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Responding to those hateful flyers

You may be aware of recent instances of racist flyers appearing at or around the UW. We, of course, condemn expressions of hate as antithetical to not just our University’s and nation’s values, but to fundamental human values. When such flyers appear in public places on our campus, like the sides of buildings, we take them down.

If you see such posters, you can take them down as well, but your best course of action is to contact the UWPD to remove them. You can email notifying them of the date, time and location of the posting/image and whether or not it was removed.

I also encourage you to report hateful flyers or graffiti using the bias reporting tool. That allows us to better track these events for investigation. When incidents of hate crimes are reported to the UWPD, their protocol includes sharing that information with the FBI. The FBI considers hate crimes to be the highest priority of its Civil Rights Program and works closely with state and local law enforcement to track and investigate them.

If you’re not sure whom to call, the UW’s Safe Campus team have the expertise to help find the right resources; you can contact them at 206.685.SAFE (7233) or

And of course, if you see or hear anything that is an imminent threat to your physical safety or that of others, call 911.

But beyond the initial response, what I would counsel all of us to do is not let the action of an anonymous coward or cowards change what we believe about the vast, vast majority of our fellow community members who also reject hateful ideology. Fear is what those who resort to these pathetic tactics want us to feel.

Bottom line: If a hateful flyer is posted somewhere on one of our campuses, a report should be made. If you see someone posting such a flyer, call UWPD immediately. And don’t let these cowardly tactics succeed. Remember: There are far, far more of us than there are of them.