As students walked through Columbia University’s campus early Sunday morning, they were greeted with a peer’s racist tirade, video shows.
A video posted to Twitter shows the Columbia College student — identified by the Columbia Spectator as sophomore Julian von Abele — arguing with a group of majority-black students that white people “built the modern world.”
“We invented science and industry, and you want to tell us to stop because ‘Oh my god we are so bad,’” he is heard arguing.
Another person is then heard calling him a ‘f------ degenerate.”
“We saved billions of people from starvation,” von Abele says. “... White people are the best thing that ever happened to the world.
“We are so amazing! I love myself! And I love white people!”
Columbia College sent out a statement about the video, saying that it is “alarmed at the rise of incidents of racism and hate speech in our world today.”
“Many of you have heard about or seen the alarming footage online, which includes painful language directed toward students of color in our community,” the statement reads. “Although we cannot comment on the proceedings, this incident is already under investigation by the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, and we want to assure you that it will be investigated thoroughly, beginning with interviews of witnesses.
“... At Columbia, we stand firmly against white supremacist language and violence,” it continued. “As we said last week, our community will not waver in its support for those of any faith, race, gender, sexual orientation, background or identity.”
In an interview with Bwog, a student-run blog at the college, student Kwolanne Felix says von Abele was in front of the library and shouting inflammatory comments about white people.
“He said those statements just to see if we would react. The group stops and starts to converse as we are confused as to who he’s yelling at,” Felix said, according to the blog. “As he yells, a large argument begins. This is the part caught on video.”
Felix, a sophomore, told the Columbia Spectator that the college should do more to combat racism on campus. Columbia College held an “open reflection” on Monday night to allow students “to be in community with each other.”
“I really hope that Columbia takes further action,” Felix said, according to the student newspaper. “They should definitely try to talk to the students that were affected by that and ensure everyone’s okay because that’s really hard to internalize.”
WPIX reported that von Abele did not respond to its request for comment.
In late November, Elizabeth Midlarsky, a Jewish professor at Columbia University, says she “almost passed out” when she found her office graffitied with swastikas. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he was “disgusted by the abhorrent act of anti-Semitism” and called for an investigation, according to CNN