Meet the Privileged Obama-Supporting White Kids Who Perpetrated Cruel Oberlin Race Hoax

Chuck Ross, Daily Caller, August 22, 2013

One of the two students removed from Oberlin College earlier this year for allegedly circulating virulently racist, anti-Jewish and anti-gay messages around campus  is an ardent leftist and committed supporter of President Barack Obama, The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.

Dylan Bleier, one of the two students, organized a voter registration drive on behalf of Obama before the 2008 election. That voter drive is still listed on the website for Organizing for Action, the non-profit group whose mission is to advance Obama’s agenda.

The Oberlin Police Department identified Bleier and his partner in the spree, Matt Alden, as two of the principal architects of a month-long spate of racist, anti-Jewish and anti-gay messages at the small, private campus.

On his now-defunct LinkedIn page, Bleier noted that he was the founder and president of the Ithaca High School for Obama club. He also identified himself as a member of the Oberlin College Democrats.

Bleier also listed his participation in a group called Ithaca White Allies Against Structural Racism. He joined the group in May of this year, he reported. He said the group’s goal is to “eradicate structural racism in Tompkins County [NY], via forums discussing racism.”

On his Twitter account, which he protected after TheDCNF reached him on Tuesday, Bleier hailed Obama’s comments on George Zimmerman, tweeting: “Zimmerman is just the tip of the iceberg, a single highly visible symptom of the racist system that is ‘succeeding’ in the US.”

Bleier also describes himself on Twitter as an “atheist/pacifist/environmentalist/libertarian socialist/consequentialist.”

The progressive school canceled all classes for a day in a mad scramble to address the alleged hate-related incidents the campus. The saga culminated in a report of a person wearing a hood and robe resembling a KKK outfit near the Afrikan Heritage House, according to Oberlin’s president Marvin Krislov in a letter also signed by three deans.


Senior Sunceray Tabler reported the alleged KKK sighting. Concerned students gathered that night. By morning, they had convinced school administrators to cancel classes for a day and hold a campus-wide teach-ins focusing on racism and homophobia. The kerfuffle made national news. It prompted Lena Dunham, Oberlin alum and star of the HBO series “Girls,” to tweet:  ”Hey Obies, remember the beautiful, inclusive and downright revolutionary history of the place you call home. Protect each other.” {snip}


Days after the claimed sighting of the KKK member, Oberlin police Lt. Mike McCloskey theorized that the figure Tabler saw was likely a female student who had been wandering around in the same area wearing a blanket.

In June, McCloskey told TheDCNF that Tabler’s boyfriend, who was with her at the time of the incident, said he didn’t see anyone wearing racist attire.

McCloskey also confirmed for TheDCNF then that two white males had been removed from Oberlin’s campus. He would not identify the suspects, but he did note that county prosecutors had no plans to press any criminal charges which might apply.


While officials at Oberlin have been hostile to all requests for comment since calling off classes, the closed status of the case allowed TheDCNF to obtain police reports through an Ohio Open Records Act request.

The police records indicate that Marjorie Burton, Oberlin’s director of safety and security, initially contacted local police on February 15.

A slew of reports had come in on February 9.  One student reported an anti-Semitic flier a campus building. A swastika showed up drawn on a glass door at another building.

Over the next two days, students reported seeing fliers with swastikas and demeaning comments about Martin Luther King, Jr.

On February 11, a female student claimed that both Bleier and Alden were making derogatory comments about her online.  She also stated “she had reason to believe that Alden and Bleier were responsible not only for the obscene posts about her but also the derogatory fliers that are being posted around campus.” {snip}

According to the student, someone using the email address [email protected] directed her to a derogatory comment that had been posted about her online.


On February 15, a large handmade poster of a Nazi flag with a swastika was discovered taped inside the windows of the second floor of the Science Hall. Bleier was later found to have after-hours access to the Science Center.

The police report shows that school officials questioned Bleier and Alden. The report says that the two students admitted to leaving at least some of the markings, literature, and other paraphernalia across campus as a “joke” or a “troll.”

Oberlin police later subpoenaed IP records from Google and determined that Bleier was behind the fake Krislov account. {snip}

On February 27, Oberlin security officers finally caught Bleier and Alden—apparently red-handed—in the process of their hateful message circulation. At the time, according to the report, one of the students had discarded a piece of paper reading: “Islam. It kills.”

Bleier attempted to explain away the incriminating evidence, according to the police report.

“I’m doing it as a joke to see the college overreact to it as they have with the other racial postings that have been posted on campus,” he told campus cops.

Both Bleier and Alden then denied having anything to do with the previous postings around the school.

At one point, police records say, Bleier wrote a statement in Burton’s office claiming responsibility for the flier left on the door of a female student February 5. He also owned up to responsibility for some cards containing the word “niggermania.”

“I printed out a page of racist ‘niggermania’ cards to show to friends as a joke/for the shock value,” he allegedly wrote, adding that he had somehow accidently left them sitting in a lounge on campus.

“Matt Alden and I made a giant Nazi flag as a joke to troll people and put it up in the science center,” Bleier also confessed, the police report says.

He claimed to have had nothing to do with any of the other swastikas strewn around campus, but then allegedly wrote, “I posted Krislov’s head photoshopped onto Hitler’s body LoL.”


Alden categorically denied involvement in spreading the Nazi imagery, writing in a statement, “I had nothing to do with any swastika banner or other sickening Nazi paraphernalia.”

Lt. McCloskey told TheDCNF in June that both students had “lawyered up” after their statements and that police had not heard from them.


A recent Oberlin graduate who knows both Bleier and Alden spoke to TheDCNF in a phone interview.

“I wouldn’t consider the individuals involved to be racists,” he said.  ”I think they were kind of troublemakers trying to stir up the pot a little bit.”

The student, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, also suggested that Alden got a kick out of messing with people. “Matt was more of the prankster,” he explained. “Considering they were trolls, they were kind of getting what they wanted out of people getting so upset about it.”

But “then it got to the point where they realized it was bigger than they imagined it could become,” the student added.

The student thinks that Bleier and Alden were likely behind all of the hateful graffiti that marred that campus during the string of incidents in February.  He also said that Alden and Bleier had been suspended and removed from campus before the March 4 report of someone wearing KKK attire.

Cornell University law professor William Jacobson, who tracked the Oberlin story at his blog Legal Insurrection, said the fraudulent hate-related incidents “may be the greatest race hoax since Tawana Brawley.”

Jacobson has unsuccessfully reached out to Oberlin officials for comment on the incidents on several occasions.

“Oberlin allowed the entire country to go through months of handwringing over supposedly racist incidents knowing full well it was a hoax,” Jacobson told TheDCNF. “If the president of Oberlin knew of this hoax and allowed Oberlin falsely to be portrayed as a racist campus, he should resign.”


Jeri Galluci, who heads White Allies Against Structural Racism, the Ithaca-based anti-racism alliance cited on LinkedIn by Bleier, confirmed to TheDCNF that Bleier is a member of the group.

“No, no, no,” she said when asked if she thought Bleier was a racist. She added that she had no prior knowledge of the police report recounting Bleier’s involvement in the Oberlin incident.


Topics: ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.