For safety reasons, the names of the sources in this article are aliases.

This past Monday morning, students were shocked to find white supremacist propaganda spread around Ohio State University’s campus. Flyers saying “HAVE A WHITE CHRISTMAS” were pasted over mask mandate signs.

An OSU spokesperson told the Free Press the University “emphatically rejects racism and religious intolerance of any kind.” They said, “in accordance with the university’s policy on signage, the flyers were removed.”

This isn’t the first time white supremacist propaganda has been posted on OSU campus this school year. Flyers with lengthy and incoherent statements about immigrants and quotes from Hitler were found in September and students say this is a consistent occurrence. The constant presence of white supremacist hate groups on campus has many students worried for their safety.

An OSU student of color, Lilli, says the university has been quick to “promote safety on campus” when it comes to crime, but ignores the gravity of white supremacists using the campus as a propaganda platform. Lilli is referring to a recent campaign from parents rallying againstcrime on campus after a student was killed, which resulted in the university adding $20 millionfor “safety and security.”

“We do not see the same response to the very real threats of rightwing extremist propaganda being plastered all over our campus,” Lilli said. “What has been found on campus suggests an unsafe environment for our non-white students and our LGBTQ community.”

In addition to the white supremacist propaganda at OSU was anti-trans graffiti calling to “amend the Equality Act,” to discriminate against trans people and “save women’s spaces.”

A transgender student at OSU, Anna, says “the transphobic crap around campus is really scary and triggering.”

The combined hateful messaging of white supremacy and anti-trans propaganda has created a hostile environment on campus, students say. “I cannot imagine how terrified students of color must be seeing those white supremacist messages,” Anna said.

Just up the street towards Clintonville, Nazi propaganda depicting anti-Semitic and racist cartoons and stickers saying “white lives matter” were posted along High Street in this same week. The heinous cartoons showed a Black child and a Jewish man releasing fluids into a “European gene pool.” The “white lives matter” sticker had a link on it, which was connected to a neo-Nazi Telegram chat, an encrypted messaging app.

“Right now, my family is in the middle of celebrating Chanukah,” says Emily, a healthcare worker and local activist.

Chanukah is the Jewish eight-day “festival of lights,” starting on November 28 and going until December 6. “We light candles, sing songs, give gifts, and tell our children the story of the Maccabees.”

Emily found the Nazi propaganda in her neighborhood and posted about it on a community Facebook page. Neighbors banded together in tearing down most of the stickers. “I’m teaching my children that it is important to stand up against bullies and be brave just like the heroes in the Chanukah story. People try to fill this world with darkness, we will keep making light.”

According to the Southern Poverty Law Centerthere are four statewide hate groups active in Ohio including the American Nazi Party and the Nazi group Daily Stormer, while Columbus has a handful of hate group chapters including the white nationalist group the Proud Boys and a handful of religious groups that are anti-LGBTQ. There are 63 different neo-Nazi hate groups in the US and 29%of Americans personally know someone who thinks that white people are the superior race, states the SPLC.

An issue facing the community when dealing with Nazis and fascist groups is the problem of who to call and how they will respond – if at all. A 2020 reportfound that many of the white supremacist and right-wing anti-government militias are made up of active duty or former police and military members.

A source working in Columbus’ public safety sector told the Free Press that public safety here is “filled” with white supremacists.

The consistent racism withinthe Columbus Division of Police and the disproportionate use of forcetowards black people exposes how racist ideologies can impact the jobs they do and therefore the safety of the community.

This year, Mayor Ginther requested the Department of Justice step in to investigate the Columbus Police for their racial biases internally and externally, saying“this is about reforming the entire institution of policing in Columbus.”

The decades long problem of white supremacy in law enforcement and the current presence of Nazis on campus is a problem far more serious than just a violation of the university’s policy on signage. Students are afraid for their physical safety as white supremacists walk onto campus to spread their racist and anti-Semitic propaganda.

While the signs were removed, the Nazis are still active in the community and have shown that tearing down their signs won’t deter them from returning.

“We need a campus that is free of hate speech, overt and institutional racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and classism,” says Lilli. “The continued presence of these messages on campus is unacceptable.”