Hate crime on South Bay college campus raises concerns

A hate crime on a South Bay college campus is raising concerns and fears that recruiting efforts by white supremacists may be taking root. On Friday a swastika was penciled inside a bathroom stall at Evergreen Valley College in East San Jose.

“I think it’s horrible,” said freshman Jason Scholtes. “It’s definitely not freedom of speech when it comes down to that. And I’m really sorry that stuff like that happens around here.”

The bathroom where the hate crime occurred is located inside the Math and Science Building, in the South Campus area of this school which sits in the East San Jose foothills. 

Campus officials say someone saw the swastika around 11:30 a.m., along with the message, “Hitler did nothing wrong,”. It was immediately reported to campus police, who ordered cleanup crews to remove the vandalism. 

The image and text were inside the first stall from the main bathroom entrance, but by late Friday afternoon, crews had removed both. 

The regional director for the Northern California Anti-Defamation League said white supremacists have been trying to bolster their ranks by recruiting on college campuses nation-wide.

“There’s an environment where white supremacists feel embolden to act. We’ve seen it across the Bay Area and in the community,” said Seth Brysk of the ADL.

Late Friday Evergreen College released a statement which said in part this was “an isolated incident,” and that the college, “…has a zero tolerance for any acts of hate.” 

Officials say there are not searching for a suspect at this time, but ask anyone with information to contact campus police.