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The University of North Florida (UNF) in Jacksonville is increasing police presence on campus after Ken Parker, a junior-year Political Science student and self-proclaimed Nazi, posted threats online directed at a student group linked to the Black Lives Matter movement.
According to Action News Jax, Parker posted a photo of himself shirtless, revealing his swastika tattoo, while holding a rifle on Monday, Nov. 13. A message accompanying the photo reads, “Let SDS [Students for a Democratic Society] and the other clowns come at me, I will shut them down.” Parker told the news station he was using his First and Second Amendment rights and he didn’t believe his message was a threat.
Speaking to the station, UNF president John Delaney said the university suspended Parker after seeing his picture.
“We were disturbed by what we saw. And felt that we needed to take action today and that’s what we’ve done,” Delaney said.
According to the Tab, students have called for Parker to be removed from the university since he was profiled by Folio Weekly magazine in the article “The Monster Next Door.” Parker, who is reportedly in his 30s, has also been profiled by men’s LGBTQ publication HISKIND, and was photographed and identified by the New York Times at the white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville in August.
Speaking to the Tab, Parker said he wasn’t going to UNF to spread his ideology and was going to get a degree and eventually become a civil rights lawyer for white victims of Black crime.
Parker’s suspension was officially enacted on Tuesday, Nov. 14. He has appealed his suspension and will need a police escort to attend the disciplinary hearing for that appeal, as well as a second hearing regarding whether he violated campus code. Parker said he’ll sue UNF if he loses his appeal.
On Friday, Action News Jax reported that white supremacists will be rallying in support of Parker on the UNF campus on Monday, Nov. 20. Parker said his fiancée is planning the rally with white supremacist groups. UNF students are aware of the rally, and plan on peacefully counter-protesting on Monday as well.
Samantha Grasso is a former IRL staff writer for the Daily Dot with a reporting emphasis on immigration. Her work has appeared on Los Angeles Magazine, Death And Taxes, Revelist, Texts From Last Night, Austin Monthly, and she has previously contributed to Texas Monthly.