A white Columbia University student berated a group of predominantly Black students with racist remarks over the weekend. The student, 21-year-old Julian von Abele, first began harassing the group on Sunday in front of the university's Butler Library.
“White people are the best thing that happened to the world,” he yelled. He also added that white people “built modern civilization” and “did everything.”
The sophomore’s harassment didn’t end there. Von Abele then followed his classmates to a campus restaurant where he continued his attack. There, he allegedly grabbed one of the students and asked them if Black women liked to date white men.
“I don’t hate other people, I just love white men," he continued.
A video of the harassment immediately accompanied by the popular and often effective tagline: "Twitter, do your thing."
— Aala (@aalanasir) December 9, 2018
Student newspaper Columbia Daily Spectator identified von Abele. Deans at the university issued a statement Sunday and invited students to exchange discourse on the racist attack on Monday evening. Some students, however, implored the university to do more.
“I really hope that Columbia takes further action,” Columbia student Kwolanne Felix said. “They should definitely try to talk to the students that were affected by that and ensure everyone’s okay because that’s really hard to internalize.”
University senior Alfredo Dominguez agreed, calling for disciplinary actions to be taken against von Abele in an email to school officials.
“You can have arguments all you want about free speech and people being entitled to say what they want,” Dominguez reportedly wrote. “But when that bubbles [into] assaulting Black or Brown people with that and then stalking them…you’re getting into levels of hate crime and your speech being directly related to violence.”
The Dean of Multicultural Affairs Melinda Aquino agreed, stating she and other officials are working to address the “racially charged incident.” However, they have not yet said if von Abel will be disciplined.
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