School officials respond to man wearing swastika armband at University of Florida

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PHOTO VIA CHIEFRIVEROTTER/REDDIT
  • Photo via ChiefRiverOtter/Reddit
Footage of an unidentified man sporting a swastika at the University of Florida has caused enough outrage from students and the public that the school has released an official statement.

According to the Independent Florida Alligator, the incident occurred Tuesday, Jan. 24 at Turlington Plaza following an event organized by the Jewish Student Union.

Footage of the unidentified Nazi, who was riding a bike past the event, began circulating on various social media outlets, including Reddit.

University of Florida spokesperson John Hines responded to the incident Tuesday saying, “It is critical to recognize that swastikas are symbols associated with the Holocaust which exterminated six million Jews as well as multitudes of individuals from other persecuted groups on the basis of their race or religion,” the statement read. “The University of Florida encourages inclusion and respect, not hate.”

No official reports were filed by UF campus police.

This incident follows a wave of recent bomb threats to various Jewish Community Centers across the United States, and specifically Central Florida.

If you're keeping score, and you should be, this is a very real trend. According to the most recent data from the Southern Poverty Law Center, there have been more than 1,000 incidents of hateful intimidation since Dec. 12.

“Many of the incidents include a direct mention of [President-elect Donald Trump] either by someone yelling it before assaulting a minority or spray-painting it on a car,” says Mark Potok, the organization’s senior fellow to PBS.

On a related note, last Friday, while filming a documentary about himself, outspoken Alt-Right leader Nazi Richard Spencer was punched in the face by a protester after explaining the intricacies of his movement's "Pepe" meme.
Welcome to our new terrible reality.


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