‘Terrified’ college students mistake priest for KKK member

By Douglas Ernst

Indiana University Bloomington students were terrified of a priest carrying a rosary because they thought he was a member of the KKK (Photo: The Tab screenshot)
Indiana University Bloomington students were terrified of a priest carrying a rosary because they thought he was a member of the KKK (Photo: The Tab screenshot)

Students at Indiana University Bloomington melted down after a priest carrying a rosary was misidentified as a whip-carrying member of the Ku Klux Klan.

An alert by one of the university’s residential hall advisors quickly spread across campus and social media on Monday. Students were urged to stay indoors and “be careful” over nothing more than a monk of the Dominican order in white robes.

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“There has been a person reported walking around campus in a KKK outfit holding a whip. Because the person is protected under first amendment rights, [Indiana University Police Department] cannot remove this person from campus unless an act of violence is committed. Please PLEASE PLEASE be careful out there tonight, always be with someone and if you have no dire reason to be out of the building, I would recommend staying indoors if you’re alone,” RA Ethan Gill said to students via email, the Tab reported Tuesday.

IU student kkk

It wasn’t long before Gill scolded students on Facebook for creating false hysteria.

“This is what happens when there is miscommunication,” Gill wrote. “A person saw white robes and what looked to them like a weapon, got scared (rightfully so), warned people, warned staff, which in turn caused me to warn my residents because I need to look out for my residents, which in turn made it spread. Then my residents, terrified, come running to me, saying yeah the report must be true, they saw him and couldn’t believe there was a klansmember [sic] with a whip. And I see this picture. It’s a priest. With a rosary.”

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Student’s using the anonymous cellphone app Yik Yak skewered political correctness after the correction.

“Fear-culture fail,” wrote one user, the Tab reported.

“Just imagine if this had happened at Yale. There [would] be a squadron of police cars and a campus-wide safe space,” another user added. The joke was in reference to college professors who faced fierce backlash last October when they told students Halloween was not an occasion to obsess over cultural appropriation.

Another student said the priest was from a nearby church named St. Paul’s. The man regularly prays for students.

“No hate from him. Just love,” the student wrote.

Students at Indiana University were sent a warning about a member of the KKK "holding a whip." The so-called whip was really a rosary that belonging to a priest (Photo: The Tab screenshot)
Students at Indiana University Bloomington were warned about a member of the KKK “holding a whip.” The so-called whip was really a rosary that belonged to a priest (Photo: The Tab)

This is the second time in less than six months that American university students panicked over erroneous KKK reports. Race activists at the University of Missouri spread fear across campus and ignited the Twitter hashtag #PrayForMizzzou in November before KKK rumors were quashed.

“I’m sorry about the misinformation that I have shared through social media. In a state of alarm, I was concerned for all students of the University of Missouri and wanted to ensure that everyone was safe. I received and shared information from multiple incorrect sources, which I deeply regret,” Student Body President Payton Head wrote Nov. 10, WND reported.

“Seriously the #SJW #PrayForMizzou people are reporting gunshots, crime and a giant KKK meeting on campus. But zero pics or vids [sic],” conservative commentator Stephen Crowder tweeted as the fiasco unfolded.

The university’s president at the time, Timothy Wolfe, resigned Nov. 9 over students’ allegations that he did not adequately address their racial concerns.


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