Racist note left for UNO student worker prompts response from chancellor

By  | 

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- The chancellor of UNO posted a message of support and inclusion Wednesday after an intimidating note was left on a car near campus the previous evening.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, UNO student worker Joshua Garcia said he found a note reading "Illegals are not welcome" on his windshield. (Photo courtesy of Joshua Garcia)

The photo of the note allegedly stuck on a student's car has been shard over 1,200 times on Facebook and has gotten over 1,800 reactions.

It's getting reaction on campus too from students.

"Nobody, you know, deserves hate," student Miski Mohamed said.

"At UNO, we tell all our students ' you are welcome here' and that means everyone," University of Nebraska-Omaha Chancellor Jeffrey Gold says on the school's website. "Inclusion is a core value of our university and intimidation has no place on our campus or near it."

According to a Facebook post, a note reading "Illegals are not welcome!" was left on the windshield of a UNO student worker who had parked his car at Elmwood Park.

The student at the center of all of this is UNO junior, Joshua Garcia.

He tells 6 News "for the past few days [he] felt like [he's] been being followed to [his] car."

Garcia told himself he was being overly paranoid, he brushed it off. But Tuesday evening when he got into his car and saw the note he realized that wasn't the case.

"I couldn't believe my eyes," Garcia said. "I didn't expect that to happen here in Omaha."

In his post, Garcia says he worries about Latinos in the U.S., especially as immigration issues come to the forefront of national discourse.

"I am just extremely overwhelmed with what is going on in the supreme court debating about what will the future look like for DACA recipients and things like this happening to Latinos in the U.S.," he says in the post.

The university is making it known they stand with Garcia and all of their students now and always.

"We're a public institution," Johnathan Benjamin-Alvarado, an assistant vice chancellor said. "We have a very very deep commitment to the social contract and serving this community in particular and all of the students that come through the university."

He says he hopes to have a conversation with the person who wrote the note and embrace them.

"I don't blame them for thinking like that. If you look on social media, if you look on the news people are enabling this behavior, thinking it's okay," Garcia said.

Now because this incident happened off-campus, any further action to pursue whoever left this note on Garcia's car would need to come from the police. At this point, no police report has been filed.

The chancellor's full statement reads:

"Overnight, we learned about a message found on a student’s car that was parked in the Elmwood Park area. It was a short note that was likely meant to intimidate undocumented people in our community. We want to address this directly and immediately. At UNO, we tell all of our students 'you are welcome here' and that means everyone.

"Inclusion is a core value of our university and intimidation has no place on our campus or near it.

"Two years ago, when we first learned that the Deferred Action for Chlidhood Arrivals program might be ending, all of the University of Nebraska Chancellors stated together and clearly that "we are a better university, city, state and country when all of our students have access to education and are an active part of our communities."

It will not be lost on anyone that this message was found last night as the United States Supreme Court is reviewing arguments on a possible plan to end this program. Please know that we are hopeful that a pathway forward can be determined and sustained. For now, we want you to know that we are here to support all of our students. If necessary, our counseling resources for students are always available. In addition, our Public Safety team is actively patrolling the campus 24 hours a day and seven days a week. If you see or hear of anything threatening, please contact them immediately.

"Thank you for being part of our Maverick community. We are dedicated to all that we can do to make your educational journey safe and successful."

Read the original version of this article at www.wowt.com.