The Great Blue Heron statue on the corner of E. 13th Avenue and Alder Street, which sometimes features anti-Trump graffiti, was emblazoned with anti-immigrant chalk graffiti on Monday. The messages “Deport Them All” and “Trump 2020” remained on the statue until they were erased by a passerby around 11:30 a.m.
The author of the graffiti remains unknown.
This is not the first time graffiti of the same nature has appeared on campus. During the first week of fall term in 2017, students spotted a message reading “white pride” between Gerlinger Hall and Knight Library.
Even with the graffiti being in such a public space, senior music technology major Alex Niemeyer said it comes as no surprise.
“I’m not too shocked by seeing this,” he said. “For a while, I’ve been a part of a community group going around Eugene cleaning up all of this, not just chalk, but also the anti-refugee stickers I’ve been seeing all the time.”
Niemeyer and his group aren’t the only ones monitoring white nationalism in Eugene. In December 2017, The Oregonian/Oregonlive profiled white nationalist activity in Eugene, saying that the city recorded nearly 60 hate crimes that year, which is up from last year’s total of 44. According to The Oregonian/Oregonlive, vandalism and graffiti made up 20 percent of the hate crimes reported between January and October.
Niemeyer said he is surprised by the lack of substantive response from University of Oregon administration during previous incidents, such as when white nationalist Jimmy Marr visited campus last April.
“You really have to wonder, is it really that hard to say you’re against white supremacy, in 2018?”
In a draft of an AroundtheO post sent to the Emerald, UO President Michael Schill said he “condemns all forms of hate speech and racism,” and that he is “troubled by the recent reports of an uptick in both subtle and overt acts of racism on campus and in the surrounding community.”
Schill plans to work with community and campus law enforcement to ensure a safe learning environment for students.
“What we want everyone in our campus community to know is that regardless of these shameful instances, the UO welcomes and values all its members, and that Ducks will take care of one another.”