WASHINGTON - Ten Confederate flag fliers were found hanging with cotton stalks taped to them in four American University buildings Tuesday night, according to university officials.
The flags were found on the same night a presentation was held by Dr. Ibram Kendi, a professor who founded the university's new Antiracist Research and Policy Center. The fliers were discovered in the Battelle-Tompkins building, the McKinley building and in the Mary Graydon Center. The school newspaper The Eagle reported a flier was also discovered in the basement of the Kogod School of Business.
Video captured a suspect dressed as a worker pinning the fliers to bulletin boards and taping stalks of cotton to them. The fliers read, "Huzzah For Dixie" and "I Wish I Was in the Land of Cotton." The Eagle reported that the words, "D.C. Counter Resistance" and a logo were printed on the back of the fliers.
"After attending Dr. Ibram Kendi's program to share the vision for his Anti-Racist Research and Policy Center last night, I was angered and saddened to learn that racist posters with confederate flags and cotton were posted in several locations on campus. We must stand together strongly against this act, which was intended to frighten and divide our community," American University President Sylvia M. Burwell said in part in a written statement. "I ask you to join me in standing together and show that we will not be intimidated. AU will respond strongly to attempts designed to harm and create fear. Instead, we will recommit to creating a community that does not stand by. When one of us is attacked, all of us are attacked."
American University held a town hall in the Kay Spiritual Life Center at 1 p.m. where officials and students spoke about the incident. The fliers were the latest racist incident to be reported at American University. Back in May, a noose with bananas hanging from it was found in a tree on campus. In September of 2016, two black students reported having bananas thrown at them in their dorms.
Officials described the suspect as a white man, approximately 40 years old and standing about 5 feet 10 inches tall. The suspect was dressed in a safety vest, hard hat, work gloves and appeared to be carrying a briefcase.
Anyone with information that could help officials identify the suspect was urged to call American University Public Safety at (202) 885-2527.