Nebraska students say university is ignoring warnings about an active white nationalist on campus

Student at University of Nebraska-Lincoln calls himself “the most active white nationalist in the Nebraska area."

CREDIT: Tim Nwachukwu/NCAA Photos via Getty Images
CREDIT: Tim Nwachukwu/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln say the university has not taken action against an active white nationalist on campus, despite repeated warnings, local media reported Tuesday.

A spokesperson for the university said in a statement Tuesday that the school is aware of the student, Daniel J. Kleve, a junior at the school. Kleave calls himself “the most active white nationalist in the Nebraska area,” and the university said school officials are taking the matter “very seriously,” though they have not taken action against him.

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Students told the Lincoln Journal-Star that the university has largely ignored their concerns about Kleve, who was the subject of a video that circulated at the school Monday. The video, made by Anti-Fascist Action Nebraska, reportedly documents Kleve gathering with other white supremacists and Neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia last year. One woman, Heather Heyer, was killed at the event by a man who drove his car into the group of counter-protesters with whom Heyer had gathered.

In the video, Kleve expresses his desire to be violent and reminisces about his time gathering with other white nationalists in Charlottesville.

“Just because I dress like a normie, a regular person, doesn’t mean I don’t love violence,” he says. “Trust me, I want to be violent. Trust me. Really violent.”

An archived Twitter account that Anti-Fascist Action Nebraska says belonged to a group Kleve started, called “Racial Theocracy,” features a collage of swastikas as its banner and tweets claiming a woman was raped because she was wearing a mini skirt and that violent white supremacists are being prosecuted for “self defense.”

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Students have reportedly been raising concerns about about Kleve to campus police and administrators for months. According to Anti-Fascist Action Nebraska, Kleve was identified from a photo of him in Charlottesville attacking a protester with a flashlight, and it was then — in August of last year — that students began to report him to the university.

In the photo, Kleve is standing with members of Vanguard America, which the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has designated a white supremacist group.

That, one unidentified student told the Journal-Star, should be enough for the school to take action against Kleve, but school administrators have done nothing.

“We believe that violates the code of conduct which says violence is unacceptable in or out of school,” the student told the paper.

Other students told the media that Kleve has not tried to hide his views in classes, either, and that he talks about “white genocide” and teachers allow it.

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“It makes students of color very uncomfortable,” student Syndii Washington told the Journal-Star, adding that she has begun to consider transferring to another school.

Still, the university has done nothing.

In a statement, the school denounced bigotry, condemned violence, and said it objects “to activities that strike fear among our students.” But, it went on, “[t]he campus is comprised of people of diverse backgrounds, with different life experiences… We encourage civil and respectful discussion of ideas and opinions.”

In an earlier statement reported by local media, the university’s police chief said, “[S]ometimes safety professionals have to be very discreet about what they can say regarding such matters,” and added that the “matter is being taken seriously.”

On Wednesday, some students have decided to hold a rally, hoping to shed light on Kleve’s racism and how he and others spread it through YouTube and social media.

“The hope was the university would act before there had to be a large outcry,” a student told the Journal-Star. “They didn’t, and the response for the student body indicated there needed to be student action.”

Unfortunately, Kleve isn’t an alone as far as avowed white supremacists on college campuses go. According to a new ADL study released last week, white supremacist groups are increasingly targeting college campuses in the wake of President Trump’s election. The ADL tracked a three-fold increase in propaganda efforts by white supremacist groups on campuses since January 2016.

“White supremacists, particularly alt right groups, have been actively targeting U.S. college campuses since January 2016,” the authors of the report write. “The practice failed to get any real traction until the fall semester of 2016. Since then, propaganda efforts have increased dramatically.”

The ADL has recorded 346 incidents since September 1, 2016. There have already been 15 incidents in 2018.