minorities and women. He has reportedly claimed that whites are repressed, are more intelligent than other races, and that Jews control many major institutions.
Oswalt is a representative with the Associated Students of OSU. His peers may act to remove him by month’s end. Oswalt says if that happens, he’ll run again next year.
In an email to KLCC, Oswalt says that President Trump has empowered him and others who wish to speak truth to power, in “an era of state-enforced communist dogma.”
OSU officials say Oswalt’s comments aren’t the values of the university.
Meanwhile, neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer calls the incident “unfortunate”, suggesting Oswalt’s openness will make it harder for him to get a high-level position quote “within the system that we are trying to infiltrate and take over.”
It then advises readers to do alt-right activism on a different college campus from their own.
In an email to KLCC, Faith Reidenbach, a member of Corvallis Showing Up for Racial Justice, writes "I deplore Oswalt's sneaky, bigoted individual acts. But I hope my fellow white people will pay just as much attention to the institutionalized racism that's still prevalent throughout the mid-Valley and Oregon."
Reidenbach says Oswalt will be arraigned February 12th at the Benton County Courthouse.
"Let's pack the courtroom," she adds.
Copyright 2018, KLCC.