(JTA) — The FBI has been called in to investigate threats against minority students at California State University, Long Beach, including Latino and Jewish students.
Campus President Jane Close Conoley on Wednesday in an email sent to students and university employees confirmed the threats and the investigation. The threats were made over the internet and by fliers posted last week on the walls of the university’s Multicultural Center, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reported.
“While one of the great strengths of our democracy is that free speech — which includes ‘hate speech’ — is protected under the First Amendment, direct and credible threats of violence are not tolerated,” Conoley wrote in the mass email.
The posted fliers showed an image of Adolf Hitler standing under the iconic “Arbeit Mach Frei” sign at the Auschwitz Nazi camp and the message “Finish what he started.”
Latino students were threatened in a post on the La Raza Student Association Facebook page warning that its officers would be shot.
University police also are investigating the incidents.
“These posters appear to be placed to provoke an emotional reaction,” Lt. Richard Goodwin of the campus police department said in an email, according to the Press-Telegram. “However, we would be remiss if we just looked at them as an object placed to provoke a reaction. Our position here is to provide a safe and peaceful environment with which to facilitate the education process. This is why these cases are investigated to the fullest extent.”