Campus KKK and Nazis: You Do Call Wagga Wagga Racist

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Students from Charles Sturt University have been accused of participating in a racist and grotesque event held at the Black Swan Hotel in Wagga Wagga on Thursday evening, which included five individuals dressing up as members of the Ku Klux Klan and a sixth member dressing up in blackface as a cotton picker.

The photo was posted on Instagram and Facebook, accompanied by the caption “Very very politically incorrect. Cotton prices are unreal though so it’s a great time to be pickin’”.

A Facebook post organising the unofficial university event has also surfaced. It reads:

Calling all Mott’s, Notts and those in between,

As exams have just commenced we are already looking forward to the end of them and thus, the idea of the muddy duck [aka The Black Swan]‘two dayer’ has been born. It will consist of Thursday night- “politically incorrect” themed session kicking off at 7.30pm. Tippo will be providing the usual quality drink specials. So grab a kit that would legally get you in shit and hood right in.

The post ends by wishing student “Goodluck” in their “upcoming exams”.

The Black Swan has responded with an apology stating that the “pub was made aware of a (sic) incident unbeknownst to staff.”

To all that message. Thank you very much for your message.We were unaware of this behaviour happening out the back of the pub, however we have immediately dealt with this.

We have zero tolerance and do not condone this sort of behaviour.

Thanks,

Management

Members of the public were quick to push back arguing that the pub should have been aware and that based on the photos, the individual appeared to have been served alcohol.

In a second photo also believed to involve Charles Sturt University students, three individuals can be seen dressed as concentration camp prisoners with a fourth individual in the background who appears to be dressed as Hitler. The men dressed as prisoners have shaved heads, and appear to be wearing striped pyjamas featuring the Star of David.

The image – which also surfaced overnight – is accompanied by the hashtags #csulater and #hazingisfun. It has not been confirmed when the second image was taken.

The Federal Minister for Education, Simon Birmingham has slammed university students involved in acts of racism and anti-Semitism stating, “There’s a very clear line between some harmless pranks and acts of racism, sexism or anti-Semitism.”

“Young adults should remember that when they cross that line it may follow them into their adult lives and be judged harshly by potential employers, while institutions who condone or turn a blind eye to it can rightly expect condemnation.”

Charles Sturt University said it was investigating the matter.

“Charles Sturt University (CSU) will not tolerate this offensive behaviour. It does not reflect our university values and we strongly condemn these actions.

“CSU is currently investigating these incidents and social media posts.”

These latest development follow revelations in January this year that a series of anti-semitic posters had appeared on  Charles Sturt University Bathurst campus over the Christmas break.

Students around the country say there has been a palpable rise in the Alt Right movements at several university campuses. Last week, during a debate at the University of Sydney a student was photographed doing the Nazi salute. The debate was between Generation Liberty and The Socialist Alternative and reportedly funded by the conservative think-tank, the Institute for Public Affairs.

(Image: supplied by Katie Thorburn)

Late last year Swastikas and other anti semitic paraphernalia were also found on several university campuses across Australia including the University of Tasmania, Melbourne University, Monash University, University of Queensland and University of Sydney.

Nina Funnell & Chris Graham

NINA FUNNELL is an Our Watch Walkley award winning freelance journalist and a director of End Rape On Campus Australia. Nina has been named Journalist of the Year at the B&T Women in Media awards (2019) and one of the 100 most influential women in Australia by the Australian Financial Review (2018). Nina has also been awarded the United Nations Media Award (2017), an Australian Human Rights Commission community individual award (2010) and in 2019 her #LetHerSpeak campaign was named News Corp's 'News Campaign of the Year'. CHRIS GRAHAM has worked in the media for more than three decades. He has won a Walkley Award, a Walkley High Commendation, and has twice been awarded the Australian Human Rights Commission - Print Media Award for his reporting on Indigenous affairs. Chris also shared the Michael Schneider Award in the United States for an investigative feature on asbestos. Chris served on the Australian Press Council for three years, and is the editor and owner of New Matilda. He is the former founding editor of the National Indigenous Times.

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