Man holding swastika on college campus says it was meant as conversation starter

Posted at 11:04 AM, May 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-07 11:04:48-04

MILWAUKEE - A sign with a swastika on it was carried on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Monday afternoon.

Students told WITI a man was seen with the sign in front of an Israeli organization's booth.

He told WITI he only held the sign as a conversation starter and claimed it had nothing to do with Nazis or white nationalism.

"I just wanted to spark the conversation. I knew that was the best way to get attention. It had nothing to do with actually wanting to offend people, but again, this is America. I get offended by stuff all the time, and you have the right to not be offended," said Chris, the man with the sign.

"Because this is a diverse campus, I would say, you could have easily came out here and set up a table and said, 'Come talk to me about anything.' Like, I feel like he was on the extreme side and just wanted attention," said UWM student Heavenly Johnson.

Chris, who would not share his last name, said the message he intended to speak to students about was "Marxism ideology."